Thread: Fretless Basses
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Old 2004-07-06, 23:20
DemBonez DemBonez is offline
New Blood
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 17
Fretlesses use different strings as well. Flatwound as opposed to roundwound (although I'll be honest I have used fretlesses with roundwound). As one of my favorite guitarists once said, "So much freedom on a fretless..." (Bumblefoot). I have to agree, playing a fretless was such a completely different experience for me. The sound, the sliding, the feel, just everything was awesome.

First off, the sound is much more alike of the traditional double-bass of old. It's a much flatter sound than the fretted, but still sounds cool to me. There are also no metal on metal clangs with a fretless, everything sounds really smooth.

The difference between playing a fretless bass and a fretted bass is almost the same as playing one bass to another. I found switching from 4-strings to 5+ strings to be much harder. My fingers already were right behind the fret because I was too weak of a bastard to make it sound decent anywhere else. If you are just starting out, you can get fret lines which make it just as easy as a fretted.

Lastly, slapping is a bit of a challenge on it. It's still possible, but feels alot weirder when doing it. I've never been big on it with my fretless though as I am not sure how good it is for the fretboard.

I remember a guy named Steve Bailey (formerly with Dave Mathews I believe) did some showcase near here and he was using his 6-string fretless with an overdrive. It sounded like it could fit in a metal band easy, and was pretty intense at that. I know Sean Malone (Gordian Knot/O.S.I./Cynic) uses a fretless bass in some of his songs; I've always respected him for that.
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