#1
I was just wondering........

What benefits does a fretless electric have over a fretted one? Difference in tone, different sound in general? I've been playing a fretted for awhile, and was wondering if, when I shop around for my next one, I should think fretless??

Thanks for your time,

E
#2
Gives it a "mwah" sound. Try a few, you might like them. I'm looking to get the VM fretless from Squier to try it out, if I don't defret my Playmate.
#3
I know next to nothing about basses so I have no clue as to whethor or not this is right, but I heard they make it easier to play faster. Idk though....
#4
Different tone primarily. As said before, its sound is commonly described as a mwah. Slides also do sound awesome on them, as you go through every frequency, as opposed to just the semitones.
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#5
You can play faster not by virtue of somehow being given more talent, but having to worry less about proper finger placement. As long as you're kinda sorta near the position, it'll play the proper note with not fret buzz (duh).

Good listening for the sound is any Jaco, and the solos from Pink Floyd's "Hey You".
#6
its different tonally. instead of just being able to play the semitones. you can play and slide through all the different pitches.
#7
Quote by Pink Muse
You can play faster not by virtue of somehow being given more talent, but having to worry less about proper finger placement. As long as you're kinda sorta near the position, it'll play the proper note with not fret buzz (duh).


If you don't know what you are talking about, don't speak.

Your fingers have to be perfectly where the frets would be, or you will play out of tune. And you can still get 'fret' buzz from it bouncing off the fretboard.
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#8
The real advantage is the sound, which you may or may not like. Asking "why fretless" is like asking "why _______". Different sound, different feel, different applications. However, if you're insecure, people may infer that you have a high level of skill if they see you play fretless, especially unlined.

Personally, I find that fretless to be much more responsive than a fretted instrument, however you have to put a bit more grease into it if you want to to cover the same bases as a fretted.
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#9
I have my fretless because I wanted something new. It's another way to play bass, another challenge, another extension of musical experience.
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#10
Its the MWAH!!!, baby.

I love playing fretless; Fitz is right, the response is different and to quote Jaco, its like playing without speed bumps (frets).

However, intonation is a huge issue and a learning curve. I'm sorry, Pink Muse, if you play ever so slightly off pitch, its noticeable. You can't fudge that, except to "slide" into the note. Proper finger placement and muscle memory become highly important.
#12
I literally just came to a realization (that only semi-makes sense). If you know anything about electronics, you'll know that fundamentally there are two types of signals. Analog, and digital. Anyone see where I'm going with this?

Fretted = digital, it has predetermined steps, and you can basically only play those (outside of bending, etc.)

Fretless = analog, you can and probably will get some unwanted frequencies. But when done right it can be more correct than analog. Fretted basses don't have perfect intonation, no matter how well they are set up, where as on fretless if you really try you can get every note perfectly. However to most people you'll sound out of tune. Not even modern day pianos have perfect intonation.

Like many have said before me. The two biggest are the muah sound (a wood sound) and a larger chance for error on notes.
#15
One benefit of fretless: because of all the semi-tone ranges, you can play with different guitarists at jams w/o having to retune each time (as long as you avoid open notes).

I find the fretless bass way more versatile. With the right eq, I can get enough bite and definition for stuff like Fear Factory or Cliff Burton solos, the classical slippery ballad sound, and a thumpy upright sound.