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Thinking about DeFretting

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Xanthyon, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. I played a fretless J Bass the other day at Guitar Center and fell in love. IMO, much more enjoyable to play and sounds very clean. I slide a lot and the sliding on a fretless is amazing. So, im thinking about defretting my current bass, an Ibanez GSR200. Also, im in a band in the works planning to play progressive metal, how would a fretless handle playing metal? Can't think of a metal bassist that uses a fretless. any advice would be great, thanks in advance.
  2. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    IMHO, it is a mistake to defret your main Axe.

    However, if your instrument is a bolt-on, it is less of an issue, assuming you can get another neck when the current fascination wears as thin as your wallet.

    IME, it is way better to have a fretless bass and a fretted bass, even though the costs look higher. In the long run, they are about the same, if you factor in a certain amount of aggravation, sweat equity, time, and dissatisfaction.

    Buy the bass you just played.
  3. I would not defret you current bass! If you are set on getting a fretless pick up a cheap one and try it out. You may find the sound is not right for the type of music you are playing. I like the way a fretless plays and sounds for certain types of music or songs but it is not a good choice for a main bass in a rock situation IMO. I have owned fretless basses in the past and they never saw much action during gigs for any of the classic rock, blues or christian praise bands I played in at the time.
  4. FSSmikey


    Mar 7, 2009
    Miami FL
    dont defret.

    i saw a fretless squier that played pretty awesome at GC the other day, it was only 260 bucks.
  5. Agree 110%. If you are that passionate about playing fretless and about that bass you just played, just buy it.

    Depending on your technique, you can play a fretless in a "nontypical" application and get away with it. I recently did a fill in gig with my old band, they always liked my playing and really liked the sound of my "new bass" (it was my new lined fretless). My bandmates didn't know I was playing a fretless until I showed them (after 2 sets).
  6. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Soaringly Brilliant!!! :hyper: :hyper: :cool:
  7. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member


    Fretless can be had for under a few hundred bucks.

    Buy a cheap bass.. set up the intonation.. then rip them out..

    Defretted basses do not command any value.
  8. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I agree. Get one of the Fender Squier Vintage Modified fretless's that can be had for $300 or so. Or if that is too expensive, get an SX. However, the squier will be better, IME.
  9. Gothic


    Apr 13, 2008
    I'll second the Squier fretless. As for fretless players in metal... Steve DiGiorgio, Sean Malone (Gordian Knot, Cynic, Spiral Architect, Aghora etc.) uses one, Martin Mendez (Opeth) used one on a couple of songs, Jeroen Paul Thesseling (Obscura), Tony Franklin, not exactly metal, but played in some hard rock bands (whitesnake comes to mind), Kristoffer Gildenlöw (Pain of Salvation), John Myung (Dream Theater) used a fretless in some songs as well, Juan Alderete (Racer X, Mars Volta), Geddy used a fretless as well; there are many metal players that use a fretless, and it's nothing that difficult to master if you're willing to practice enough, so I'd say go for it.
  10. Rock-Bassman


    Dec 25, 2008
    No Jeff Ament :oops: Pearl Jam doesn't ring a bell? Almost the whole album ten was fretless (well the 12 string songs were fretted BBUUTT...)

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