#1
Skip first two paragraphs to get to the question

Hi, recently I've been thinking about learning to play bass guitar, firstly to be able to play a less common instrument for a band, and also to be able to record more of the parts to my own music myself.

With the music I write myself, I always hear those slides similar to Steve Digiorgido on the album Death - Individual Thought Patterns. I know that he uses a fretless bass and can see that there is a Vintage (brand) fretless bass for just over £200 on GAK, from a brand I trust is good quality. I would be willing to spend a bit more on a more suiting bass for metal if I have enough money by the end of this year.

But my big question for all of this is whether or not it is possible to play fretless bass, without lessons and without ever having played bass?

"The mind is its own place, and in itself

Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n"

- John Milton, Paradise Lost
#2
Of course it's possible, how good you eventually get depends on you and how you learn.

What i would say is that it is easier to learn on a fretted bass, and fretted basses are much more common in rock and metal. fretless basses tend not to be found commonly outside of jazz. It's also possible to get some pretty smooth slides on a fretted bass if you do it right. For those reasons i would recommend starting on fretted and maybe moving to fretless if you take to it. If you really want to go fretless though then go for it and if you put enough time into it it will work out great.
#3
Starting on fretless can be kind of a dicey situation, especially if you're self taught. The major issue is that you're not going to have any muscle memory from a fretted bass to apply on fretless. As long as you have an okay ear for intonation and are willing to work hard to get that muscle memory under you fingers, then there's nothing really stopping you.
#4
Whatever floats your boat here. I'd agree that it would be easier to learn on a fretted bass, but the only real disadvantage to learning bass on a fretless would be that in addition to learning technique, you have to learn intonation and note placement along the neck at the same time, as opposed to getting your technique developed enough on a fretted bass, then moving to fretless.
#5
What we did with out violin is we put tape where the frets should be. Then when you have that muscle memory take the thape off. but make sure its not tape that'll leave glue afterwards. Itbe best to use painters tape.
I was hoping you could go with me and when you went with me we could hold hands and I could call you my real girlfriend.
#6
^
They sell special tape specifically for violinists and such at music stores that doesn't leave residue on the fretboard. Works fine on bass
#8
If I were you I'd go for a fretless with fretlines. But I see no problem with starting on a fretless.

Good luck



stratkat
#9
Well I already play guitar, and figured I would spend a few months plugged into a tuner to get the notes right, and when I comfortable with that, start trying to play songs. Although I may try the fret tape stuff too, just to be sure. Thanks guys!

"The mind is its own place, and in itself

Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n"

- John Milton, Paradise Lost
#11
Ben's going down the right track on this one. Ear training is primary on learning fretless and from there you will develop muscle memory.

Another tack after you've developed a bit of ear training is to play with another instrument (not drums). My musical ear on a fretless developed exponentially when I started to play with a guitarist or two.
#12
Unfortunately I don't have a fretted bass, nor the money to buy a fretless and fretted. Although I will hopefully be able to make a midi or something for it. Also, would I need to buy an amp straight away? or can I play a while without an amp and still hear it? Thanks for all the help so far guys!

"The mind is its own place, and in itself

Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n"

- John Milton, Paradise Lost
#13
You could play without an amp, but the danger is that you are going to develop a hard plucking technique that is not going to transition well when you get an amp.

Buy a small used practice amp, it won't set you back that much cost wise. Kustom KBA10s are not the greatest tone, but they are loud and cost effective.
#14
Quote by anarkee
You could play without an amp, but the danger is that you are going to develop a hard plucking technique that is not going to transition well when you get an amp.

Buy a small used practice amp, it won't set you back that much cost wise. Kustom KBA10s are not the greatest tone, but they are loud and cost effective.



Would a very bad guitar amp be useable? I'm incredibly poor atm, and have a no name brand guitar amp thats been sat in the corner for years...

"The mind is its own place, and in itself

Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n"

- John Milton, Paradise Lost
#15
Quote by metallicafan616
Would a very bad guitar amp be useable? I'm incredibly poor atm, and have a no name brand guitar amp thats been sat in the corner for years...


No!!!!!!
The tone won't be great (all low end will be eliminated) and the speaker won't be able to take it. Eventually, your amp will go busted and you'll be sorry.
#16
Quote by FionnRuadh
No!!!!!!
The tone won't be great (all low end will be eliminated) and the speaker won't be able to take it. Eventually, your amp will go busted and you'll be sorry.

Yes, bass ruins guitar amps.

And self teaching can be hard. It will take time to find the right playing style and memorizing the whole fretboard. You can do it but with alot of patience
Metal is like a apple, no-one likes the core.
#17
I thought it would do. I'll save up a bit more before buying I guess, and perhaps borrow a normal bass from my dad whilst I wait or something.

"The mind is its own place, and in itself

Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n"

- John Milton, Paradise Lost
#18
Quote by metallicafan616
Would a very bad guitar amp be useable? I'm incredibly poor atm, and have a no name brand guitar amp thats been sat in the corner for years...


Although your guitar amp is not designed for bass... for quiet, in home practice, it'll be fine. Go ahead and use it. Just keep the volume down, and don't expect much in regards to sound quality.
#19
Quote by OtamotPuhctek
Although your guitar amp is not designed for bass... for quiet, in home practice, it'll be fine. Go ahead and use it. Just keep the volume down, and don't expect much in regards to sound quality.


The amp will break no matter how queitly your playing, if its a guitar amp it won't be built to handle the low frequencies.
#20
Quote by metallicafan616
I thought it would do. I'll save up a bit more before buying I guess, and perhaps borrow a normal bass from my dad whilst I wait or something.

Thats a good idea, if you have access to a fretted bass, practice on that too. And definitely buy a bass amp, even if its a cheap POS. Just as an example, I played on a guitar practice amp when I first started, the thing lasted about a month and is now completely ***** up.
#21
Quote by FionnRuadh
The amp will break no matter how queitly your playing, if its a guitar amp it won't be built to handle the low frequencies.

Not really. I've played through a guitar amp for a few years (for fun, it honestly was a useless amp due to poor tone and whatever, but better than my bass practice amp's tone). I can still play guitar through it fine.
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