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using fretless bass in metal

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Guybrush, Sep 17, 2004.


  1. Guybrush

    Guybrush

    Mar 22, 2002
    turkey,istanbul
    fretless bass is not much prefered in metal music..i only heard farfalla(opeth) and steve digiorgio(death,iced earth,testament,quo vadis,sadus,dark hall) playing..i play fretless for like 2 and a half years and i have a metal band..i was never able to get the right tone to play with that loud enstrumants..what are your suggestions/opinions about it..what pedals would be good for me..which tones..thanks
     
  2. Blademaster Dez

    Blademaster Dez

    May 12, 2004
    Sean Malone also uses fretless in metal. He did with Cynic and currently does with Gordian Knot.

    What kind of metal does your band play? Because I can see fretless slinking in more nicely with prog metal (i.e. Sonata Arctica) rather than, say, brutal death metal (i.e. Deicide.)

    Do you play with your fingers or a pick? Using a pick may not be a bad idea to get that nice sharp initial attack. The way my bass and amp are set up, I get a nice lounge jazz upright tone when I play with my fingers, but when I play with a pick, it's a whole different story- my sound becomes quite modern with lots of attack, articulation, definition...very rock.

    Do you like to use distorted bass or clean bass?

    Do you like a compressed, ultra-clean tone that really cuts, like Justin Chancellor of Tool? Adding a compressor pedal may tighten things up a bit.

    If you like distortion, the Hao Rust Ride (dist. by Godlyke I think) is supposed to be a good overdrive pedal. That's what I've read anyway. I'd like to try one. I'm thinking a light distortion combined with smooth sliding on a fretless would make for some nice chording to add color to the guitar parts.

    Of course, I could just be talking out my tushie.
     
  3. Guybrush

    Guybrush

    Mar 22, 2002
    turkey,istanbul
    i don't like using distortion sound (especially on fretless) and im a finger player..im looking for some more reble but also strong..treble sounds are lost between all those guitar effects..
     
  4. Matt Ides

    Matt Ides

    May 12, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    light gauge strings might be the trick.

    The string on the fretless seem to make a huge difference for the sound you want.
     
  5. you might try boosting your mids, or at least not scooping them out if you currently do that. DiGiorgio's tone seems pretty mid-heavy compared to other metal players, at least on the Control Denied album (which is great). Mid's always seem to cut through, and they sound good with a fretless.
     
  6. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    (also, I've seen Hypocrisy bassist playing fretless)

    Hmmm... maybe a bigger amp... If you play with loud guitarists, then its absolutely necessary. Remember, to have a good strong bass presence, you need 3,5-4 times the wattage the guitarists have (because of the difference between efficiency of low frequency and higher frequency drivers). With only 25w, you are way underpowered. Over 200-300W would be better.

    As for tone, many use bass and treble boost with mid cut, but that easily gets lost with loud guitarists. I'd rather use more mid boost along with treble and bass boost, but the best bet is still a power boost :smug:
     
  7. dgce

    dgce

    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    Gezz, having a brain-fart here. Who was the bassist who played with Blue Murder and with Page in The Firm? He was one of the first hard rock guys I've ever seen/heard use a fretless (old Music Man Sabre and P-bass I think). Maybe if you could track down info on this dude, you might be able to get some ideas.

    r
     
  8. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    Tony Franklin - do a search (there's a thread in Bassists as we speak), as he's been discussed in length and certainly does bring the fretless approach to The Rock. :D
     
  9. dgce

    dgce

    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    Tony Franklin! Yes! Thank you. I think he also had a column in Bass Player Mag on fretless playing a few years back, no?

    r
     
  10. Guybrush

    Guybrush

    Mar 22, 2002
    turkey,istanbul
    thank you guys i think my answer is mid..


    as digiorgio saz "loud bass is good bass"...damn i love this man..
     
  11. rogerbmiller

    rogerbmiller Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2003
    NYC
    I don't think there are many fretless players period. So rock on a nd keep the faith!

    Just my opinion but I say exhaust experimenting with pure tones before you get into pedals. Try different tone configurations on your amp and different tone and PU configurations on your bass to find the overall character you are looking for and then go to pedals for "dressing". I find that most pedals (save for certain wahs and eq's) totally strip the bottom end out from the bass. Keep it real!
     
  12. Demon

    Demon

    Mar 17, 2006
    Sweden, Stockholm
    Im all for Metal, and going fretless as soon ican afford a decent bass, theres always some way to make it sound good even if you ont get the traditional tone, so just keep experimenting!
     
  13. i think you need a bigger amp.. if you have a loud enogh amp you can use any sound you want. If you don't you have to compromise, like using distortion, and boosting mids and highs can make you cut through more, but that might not be your prefered sound/tone..
     
  14. Demon

    Demon

    Mar 17, 2006
    Sweden, Stockholm
    Would that give a more powerful tone? Cos i really hate Jacos playing, it just aint my style,he aint bad, but it aint my style. So would it be possible to get a more powerful / full tone with Overdrive/Distortion and say a warwick?
     
  15. Demon

    Demon

    Mar 17, 2006
    Sweden, Stockholm
    Anyone knows how one could fatten out the sound and maybe add a bit of more growlish feel?
     
  16. StarMountainKid

    StarMountainKid

    Nov 6, 2005
    When i use my lightwave fretless with the classic rock band i'm in, i have to dial out the mmwwaa and create a smooth low-end sound with lots of mids to cut through. The delicate jazzy sound i can get just gets lost in the mix. I can't get that growl i get with my regular PU'd fretted. But it does work.
     
  17. Your problem is definatly the amp, no matter what you do or how many pedals you try, you ain't going nowhere with a 25w amp i'm even surprised you can hear yourself playin with other people get a bigger amp and start from there...
     
  18. Pick up a sans amp bass DI. You can get a great growl without washing your sound out with excess distortion.
     
  19. Demon

    Demon

    Mar 17, 2006
    Sweden, Stockholm
    Ok, but would it still sound fretless? or would it be like a harder to play fretted lol. Also, what would be the difference in using soem effects on fretted versus a fretless with say light distortion/overdrive?
     
  20. It's not of that much importance to the discussion, but there's a Mastadon song called "Linus and Lucy," a rock version of the charlie brown song, and its played with a fretless. The song isn't exactly metal but its heavy to say the least, and the bass sounds great with little solo parts and everything. The song can be found under some other guys name rather than Mastadon so it might not be theirs but in any event its a sweet song with nice fretless and worth checking out.