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Re: fretless basses

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Posted by Deman on February 01, 2001 at 19:32:23:

In Reply to: fretless basses posted by matt mcallister on February 01, 2001 at 02:16:00:

: I was wondering if you knew anything about if it affects the fretboard if you were to put the regular strings on a bass. I think they are called roundwound. Because when you play a fretted bass, the string never really touches the fretboard. It usually rests in the middle of both frets. So I was wondering if it would make grooves in the fretboard aver a period of time. I was also wondering if Jaco Pastorius was the(pioneer) person who invented the fretless bass. I have not heard anything about a fretless bass before he came around and made his style. thanks, matt

Hey...I have a defretted 4 with a rosewood (softer than ebony) fret board, and I usually string it with either flats or nylon tapewounds, to avoid string damage. It was odd...I first defretted, and noticed some lines in the wood with tapewounds immediatly, so I thought that it really was pretty soft, and I stuck with them. The last time I changed though, I put LaBella roundwounds on, and guess what? They do mark the board, but hardly more than flats. They would cause damage after a while, but it isn't that bad. As to Jaco...he defretted, then Epoxied the fretboard. This gave it a hard, shiny finish that was much more impervious to the roundwounds. It also gave him that trademark attack. As said earlier, the fretless was developed for upright players. All classical (Cello, Violin) instruments are fretless, so upright playes liked the fretless more. An interesting note: even on an upright, if you play hard and for a long while, the board can develop grooves. Especially if you play with roundwounds (a la Lee Rocker (BP, January))

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