#1
I'm thinking of buying a new fretless bass, specifically the Rickenbacker 3001 Fretless. What are some of the advantages of a fretless bass over a fretted bass, and vice-versa?
#2
Advantage of Fretless: Sounds like a fretless. Encourages proper technique.
Advantages of Fretted: Sounds like a fretted. Allows you to be sloppy.
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#3
i think it is more fun to solo on a fretless because it allows for more room to explore. especially if yo get an unlined fretless. however for all practical reasons, a fretted will do you more good.
#4
The only advantage of the fretless is that it has a tone that cannot be recreated by any fretted bass. Every other advantage lays in the fretted realm
#5
Quote by Nutter_101
Advantage of Fretless: Sounds like a fretless. Encourages proper technique.
Advantages of Fretted: Sounds like a fretted. Allows you to be sloppy.


Disputable. I find often people receive more respect than they deserve purely because they play a fretless. Look at people like Tony Franklin, it's utter wankery, yet some people rave about him because he's "doing something different." I could train a chimp to hit strings on a bass, and that'd be different, but it doesn't mean it's going to sound any good. I think playing something on a fretless is often used as a justification for what is otherwise sloppy/bad/pointless playing.

In regards to the original question, I think the advantage (or, shall we say, difference) between the two is really the sounds and the limitations. With a fretless, you're not limited to semitones. The question is, are you going to be utilising that with the music you're playing? If not, perhaps you're just over-complicating things for the sake of over-complicating things. One of the other differences is the sound. Fretless basses have a completely different sound, they're instantly recognisable. Just think Jaco Pastorius, for example.

Neither is better than the other, it depends on which is more appropriate for whatever it is that you're doing.
#6
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#7
Fretless basses avoid fret noises and give a unique sound when you slide up and down the strings. Fretted basses are easier to play and you are in tune when you fret the notes.
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#8
Quote by Ziphoblat
Disputable. I find often people receive more respect than they deserve purely because they play a fretless. Look at people like Tony Franklin, it's utter wankery, yet some people rave about him because he's "doing something different." I could train a chimp to hit strings on a bass, and that'd be different, but it doesn't mean it's going to sound any good. I think playing something on a fretless is often used as a justification for what is otherwise sloppy/bad/pointless playing.

In regards to the original question, I think the advantage (or, shall we say, difference) between the two is really the sounds and the limitations. With a fretless, you're not limited to semitones. The question is, are you going to be utilising that with the music you're playing? If not, perhaps you're just over-complicating things for the sake of over-complicating things. One of the other differences is the sound. Fretless basses have a completely different sound, they're instantly recognisable. Just think Jaco Pastorius, for example.

Neither is better than the other, it depends on which is more appropriate for whatever it is that you're doing.

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#10
^ that's not necessarily a disadvantage

Basically its already been said tho, Fretless sounds like a fretless, fretted sounds like fretted. A question I have for you tho, the Ric is obviously a pricey bass, do you have a fretted bass of that quality and price range? I would say the fretted would be the priority as it will probably be the one you end up using more. For almost any player a fretless is a change of pace in sound, not the norm.
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#11
Quote by RockAddict311
I've heard you can't really play slap on a fretless


Actually, I've seen plenty of fine slap players go crazy on a fretless. Many manufacturers warn against it because a lot of fretless basses have ebony fretboards, which are as hard as a rock and can chip at the edge when you slap the strings against them. This hasn't stopped a lot of bassists from slapping on them. And you can always get something with a rosewood, maple or ovangkol board - or whatever else strikes you as a good choice.
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#12
Quote by RockAddict311
I've heard you can't really play slap on a fretless


I've heard you've never listened to Les Claypool.
#13
Quote by anarkee
I've heard you've never listened to Les Claypool.


This.

It's not as common people slap on fretless basses - but then again, it's not as common that people play fretless basses in general.

In my limited experience with fretless basses from messing with them in music stores (shame I can't afford one as a mess-about bass), there's nothing to stop you slapping them. It gives a different sound that perhaps you don't associate with slap bass, but it can be used to a good effect, as shown in many Primus songs.
#14
Quote by Ziphoblat
Disputable. I find often people receive more respect than they deserve purely because they play a fretless. Look at people like Tony Franklin, it's utter wankery, yet some people rave about him because he's "doing something different." I could train a chimp to hit strings on a bass, and that'd be different, but it doesn't mean it's going to sound any good. I think playing something on a fretless is often used as a justification for what is otherwise sloppy/bad/pointless playing.

In regards to the original question, I think the advantage (or, shall we say, difference) between the two is really the sounds and the limitations. With a fretless, you're not limited to semitones. The question is, are you going to be utilising that with the music you're playing? If not, perhaps you're just over-complicating things for the sake of over-complicating things. One of the other differences is the sound. Fretless basses have a completely different sound, they're instantly recognisable. Just think Jaco Pastorius, for example.

Neither is better than the other, it depends on which is more appropriate for whatever it is that you're doing.

Best 010er 010'.

But yeah, slapping on a fretless gives a pretty nice or unique sound, it's like the usual slap drummy kinda of sound but with the fretless mwah, sounds goooood
#16
Quote by YeahKyuss
I'm thinking of buying a new fretless bass, specifically the Rickenbacker 3001 Fretless. What are some of the advantages of a fretless bass over a fretted bass, and vice-versa?

Sounds like you don't play fretless. If not, do yourself a favor and play a few before you make the purchase. Not everyone takes to fretless, and that's a lot of coin to drop on a bass you're unfamiliar with.
Just sayin'.
#17
Quote by slaptasticdave

A question I have for you tho, the Ric is obviously a pricey bass, do you have a fretted bass of that quality and price range?.



Well I also own an Ibanez ATK and a Gibson Grabber II
#18
Quote by OtamotPuhctek
Sounds like you don't play fretless. If not, do yourself a favor and play a few before you make the purchase. Not everyone takes to fretless, and that's a lot of coin to drop on a bass you're unfamiliar with.
Just sayin'.



Good idea...looks like I'll hold off on the fretless for a while
#19
Fretless basses would allow you to explore beyond western scales. Many instruments found in Asia/other parts of the world are lutes and such without frets and thats why they can sound so exotic.

So a fretless bass would allow you to slide between notes and scales and experience a whole new sound.
#20
Quote by YeahKyuss
Good idea...looks like I'll hold off on the fretless for a while

I would never suggest that you not get one. In fact, I say go for it. However, not being a fretless player you may find that it's not your thing. You can easily find a fretless in the $150-$300 range to get the vibe without the Ric price tag.
#21
Quote by OtamotPuhctek
I would never suggest that you not get one. In fact, I say go for it. However, not being a fretless player you may find that it's not your thing. You can easily find a fretless in the $150-$300 range to get the vibe without the Ric price tag.


Exactly, you could spend most of the money on a fretted and then hold back 200 or 300 for a entry level fretless.
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#22
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All I have to say is Fretless Precision Bass.

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