#1
I'm looking at trying out for a band some buddies of mine are in. They just lost their bassist and I'm interested in trying out. I've been looking through classifieds like crazy to find a quality bass to buy and play for a while (not new to the instrument, just never owned one). The best one I can find in my price range is a 6-string fretless. I figure it's more than suitable for the type of music (death metal), but I'm worried about how easy it will be to pick up and play.

Anybody out there made the jump from fretted to fretless bass? How hard was it to get the hang of it?
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#2
Never owned a fretless but i have a 6 string, I suppose as long as you know where the frets are it won't be bad. That being said I hate(d) my 6 string I hope someone will just buy it from me. Want it =D?
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#3
Are you auditioning for Obscura?

As long as the bass has markers of some kind, either inlays, side dots, or fret fills, it shouldn't be too difficult.

But that said, it would help immensely if you already finger the strings on your fretted bass very close to the actual fret, as its the actual placement of your finger that changes the pitch, so in a way, your finger has now become the fret and must be placed exactly.

Because of this, a good ear will also help immensely to help you find the right pitch, which you may need to move to with a hammer on, pull off, or slide assuming you make a mistake.

I should say I've yet to play a fretless bass, although I've played some violin and fretless guitar.

If the bass is in your price range, I would definitely go for it.
#4
Fretless basses have more of a muted sound so I wouldn't recommend it for death metal. If you do end up getting it you might want to play a different genre that is ... sensitive to intonation? That is, picking up a fretless instrument means you will be playing out of tune a lot at first because you need to place your fingers in the EXACT right spot. Unless you're jamming on a lot of Amon Amarth, you probably won't notice your out of tune notes playing death metal.

I have a fretless bass but I barely use it for anything other than jazz.
#5
recently did an impromptu jam with a band, ended up playing some bass, and the only one the guy there had was a fretless. The other guitarist, who knows me, told me to play like one would play slide, putting your finger directly over the fret. That made sense to me, and I found the fretless pretty easy to play with that in mind.
"The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils. The motions of his spirit are dull as night, and his affections dark as Erebus. Let no such man be trusted."
#6
I should also add that my bass has a rosewood neck and flatwound strings. If the one you're looking at has an ebony neck with roundwould strings (rosewood would get torn up by roundwounds) then it will sound fine for death metal. You will just need to build up your intonation skills.
#7
Are you auditioning for Obscura?


Hahaha, I wish! The bass does have dots on the side of the neck according to the guy's ad. I just wonder how helpful they'll actually be. I've got perfect pitch (been tuning guitars by ear for ages), so I figure that shouldn't be a problem. I've heard of inlay/marker type things you can buy for your fretboard, not sure how many are out there designed for 6-string basses though...

Fretless basses have more of a muted sound so I wouldn't recommend it for death metal.


You sure? Maybe not straight-up death metal like, say, Cannibal Corpse, although I'm sure I can name a ton of bands who use 'em...

For anyone who's wondering, it's one of these, a Douglas WEB-846 TG. From what I've read, it's great for the money, although minor fix-ups to the frets and nut are recommended...

HERE
Musical things I do
http://www.youtube.com/user/CGuitar2112

GEAR
Ibanez RG 7421
Ibanez S470DXQM - Viking Red
Agile Intrepid Pro Dual 828 RN
Greg Bennet Custom
Peavey Raptor I
Atomic Reactor 112 Amp
Line 6 POD HD w/ MkII Express
#8
Depends on what the neck and strings are made of, mine would sound terrible for metal but if that one has a neck that won't wear down easily then it's good
#9
Fingerboard is rosewood, I put a link with the specs in my last post!
Musical things I do
http://www.youtube.com/user/CGuitar2112

GEAR
Ibanez RG 7421
Ibanez S470DXQM - Viking Red
Agile Intrepid Pro Dual 828 RN
Greg Bennet Custom
Peavey Raptor I
Atomic Reactor 112 Amp
Line 6 POD HD w/ MkII Express
#10
Notes will sound muted then, won't have that growl that most modern bassists get. If you play with a pick and a little distortion then it will sound like the bass in this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMQs01AIXP4 Fast forward to about 3:38 for the bass solo

If you want you can make that work as metal tone but that's basically what you'll be getting.
#11
Fretless bass is completely different and not worth the change in my opinion. I have a fretless and I love it but I have fretted basses I much prefer.
1978 Peavey T-40 -> Ampeg Micro-VR - > Ampeg SVT210AV + Ampeg SVT-15E
#12
I've got a Laguna Ocean fretless bass and while it is a truly neat instrument, the lack of position markers on the fretboard makes playing in tune a royal bitch.

Mine is like this one:



It has a set of GHS Boomers roundwounds on it, and it sounds great.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#13
I don't think a fretless is the best idea if you're going to play death metal... You're probably better off looking a bit more until you can find a fretted one.
I pride myself on my humility.
#14
Coincidentally, I play a 6 fretless in a tech death band. It's great fun, and adds a lot to the music- if you know how. It requires a bit more focus to play it fast, so if you're just starting out as a bassist I wouldn't recommend it.

If you're willing to put dedication and effort into it, I say go for it!

Check out some Obscura and Cynic for inspiration.
Last edited by Våd Hamster at Aug 19, 2011,
#15
Quote by Cskills2112
I'm looking at trying out for a band some buddies of mine are in. They just lost their bassist and I'm interested in trying out. I've been looking through classifieds like crazy to find a quality bass to buy and play for a while (not new to the instrument, just never owned one). The best one I can find in my price range is a 6-string fretless. I figure it's more than suitable for the type of music (death metal), but I'm worried about how easy it will be to pick up and play.

Anybody out there made the jump from fretted to fretless bass? How hard was it to get the hang of it?


Im currently working on a fretless acoustic. never seen it done. do you or anyone know of or seen a fretless acoustic guitar?