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What sound does a fretless precision bass give you?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Led Hendrix, Feb 17, 2008.

  1. Led Hendrix

    Led Hendrix

    Feb 17, 2008
    What kind of sound does a fretless precision produce? I think it would probably be good for finger-style funk or motown stuff which require quick muting of the strings and other things.:confused:
    I heard John Deacon from Queen used a fretless precision. I usually play Led Zeppelin (obvious from my name), Pink Floyd, The Who, The Kinks, British Invasion stuff, classic rock, etc. you get the point.

    Anyways, the fretless precision that I was looking at was this:
    I was attracted to this one because it's cheap and I don't even know if a fretless precision has the sound that I'm looking for. That's also the reason why I asked you guys, fellow TB'ers.
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    We've got a few fretless-P users here; I owned one for a while. It sounds pretty much like you'd expect: fat, midrangey, slightly "hollow", and able to gliss or mwah if you play that way. It's not necessarily a muted thump any more than a regular P is necessarily that way. I like it. Tell you what though, maybe edit your post so that the actual subject of your question is in the title- that way you're more likely to actually get the people who might have an answer for you to look in the thread. ;)
  3. TrevorOfDoom


    Jun 17, 2007
    Austin, TX
    i love mine. i use it for all the standard P sounds, which it does excellently. i read an interview with Juan Alderete, where he says that he prefers fretless P's because they sound more like an upright, and i agree with him. when you gliss on a fretless P, it's like honey.
    i didn't want the fretless J sound, because while it's a good sound and some famous folk have made it work for them;), it just wasn't for me.

    but i'm of a mind that if you're going to get something you've never had before, you should get a good one. and while i'm sure you can get the Rondo in working order, if you don't know how to set up a fretless, it'll be that much harder to get going and start learning. the idea of letting a subpar instrument turn you off of the fretless sound and feel, when it may in fact be your thing, saddens me. no, i've never played an SX, and i know a lot of guys around here dig them, but i'd stay away if it were my first fretless, or 5er, or any other first. IMHO, of course
  4. Led Hendrix

    Led Hendrix

    Feb 17, 2008
    Don't worry about my experience with fretless instruments, I've used a fretless MIM fender jazz bass for quite a while now, and I have really adapted to the feel of fretless and intonation and such. I was just wondering what kind of tone a fretless precision would give you, that's all.
  5. TrevorOfDoom


    Jun 17, 2007
    Austin, TX
  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
    My '71 P is fretless, though at the moment it has a '69 fretted Fender P neck on it. I played it fretless for the last several years, and used one for a couple of years in the mid-70's.

    A fretless P sounds a lot like a P-bass, but as others have pointed out, it has the possibility of Mwah, expressive gliss, and IMHO, a subtle midrange richness that can be brought out by the player and the right strings.

    However, there is another difference in sound: the attack has a different, less acute quality. It is, in effect, gentler. This is actually not particularly great for Motown or Funk, though I have done it a fair amount. I might add that one can play much more in tune with a fretless P-bass than with a fretted one. The action is generally great on fretless, as you know, but playing one for long multi-set gigs demands way way more concentration that a fretted bass.

    BTW, (besides my upright) I prefer my Valenti fretless bass to the P-bass for fretless playing because of the wide selection of tones from the Fatstacks, and the EADGC tuning.
  7. Brian D

    Brian D

    Dec 2, 2004
    Dublin, Ireland
    That's exactly the way I'd describe my fretless P. :)
  8. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin'

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    Yup. I've got a Standard FSR in natural ash with an unlined maple f fretless neck. Sounds great, much like my fretted P (both have QPs and TI flats) but with more expressiveness.

    Right now I'm playing mostly lead g**tar, but I'm looking forward to getting back to the P.
  9. contakt321


    Jul 31, 2006
    New York, NY
    Same here. Take the plunge!
  10. my fretless Tony Franklin P gives me some of the coolest sounds on the planet....

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