Posted by Greg Dickinson on January 06, 2000 at 22:22:40:
In Reply to: Sound of a Fretless Bass posted by Newbie in New York on January 04, 2000 at 18:02:39:
: Okay, call me new, but what are the differences in sound between a fretted and a
: fretless bass?
Well, the sound as noted tends to be mellower. However, that needs to be
taken with a grain of salt. I'm currently playing in a country rock band
using both a custom fretted bass and an early 70's Fender fretless P-Bass. I have been using
round wound strings and can get the same John Entwistle-like sound that I get
from the fretted. I am about to try some flatwounds for a more upright
accoustic bass sound. Let you know how that experiment turns out. A large part
of the smoothness is simply the lack of fret noise. This will be most notable
during slides when you don't hear that clickety-clack sound. As for playing...
Yes, it is more difficult to be accurate with you notes and you will need to spend
lots of time practicing your hand positions. BUT! if you buy a fretless with the
fret markers (made popular by Jaco Pastorius who converted a freted to a fretless)
it will help immensely because you simply put your fingers on the fret markers.
Simple, no? Any way, I learned on an accoustic upright and then moved to my
fretless P-Bass. I love the way it feels and I love the sounds that I get from
it. My advice is to go for it. Oh and check out Percy Jones (I believe ;-) with a band
called Brand X from the late 70's and early 80's (had Phil Collins on drums). A
jazz fusion band that played some wickedly neat stuff and Percy played fretless.
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