Re: Fretless or not

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Posted by Mickster on December 06, 2000 at 12:41:36:

In Reply to: Fretless or not posted by Nick on December 05, 2000 at 22:07:15:

: Hey, I am 16 years old and have been playing bass and guitar ever since I can remember. I just recently picked up a fretless bass at the guitar shop and messed around on it. I have saved up quite an amount of money and cant decide whether to go fretless or not. What are some of the big differences in the two? Also, I cannot decide on a warwick thumb pro 5 string or a pedulla rapture. Does anyone have any experience with these basses?

Hey Nick, what's up?

Fretless or not.The differences? Since a fretless bass has no frets, there's
nothing between the string and the bridge when you play except your finger.
(Obviously)What I mean by this is :When you play fast a fretless sounds alot
smoother since there are no frets.You probably don't realize it, but with a
fretted bass there's almost always a little fret noise(not necessarily a bad thing)when you release your fingers from the fingerboard to move to another
position/fret, especially with roundwound strings.This is one of the things that makes a bass sound metalic, or articulate.Great for all kinds of music,
including my favourite, Jazz.With a fretless though, the "training wheels"
are gone.Instant freedom; but with freedom comes responsibility.If you're off
by a quarter tone while playing with others, you notice it.That's only part
of it.Playing from say, the fifth fret down isn't that hard, moving quickly
to say the 17th fret(or where the 17th fret would be)and hitting the note dead
on takes alot of practice.Alot.I have a fretless bass, but with line markers
where the frets should be.Some people say it's cheating, and in a way it is.
But you still get that fretless sliding sound "Mwah";pure heaven.If I had to
play an unlinned fretless neck, I could; but you can bet your lunch I'd be
screwing up left and right.To play fretless really well takes years of practice,
at least that's my view.If you already have a fretless; Great!Stick with it.
If you're going to shell out the money for a top end bass, I'd say
go fretted.Unless you're heavily into Jazz, the fretted will give you much
more satisfaction in the long run.Also, if you ever want to sell it, the
fretless will linger in your house much longer.Just my two senses.

One day, my lines will come off,
The Mickster

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