New to fretless

Discussion in 'Bass Area; The Bottom Line' started by Steve Gambrell, Mar 3, 2008.

  1. Steve Gambrell

    Steve Gambrell Member

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    I just bought a fretless J-bass over on eBay, now tell me what I need to know! What kind of strings, action, how to get that roar that fretless players get---What do I need to know???
     
  2. demiruyar

    demiruyar Member

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  3. The Golden Boy

    The Golden Boy Member

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    I suck big time on fretless.

    A long time ago I got this cheap fretless, it was awesome. I could do all this really cool stuff- it was amazing.

    Until I tried playing with other people. It was bad.

    On my last band's last record I played some fretless. An Ibanez Roadster IIRC. I don't remember hearing the results, but I wouldn't have let it go if it were too bad.

    As far as I'm concerned, it's a whole 'nuther instrument.
     
  4. tkozal

    tkozal Supporting Member

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    you want "mwaaahh"?

    ground wounds or bright flats, a board with little relief. Check your nut...you can set these up differently than one with frets.

    rounds will dig in and wear the board. flats won't mwahh like a ground wound will.
     
  5. EunosFD

    EunosFD Member

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    +1 to the above advice. And definitely work on your intonation. I just sold off my last bass not long ago which was a fretless MIJ J-bass and I used that as my only bass for quite a few years. Definitely takes some time to get the hang of it, but eventually it'll become relatively natural. I personally used tape wound strings though as I just liked the big, warm quality the had compared to flats (which is what I used initially). It should be a lot of fun. :D
     
  6. tkozal

    tkozal Supporting Member

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    to work on your intonation, play through a tuner, and play in E, A, D, G etc...its great when you are playing, and your tuner beeps to let you know you are doing okay!

    Is your fretless lined?
     
  7. Bassomatic

    Bassomatic Silver Supporting Member

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    Agreed to all the above with one caveat - ground wounds (aka half rounds) tend to snag on my fingertips. I've used 'em on fretted basses with no problem in the past, so i thought I'd spare my newish Bacchus J fretless some board wear *but*...they just don't play as fast or smooth as either rounds or flats, so it's back to rounds for my fretless. "Train tracks" that result have never really gotten in the way or effected my fretless playing much in the past.
     
  8. Steve Gambrell

    Steve Gambrell Member

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    Yeah, it's a MIM Jazz bass. Intonation will take some getting used to, but I used to play upright, so I'm familiar with flying blind, at least a little!
    So ground wound strings, and lower action?
     
  9. Bassomatic

    Bassomatic Silver Supporting Member

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    Should be a walk in the park after upright.
     
  10. tkozal

    tkozal Supporting Member

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    Yea really... after an upright!

    Watch and listen carefully to where your fingers are on the lines. I have two lined fretlesses, and where my finger(tip) is in relation to the line is different, and changes as you go up.

    Playing with the tuner really helped me notice and deal with this.

    And while I use DB technique on my 41" scale EUB, I still do mostly one finger per fret (line) on a lined fretless.

    A little chorus or a little delay can also be added.

    BTW talkbass recently had a good topic about top 40 songs that featured fretless, very interesting...
     

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