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Who here only plays fretless bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by fourstringbliss, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    Who here only plays fretless?
  2. I did for many years. I'm now playing half and half.
  3. HaMMerHeD


    May 20, 2005
    Norman, OK, USA
    I'm a fretless only kind of guy.

    I started playing music on a Cello when I was 10. I switched to bass guitar when I was 16, excited about the frets because I figured they'd make it easier.

    I switched to fretless bass 5 years ago. I have since sold all my fretted basses, since they hadn't been touched in a few years.
  4. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    I'm asking because I've always played fretted but I'm going to be defretting one of my basses. I'm wondering if I'm going to like fretless better. It seems like it would be harder to play but it's probably just an adjustment.
  5. I bought a fretless MM Stingray 5 with rosewood board, it was lined and a killer bass, but the fretless sound just didn't work with what I was going for. I could never get the bass to sound aggressive or dirty enough for my liking even with my Sansamp RBI's dialed in.

    I've been kind of contemplating picking up a fretless Spector 5 string but don't know if I should expect the same tame sound out of the naturally more aggressive sounding Spector due to the fretless neck.

    I feel like I would feel more accomplished as a player if I was strictly a fretless player, and would probably have a bit more fun playing fretless, but can't do it if the tone just isn't for me.
  6. MD


    Nov 7, 2000
    Marin Co. CA.
    I do.
  7. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    I know what you mean about the potentially mellow tone but I'm coating my fingerboard in lacquer for protection and for a brighter sound.

    Here are some Youtube clips of rock fretless

  8. I haven't taken my fretted out since I got my fretless.
  9. Before defretting something, perhaps look at a used fretless. That way if you don't like it, you can always put it back on the TB classifieds.
  10. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    That would be ideal, but the bass in question is an SX I already own and I've already pulled a fret. There's no going back on this one! I've got all the tools and supplies I'll need for the job so it's full steam ahead. If I don't like it I'm sure I could sell it on Craigslist, but I'm sure I'll like it fine - especially since I did the job.
  11. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    Anyone else?
  12. Matthew_84


    Nov 7, 2010
    Not only fretless, but mainly. I really do prefer it. There's a lot more you can do with them, and I've found that for some reason, plucking in different areas create VERY different sounds. Same with a fretted, but it's more obvious on a fretless. If you play more towards the neck, or above it, you get a tone that's unique to fretless where as if you play down over the bridge pickup, it sounds more like a normal jazz, until you start doing vibrato and slides and whatnot. That said, I can see it's not for everyone. My other bass is a fretted Warwick that growls and is just a gnarly beast. Some things require different things. My fretless jazz has Ken Smith compressors on it, which are compressed roundwound. I'm in the market for a fretless P bass to put flats on.
  13. skychief


    Apr 27, 2011
    South Bay
    I only play fretless.

    But I would recommend you try a fretless at the local GC or Sam Ash (or whatever) before you yank the frets outa your bass.. You may decide its not "right" for you and you'll have saved yourself the frustration of ruining an otherwise perfectly good bass. ;)

    edit: Oops..i didnt read your #10 post. Oh well... nvm...
  14. garak7

    garak7 Irritating the Neighbors Since 1964 Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2010
    Bend, Oregon
    Same here.
  15. StereoPlayer


    Aug 29, 2010
    I do, I do.

    Since the mid 70's
  16. deste


    Sep 14, 2009
    Bologna, Italy, Europe
    Endorsing Artist: GullanskyLab pickups
    I did it for a long while, but I was in the period when (due to a bad teacher) i quitted double bass.
    Now I almost don't play fretless anymore, just when I'm asked to.

    On the fretless I have an unpleasant Jaco-ism I'm trying to avoid (disclosure: he was a Giant, and maybe the first and greater influence on me. But it was onlly him who could play like that, there are to man Jaco-wannabees and I'm triyng to get my own -small, insignificant, but my own- voice)
  17. I do.

    I started on DB before fretless basses. When I try fretted basses I put them down after 5 minutes. I just don't like them. Analog vs digital. It's odd because I will play a guitar without thinking about the frets, but when I play bass, it has to be fretless.
  18. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    Yup. Too late on this bass. It's going to work out fine, though. I'm sure I'll like it it's just a bit intimidating. I'm putting white plastic strips in for fretline markers so I'll be able to see where the frets used to be. It's also a fretted conversion so the side dots will be where i'm used to them being.
  19. I had one of my basses defretted at the start of the yr, luvd it and now all my basses are fretless. There's no going back to frets for me!
  20. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    I'm wondering if that's going to be me as well.