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Old 05-14-2009, 08:38 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Post Advantages of fretless over fretted?

i currently play a 4 string fretted bass and recently played my bass tutors 5 string fretless and it made me consider getting a fretless myself
what are the advanatges or is it just to look abit more fancie?
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Old 05-14-2009, 09:01 AM   #2 (permalink)
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advantages - smoooooth glissando, and a more round tone.
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Old 05-14-2009, 12:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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advantages - smoooooth glissando, and a more round tone.
And cool points.
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Old 05-14-2009, 01:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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cool points... that's funny, but true.

It's a whole different monster. It would almost be like picking up the cello or something..less the bow. My friend who used to be in "Break The Barrier" has a nice one that I tried to play once and it was pretty hard...

Good luck to ya
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Old 05-14-2009, 02:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I tried to play once and it was pretty hard...

Good luck to ya
Playing anything is hard. Just takes time.
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Old 05-14-2009, 03:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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There's alot more room for expressiveness and manipulating notes, and like GB said the glissandos are quite nice.
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Old 05-14-2009, 06:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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cool points... that's funny, but true.

It's a whole different monster. It would almost be like picking up the cello or something..less the bow. My friend who used to be in "Break The Barrier" has a nice one that I tried to play once and it was pretty hard...

Good luck to ya
it's not that far out. i've been playing a fretless 5 string for about 6 years now. a cello is tuned completely differently than a bass guitar C,G,D,A as opposed to E,A,D,G. the intervals are totally different.

GB pretty much covers it in the first reply to this thread, the main difference is tone and smooth slides.

the biggest challenge would be playing along with other people. you need to be PRECISE with your fingering to be in tune with another fretted instrument. especially if you're playing more riff based stuff. if you're just kind of sitting back in the pocket and fattening up the bass drum then you're laughing. personally i found it best to use for freak out vamps in a 3 piece drum / bass / synth combo. no one was ever 'in tune' so it never really mattered, just effing go.

there's also one technique that i learned from an old guitar magazine that can only be done on fretless instruments. harmonic slides. it's not that complicated, just sound your natural harmonic by resting your finger above the string at the correct location. once it's sounding, gently start the slide and move it in whatever direction you want to alter the pitch of the harmonic. the trick is to not press the string too firmly otherwise you'll just sound the regular note. frets would obviously get in the way hehe.

you would also likely want to invest in flatwound strings if you're going to get a fretless. you're looking at about $100-120 for a 5 pack of d'addario chromes.
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Old 05-14-2009, 09:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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there's also one technique that i learned from an old guitar magazine that can only be done on fretless instruments. harmonic slides. it's not that complicated, just sound your natural harmonic by resting your finger above the string at the correct location. once it's sounding, gently start the slide and move it in whatever direction you want to alter the pitch of the harmonic. the trick is to not press the string too firmly otherwise you'll just sound the regular note. frets would obviously get in the way hehe.
a la Mr. Pastorius

It's Also important to note that most fretless have side markers on the neck and some even have fretboard inlays so its not like your completely fumbling around in the dark.
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Old 05-15-2009, 12:29 AM   #9 (permalink)
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a la Mr. Pastorius

It's Also important to note that most fretless have side markers on the neck and some even have fretboard inlays so its not like your completely fumbling around in the dark.
good point but it's also important to note that those markers are only guides. the higher you go on the neck and the greater variance there is between the position of the marker indicating a specific note and where that note actually is on the string, especially the higher ones.

consider the 12th fret, should be an octave right? the position of the octave on the highest string will be slightly further up ahead on the neck than the position of the octave on the lowest string (maybe by as much as the width of a finger once you get really high on the neck). it's not quite a straight line like a fretted instrument. which can lead to a bit of hassle if you get the kind that has fret lines marked all over the board.

and Mr. Pastorius is definitely one of The Mans when it comes to the bass
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Old 05-17-2009, 08:00 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Practically i would`ve thought whether you play heaps of riff stuff or smooth slides would be a consideration? Although i have no experience of fretless myself.
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