#1
Is there anyone who uses a fretless bass to play metal and actually cuts through the mix? Aside from Ryan Martinie of Mudvayne who im sure used a fretless on the LD50 album, is there anyone else who has attempted this or currently uses it?

If there isn't, whats the best way to set up a fretless for playing metal? How would you get the tone needed to play metal (any type of metal).

Would you need any type of pedal, roundwound strings/special EQ?
pinga
#2
Les Claypool?

Primus isn't really metal though
"You have brains in your head,
You have feet in your shoes,
You can steer yourself,
any direction you choose,
You're on your own,
And you know what you know,
And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go."

- Dr. Seuss
#4
Steve DiGiorgio of Death and Sadus is a good point of reference!

I PM'd you another link that should hopefully answer all facets of your question.

I don't really listen to much of him, moreso I am simply aware of him as a perspective to the musical world.. so here's a compilation of some moments it seems at least

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6glYZvLe2vo
Quote by FbSa
Back in the 70's I decided to take all the frets off Jaco's Bass thinking he would play worse. Man did that backfire.

[quote="'[x"]Huffy[x]']FUCK YES.

GSAWS, I LOVE YOU.
Last edited by Gsaws at Sep 18, 2010,
#6
Joe from Intronaut I think?
Not too sure if he uses a fretless, but at times it does sound like it.
Follow the smoke toward the riff filled land
brutal
#9
obscura yes. With intronaut, the bass is really prominent but it sounds like only sometimes he's using a fretless.
Sig.
#10
I'm pretty sure I saw a video where the between the buried and me bassist was using a fretless bass
Gibson Les Paul Studio Deluxe/Ibanez RGA42/LTD EC401vf
Into:
Whammy IV>Pitchblack>Dunlop 536Q>Fulltone Fulldrive 2>Hardwire TL-2>MXR 10 Band>Line 6 M13
Into:
80s Carvin x100b w/ cab
#11
Geddy Lee used a Fender Fretless Jaco Pastorius Jazz Bass on Malignant Narcissism by Rush and the tone was so awesome!
#12
I was unaware that Rush jumped genres?!?(regardless of Geddy Lee being awesome) If their new-er stuff is metal-esque, then let me know, I wish to listen to it!

Jake
Luna Phoenix, Kustom II bass amp, generic 15" PA speaker
"Magic Man", unknown old bass, mid 70`s Jap import

It`s my guitar, and if you don`t like it, well I don`t care if you like it now do I?
#13
Ryan Martinie actually didn't use a fretless on LD 50, it does sound like it in a few spots though. As far as I know he only used a fretless for A Key to Nothing on the second album.

But on topic, as suggested above look into Steve DiGiorgio and the guy from Obscura. Both are very good bassists that use a fretless for metal.
So that with good courage we say, “The Lord is my helper. I will not fear. What can man do to me?”

-Hebrews 13:6
#14
He didnt use a fretless on Nothing to Gein? Shit, that is some badass EQing then cause it sure sounds like one

Any songs specifically to look at or videos?
pinga
#15
Sounding like a fretless is largely a part of technique..

(I may be wrong here, but) ...the only distinct difference in applied frequency ranges between fretted and fretless is that the resonant quality of the fretless is increased in direct contact of the strings vs. the neck. This leads (I imagine) to a greater influence of wood on tone and specifically in mid-range frequencies. This foundation can lead to a wider variety of tonal ranges, but not necessarily an overlap between the two (in terms of fretted vs. fretless). This teeters on the edge of making sense to me so, I'm sorry if I wasted a few seconds there.

The video I posted has 14 specific excerpts of Steve's playing from various songs, if you happened to glance over it.
Quote by FbSa
Back in the 70's I decided to take all the frets off Jaco's Bass thinking he would play worse. Man did that backfire.

[quote="'[x"]Huffy[x]']FUCK YES.

GSAWS, I LOVE YOU.
#16
Its still pretty hard to get a fretless tone on a fretted bass, it seems no matter how much I change my settings, i can't really get too close to that sound.

I didn't get any PM from you or videos :/
pinga
#17
For real? Strange.. I edited in the video to my original post up there, here it is again I suppose.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6glYZvLe2vo

I'll just repost the message to your profile and see how that goes!

edit: and it's not about settings man, it's technique! that was my whole point!

It's all about moving your fingers in just the right way, in the amount of pressure you apply at any moment and the speed at which you apply or relieve that pressure. a solid glissando and vibrato technique are crucial as well. You have to approach the fretboard as to bypass the characteristic tonal and physical contributions of a fretted bass. When I started learning bass myself on my fretted jazz about 3 years ago now, I was all Jaco. Jaco Jaco Jaco. I was that guy that any self-respecting bassist would hate. But honestly, for me, I can think of no better proxy to develop into your own technique.. so maybe I picked up these nuances subtley, but they are possible to develop I believe.
Quote by FbSa
Back in the 70's I decided to take all the frets off Jaco's Bass thinking he would play worse. Man did that backfire.

[quote="'[x"]Huffy[x]']FUCK YES.

GSAWS, I LOVE YOU.
Last edited by Gsaws at Sep 19, 2010,
#19
Wow, that is pretty impressive. I didnt know there was such a bass with 2 heads/sounds.

I know that to play a fretless bass, you have to apply a certain technique (I play upright too, so I somewhat get the concept), however to get a fretless sound, you have to have a fretless bass there is no way around it. You can't tell me that my fingers have to line up perfectly with the moon and glissando perfectly and ill magically get the fretless sound on a fretted. Even if it did, I cant imagine how annoying that would be and just unessesary.

Are there any fretless guitars? o.O

EDIT: BTW I got the PM you sent me, im not sure why I didnt see it last time, sorry!
pinga
Last edited by Cb4rabid at Sep 19, 2010,
#20
Last edited by Micehorns at Sep 19, 2010,
#21
In your hyberboles, you have dismissed quite a reasonable explanation as how to best 'mimic' a fretless tone. Of course you can't COMPLETELY imitate the tone, just as with an electric fretless you can not completely mimic an upright tone. However, based on what you had said previously.. you were attributing the faux-sound of a fretless to purely EQ, which I am saying is unreasonable (and I'm sure this Mudvayne fellow would agree). There are specific effect boxes and the like that can do this artificially (such information is in the links I posted on your profile, among other pertinent information that would save us all from this digress of mine), but I am stating my opinion that technique is the vessel to which it can be best achieved, which is hardly unreasonable. You can decide for yourself what you think is unnecessary as you say, but ultimately you are trying to achieve your own goals, so.. think about it. Just trying to help, my friend . Keep an open mind to what is believable and what is not.. while the consensus of a majority may popularly indicate whether an idea is possible or not, it is history that will attribute the dunce caps to those who fell behind the revolutionaries

Fretless guitars? Check out Ron Thal and Guthrie Govan

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PyOZhgQnvU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDZQXLOpqIs

and together! :P

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76TQUY4sIF0&feature=related

There are also a number of basses that can convert between fretted and fretless if that tickles your fancy any further.
Quote by FbSa
Back in the 70's I decided to take all the frets off Jaco's Bass thinking he would play worse. Man did that backfire.

[quote="'[x"]Huffy[x]']FUCK YES.

GSAWS, I LOVE YOU.
Last edited by Gsaws at Sep 19, 2010,
#22
Well now you're talking. I thought you meant that you CAN acheive a fretless tone on a fretted bass, which my point was that you couldn't, however, effects and stompboxes were not part of what I had in mind. I was limiting it to EQ. I know I can make my bass sound like anything in the world with the right pedal which is why I was omitting it in the first place. I do agree with you that the correct technique (and the right pedal) will get me a fretless sound. We aren't arguing

As for the fretless guitar, I dont really hear a HUGEE difference. If there wasn't a video to that, I would think it was a normal guitar/effect. Why is the fretboard made out of (what looks like) metal? Isnt there a wooden fretless guitar?

And yeah, just last month I saw a fretted bass and turned into a fretless at the flick of a switch, and im still receiving weekly therapy sessions to help me get through that traumatizing experience. -cradles back and forth-
pinga
#23
Well, I assumed that we both understood that it was simply a means to mimic, since.. well, that's obvious. One thing is not the other, ipso facto. I was not suggesting that you use any effects or even delegating a specific focus to it, rather using that fact as a transitive contrast to the next point. And I know none of this really deals with your original question, albeit a discussion board tends to roam appropriately, but if you are really sticking to your guns about EQ, the first link I posted on your profile discusses EQ in metal to GREAT detail. Take as much as you can out of that and apply it to this instance. Thefitz also had a great blog entry of sorts on EQ that is worth tracking down.

As per the fretless guitar.. A fretless bass player for instance, does not exclusively sound fretless. At some point or another, the two worlds blend just simply out of the possibilities and tonal limits of the instrument. The same applies to guitar really.. but there are many instances throughout of characteristic sounds to the fretless guitar (i.e. the entire intro to Raygun ). However, if you do not know the subtleties (...) of the sound, it would make sense not to hear them. And why does there have to be a huge difference anyway? It basically just sounds like a slide on a guitar, which is completely reasonable considering! Vigier does use metal fretboards, as I assume the force applied to such thin strings (in comparison to bass, wherein the point still remains) would quite easily make grooves in a wooden fretboard. Similarily in the bass world, we use a polyurethane or epoxy to prevent that, or in some instances a composite fretboard (like ebonol). So maybe somebody has done that, who knows.

I hope I haven't come off as brash or anything throughout, I'm just in the middle of an essay and my prose as it were seems to translate over :P
Quote by FbSa
Back in the 70's I decided to take all the frets off Jaco's Bass thinking he would play worse. Man did that backfire.

[quote="'[x"]Huffy[x]']FUCK YES.

GSAWS, I LOVE YOU.
Last edited by Gsaws at Sep 19, 2010,
#24
professor oak seems like he knows what hes taling about, but then again I just sorta skimmed his posts.

anywhoo, about the fretless guitars, if you check in on GB&C every now and then you'll come across some UG'er who makes one out of an old squire strat. (ALWAYS a squire strat)
no sir away a papaya war is on
#25
Skimmed? Well, "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler"

- Albert Einstein



edit: ahhhh but I suppose simple is relative. shucks. where can I go with this then..

"A stupid man's report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he [reads or hears] into something he can understand." - Bertrand Russell

double edit: Only used here by me to demonstrate that one cannot effectively interpret what you do not understand, which can not possibly be done without a honest attempt to perceive.. alas this is not always possible. Circularity strikes again! "Smart" people still do stupid things (I myself just slammed my face into a cupboard), just as much as a "stupid" person may achieve something of brilliance. It's all about context, right? So as not to project self-righteousness or to be calling names. Russell was sort of a dick anyway.

The philosophy of message board conduct.. I sort of feel like a much, much less important Hobbes
Quote by FbSa
Back in the 70's I decided to take all the frets off Jaco's Bass thinking he would play worse. Man did that backfire.

[quote="'[x"]Huffy[x]']FUCK YES.

GSAWS, I LOVE YOU.
Last edited by Gsaws at Sep 19, 2010,
#26
after actually reading Prof oaks posts, I think hes saying that you can get similar tones out of a fretted as you would on a fretless if you focus really hard at applying fretless technique to a fretted one.
no sir away a papaya war is on
#27
Jeroen Paul Thesseling plays 6 string fretless Warwicks in the band Obscura and it cuts through both the guitars easily. I seriously recommend listening to the album Cosmogenesis.
#28
Quote by the_perdestrian
if you focus really hard at applying fretless technique to a fretted one.


Well.. the technique as it were would be titled "making a fretted sound like a fretless". And I mean, hard is subjective right? Would we have to focus just as hard after 20 years of playing in comparison to while learning an instrument in general? The same is true for specific technique..

and now for an entirely contrived diagram

Fretted technique <-> ----- <-> "making a fretless sound fretted"<->|<->"making a fretted sound fretless" <-> ----- <-> Fretless technique

It all overlaps of course in certain ways, so yes, more or less you've got the jist of it. But in fretless technique you clearly do not have to compensate for frets.. so, yeh.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not the guy who will nail you for saying something dumb or using improper grammar or something for the sake of doing it or to appear intelligent (I know those people), but if you're going to assess an issue such as technique (rather than something paltry) you may as well do it specifically and with depth, y'know. A grade one teacher will not approach their students with calculus I realize, but this is not such an extreme distinction here.

That and writing a paper is borrrrring
Quote by FbSa
Back in the 70's I decided to take all the frets off Jaco's Bass thinking he would play worse. Man did that backfire.

[quote="'[x"]Huffy[x]']FUCK YES.

GSAWS, I LOVE YOU.
Last edited by Gsaws at Sep 19, 2010,
#29
Quote by Gsaws
Well, I assumed that we both understood that it was simply a means to mimic, since.. well, that's obvious. One thing is not the other, ipso facto. I was not suggesting that you use any effects or even delegating a specific focus to it, rather using that fact as a transitive contrast to the next point. And I know none of this really deals with your original question, albeit a discussion board tends to roam appropriately, but if you are really sticking to your guns about EQ, the first link I posted on your profile discusses EQ in metal to GREAT detail. Take as much as you can out of that and apply it to this instance. Thefitz also had a great blog entry of sorts on EQ that is worth tracking down.

As per the fretless guitar.. A fretless bass player for instance, does not exclusively sound fretless. At some point or another, the two worlds blend just simply out of the possibilities and tonal limits of the instrument. The same applies to guitar really.. but there are many instances throughout of characteristic sounds to the fretless guitar (i.e. the entire intro to Raygun ). However, if you do not know the subtleties (...) of the sound, it would make sense not to hear them. And why does there have to be a huge difference anyway? It basically just sounds like a slide on a guitar, which is completely reasonable considering! Vigier does use metal fretboards, as I assume the force applied to such thin strings (in comparison to bass, wherein the point still remains) would quite easily make grooves in a wooden fretboard. Similarily in the bass world, we use a polyurethane or epoxy to prevent that, or in some instances a composite fretboard (like ebonol). So maybe somebody has done that, who knows.

I hope I haven't come off as brash or anything throughout, I'm just in the middle of an essay and my prose as it were seems to translate over :P

I read what you posted on my profile and read through it a little bit. Metal EQing is much different than trying to make a fretted sound fretless though, which is why I even brought up the subject of EQing. Sorry if im not making much sense, its early in the morning and im not a morning person.

As for the fretless guitar, it just sounds like I can easily acheive a fretless guitar tone with a normal guitar. It doesn't sound like a whole other instrument. On a fretless bass, you KNOW thats a fretless bass, and the sound is VERY different, so why wouldnt it be on a fretless guitar? If its only a very subtle difference, then really, whats the purpose of it then? It looks nice, flashy and it would take a good deal of skill to play it, but soundwise it didnt give me the same reaction as when I first heard a fretless bass. I guess theres some things you can do on a bass than you can't on a guitar and vice versa (this I knew a long time ago, just bringing up that point again).
pinga
#30
Yes, yes it is. Another case of two things being completely different.. and quite obviously. The topic of fretted/fretless just came up after you said "He didnt use a fretless on Nothing to Gein? Shit, that is some badass EQing then cause it sure sounds like one" - whereas this entire time, I have been saying it has largely nothing to do with that, over and over... and over. A very small issue that escalated due to misunderstanding.

Basically, to wrap this up, there are no extra or special requirements of a fretless in metal that would not also apply to a fretted. Therefore, one should consider the basics - proper EQ and pick up volume balance, adequate tone control (in terms of treble vs. bass), and picking hand location. I'm sure as you said, roundwound strings couldn't hurt. I also talked about protecting damage or wear on the neck as a result if this ever came to fruition (I somewhat recently just did this on my fretless )

The EQ along with specific playing technique to be heard is again greatly discussed in that first link which I thought would be useful. Don't read through it a little bit, lol. If someone asks a question and someone gives a thorough and complete answer or reference (albeit long), there is no logic in simply dismissing it. Things aren't always that simple and short, its unavoidable. I don't ask of general relativity and lose interest when it is not simply addition and subtraction. If the problem were of a result of the limits of comprehension, well, I suppose there is no avoiding that. I already addressed that topic however.

And again, all instruments have their natural limitations in tonal possibility. Perhaps the string diameter (compared to a bass) robs it of being an overtly distinct sound like the mwahing of a fretless bass. And when you ask, "what is the purpose of it then" - Consider how many fretless guitar players you know? (Even though it has ranged from Frank Zappa, to Steve Vai, Matt Bellamy, John Frusciante, Ron Thal and Guthrie Govan at one point or another). Further demonstrated by the fact that you asked if there were even fretless guitars to begin with! (which is sort of a stretch but, sure). I'm sure a lot of people feel the same way. However, in music, there are no 'have tos ' or 'shoulds', 'purpose' as it were is an entirely subjective term to realize ones own inner desires, and should a person desire to slide back and forth or manipulating natural and artificial harmonics to produce certain sounds that a fretted guitar could not, all the power to them I say! Nobody harps on a slide player for using a slide

edit: and really, I am thoroughly interested in what role you believe EQ plays in a fretted sounding fretless is all. If you still are convinced of this I am quite befuddled. I know that's what you originally brought up, and this entire dialogue has been based on dispelling it! , I don't know anymore man. I'm really starting to think you must just not be reading what I'm saying 'cause, it's right there. I already explained by what manner the natural frequencies of either instrument could play (such as the increase in natural resonance of the instrument resulting potentially in a burpy mid-range bump, again 'mimicable' by fretted), but it is nowhere near as influential to the sound as technique. This is an entirely seperate issue from how to have a bass be heard in metal, that is self evident.

I'm a nineteen year old self taught player of guitar and bass for about the past 5 years and I don't think these concepts should be beyond anybody, or are not able to be understood eventually!
Quote by FbSa
Back in the 70's I decided to take all the frets off Jaco's Bass thinking he would play worse. Man did that backfire.

[quote="'[x"]Huffy[x]']FUCK YES.

GSAWS, I LOVE YOU.
Last edited by Gsaws at Sep 19, 2010,
#31
Your wall of texts are hard for me to keep up with Just because you can speak like a professor, doesn't mean you should!

Anyway, i'll admit that I was confused with the whole fretless on a metal song thing. I thought that there would have to be massive EQ changes, seeing as how even with a fretted bass, whose sound is more full and could be heard more in a genre like metal, sometimes has trouble getting through the guitars sound, so I imagined with a fretless bass, the changes would have to be almost dramatic. I see that EQ is something of a subjective value as opposed to something that is necessary.

When I asked about the fretless guitar, it was out of curiosity, and I was HOPING that it would sound like a different instrument to me, just like the fretless bass did when I first heard it. Maybe it is because of that that the fretless guitar is very uncommon. If a normal guitar can make that sound, then theres no need for a whole other instrument. Kind of how when I post a tab and it gets denied ( ) it is usually because "well, we have that song already, noo NEED for another".

Believe me, I have been reading EVERYTHING you've been telling me, but with your vast vocabulary and my attention span of a black ant, my wires get very easily crossed and sometimes I have to read through your novel twice, so forgive me if I miss anything. Sometimes you've gotta slow down, not everybody here has an IQ of 180.

edit: ^ didn't mean for that last part to sound brash, but its true!
pinga
Last edited by Cb4rabid at Sep 19, 2010,
#32
It's my essay that I'm working on, I assure you . The two worlds blend even if I don't want them to. You know how if you're writing and speaking at the same time or vice versa you mess up between them? Yehhhhh.

I'm just trying to be horribly accurate lol. It's my nature as an INTJ (Myers-Briggs) I suppose. Trust me, I have repeatedly been reading through both of our respective posts as well to see if I can clarify. The words just flow! We all have our own ways of talking naturally.. but like I said, smashing my face into a cupboard happens all the same. I'm sure I've said wrong things in here too, people are just convinced if it looks or sounds intelligent. Responsible skepticism is a virtue assuredly. Perhaps I need to learn to focus on simplifying . Lets see.. it can be good to be skeptical! Ahhh, magnificent.

That first link of mine, and Steve DiGiorgio. Bam. To be heard in metal as a bassist regardless of a fretted or fretless is the perfect blend of EQ/Technique.

fun fact: I don't even play any metal myself!



edit: do you actually own an upright by chance? i wish i did . but if the topic of making one instrument sound like another is sort of interesting, i did make another stupid post about making a fretless sound like an upright. in fact, you posted right after me! . http://bit.ly/arGZ81
Quote by FbSa
Back in the 70's I decided to take all the frets off Jaco's Bass thinking he would play worse. Man did that backfire.

[quote="'[x"]Huffy[x]']FUCK YES.

GSAWS, I LOVE YOU.
Last edited by Gsaws at Sep 19, 2010,
#33
Oh okay, that clarifies just about everything then lol. I understand you can get caried away really easily when speaking so intelligently, happens to all of us at one point or another, dont worry.

I honestly never actually checked out DiGiorgio until you linked me up to him, and im surprised he's as relatively underrated as he is. Cliff Burton is a crapload more popular, yet he's never actually impressed me at all, he uses too many effects for my taste and he just sounds like another guitar player playing a bass.

I dont own an upright although I wish I did I really need help/work on my bowing technique, I think I might be applying rosin on the wrong way, but it'll come to me I guess. Im dying to play Tchaikovskys 5th. I actually remember reading your post somewhere haha, that was an older thread.
pinga
#34
It's always wonderful to be able to appreciate an artist for purely their art, as opposed to the majority and the masses. Simple

Cliff, Dimebag, Hendrix, Cobain.. we get so caught up in the scene that we often forget why it even exists

The other site to which I linked you to has an entire section devoted to Double Bass, perhaps there may be something in there that could help you out. As well, I think there's a thread here lurking around
Quote by FbSa
Back in the 70's I decided to take all the frets off Jaco's Bass thinking he would play worse. Man did that backfire.

[quote="'[x"]Huffy[x]']FUCK YES.

GSAWS, I LOVE YOU.
#35
Its unfortunate that most people are blinded by popularity. When the hell did art/music turn into a freaking popularity contest? Im talking about all the Lady Gagsalot, Miley Cyrus (atleast her father is a respected musician), JBros, etc. Its a shame.

I read upon the articles, thanks! I just need to work on it a little bit more, its hard when I only play upright every other day in school and I just dont have time to rehearse by myself. Ill buy an upright one day somehow eventually
pinga
#36
Well, you're from Florida right?

"I had an upright — it took me years and years to get enough bread to get it... I'm from Florida, so one morning I woke up, go in the corner and the bass is in a hundred pieces, cause the humidity is so bad, I mean, the upright just blew up. I said forget it, man, I can't afford this any more. So I went out, got a knife and took all the frets out of my Fender. That was it. " - Jaco Pastorius

Whether it is an exaggeration or not, it's an interesting story all the same.
Quote by FbSa
Back in the 70's I decided to take all the frets off Jaco's Bass thinking he would play worse. Man did that backfire.

[quote="'[x"]Huffy[x]']FUCK YES.

GSAWS, I LOVE YOU.
#37
well jason newsted used one for nothing else matters, but that song is not exactly heavy.
#38
Quote by Gsaws
Well, you're from Florida right?

"I had an upright — it took me years and years to get enough bread to get it... I'm from Florida, so one morning I woke up, go in the corner and the bass is in a hundred pieces, cause the humidity is so bad, I mean, the upright just blew up. I said forget it, man, I can't afford this any more. So I went out, got a knife and took all the frets out of my Fender. That was it. " - Jaco Pastorius

Whether it is an exaggeration or not, it's an interesting story all the same.

Haha, I read this not long ago an had an "oh mai gawddd" face on afterwards. The humidity here is REALLY bad.

Jaco lived in Ft. Lauderdale which is about a 45 minute drive from where I live. I want to go visit his park one day and just play
pinga