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! :)

What Made You Choose Fretless?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by darkfish01, Apr 16, 2006.

  1. darkfish01


    Feb 11, 2005
    San Marcos, Tx
    Hello all. I was just wondering what would make someone choose fretless over a fretted bass. I personally enjoy playing on a fretless, but I have never found reason enough to make it my main axe, or to even have one in the family. :ninja:
  2. steve21

    steve21 Banned

    They're groovy.
  3. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    Fretless is slowly taking over as my main bass for jazz. The better I get at it, the more it takes over.
  4. I guess I kinda choose both, depending on what I want to play at the time. I suppose if I'm ever in a band, I'll use either depending on musical purpose within a song's context.

    I got into fretless when I was playing around with Michael Kellys at Bass Northwest, and accidentaly picked up a fretless model. But playing it and hearing that smeary "mwah" sound had me HOOKED! :D

    So I decided to build my own.
  5. the vibrato on the fretless reminds me of my upright...i usually use my fretless in big bands. the vibratto adds so much.
  6. fretless Bob

    fretless Bob If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.

    Nov 27, 2005
    Harrow, London, U.K
    i started playing fretless because of one person...

    well two really the first one is obvious, Jaco pastorius. after i heard continuum i was certain that i wanted that sound but i didnt honestly think that i could do that.

    and my second influence is a guy that i have known my whole life (im 18) i used to see him do gigs when i was a little boy and all along i had no i dea that he was playing a six string fretless wal and singing but i did know that he was the s**t.

    so we didnt see them for a few years and in that time i had started playing bass and listening to Jaco and thinking how does he do that. One day about three years ago my dad says that we are going to go and see his group so i turn up and notice that his bass has this huge neck and no frets or lines, me and my dad say hi and my dad says play him something and he plays teen town, i was floored and had made my mind up.

  7. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I own fretteds and a fretless. I own the fretless just because sometimes it is just fun to play/hear. I tihnk Ill always have a fretless in my stable, just for some variety every now and then, but i doubt my main bass will ever be one because I like the fretted slap sound too much.
  8. g00eY


    Sep 17, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    i found the Carvin LB75F i now own for sale in the classifieds of this site. now, i had always wanted a Carvin, and it was also a 5er (which i had grown to love by now), plus it was a fretless. i was under the impression that playing a 5er fretless would make me different than most bassists you see today (or at least what i see). i thought it'd be cool try new things while i was getting a new bass.

    so pretty much i just did it.

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member

    Even though I dont own one I would think it is because of the distinctive tone.
  10. I like that fact that there is no resistance on the
    neck. Since there are no frets to get hung up
    on, you can really feel the fingerboard...

    Slapping sounds lousy though on a fretless...

  11. emblymouse

    emblymouse exempt Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2006
    Lakland Artist Endorser
    Playing fretless is like not wearing underwear. More room to groove. Options, baybee.
  12. Until you get caught in the zipper - then it bites (literally).
  13. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    I recently created a fretless P out of MIM Fender parts with an MIA pickup, because I think it will be useful when my new band starts recording. I started hearing fretless parts in my head for some tracks, and I decided to go for it.

    But I've been intrigued since I first tried one about three years ago. It wasn't as difficult as I thought it might be, and brought back good memories of playing cello in sixth grade.

    I don't think it will ever be my main axe, but I expect to break it out on a gig eventually.
  14. dwjazz54


    Jan 21, 2003
    Jersey City, NJ

    The "feel" thing I can really dig and agree with, but I'd have to say I REALLY dig the fretless slap tone.

    I've been playing fretless almost exclusively as of late (finally brought it back to school and just can't put it down). The only thing I can't dig is the intonation when playing chords, but that is, of course, MY fault.
  15. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I couldn't afford frets.

    Seriously, it's the vbrato. So much more expressive.
  16. joninjapan


    Aug 13, 2003
    Tokyo, Japan
    I own and play both, for different reasons. It all depends on the music I am playing.:bassist:

  17. my first "real" bass was a fretless because i could eq it to make it sound like a fretted (i didn't remember how i did it, but i pulled it off somehow) and a fretless, and i am kind of concerned with value so two basses for the price of one looked good to a newbie :)
    but yes, then what kept me with it was the smooth sliding i could do, and that made for some sweet grooves :)

    of course, then i sold my fretless bass to fund a fretted bass because i was getting into slap...
  18. verbass


    Apr 26, 2004
    dayville ct
    One album The Firm , Tony Franklin's performance on that album set me on my ear and I am still in awe 21 years later.
  19. Jimbo


    Dec 4, 2000
    Philadelphia, PA

    and the feeling you get under your fingers as you play

  20. dabass

    dabass Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2005

Share This Page