#1
I've been doing a bit or googling checking out basses as I'm interested in getting one. I have noticed you can get fretless basses that have the fret positions marked on the finger board.

Are fretless guitars harder to play at all and does the lack of frets make any difference to the sound/tone?
#2
Quote by M_J_P
I've been doing a bit or googling checking out basses as I'm interested in getting one. I have noticed you can get fretless basses that have the fret positions marked on the finger board.

Are fretless guitars harder to play at all and does the lack of frets make any difference to the sound/tone?


A huge tonal difference, just check out youtube, even with the terrible internet sound quality you'll find a very very distinguishable difference.

After a few weeks of playing the fretless, it won't be any harder to play than a fretted instrument would be. Make your decision based on tone, not difficulty of play.
#3
in a way its harder because to hit the note in tune, you need to play it a specific spot.
the good thing is theres no fret buzz

as for the tone, fretless makes for a rounder tone. its hard to explain. go check some out at your local store. you might just fall in love
#4
Checked out some youtube clips, you really can tell the difference, much prefer the sound of the fretless. So for someone like myself that ahs never played bass before it might be as well to try out a fretless from the start
#5
Quote by M_J_P
Checked out some youtube clips, you really can tell the difference, much prefer the sound of the fretless. So for someone like myself that ahs never played bass before it might be as well to try out a fretless from the start


make sure to get clips of fretless basses with both roundwound and flat wound strings.

Flat wound are most typically used, but you want to be familiar with both sounds so that you can tell the difference and get the sound you like best.
#6
I didn't realise there were different types of strings to be honest. I think I might have to go away and do a bit more research.
#7
Fretless has a distinct "mwah" sound and along with hearing rounds vs flatwounds, try out a few different fretless basses. The tone of the mwah is different depending on the pickups and the wood.
#8
I don't suppose anyone has seen or played a Swift fretless pbass? A seller on ebay has several at £49 but if they are generaly crap I'l look at something else unless a simple pickup swap would improve it
#9
Quote by M_J_P
I don't suppose anyone has seen or played a Swift fretless pbass? A seller on ebay has several at £49 but if they are generaly crap I'l look at something else unless a simple pickup swap would improve it


i havent played one but for that price i will definately be awful.

do you have a budget you want to stick to?

x
Fender Geddy Lee Jazz
Warwick Corvette $$
Rockbass Streamer Fretless
Hartke HA5000
SWR Triad

Quote by Victory2134
I happen to enjoy every mankiss from shinhoman.
#10
Quote by M_J_P
I have noticed you can get fretless basses that have the fret positions marked on the finger board.
Are fretless guitars harder to play at all


They require additional attention to detail. As a fretless player, you need to be on top of your intonation at all times. Fret lines and muscle memory will only get you so far. If you can't recognize you're a bit off and compensate for it, your performance will be less then stellar; trust me! Physically, they're no harder then fretted basses.
Bottom line is, little kids start playing orchestral stringed instruments at the age of 5. It's all about training your ears. Oh, and good technique as well.
Last edited by OtamotPuhctek at Mar 22, 2009,
#11
fretted basses are way better in my oppinion -> make sure you do try both out.

It's kind of like humbuckers vs. singlecoils on guitar only moreso - they're almost two different instruments.
Last edited by jimRH7 at Mar 22, 2009,
#12
One of the 'hidden' pros of fretlesses is that because there are no frets, you can set the action substantially lower than you can on a fretted bass, which can make them easier (well, faster) to play. Also, if they're set up properly as dedicated fretlesses you can use a lower/deeper/closer to the fretboard nut, which helps on the playability front. They do have to be set up or designed as fretlesses to reap that particular benefit however.
Also, the lack of frets warms the tone, simply because there isnt all that metal on the fretboard anymore.
Attendez la creme!
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"YOU'RE AN INANIMATE OBJECT!"
Last edited by the_underling at Mar 23, 2009,
#13
Quote by M_J_P
I don't suppose anyone has seen or played a Swift fretless pbass? A seller on ebay has several at £49 but if they are generaly crap I'l look at something else unless a simple pickup swap would improve it


i have one of these, in white. the finishing on it isnt too amazing, with a few minor bobbles in the paintwork etc.. and new pickups would be advised. (i replased them with wilkinson pickups, big improvment!) to try and get the most out of it buy some flatound strings, to really get that fretless 'mwah' sound.

i would recomend it for a 1st fretless bass, simply to try it out and see what all the fuss is about, i sinc have moved on to a 6 string fretless. hope this helps
#14
Quote by lankycharlie
i have one of these, in white. the finishing on it isnt too amazing, with a few minor bobbles in the paintwork etc.. and new pickups would be advised. (i replased them with wilkinson pickups, big improvment!) to try and get the most out of it buy some flatound strings, to really get that fretless 'mwah' sound.

i would recomend it for a 1st fretless bass, simply to try it out and see what all the fuss is about, i sinc have moved on to a 6 string fretless. hope this helps


the mwah sound comes from roundwound strings.

x
Fender Geddy Lee Jazz
Warwick Corvette $$
Rockbass Streamer Fretless
Hartke HA5000
SWR Triad

Quote by Victory2134
I happen to enjoy every mankiss from shinhoman.
#15
Quote by lankycharlie
i have one of these, in white. the finishing on it isnt too amazing, with a few minor bobbles in the paintwork etc.. and new pickups would be advised. (i replased them with wilkinson pickups, big improvment!) to try and get the most out of it buy some flatound strings, to really get that fretless 'mwah' sound.

i would recomend it for a 1st fretless bass, simply to try it out and see what all the fuss is about, i sinc have moved on to a 6 string fretless. hope this helps


Excellent, thanks for the feedback, this was just what I was after. Just recently had twins so got zero cash, so when I saw these on ebay I thought they might be worth a shot. Also seen some artec and wilkinson pickups at good prices too, might go for one of these then to get me started

Thanks lankycharlie