#1
A while ago, I was thinking about defretting my bass, but eventually decided against it because I figured although it would be cool for some of the stuff I play (slower stuff, or stuff where not a lot of jumping around on the fretboard is needed), it would get really difficult to play the faster, more complicated little riffs I sometimes play. Anyways, I was thinking, hey, it'd be cool to have it fretless from like the 10th/11th/12th fret down, and fretted from there up, as most of the faster stuff I play is played from that area of the fretboard and up. Then I realized that if I were to defret it from the 12th fret down, playing a note at the 10th or 11th fret (or where the 10th/11th fret would be) would make the srting hit the 12th fret, and make the idea pretty much useless.
So, (maybe it's just the lack of sleep talking here, but) I don't see why it wouldn't work if I were to defret the whole thing, then from the 10th/11th/12th fret up, do a shallow scallop, making the lower half of the fretboard fretless, and the upper half still accesssable to faster, more intricate riffs.
So basically, the fingerboard would look like this from the side:


________________________   _   _   _   _
                        '-' '-' '-' '-'


So, does anyone know if anyone's ever done this before, if it'll work, or if I'm just crazy?
I wouldn't mind actually trying to do it if I knew there was even a slight chance of success...
#2
how can you defret a bass? im curious, cuz ive been wanting to do it too.
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#3
Just like defretting a guitar

heat the fret with soltering iron and force it out with needle nosed plyers or a chisel once its out fill in the gaps with a filler
#5
I know someone who took the frets out of an old fender jazz bass and I was jealous. yes this would work, but I don't know about the scalloped frets.
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#6
yeah, I think I'm gonna buy a cheapo neck off ebay or something, and try it out on that. The only thing I think I'll change to the plan is that instead of having it scalloped and fretless at the upper frets, I would defret, scallop, then istead of just leaving it like that, I'd make the high parts of the scallop (where the fret would usually be) a bit lower than usual, and re-fret it so that the string won't hit the 12th fret when I play notes on the fretless half of the board..

I know, I know, I suck at explaining stuff by typing it out... I'll draw it up in paint in a second.
#7
Quote by james4
A while ago, I was thinking about defretting my bass, but eventually decided against it because I figured although it would be cool for some of the stuff I play (slower stuff, or stuff where not a lot of jumping around on the fretboard is needed), it would get really difficult to play the faster, more complicated little riffs I sometimes play. Anyways, I was thinking, hey, it'd be cool to have it fretless from like the 10th/11th/12th fret down, and fretted from there up, as most of the faster stuff I play is played from that area of the fretboard and up. Then I realized that if I were to defret it from the 12th fret down, playing a note at the 10th or 11th fret (or where the 10th/11th fret would be) would make the srting hit the 12th fret, and make the idea pretty much useless.
So, (maybe it's just the lack of sleep talking here, but) I don't see why it wouldn't work if I were to defret the whole thing, then from the 10th/11th/12th fret up, do a shallow scallop, making the lower half of the fretboard fretless, and the upper half still accesssable to faster, more intricate riffs.
So basically, the fingerboard would look like this from the side:


________________________ _ _ _ _
'-' '-' '-' '-'


So, does anyone know if anyone's ever done this before, if it'll work, or if I'm just crazy?
I wouldn't mind actually trying to do it if I knew there was even a slight chance of success...



Crazy.

A wood ridge will not work as a fret, as it will wear away increasibly quicly, and be nearly impossible to bend on.
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#8
so what if I was to just make the fret lower down in the scallop?
like, so the ridge bit is lower than the fretless part of the board, but stillhas a fretr lower in it...

edit: k, well photobucket isn't working so I'll try attaching the crappy paint drawing of what I mean through UG...

edit2: k, well the file is too big, so I can't upload it without making too low quality to see what I'm talking about...

edit3:now I got photobucket working...


as you can see, the frets on the fretted half of the board would be low enough down to not interefere with the string when playing on the upper half, and they would make it so the string won't be hitting the wooden ridge when playing on the upper half.
Last edited by james4 at Oct 26, 2007,
#9
look into billy clements http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3h7fH592u8 here he talks and plays on a bass that ha a unique fretboard that you might try instead as scalloping a fretless doesn't work
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#10
Quote by james4
so what if I was to just make the fret lower down in the scallop?
like, so the ridge bit is lower than the fretless part of the board, but stillhas a fretr lower in it...

edit: k, well photobucket isn't working so I'll try attaching the crappy paint drawing of what I mean through UG...

edit2: k, well the file is too big, so I can't upload it without making too low quality to see what I'm talking about...

edit3:now I got photobucket working...


as you can see, the frets on the fretted half of the board would be low enough down to not interefere with the string when playing on the upper half, and they would make it so the string won't be hitting the wooden ridge when playing on the upper half.

That's a really nice idea, me likey. You'll have to be very precise scalloping though.
#11
my buddy defretted his fender style bass.. filled and sanded properly, its freakin amazing. As far as scalloping half of the fretboard, you are prob. gonna have action problems (way too high above the fretless)

Sounds interesting and Id like to see what solution you come up with.
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#13
it wont work
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#14
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I think to do that (the scalloped area) you would have to scallop the fretboard, remove the frets then file down that area a tiny bit, then but new frets in (the smallest you can find). That might work, but you'd have to be VERY precise.

that's what I had in mind, I just didn't know how to explain it well...
Quote by t heff
it wont work

care to elaborate? Like it won't work because it'd be too hard to be that precise, or it physically won't work once I put the frets in?
#15
The strings would dig into the wood at the top of the scallops, wouldn't they?
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#16
The intonation would be off for the fretted notes, but you could fret harder to compensate, I believe.
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#17
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The strings would dig into the wood at the top of the scallops, wouldn't they?

yeah, it would, but that's why I was asking about putting the frets lower into the board...

Quote by Will_Minus
The intonation would be off for the fretted notes, but you could fret harder to compensate, I believe.

But since the top of the lowered frets will be at the same height as the fretless part, won't it be fine? unless there's something I'm not getting...
#18
Oh, I thought I'd read that they were lower than the fretless section. My bad.
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#19
yeah, I may have explained it bad, but I meant that the frets would be even with the fretless bit. So aside from the difficulty of being accuarte enough to line up the frets in the scallop, no one sees any flaws in this plan? If not, I'll start looking for a cheap neck on ebay soon...
#20
i dont forsee it working because in order to get what you described the fretboard isn't think enough, to scallop it out anf have the frets be lowered and be the same height as the fretless you would need a massivly thick fretboard
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#21
^ I hadn't thought of that. Maybe having super small fretwire, with a thick layer of epoxy on the fretless section could work.
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#22
over time he would have to reaply and refrett kinda often as bothe the epoxy and tiny frets would wearout , kinda fast
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#24
It wont sound the same... but not neccesarily bad. If this is a spare bass Id say go for it. I would say scallop then remove the frets so you can get very straight lines. Sounds good and its a cool idea thats suites what you need so Id go for it... just not on a main bass.
#25
sounds like a sweet idea... i reckon you should just give it a shot on a cheap neck and see how it works. it it turns out crap, at least you've still got you're old one, and hopefuly you only get a CHEAP neck. Good luck
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