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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by geezer316, Jun 7, 2003.

  1. geezer316


    Jan 26, 2003
    please dont think i'm retarded BUT who invented the actual first frett-less electric bass ? was it Jaco when he pulled all his fretts out of his fender ? or did he just get the idea from somewhere else and made his own due to lack of money to buy a real one ? i dont recall ever hearing how the frett-less came to be,just the Jaco story thats been floating around for 25 years or so. i would be suprised if Jaco was'nt actually the first but then again you never know what to believe now a' days
  2. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    Ever seen those big violins tuned just like your bass ?
    That's where the idea came from.
    The first fretless electric bass was the AUB-1, made in 1966 by Ampeg.
    Fender started manufacturing fretless Precision basses in 1971 (I think).
  3. Nah, the first production fretless electric bass guitar was an Ampeg AMB-1, if memory serves. Rick Danko played one with The Band. The story is that Jaco had been listening to other guys play fretless (probably Danko and maybe Alphonso Johnson) and decided to defret his bass. I think this was in '72 or '73.
  4. Booooooooooooooooo. :mad:

  5. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    Not fast enough, young padawan. :cool:
  6. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Bill Wyman used a homemade fretless electric on early Stones recordings well in advance of the introduction of the Ampeg. In fact, Bill used that same fretless on MANY famous Stones recordings for a number of years. Also, I believe Fender introduced the fretless P in '70. I used to own one.
  7. Actully, Fender started producing Fretless P-basses in 1964.
  8. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    I just checked
    Tony Bacon says 1971 in his Fender book.
    I tend to trust him on this kind of issue.
  9. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Bacon has done some good work, of course, but his books are occasionally prone to factual errors. Jay Black's "The Fender Bass Illustrated History" is, IMO, a more reliable reference source. On page 58, it states, "The fretless Precision bass started appearing in ads and literature in 1970." My understanding is that the bass was introduced in 1970 but did not appear in significant quantities until 1971. This is further supported by the serial number and pots dates of the one I owned a few years ago.

    But, admittedly, it's a minor point, in any case.
  10. May I quote...

    Guitar Player, 1984, special jaco issue.

    GP: Did you buy your bass with the frets already removed, or did you take them out? (ed. note: Fender did not begin to market fretless basses untill 1964)
    *He then goes on and answers the guestion*

    Remember, at this time they had people like george Gruhn working on the magizine...so I don`t think they just plucked some year from nowhere.

    of course it could very well be wrong, I was just going buy what it said in the artical.
  11. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Yeah, I believe that's clearly an error, 74rickbass. I've never seen evidence of a pre-70 production Fender fretless in any other resource. If one existed, pictures would certainly have appeared in several of the published histories.
  12. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    You probably have it right here.
  13. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003
    You could custon order a Fretless P-bass from
    Fender In the 60's.
    I own a 1963-Fretless Dakota Red P-bass.
  14. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    Really ?
    It must be worth a lot of donuts.
    Is it lined ?
  15. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Okay, you should know better than to make a statement like that without a picture, dagnabit.... :cool:

    I'm with Boogiebass as far as a production model. As a custom shop deal? Who knows...

    Pics Pics Pics Pics Pics Pics Pics Pics....
  16. lneal


    Apr 12, 2002
    Lee County, Alabama
    Carol Kaye.
  17. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Most importantly, how does it sound?
  18. zombywoof5050


    Dec 20, 2001
    My old fretless P had a serial number of #271266, which I believe must have been a very early one.
    I'm still kicking myself for selling that one. :mad:
  19. BoiNtC


    Nov 25, 2002
    NYC, USA
  20. No, it wasn't Carol Kaye.

    It was Al Gore:eek: