Fretless bass?

Discussion in 'Bass Guitar Discussion' started by Legion, Mar 31, 2018.

  1. Legion

    Legion is a bloody army.

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    Been playing guitar 15 years, musically fairly accomplished.
    Have toyed around with bass playing in the past, fell in love with fretless bass sound.
    Should I pick up a cheap squier fretless for about 200 dollars just to give fretless bass playing an honest shot, or am I better off waiting and saving for a better one, or forego fretless altogether and start with a fretted bass?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Andrew Lloyd Webber

    Andrew Lloyd Webber Super Duper Moduraturr

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    My two cents is to suggest buying a cheap fretless, then playing it enough to learn what your preferences are before upgrading down the line. I also suggest getting in the habit of modding and tweaking the thing as a workhorse.

    For instance: Dabbling in bass over the last 18 years or so led to my current preference of cheap 30”-scale 6 strings from Rondomusic. I too am fond of fretless, but am not enough of a “proper” bassist to justify the additional technique involved in playing a 35” scale instrument for the sake of an improved sound. Prior to that, I owned a lot of standard basses (of objectively higher quality) that I often neglected, due to being a guitar player who owned a few basses he wasn’t as comfortable noodling on.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2018
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  3. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Nothing wrong with Squire. Also, no time like the present. Give it a go.
     
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  4. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    Go for it. I don't really believe in the need for 'stepping stones' or feeling the need to master a simpler type of instrument before playing the one you really want to play. Besides, they are such different instruments that I don't feel being more comfortable on a fretted bass first is going to give you that much of a headstart on fretless. Just go for it :)
     
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  5. Bloody_Inferno

    Bloody_Inferno Silence is Violence

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    Grab the Squier. Squiers have recently upped their game to the point of holding up well against their Mexican or even some US special Fenders. And Squier basses have always been solid.

    And at least you have a fretless bass to practice on.
     
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  6. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Grab it!

    Then binge watch Steve DiGorgio clips on YouTube.

    Then sell it. :lol:
     
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  7. Grand Moff Tim

    Grand Moff Tim Some call me... Tim

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    Fretless bass > fretted bass.

    Do it.
     
  8. HaMMerHeD

    HaMMerHeD Bass Player in Exile

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    Squier fretless basses are decent. There are bass playing pros who is Squier.

    About the only caveat I would add is that, if it's your first fretless, get one with lines. It really does help to master intonation.
     
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  9. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    I'm from the no-lines camp.

    While they can help you visually, playing fretless is all about your ear, and the muscle memory to quickly and fluidly correct any issues as you play.

    Not to mention, just as fretted bass doesn't have perfect intonation across the whole bass, the lines aren't going to always line up with the note.
     
  10. Legion

    Legion is a bloody army.

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    Thanks you guys! I'm picking up the bass on Wednesday afternoon! Yeah it has fret lines. I think I feel too uncomfortable without them....
    Fretless, HERE I COME!
     
  11. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    Fretless are in a world apart. Love them. I've played a fretless bass without the fret lines, but it had dots at the side on the 3rd, 5th, 7th... It felt pretty easy to get along with and finding the right fingering place.

    Do play with E-Bows and pitch shifters... there's a whole new realm to uncover. I know I'm loving these experiences with my fretless guitar...
     
  12. AliceLG

    AliceLG \m/^_^\m/

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    I took the plunge and got me a 6-string unlined fretless a couple of years ago. Let's just say there's a fretted 5-string somewhere in my room, but I haven't seen it in a while :lol:

    Lines should help in the beginning but your ears and muscle memory really develop over time and practice. I still struggle with intonation in the higher positions but I'm usually right on the money up until where the 14th or 15th line would be.
     
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  13. JSanta

    JSanta SS.org Regular

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    I'm going to second and third and fourth this. The quality of the $299 Squier is fantastic. And it's not the kind of investment that you're worried about if you only play around with it once and a while. I've had my eyes on one as well once I have a recording setup in place.
     
  14. eyeswide

    eyeswide SS.org Regular

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    I'd start with fretted for sure!
     
  15. crg123

    crg123 SS.orgLocalArchitect

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    Too. Real. haha

    I modded a Ibby SR bass I got from a friend for free. It's super fun, I'd recommend a line'd fretless to start out for sure. It takes some getting use to but the goal is to play by feel and sound rather than looking at the board... I'm still not there tbh.
     
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  16. Coryd

    Coryd SS.org Regular

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    Anyone tried a Stagg fretless?

    I've heard they are pretty good for the money. I had a Squier fretless and while it was good i could never get used to a jazz bass body...i mainly play Spectors and Dingwalls.
     

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