#1
There's a few people around me selling Musicman fretless basses. A Bongo, and a couple of Stingrays.

Beautiful basses, very tempting, the only problem is that one of them doesn't have fretlines, or dotes on the side of the neck as far as I can see.

I've played bass for about 4-5 months. Prior to that I played guitar for at least 5 years, so I'm not a total beginner. I'm currently playing a Fender, fretted jazz bass.

I have tried out fretless basses, and I really liked them, but they did all have either fretlines or dots on the bass. My intonation was still off, but the fretlines do help a lot.

What I'm wondering is would you reccomend getting a fretless bass without any sort of markers on the neck, for a relatively inexperienced bassist? I'd be willing to work hard at getting intonation right, I just don't know if the learning curve would be too steep.

I should also mention that I'd probably prefer not to put tape or anything else as markers on the bass. I'm not totally against this, but I absolutely don't want anything on it that looks funny, or may leave a messy residue or anything like that.
#2
honestly man i dont personally own a fretless but my friend does and i have no problem going from my bass to his that is completely unmarked the neck is a bit shorter but other then that there is no real difference. If you have upwards of 5 years experience at guitar and bass you should have no problem hearing when you are off by a little bit when playing a note. after a month or two of consistant practice you'll be fine!
#4
Quote by CurbstompBass
They do sell instrument tape at violin/classical music shops for exactly that purpose. No residue, easily applicable.

It's rare that a fretless BG doesn't even have side dots, though. Strange that a Stingray or Bongo would especially.


I think the basses were custom made for their owners. One of them is a Bongo which does have fret lines, the other a Stingray that does not.

The tape is a good idea though. I'd prefer not to use anything, but if it's really necessary, I'd want to use something like that as opposed to scotch tape or whatever...
#5
I would start by getting used to playing the fretted bass with out needing to look at it (pratice in a pitch dark room). Then get a fretless with fretmarkers. When you get a note wrong, look, adjust, remember the adjustment and keep working. Once you can comfortably play with out looking, move on to a fretless without markers if you want. Markers/no markers are essentially the same if your not looking, but no markers is more impressive, haha. Plus a lot of nicer made fretless basses will not have markers, so if you want to play a really nice bass...
#6
I would get it, they sound like nice basses. If you're into the sound, I would go for it. I'm into convention-breaking when it comes to instuments and genres, check out Obscura and Steve DiGiorgio.

Ibanez SR506BM
Ashdown Little Giant 1000w
Peavey TVX 115+410
A big ass upright

#9
I say go for it. Once get used to it it's no big deal. I love my fretless, I have slight lines though.
Quote by Fat Lard
Why would you spend tens of thousands of dollars to learn about a language you already speak? It was over before it even started dude

Quote by captainsnazz
brot pls
#10
i really suggest dots along the side, they help out alot, and when you dont need them you dont have these huge lines across your neck also make sure your bass is compltely intune, you dont want to be learing the wrong positions on the neck because your a half semitone off. another tip is to learn and get familliar where the 5th and 7 fret would be, this will help you alot maunevering aroudn the neck.
#11
I say get it, and all the better that there are no markings. The lack of visual apporximation will not only train your hands to stay in the right position when playing, but will also do wonders for your ear training. Say hello to nailing pitches, chords and harmonies on the spot, as well as transcribing songs by ear.

However, if you play regularly with a band or solo live performances, I would recommend having a backup bass, just in case the learning curve is more severe than you thought.
#12
I didn't mention it earlier, but if your unsure about wether or no you can stick with a fretless you might even want to consider getting something getting something along the lines of a Squier VM Fretless Jazz. It's relative cheap, and plays pretty well, gives you a chance to experiment and screw around a little before you drop a thousand bucks on something you might not even like.
#13
I own a fretless unlined Stingray and love it to death. The sound is bright and it has a wonderful singing mwah when you have rounds or metal flats on it. I have Roto 88s on it at present and it has a great sound that is perfect for jazz.

At some point your muscle memory will kick in and fretlines are pretty much inconsequential. However, I still tend to learn highly complicated pieces on the fretted first and then move to the fretless.