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Re: Fretless Bass in a Rock Band?

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Posted by Django Pastorius on April 10, 2001 at 20:52:23:

In Reply to: Fretless Bass in a Rock Band? posted by Mike on April 10, 2001 at 18:28:42:

You can play a fretless straight so it sounds like a fretted, but you also can get some jazzy sounds ala Jaco, by a mix of left and right hand technique(vibrato, slide, plucking close to the neck). I love the growl and the sound of sliding 4ths and fifths you can get from a fretless.

The downside is the extra work to get absolutely correct intonation. I find I have to slow down and really concentrate to get that intonation. As soon as the note sounds, you usually have to make a micro adjustment - after time, this comes natural. Playing absolutely in tune can be a real challenge if you get into some complex lines. If you have small hands, you might want to consider a smaller neck ( I wouldn't recommend a shorter scale though).

It will definitely take some time to get the hang of it, so don't get rid of your fretted backup bass just yet.

I think having fret lines is a real big help when you start out, even though fine tuning reuires using your ear to get the precise finger position.

You can still use the thumb, but the slap sound you get from whacking the frets with your left hand is obviously out.

: Hello All -

: I play in a rock band (kinda like Lenny Kravitz) and I am in the market for a new bass and I saw a fretless Warwick Corvette at my local Guitar Center and I fell in love with it. I am not a slap-pop type player but I do use my thumb from time to time for an extra boost. Would a fretless bass be good in a rock band?

: Thanks!

: Mike
: Atlanta

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