Who plays rock and blues on fretless?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by FretNoMore, Jul 28, 2002.

  1. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    I searched the forum but don't think this question has been asked directly. There's a bunch of jazz and fusion fretless players, but I can't really come up with any in rock or blues, apart from Jack Bruce.

    Can you give me some more examples of bassists that play rock or blues on fretless?
  2. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    Actually, I do. I use a fretted thumb for 80%. A few songs, newer ones, I've slipped on the Pentabuzz. One I used to do with the other bass when we were writing it. By the time we recorded it, I ended up doing my track with the fretless.

    It had more to do with tone than intonation. The Pedulla has a fuller, rounder sound with the P/J blended. The warwick is very mid-heavy and punchy. Turns out, the song could use a bit of fretless feel to it anyway. It's almost like a southern-rock lead in, and a slowed-down bridge.
    Everyone likes it better now.

    As far as more popular bassists go...
    Jeff Amment of Pearl Jam.
    Pino Palladino (of course - on very typically fretless stuff).

    OH, and JAUQO III-X of course!!!

    I can't think of others.

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    I do and always have.
  4. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I do it too sometimes.

    Another famous rock fretless player is Tony Franklin (The Firm, session, Carmine Appice's Guitar Zeus).
  5. ME!!!!... but..... does progressive metal count????
  6. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Other "Rock" guys include-

    Boz Burrell(Bad Company)
    Rick Danko(The Band)

    Didn't Bill Wyman(The Stones)play some fretless, too?
  7. Yogi Bear

    Yogi Bear Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2000
    Randy Coven in the band Ark. Almost all of the songs are played on a fretless.
  8. dkmonroe


    Jul 3, 2002
    Atlanta, GA
    Bill Wyman played a technically fretless bass on most of the Stones' earlier records, but it wasn't a "fretless" per se. It was a cheap no-name bass that he ripped the frets out of, because he didn't like the buzzing sound. There's an interview with Bill in the book "The Rolling Stones - The First Twenty Years" (Ed. David Dalton) where he talks about this. It's really funny how he totally tore up that bass, with no luthier skills to speak of, and actually ended up with a playable instrument! He says that even after he made money with the Stones and got state-of-the-art equiment, he kept going back to his homemade bass because the sound couldn't be beat.
  9. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Sounds like a fretless to me.

    There's nothing wrong with playing a fretless in ANY situation. It's still a bass, it just doesnt have frets! A bass is a bass is a bass, and can be used in any situation.
  10. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Dayton, Ohio, USA
    I've used a fretless for just about everything. I think some people assume if you are playing fretless, you are supposed to slide around like you've been dipped in Vaseline. I've had many bassists tell me they didn't realize I was playing fretless with a rock band. I don't play radically differently on fretted or fretless.
  11. dkmonroe


    Jul 3, 2002
    Atlanta, GA
    There was no criticism implied. I only meant that Wyman's involvement with fretless bass was spontaneous and somewhat unintentional. Also, Wyman's playing on that original bass doesn't have a "typical" fretless sound, so anyone who reads my post and then digs out the first three Stones albums hoping to hear the "fretless" bass are going to be somewhat puzzled. That's the reason I qualified the term "fretless" in his case. It's not really obvious that he's playing fretless unless you hear "19th Nervous Breakdown" or "Heart of Stone."
  12. Andy Hess used a fretless during some of the shows on the Gov't Mule tour last year. (He has also played bass with the Black Crowes, although I don't know if he ever used a fretless with them.)
  13. john turner

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

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
  14. I play more than 50% of my two weekly blues gigs on fretless.

    It's especially fun with a guest bassist. We both play through my bi-amp rig, and he plays lows, and I play fretless highs.
  15. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    No, sorry, the first sentence (phrase, really) was directed at you and the second paragraph was a general response to the thread. Sorry about that.