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  #1  
Old 2004-03-20, 10:22
Papalazarou 666's Avatar
Papalazarou 666 Papalazarou 666 is offline
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Question Fretless Basses

Okay, i'll openly admit that I am a guitarist and have absaloutley no idea about bass, so I was hoping you guys could answer my question -

What is the difference between fretless basses and normal basses, does it just make sliding easier or something ?

Cheers.
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  #2  
Old 2004-03-22, 13:16
Rattlehead Rattlehead is offline
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I don't know too much myself, but I'll start by stating the obvious. A fretless bass has no frets on the neck. This give a very different sound and changes the playing style. Now this is just speculation but I think the notes do not ring as long. Usually instruments that have no frets (like a violin) are played with a bow, which would be the same as continuously strumming the string, but since bassists pick, I think the note won't ring as long. Apart from perhaps being easier, sliding sounds different because the note changes progressively as you slide instead of changing each time you get to a new fret. For some reason I think tapping might be easier on a fretless, but it could be just the opposite. I hope someone who knows what they're talking about answers here.
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  #3  
Old 2004-03-22, 14:29
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They're retardedly hard to play too i hear. You have to know exactly where every chord is played sort of like a standup bass that jazz/blues/classical players use. I dont know a lot about them either so i might be wrong.
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  #4  
Old 2004-03-23, 01:48
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Stachio Stachio is offline
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The fretless sound in a nutshell is sort of a "mwah" sound. The notes sort of swell versus just the straightforward attack of the fretted. You don't have the attack or snap of a fretted bass. A good fretless (I've got a Zon) tends to be a lot more versatile than a fretted but you have to practice your intonation to master it. Took me a while before I could get somewhat decent on it. In my opinion, there's a lot more techniques you can use with a fretless.
Otherwise, the volume is the same as a fretted...you can get it to swell slowly or not. Tapping is not necessarilly easier...I find it a bit harder
A good example of the fretless sound would be Steve DiGiorgio on Death's Individual Thought Patterns. He was using an ESP fretless. His sound is pretty outfront. Otherwise not too much fretless in metal, mostly jazz.
As far as the greatest fretless or fretted player ever...Jaco Pastorius.
Michael Manring does some insane fretless work as well (while going through a 100 tunings in one song).
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  #5  
Old 2004-03-28, 12:10
Unlord Unlord is offline
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Use fretless more

You freakin' cocksuckin' metalheads should start using fretlesses for some awesome new approaches to metal music. I've seen quite some good examples around me, including myself

Fretless bas IS harder, but when you master it, you can really say you are a bass player and not some dickhead hammering his strings (like a lot of you metal morons do).

So get out and buy one. Start making music for a change.
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  #6  
Old 2004-03-28, 12:18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unlord
You freakin' cocksuckin' metalheads should start using fretlesses for some awesome new approaches to metal music. I've seen quite some good examples around me, including myself

Fretless bas IS harder, but when you master it, you can really say you are a bass player and not some dickhead hammering his strings (like a lot of you metal morons do).

So get out and buy one. Start making music for a change.

Just so dumb.
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  #7  
Old 2004-03-29, 00:06
Comfortably_Numb Comfortably_Numb is offline
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I take offense to the term "metal morons"
I am not metal.
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  #8  
Old 2004-03-29, 15:06
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Les claypools 6 string fretless :P , spose hes a metaller, primus are pretty much metal-funk
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  #9  
Old 2004-03-31, 22:14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unlord
You freakin' cocksuckin' metalheads should start using fretlesses for some awesome new approaches to metal music. I've seen quite some good examples around me, including myself

Fretless bas IS harder, but when you master it, you can really say you are a bass player and not some dickhead hammering his strings (like a lot of you metal morons do).

So get out and buy one. Start making music for a change.


Dont you think theres a reason nobody uses them? Probably because they sound like shit unless your playing jazz or whatver. YOu like like jazz fagboy?
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  #10  
Old 2004-03-31, 22:36
Comfortably_Numb Comfortably_Numb is offline
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what's wrong with jazz?
you know people laugh at you because you listen to metal.
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  #11  
Old 2004-04-01, 01:54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unlord
You freakin' cocksuckin' metalheads should start using fretlesses for some awesome new approaches to metal music. I've seen quite some good examples around me, including myself

Fretless bas IS harder, but when you master it, you can really say you are a bass player and not some dickhead hammering his strings (like a lot of you metal morons do).

So get out and buy one. Start making music for a change.


You're a fucking tool. In fact, you're not a fucking tool because that would be an insult to Tool. You're a fucktard of the lowest degree. You're an ignorant chucklefuck that spouts your deranged, worthless opinion as if it were the bible truth.

You're one stupid cocksmoking clerk.
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  #12  
Old 2004-04-01, 03:31
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MorbidGuitar MorbidGuitar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Comfortably_Numb
what's wrong with jazz?
you know people laugh at you because you listen to metal.


Where in that post did i say there was anything wrong with jazz? Where, i dont see it? I was referring to the new guy as a fagboy because of his post, not the fact that he was talking about a fretless.

And i dont think people laugh at me because i listen to metal either. Theres many types of metal which are accepted by almost everybody. If your getting laughed at, its probably not for the music you listen to..... its just YOU
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  #13  
Old 2004-04-01, 15:20
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Papalazarou 666 Papalazarou 666 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PH
You're a fucking tool. In fact, you're not a fucking tool because that would be an insult to Tool. You're a fucktard of the lowest degree. You're an ignorant chucklefuck that spouts your deranged, worthless opinion as if it were the bible truth.

You're one stupid cocksmoking clerk.


Well said.
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  #14  
Old 2004-04-10, 10:47
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Anyways, thx for your help dudes, I listened to Individual thought patterns and i know what you are talking about.

Cheers !
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  #15  
Old 2004-04-10, 14:24
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hey calm it down in here guys, any more of your bitching i might have to close this thread..

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  #16  
Old 2004-07-06, 21:06
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kingincrimson kingincrimson is offline
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I think fretless basses are great things. A much smoother sound. Sure they can be difficult to play at first but then it just becomes natural, but it really depends on what type of music it is used in. It's not only limited to jazz however. Type o negative, The Police & Metallica have all used fretless basses.
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  #17  
Old 2004-07-06, 23:20
DemBonez DemBonez is offline
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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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  #18  
Old 2004-07-06, 23:51
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Flatwound strings are nice, i play my friends bass and he had flatwound.. mmm so smooth
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  #19  
Old 2004-07-07, 14:24
Cankfurticus Cankfurticus is offline
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I have a fretless and it is really fun to play slids just sound cooler. the only problem is you have to pay more attention when you play

it has roundwond strings. is that bad?
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  #20  
Old 2004-07-07, 14:49
DemBonez DemBonez is offline
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If you know what you are doing, then roundwound strings shouldn't be a problem on the fretboard. I've seen some bad chipping/denting/etc on a fretboard due to roundwound strings. There are definately proceedures you can do to prevent it though.
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