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Will A Fretless Help... Inspire?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BassGod, Jan 7, 2006.

  1. BassGod


    Jan 21, 2004
    I need a new voice. Some inspiration to keep playin'. And I was thinking maybe a fretless might allow me to express myself in the way that my fretted does not. I think maybe it might help think of fresh ideas I would not have otherwise thought of on my fretted bass.

    Sound stupid?

    Discuss! ;)

    Graeme :bassist:

    P.S. I was looking at the Dean Edge fretless five string, which I would tune to EADGC, if anyone cares.
  2. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I bleieve it can help inspire. The main reason i have a fretless is for that reason. I dont really use it for gigging, BUT, i use it to practice on, come up with some interesting things, then i play them on my fretted. I tend to play with more slidy things and have a lot more 'feeling' on teh fretless.
  3. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    Glen Cove, NY
    Fretless inspires me a lot. I feel like I have a lot more control over my voice by sliding into notes, putting on as much vibrato as I want, etc. It feels very fluid to me, all my best work had been on fretless.
  4. Agreed - up until the last statement :smug:
  5. It will definitely challenge you, which can certainly be inspiring. I love playing fretless. When I got my first fretless (an Ibanez Soundgear 4 string) I put all my other basses away and jumped in. Bought it on a Thursday, played a show on Friday (all on the new fretless), lol. Scared the crap out of my band at the time! Was a great time of musical growth for me so I say go for it. I now only play my fretless on some material (maybe fretless 4 30%, fretted 4 50% and 8 string 20%) but when I do session work (which is really only occasional) people always want me to play fretless, so it's great to have in the aresenal for sure!
  6. Agreed with "inspiration" aspect of the fretless.

    I got it for the "fretless sound" for jazz, since I didn't want to play upright, and then it felt and sounded so good and different that my playing took a slightly different turn. I've had comments from the drummer that I work with that said exactly that; "I think that you're sounding more inspired in your solos". It's opened new "sound" doors for me to express myself. I love it! Still working on the intonation, though. That's just going to take time and practice. It's worth it.
  7. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    For me, plenty of inspiration with a fretless, just so much more expressive.
  8. g00eY


    Sep 17, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    i just bought a fretless that i haven't recieved yet, but i hope that it will give me a lot more options in the way i play. PLUS it's a new bass and i'm sure that will make me practice a whole lot more than i do right now (especially cuz i don't have a bass right now).
  9. Andy Brown

    Andy Brown Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 23, 2004
    Rhode Island
    Founder/Owner: Wing Instruments
    I just pulled the frets on a 5-string Steinberger Spirit. For an inexpensive bass, it plays and now sounds pretty nice. That mwah is addicting. I'm having Nino build me a fretless after tax season.
  10. Smallmouth_Bass


    Dec 29, 2005
    Fretless is definitely another tool to inspire different playing. I have several basses (2 fretless) and find that just picking up a different instrument every once in a while will inspire me to play differently, so it doesn't necessarily have to be a fretless. Also, playing with some effects can also change things up a little and help inspire new ideas.

    Just don't fall into the trap that thinking that getting a new instrument or new piece of gear will make you better.
  11. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Fretless can be inspiring, but playing fretless well is a whole lot of work. One of the most deceptive things a player can do is to jam on fretless by him or herself. It's slidy, you get the mwah, you sound like Jaco! :rollno: Then take that bass and play along with a record see how poor your intonation really is. Even lined fretless can be a bear. Even though I have only owned lined fretless, when I get another fretless, it may have an unmarked fretboard except for side dots because I really think a good ear is more crucial to good fretless playing than watching lines that you often don't hit cleanly.

    I say, get a fretless. I just say take it seriously and work at it, don't just slide around and have fun.
  12. Mike


    Sep 7, 2000
    Until you realize how bad your intonation sucks it will inspire. :)

    I have a low end fretless around the house and it fun to play and gives you a different perspective and requires a lot more discipline. I thought I was doing well until I brought it out to jam with some friends one night and realized how often I wasn't quite hitting the right notes, compared to how often I thought I was. It was rough. But, it is a lot of fun to play and can help when you feel like you're in a rut.

  13. arizonabass


    Feb 6, 2002
    Tucson, AZ
    New equipment, whether a fretless, new sound effects, etc., will inspire you for about 6 hours. Then you'll wonder why nothing new is happening. I suggest you take private lessons from a REAL teacher who can teach you to play music. (Make sure he/she teaches chordal notes, not scales.)

    A different sort of sound is fun, but until you learn to play well, you will not get the inspiration you need -- which is from within. Trust me. I'm self taught for 40 years, but once I got going with lessons 7 months ago, bass playing for me has become a total transformation. It's the music itself, not the sound.
  14. BassGod


    Jan 21, 2004
    I know how to play music. I've been playing several instruments for several years, and I know how to play well. I was just wondering if it might give me some new ideas.

    Not that it matters. What with the acoustic guitar I'm purchasing, I can't afford a fretless right now. :(

  15. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003
    It's all you?
    Inspire, yes.
    Will open a whole new world of intonation, and using your ears.
    I love playing fretless.
    Hope you will to?
  16. Rhythmalism


    Sep 25, 2004
    Well, as soon as you scrape together some cash, definately pick up a fretless. There's freedom in being able to just let it all go and jam with your eyes closed.

    Then again, after playing fretless almost exclusively for the last year, I think my ears haven't heard a properly intonated note since then :D.
  17. klocwerk


    May 19, 2005
    Somerville, MA
    I started on the upright before the electric bass guitar, so a slightly different perspective. (Less intonation problems than people who started on fretted. :D )

    I definitely prefer fretless when I can be careful about what I'm doing. It's what I keep around the apartment to noodle on, because I just prefer playing fretless to fretted.
    However, in a hard rocking band setting, frets definitely give you one less thing to think about while rocking as hard as you can. Especially if your bass lines tend to jump around the fretboard a lot, fretted makes a world of sense.

    In the end, I wouldn't give up my fretless for anything, but I mostly gig fretted. I'd say: GET ONE! Pick up a used fretless (or an SX) that's well within your price range and go to town. Maybe you like it, maybe you hate it and will sell it again in a few weeks for what you paid. What's it gonna hurt you?
  18. arizonabass


    Feb 6, 2002
    Tucson, AZ
    Then it sounds like you may be looking for an excuse to buy new equipment. I play fretless and would not think of playing fretted ever again. I love the sound and the feel; I find I can play with more expression than on a fretted instrument. But I seriously doubt a new instrument will give you the inspiration you're looking for. Maybe it's the [type of] music you're playing that is holding you back. What are you playing?
  19. BassGod


    Jan 21, 2004
    Right now I'm in a metal band, similar to Iron Maiden, in which I do "lead bass" kinda playing. I'm in a musical theatre pit band, and my school's Senior Jazz Band as well. I think I'm just in a rut, and need something to pull me out of it. Lately I've been focusing more on playing acoustic guitar, when normally bass would be my primary instrument. This is a lot to think about! I guess I was hoping fretless would pull me out of this rut.

  20. old grouch

    old grouch "Old Fool? Ya don't get old, bein' no fool!"