i wanna make my bass fretless


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slash6464
12-23-2005, 05:15 AM
hey dudes, i was thinking of taking the frets out of my jazz bass. like jaco pastorious did. all i want to kno is just sum tips and pointers, mayb a few pro's and cons, also i really wanna kno if i will still be able to finger tap, with it seeing as thats 1 of my...better abilities. im still not sure if i even want to do it yet. just a thought.

so yah thnx for ya help

bassman24
12-23-2005, 05:20 AM
Pros- Warmer tone, 'muah' saound, cool slides.

cons- crap for slapping or tapping unless you are les claypool.

I wouldn't do it yourself, go get a pro to do so. As much as its nice to do your own work and the like, fret removal can go wrong very easily, resulting in ruinging the fretboard neck.

slash6464
12-23-2005, 05:24 AM
thnx alot, i dont think i'll go through with it until i get a new bass, then i'll mess around with this 1

MetalUpTheAss
12-23-2005, 05:26 AM
1) You won't sound like Jaco at all with a normal fretless. You'll need to defret, cover in boat epoxy, then use roundwounds (I believe), then of course get his amp setup and his fingers and style.

Anyways, congrats on wanting a fretless, as even if you won't get exact Jaco tone, fretless bass sounds very cool.

Do you have a rosewood or maple fretboard? If rosewood, look ahead, if maple, then state that and I'll write up what you'll need then.
Some tools you'll need: Screwdriver + Hammer (pushing out the frets), pliers (Pulling out frets), woodfiller/small thin pieces of wood (whatever color you like, for filling in frets), rough sandpaper, fine sandpaper, sponge (for use as a sanding block once you get past the bigger chunks of woodfiller/hunks of wood), and a piece of wood (sanding block for getting past those big hunks and chunks), lemon oil (After it's been sanded rosewood will require a lemon oiling to look pretty again and feel right), and a rag to apply the lemon oil.

The procedure is LIGHTLY tap the frets until they come up (Many people use soldering irons, in case the frets have been glued), and when it comes out carefully yank (oxymoronic phrase?) the frets out. Do this for all your frets. Then, fill up the empty spaces with wood filler or pieces of wood. Then, sand thru it (if it's wood filler give it an hour or two to dry), and if you feel it's needed give it a second "coat" of it (I did it). Then, once you get down to it, put the sponge over the sandpaper and sand to keep it nicely radiused and all. Then apply the lemon oil, let it sit over night, and the next day apply lemon oil again. Purchase flatwounds, put your neck back on (I'd take it off, at least) and enjoy.

Here's a pic of mine (done last summer)

http://img451.imageshack.us/img451/4298/img07074pe.th.jpg (http://img451.imageshack.us/my.php?image=img07074pe.jpg)

As for tone questions, don't slap/pop on it. Tapping is actually easy (not easier) and sounds unique on a fretless. There's a nice mellower tone.

I'd do it yourself, but not until you have another bass and this one is just to keep it interesting enough to keep around.

slash6464
12-23-2005, 05:56 AM
thnx alot that was really needed. appreciate it

i have a rosewood neck so i think taht all the advice i need for the time being.

TheDistrict
12-23-2005, 09:29 AM
Be VERY carefull when knocking those frets out. It could splinter some of the wood like mine did when I took them out. And make sure you get wood filler and NOT wood putty.

http://users.skynet.be/sky88241/defretting_site/page1.htm

Above is a very helpfull guide that helped me through the defretting process.

Bumper
12-23-2005, 12:45 PM
Tapping shouldn't be much harder for you. I tap equally well on my fretless as on my fretted. Jaco did not use flats and if I'm correct he never epoxied his fretboard either. Slapping and popping isn't harder either, and I actually prefer the slap tone on a fretless.

MastaBassist10
12-23-2005, 02:46 PM
cons- crap for slapping or tapping unless you are les claypool.
QUOTE]
[QUOTE=Bumper]. Slapping and popping isn't harder either, and I actually prefer the slap tone on a fretless.

Actually, you can't slap on fretless bass at all, or at least get a slap tone out of it. Slapping is the sound on the strings "slapping" off the frets.

Good luck, I made my first bass (handmade) fretless by ripping out the frets with a pair of pliers and filling in th holes with wood glues, then finishing it. Try using flatwounds to get that thumpy ,"percussive" sound of an upright, which will sound great on a jazz bass, though I love the sound I get from a humbucker.

MetalUpTheAss
12-23-2005, 04:55 PM
Tapping shouldn't be much harder for you. I tap equally well on my fretless as on my fretted. Jaco did not use flats and if I'm correct he never epoxied his fretboard either. Slapping and popping isn't harder either, and I actually prefer the slap tone on a fretless.

1) Jaco used boat epoxy.

2) You like slapping and popping on your fretless? Go right ahead, in a few years when your fretboard is eaten up you'll see why you shouldn't. Although I agree, the slap sound (not the pop sound, though) on fretless sounds cool, nice and percussive.

I think Claypool slaps/pops on fretless, but I think his is either epoxied or some insanely hard wood that some custom luthier found for him or something.

Bumper
12-23-2005, 06:04 PM
Ok, I didn't think he epoxied bis fretboard, but you're probably right.

telemaster1952
12-23-2005, 07:32 PM
make sure that is what you want to do


sand the fretts down dont take them out the fretts effect the tone of the bass

MetalUpTheAss
12-23-2005, 08:16 PM
make sure that is what you want to do


sand the fretts down dont take them out the fretts effect the tone of the bass

... Don't listen to this guy.

sternobum
12-23-2005, 08:53 PM
I defretted a bass..............I wouldn't take the same aproach to removing the frets as the guy in those ^ pictures. If you just take the neck off, and clamp it to a work bench it makes it a lot easier. Then take a center punch and a hammer and tap the frets on the end so they slide out one side or the other of the fretboard. It won't splinter very much this way. Then for finishing you could use Marine Epoxy( which is what Jaco used.) Makes it very tough.

slash6464
12-23-2005, 11:13 PM
thnx guys, but i think i'll go wiuth the metalUPtheASS aproach seeing as its teh most detailed, and seems to have worked fine for him.

thnx for all ur help

Crashman77
12-13-2010, 12:29 AM
1)

Do you have a rosewood or maple fretboard? If rosewood, look ahead, if maple, then state that and I'll write up what you'll need then.



I have a maple neck, what would you suggest differently??

Tostitos
12-13-2010, 12:36 AM
^ really? A 5 year necropost?

To answer your question, you don't use lemon oil on a maple fretboard.

tofuhead
12-13-2010, 12:51 AM
Not heaps informed about fretless basses, would it be possible to just buy a fretless neck seperately if its a bolt on and put it on?
Costs money but it saves fking up a good neck etc.

the_perdestrian
12-13-2010, 01:40 AM
Not heaps informed about fretless basses, would it be possible to just buy a fretless neck seperately if its a bolt on and put it on?
Costs money but it saves fking up a good neck etc.
yes.

a 5 year necropost is nuts, but there are a couple people still intrested so Im not gonna report it.

Cb4rabid
12-13-2010, 04:08 PM
Why is necroposting a big deal? Its a serious question, im not looking for an argument.

Tostitos
12-14-2010, 04:47 AM
^ because most of the time necroposting doesn't revive a relevant thread. Like when people revive a 4 year old "which bass I should buy thread." This thread in particular was still a valid question, but the thread was originally created and answered by members who as far as I know are no longer active on this forum. Searchbaring might also have answered the question without having to revive an ancient thread.

09phillt
12-14-2010, 05:15 AM
One does not simply make a bass fretless...

Cb4rabid
12-14-2010, 05:11 PM
^ because most of the time necroposting doesn't revive a relevant thread. Like when people revive a 4 year old "which bass I should buy thread." This thread in particular was still a valid question, but the thread was originally created and answered by members who as far as I know are no longer active on this forum. Searchbaring might also have answered the question without having to revive an ancient thread.
I understand, but is it really soooo bad that the person who revived said thread deserves to be reported? Too much in my opinion :shrug:

Tostitos
12-14-2010, 05:45 PM
^ we haven't reported him (or at least I haven't, and seeing as this thread is still here no one else has). Necroposting in general is just frowned upon to discourage people from reviving pointless old threads. Its just annoying when someone revives a 4 year old "which bass should I get?" or "can I play a bass through a guitar amp?" thread just to give their opinion when the TS has clearly moved on.

TechnicolorType
12-14-2010, 05:50 PM
I had two of my three year old threads revived a bit back.
It was very annoying. I just deleted the threads.

Cb4rabid
12-14-2010, 06:52 PM
Oh well. If its a thread that somebody can actually learn something from, I don't see the big deal. Plus, hey, you never know, maybe the poor guy didn't see the timestamp and thought it was recent. Give him a break, a warning is enough.

Im just saying this because ive seen people go ahead and say "reported" immediately.