thought came to mind, fretless tapping

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by pesci1313, Oct 28, 2001.

  1. now heres another thing i was just wondering about, would it be nearly impossible to tap on a fretless? or is it possible with some(say like a zon) to get the sound to come out? these thigns just come to mind like they'd be very hard, the sliding while tapping would be easier but the tapping itself...?? for some reason people talk about being able to expressive more on fretless, just doesn't make sense to me, fretted basses have their pluses to just may not be the persons style. anyway maybe i'm wrong and the fretless can do everything a fretted bass can do and more, who knows? well hopefully someone, and they can give me their input :D
  2. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    You can use any technique on a fretless. Tapping is not harder, other than possibly needing to finger more precisely.
  3. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Sure you can tap on a fretless. Les Claypool does it, Michael Manring does it, heck, even someone who sucks as bad as me does it!:eek:

    You do slap, pop, tap, bend, slur, harmonics, artificial harmonics, double stops, chords and anything else that you might be inclined to do on a fretless. And some things are easier on a fretless, such as sliding, vibrato, sliding a harmonic, imitating a horn or vox, etc.

    And it is so much more expressive than a fretted!:)
  4. Bass Guitar

    Bass Guitar Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2001
    Exactly - you can do everything you can do on fretted with a fretless - you just need better technique, no question about it. It's just a bit harder to play chords. Also, the slap sound is going to be different (not as bright without the strings hitting frets) And you need good intonation - nothing worse than hearing a fretless just out of tune.
  5. red-hot-bassist


    Sep 18, 2001
    fretless is the best, you know that don't you?
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Except that everybody then calls you a "Jaco-clone"!! ;)
  7. Yeah, but it's still better than being a nobody! ;)

    I'd say that tapping sounds better on a fretless because there's more note and less fret noise. Of course, everything sounds better on a fretless anyway...everyone knows that.
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well I'd rather be a unique individual with my own style thank you!
  9. red-hot-bassist


    Sep 18, 2001
    hmmm jaco clone, well is people said i played anyhting close to jaco id be pretty damn chuffed with myself,

    and just for the record, if you slap are you a flea claypool clone, if you play upright are you a mingus clone? ,
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Or, if you could get a sentence out? ;)

  11. What does it mean to slur?
  12. progplayer


    Nov 7, 2001
    hey how do u slide a harmonic on a fretless? what's the technique?
  13. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    First put your finger on the place you are going to perform the harmonic.. lets say 1/4th of string lenght from the nut or "the 5th fret"
    Play the natural harmonic and carefully press the string against the fretboard trying to keep the harmonic ringing.. now.. SLIDE IT!!
    Michael Manring is one of my biggests inspiration on the matter. He is a genius both on technique and musicality.
  14. I have tried tapping on my fretless Zon and I don't know about you, but I always hear the tone from the other side of the string too.

    When I was playing around with this, I also tried using a scrunchy (actually just tied a sock (black, natch) lightly) around the strings up by the nut.

    Do you guys who tap on fretless have to damp the nut-side of the string with your left hand (or a sock) when you're tapping or is it just me?
  15. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Ahh, the Wooten-Scrunchie method. I keep meaning to get one of those things. Generally, yeah you're going to get the other side of the strings ringing. But, with headphones on or an amp at decent volume it's not a problem. For acoustic practicing the scrunchie should work. Also a strip of something (velvet, fuzzy velcro) under the strings slipped up to the first fret (like on a Chapman Stick).

    Also, trust me dude, no one has *ever* called me a Jaco-clone. :) Mick Karn clone, maybe. . .(yeah, I wish)

    Tapping on fretless : tapping on fretted :: normal playing on fretless : normal playing on fretted

    opt: insert "chords" on both sides of the equation (or all four).
  16. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    Kid here at college plays the mess out of a fretless bass, complete with harmonics and mad tapping.. His solos are second to none...
  17. My problem is that the wrong-side vibrations come through the pickups too, just quieter. Damn stiff Zon necks!

    I get the relationship, but unfortunately what it means is that chording on fretless is a whole lot harder than chording on fretted (as is playing on fretless in general).

    Mine always sound like doo-doo. I can get 3rds, 5ths, and octaves separately, but I'm not there yet on the whole chord....

    More shed time. :rolleyes:
  18. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Are you sure it's not sympathetic harmonics from other strings? That's my main difficulty. I've never heard the other side's vibration through the pickups, but I don't have a graphite neck (and neither does my bass - baboom). If you're not sure, try muting all the strings but one with your left hand, and tapping a note with the right. If you are sure, then nevermind. :)
  19. Yeah, I'm sure. I did exactly what you said, and listened through headphones. The most annoying part is that the notes aren't even in tune: because of the width of my finger, they'll be off by a bit, sometimes more than others. Not a good sound.

    But the tied sock / scrunchie trick takes care of it all. Not that I'm a tapping maniac, mind. I'm just playing around with it for kicks so far.