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Re: Fretless Bass with Fret Markers....

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Posted by JDP on February 08, 2001 at 23:09:13:

In Reply to: Re: Fretless Bass with Fret Markers.... posted by DDazey on February 08, 2001 at 14:44:34:

: : : Hello,

: : : I am new to this forum, just found it the other day and its great to see Bass players talking bass!

: : : I recently purchased a Carvin 5 string Fretless that I am real happy with. I already own a 4 string fretless that has no fret markers so I was use to that, but when I got my 5 string, it seems that the fret lines are not lined up properly. Let me explain.

: : : On a fretted instrument, when you press down, its the exact point from the fret to the bridge that makes the sound. So when I started playing my fretless I expected to place my finger right behind the fretline so the very edge of my finger would be resting on the fretline causing the note to resonate from the fretline location to the bridge. But I've found I have to actually place my finger on the fretline where the fretline is nearly dead center in the middle of my finger, therefore it seems to me that the edge of my finger that is making contact with the neck is above the fretline and doesn't seem right to me. Does that make sense?

: : : Sure I can adjust my fingering to accomodate this since it is a fretless bass, but it seems to me that some bridge adjustment is in order on my bass. I wanted to see what other fretless players thought about the placement of fretlines on a fretless neck. Also, if I should be placing my finger as I describe above (right behind the fret) then will I be able to correct it with a bridge adjustment?

: : : Thanks

: : : DDazey

: : Hi DDazey! Welcome to the Wacky world of Fretless!!!! I have a Samick Fretless

: : which I love. It does not have the fret lines ( Which I personally don't like

: : anyway) But it does have the dots along the top edge of the neck. These dots are

: : the actual fingering positions as opposed to the fret markers on a fretted bass

: : being in between the frets. Now I have never played on a fretless with fret lines

: : but it may be the same deal. Play on the lines. Check yourself with a tuner of

: : some sort, electronic or an instrument you know to be in tune. With a fretless

: : I have been told you don't have to really worry about intonation as on a fretted

: : bass in setting the length of the strings at the saddles because you place your

: : fingers where it sounds right verses an actual fret. I hope this helps.

: Thanks for the input! I am familiar with dots on the top of the neck, that is how my 4 string fretless is setup. I too am not a fan of the fretlines, but I liked the bass and went ahead and bought it. If I had my choice, I would go with just the dot markers on the top of the neck.

: I agree that that I can adjust my fingering and not worry too much about the fretlines (I don't look at my neck much anymore anyway) but since it has an adjustable bridge, I figured that I might be able to adjust it so it plays the notes where I like to place my fingers (a little behind the fretline, where the edge of my finger is touching the fretline marker). Can anyone that is experienced in adjusting a bridge tell me if I will be able to make this adjustment?

: Since I do own a fretted bass with the same necklength, I'd like to be able to place my fingers pretty close to the same position on the neck so I don't have to adjust my fingering when picking up one bass or the other. Any thoughts?

: Thanks
: DDazey

DDazey in my experience you should be able to 'move' the location of the notes to just behind the lines by adjusting the inntonation of the instrument at the bridge - just like you think. However, when you give above the 12th fret you'll be off yet again as the neck is slightly bowed (all necks are) and the bow causes the lines to not be correct above the 12th fret. Gary Willis disscusses this topic in depth on his web site at Follow "the bass" link and he talks all about the joys (and no joys) of using fretless basses with lines. Hope this helps! JDP

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