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Why play fretless?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by AcousticBass, Jun 5, 2005.


  1. AcousticBass

    AcousticBass

    May 28, 2005
    Hey everyone, i was wondering, fretless basses look pretty cool, but whats the point of them, like why would you want to play them? im a n00b in the area, o ya, and would you say a acoustic fretless is a good idea to get?
     
  2. Nadav

    Nadav

    Nov 13, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    They sound different.
     
  3. Stomniar

    Stomniar

    Dec 5, 2003
    Spring Hill FL
  4. phxlbrmpf

    phxlbrmpf

    Dec 27, 2002
    Germany
    Is it just me or have there been loads of threads of this kind popping up lately? Do a search, you'll quickly discover that fretless basses sound completely different than fretted basses, which is enough of a reason for most bass players to play fretless.
     
  5. djcruse

    djcruse

    Jun 3, 2002
    Norwood, MA
    Why play fretless?

    Why play fretted?
     
  6. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    toms_river.nj.us
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    'cause it's what a bass sounds like in my head :bassist:
     
  7. AcousticBass

    AcousticBass

    May 28, 2005
    what does it sound like?
     
  8. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    toms_river.nj.us
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    take a listen to the tune "Midnight Moonlight" by "The Firm". Tony Franklin's playing caught my ear with the track "Radio Active" but when I bought the cassette (it was the 80s) and heard "Midnight Moonlight" I was hooked!

    Also, listen to the track "Coyote" by Joni Mitchell... I love Jaco's line and tone in that one.
     
  9. AcousticBass

    AcousticBass

    May 28, 2005
    say i was going to get a acoustic fretless bass for around $600-$800 american dollars? which is a good to get?
     
  10. Joe Beets

    Joe Beets Guest

    Nov 21, 2004
    Playing fretless demands a higher skill level. I played fretless for the first ten years, mainly classical and jazz. Then I started playing that Devil Music in rock bands. Eventually I was playing six nights a week in taverns and murky clubs full of free booze, drugs, and loose women. Soon I found myself drinking more and doing other things that impaired my playing abilities. So I switched over to fretted bass and it was so much easier. Even if you are a little bit "off" the notes are still in tune. I have the highest respect for the guys who play fretless. ;)
     
  11. ryco

    ryco

    Apr 24, 2005
    97465
    cuz I haven't saved up enuff to afford a set of frets yet
     
  12. Jonki

    Jonki I will not slap my Bee!

    Oct 14, 2003
    Arendal, Norway

    hehe :D

    i play fretless, i really like the sound of it, its even more special when you play fretless in metal :smug: \m/
     
  13. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    The sound, and the feel.

    Like James said, fretless sounds like the bass I hear in my head. Especially my Zon fretless.
     
  14. Fretless is an art form that mimics the human voice more closely than a fretted bass guitar can. i play both and the fretted instrument is capable of amazing expression and fluidity as well, Berlin, Armstrong anyone.
    But the subtle touches that a fretless enables is the reason for playing it. i have a converted Fender Squire that has the most beautiful tone. It just works. A $800 bass that sounds like a $3000 one. I love it.
     
  15. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Because I love a challenge, and it sounds cool too!
     
  16. Snarf

    Snarf

    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    I find fretless to be much more expressive.
     
  17. rogerbmiller

    rogerbmiller Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2003
    NYC
    Bass was originally a fretless instrument. The Bass Guitar is simply Leo Fender taking the double bass and squeezing it into the guitar format. When there are no frets--nothng but strings and fingerboard and your hands-- it is a very different instrument and indeed more expressive, more naked.
     
  18. Because when I play fretted, I fret a lot. Whereas w/fretless I am w/o a care.

    Don't ask us. Play one.
     
  19. Kael

    Kael Supporting Member

    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    Because frets are the devil Bobby Boushay.