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Which Fretless option would you do?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MoltarRocks, Nov 20, 2002.

Which Fretless option would you buy?

Poll closed Nov 23, 2002.
  1. Buy a lined fretless neck for my Carvin B5

    4 vote(s)
  2. MTD Kingston Fretless 5

    2 vote(s)
  3. MIM Jazz 5 with a Warmoth or USACG neck

    1 vote(s)
  4. MTD Beast fretless 5

    5 vote(s)
  5. Save up for a MusicMan Stingray 5 Fretless

    5 vote(s)
  6. Something else...

    8 vote(s)
  1. I'm looking to get a lined fretless 5 string. Note that I have an unlined fretless 5 string already, but I'm trying to get better before I really play that one. I have a few ideas about what I am looking for, but I want some opinions before I decide what to do.
  2. If ya just want to get better, to play your unlined fretless...I'd go simple then. Get the carvin fretless neck...

    But that's just me.
  3. Justyn

    Justyn Supporting Member

    Jun 24, 2002
    Richmond, VA
    I agree with Tufnut, I think your best bet is to just jump in and put some time in on the unlined fretless. Mind you, you may not necessarily want to do this in front of your family, friends and loved ones at first, but the notes are still in the same place, and if you've got side markers they can be a huge help. Or you can even take a pencil and mark off the fretlines. Just make sure as you're practicing that you get in the habit of playing a note until you hit it right the first time as opposed to getting close and correcting, which can be a bad habit that beginning fretless players sometimes fall into.
  4. cjlbass


    Nov 15, 2002
    I would say just play the unlined fretless. There are a couple of good tricks that you can use (well they work for me anyway.) 1. Sing, basicly what you do is sing a scale, start get the note right to start with, then sing it, and go up to the next note, sing it before you play it, you should basicly hear the note the note before you play it, then play it and make it be in tune. 2. Use vibrato, this will help mask minor errors in intonation, as you play. Although it helps to be close to start with.
    Those worked for me.
  5. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    Ditto - play the unlined one. Make marks along the top edge of the neck where each fret would be to help you intonate. It's not as if you can really see the fingerboard lines anyway on a lined fretless. So, save your money and get some tippex or a pencil, mark up your fretless, and get playing!

  6. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Then save your dow and go practice, practice, practice. And when you're done, do some practice.

    Unlined is not harder to do, if you just try to train your ears as well as your fingers.
    Man, I started on one, as a tru newbie, and gigged after a week without complaints. Took me a lifetime of pratics to be good, of course (and I'm not dead yet:rolleyes: ).
  7. Groovski


    Sep 20, 2002
    My happy place
    I have a fretless Yamaha BB5000F (5 string fretless) that I used to play. Now its out on the road with Travis Tritts bass player. Anyway, I used to play it in my band (its for sell or trade) until I got my upright. Now thats my fretless of choice. With the difference in spaceing I put little dots on the side of my upright to give me a guide of where I'm at and practice, practice, practice. Thats a suggestion for you if you don't want to spend the money on another fretless or have lines across you neck.
  8. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    I have owned both lined and unlined fretless basses. I find one no easier to play than another for a couple of reasons:

    1. As mentioned, unless you play sitting down with your neck crooned over to see the finger board, you can't see the lines anyway.

    2. Even the boniest fingers are 20-25 times wider than the lines and covered with a variety of tissues to create a fairly spongy, pliable covering over said bones. And, the witness point needed to be on pitch (especially in the higher register) is pretty exact. So unless you are able to keep the EXACT same hand and finger angle and view your fingers from the EXACT same position at all times, what you see as far as the relationship of your fingers to the lines isn't ever going to be the same.

    So, you have to trust your ears anyway. You might as well play the unlined bass.

    I do offer one small piece of advice:

    Make sure the bass is set up as perfectly as possible as far as intonation is concerned and practice with the tuner plugged in at all times. Check the open strings frequently for proper tuning. The last thing you want to do is develop bad habits because the notes keep moving on the board.

  9. I really appreciate all the feedback everyone has given me...

    I've been playing bass for 18 years, but only since March on fretless, so PRACTICE I will.

    I think I'm going to trade my Carvin B5 for a 6-string somehow. I do have other fretted 5s so the Carvin is redundant.:)
  10. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    Just play the unlined fretless (I'm assuming it's your Cort Curbow?). You'll be a better overall player in the long run anyway.

    If you must get a lined one, go cheap because once you switch to unlined, you won't go back. Get the cheapest decent lined fretless you can find for a "practice bass".

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