1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Thinking of converting to fretless!!!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by deathbloomslife, Jun 7, 2005.

  1. Okay, I played a fretless passive Corvette 'wick today at GC. Im pretty sure im in love.

    One major question, what doyou have to do to maintain a fretless bass? any extra care or tips from you guys? Anything I should be willing to get used to or change about my playing? (Aside form no frets :D)

    Oh yeah, I know this is a dumbb question, does slap bass "sound good" on a fretless?

    So, should I go fretless???

    Awaiting opinions, Ryan.
  2. Jonki

    Jonki I will not slap my Bee!

    Oct 14, 2003
    Arendal, Norway

    use some lemon oil to keep the fingerboard in proper shape
    and use nickelplated or flatwound strings, or else the fingerboard will be eaten up very fast.

    Jonki :bassist:
  3. Jonas.


    Jun 2, 2005
    not that i know from experience, but i've heard that slapping a fretless can damage the fingerboard if its a softwood. but you'll be ok if its something like ebony.
  4. markfsy


    May 14, 2005
    Suffolk, England
    I find I can't slap on my fretless six - popping is ok, but slapping just gives you a horrible noise. Some basses have a piece of metal at the end of the fingerboard at what would be fret height for just that reason. Don't worry about slapping anyway, that mwah more than makes up for it!
  5. primus_55


    Dec 28, 2004
    Slapping will slowly damage the neck due to no frets reinforcing the neck.

    Im pretty sure on this one, correct me if im wrong.

    If the necks ovangkol, you probably shouldnt slap.
  6. FretlessVoice


    May 25, 2005
    You'll also find that the traditional style of vibrato (up and down) will chew into your fingerboard. You might want to learn the 'classical' vibrato style of pushing and pulling the string horizontally (toward the bridge and then back toward the nut) and board wear will be eliminated.

    Welcome to the fretless world!
  7. klocwerk


    May 19, 2005
    Somerville, MA
    It's really a rocking motion, towards and away from the bridge (or nut). You're not pushing and pulling the string so much as rocking your hand.
    To get a feel for it, put your middle finger tip on your desk in front of you as if you were fretting a string. now move your hand left and right by wiggling at the wrist. That's the feel of 'classical' vibrato.

    Fretless rocks. I play both ways, depending on the situation, but definitely prefer fretless when possible. It's a great skill, and sound, to add to your stable.
  8. Bass_Machine


    Oct 29, 2004
    I'm watching this thread closely as, depending on my end of year exam results, I'll be permitted to buy my first fretless. I dunno what it is about fretless, the tone? the feel of no frets? the challenge of no fretlines? a combination of all of these? All I know is that I am thoroughly in love with fretless basses. It's a direction I'm willing to go in. I was toying with the idea of a 6 string bass, but I think I'll stick to a 4 until I see where I'm taking my bassing. :)
  9. Bass Machine, I couldnt agree with you more... Ive been playing for close to one year now, and Im still trying to figure out what I want do with my playing.

    That's the only reason why I'm hesitant of buying the 'Vette 'Wick as my first fretless. Fretless is definately something that intrigues me though. I don't know for sure, but I think I'll watch the 'bay for a while and try to snag a cheap one... If possible :)

  10. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    deathbloomslife, do you live in Cocoa Beach, that's where I was born!

    Anyway, as far as fretless, I jumped in head first, dropped $200 on a fretless Jazz bass (MIM) and wasn't impressed with the tone or feel, but loved the whole fretless thing, so I sold it for a profit and bought a Yamaha BB404F and love it! You may find a cheapie you love as mucch as the Wick!
  11. I dont actually live in Cocoa, I live in a small town north of it, and south of titusville, know as Port St. John. It's to small of a town in incorporate (keeps getting voted down) so we're under Cocoa's mailing address for now.

    As for finding a cheapir fretless, I'm thinking of it, but I don't know who makes a good fretless bass! I've been dreaming of a 'Wick 'Vette for a LONG time, and now I think I may just buy a fretless one if I can find one.

    However, like I said earlier, I'm not sure if I SHOULD jump right in on the fretless bass idea. I'm also thinking of buying a Spector for now, seeing how I like one, and then moving up to 'Wick when I actually have the money. Or, I might just like the Spector and get a fretless one. I did like the Spectors' that I played at GC yesterday... Almost loved 'em as much as my girlfriend :D!
  12. Bassred


    Jun 9, 2005
    My wife bought me a Yamaha RBX 260F, single pickup fretless four string for $100. I love it!! great fretless sounsd pour out of this puppy! I use Elixir strings on it, and the combination of no frets and slick strings makes for one great playing, great sounding bass!! I play a fretted jazz 5 deluxe as my number 1, but I bring this along for certain songs, I can't imagine a gig that wouldn't require both (my oppinion). the sound is great, and I just picked up an active preamp to drop into it, I can't wait!! :bassist:
  13. Bassmanbob

    Bassmanbob Supporting Member

    MTD Heir fretless can be gotten somewhere between $500- 800. These are great fretless basses.

    I just made the transition to fretless and I love it. I will die with my new fretless bass. I no longer have the desire to visit music stores anymore.

    I guess you can say that I'm gassless for the first time. But my wife may tell you otherwise. :eek: Pull my finger.
  14. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    My Warwick Corvette Std. came in yesterday, and it's pretty nice. The first thing I have to say is that it is HEAVY...the heaviest bass I've ever played, and I play sitting down :) The neck is alittle thicker than I'm used to, but I think I'll get used to it. The only thing I don't care for are the strings. They are slow, sticky and just feel horrible, plus they're too snarly for me.

    I love the "snap off" truss rod cover plate. That makes neck adjustments a breeze, and should I have to get at it, the control cavity cover is nice with this feature as well.

Share This Page