whats the deal with unlined fretlesses?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by kyo, Jul 9, 2004.

  1. kyo


    Jul 6, 2004
    can someone just tell me why you would not want to have lines? i dont get it. it seems like it just makes you prone to making mistakes.

    oh and also, how are SX fretlesses (the lined ones at least)? i dont have anyway to try them.

    this is easily the most helpful forum i've been to, so i can already say, thanks for the replies :bassist:
  2. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    That's a whooole messa argument there. Do a search, and you'll find a load of information.
  3. Limo


    Sep 22, 2002
    Reykjavik Iceland
    What kind of question is that????

    So you make mistakes, big deal, learn from your mistakes!!!

    Why do they make bikes with only 2 wheels, if you go to slow you will fall.

    EDIT(JT): respect for all members, limo. :eyebrow:
  4. kyo


    Jul 6, 2004
    aww thanks a bunch man.

    what i meant is that i could really see how you could get used to finding the right place to putting your fingers....i wasnt really considering that the dots are still there.
  5. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Kyo, some people simply don't need lines to intonate correctly. There's also a huge appearance factor -- I'd love to own an unlined fretless, they look beautiful, but I have enough trouble intonating on my lined. Other people feel lines make you focus too much visually and it "removes" the need to listen (which is a load of hooey). It requires a LOT of practice, and this is something you might actually want to ask Michael Manring on the Ask a Pro board. He plays an unlined 3 octave bass and not only goes into alternate tuning, but also frequently taps -- his bass is the Hyperbass on the Zon Guitars site.
  6. Mo' bass

    Mo' bass

    May 4, 2000
    I have an unlined fretless, I like the way it looks. It has dots on the top of the neck so I can see what I'm doing. And I have one of those big Korg tuners in my rack so I can look at that too.
  7. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    I learned fretless on a lined neck and loved it. Many years after, I found an unlined fretless and remembered how much I enjoyed the low action, the sound/feel and bought the bass.

    Once I took it home, I was all over the place. It took an honest one hour a day for 4-6 weeks to be proficient. After that, it was like riding a bike. You never forget and you nail every time.

    Now, when I pick up a lined bass, I find it very distracting and I really don't like it at all.

    Many guitarista an fretted bassists wow when seeing a fretless player. I am always quick to remind them that six and seven year olds play the violin. It takes practice, that's all. It's very rewarding to play it. I look at that black expanse of wood as a blank palette to color on. It's freedom machine that just speaks to me.
  8. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    From the rules FAQ

    Rule #1: Respect
    Address all forum members with the utmost respect at all times. If you do not agree with a fellow member, be courteous in your response. Thomas Jefferson said it best: "When I hear another express an opinion which is not mine, I say to myself, he has a right to his opinion, as I to mine".

    Because of the limitations of text based communication, the expression of intent can be tricky. One of the most common triggers of rule violations is the misinterpretation of intent behind a post. Use smilies often, and remember, it never hurts to begin a response with "In my opinion"...

    If you do not address everyone on the board with respect, be prepared to lose your membership.

    IMHO stating that a question is stupid, has a strong implication that the person who asked it is stupid as well. I took offense at your post as reported it to the moderator which is the process and procedure for dealing with this stuff. Let the moderator decide.
  9. Limo


    Sep 22, 2002
    Reykjavik Iceland
    Sure, it's not like the mods haven't had to worry about my honesty before;)
    I've heard mods say a lot worse things than that. One said onece that something was a "a load of bullcrap" don't remember which mod it was.

    This is stupid:D
  10. IMHO and for my tastes, unlined fretless are better, you just need time to be used of it!
    After, it's all about pleasure. ;)

    Just try both....

  11. T. Alan Smith

    T. Alan Smith

    Sep 9, 2001
    Fretless basses are meant to be played primarily with your ears, and not your eyes. That's why most of them are unlined. Look at a symphony orchestra. Check out the string section. How many have lined fingerboards?

    Aesthetically, I don't care much for the looks of lined fretless basses.
  12. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    anyway back on topic

    There's been a few pointless dicussions/arguments on lined and unlined. Most of them pointless. Use lines, dont use lines.
  13. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    :rolleyes: stay on topic guys. please.
  14. Limo


    Sep 22, 2002
    Reykjavik Iceland
    Ok sorry about that:)

    I've made my point about fretleseseses:D
  15. I learned on an unlined, eventually got a lined then got rid of it and got another unlined. I find that I have a much easier time with an unlined and I have a lot more fun since, with an unlined, I focus on the music rather than looking at lines on a fingerboard.
  16. Yeah, but 90%+ of six and seven year olds playing the violin sound terrible!
  17. modflea


    Apr 26, 2004
    Lafayette, LA
    I also have a similar fretless story. My Stingray fretless was unlined (but had dots on the neck) and it suited me just fine. Sure it took practice to get it right, but it was fine with me. I did joke with the guys in the band that I didn't move around as much with the fretless. You really have to pay attention to what you're doing when you play it.

    Besides, the way I wear my bass I can't comfortably look over the neck to see the fretboard the whole time anyway, so any lines would not have been any good for me.

    When I first started playing bass, I used the dots to find my way around, not the frets. So an unlined fretboard just makes sense to me.
  18. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    My fretless basses have always worked best when they are played primarily with my hands. Might as well have a guide to put my hands in the right place. Muscle memory, which is the real key to regularly playing with good intonation, develops much quicker that way.
  19. Limo


    Sep 22, 2002
    Reykjavik Iceland