Jump to content
Why become a member? Read more... ×
Basschat Podcast: Episode 2 Read more... ×
MacDaddy

Playing fretless bass?

Recommended Posts

- play the notes on the fret line/markers

- Don't be tempted to slide to every note (unless that's what's required)

- Severe vibrato can help slightly out of tune pitching.

that's pretty much all I know about playing a fretless.

Anything else I need to know?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's no shame in using an open string to give your ear some reference and reassurance...if the key of the song permits, of course!

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Practice practice practice. The ear for pitch will come with that.

If I pick up my fretless I find it hard to put it down, fretted basses sound limited in comparison. At least, the way I play them they do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, songofthewind said:

Practice practice practice. If I pick up my fretless I find it hard to put it down, fretted basses sound limited in comparison. 

This. Frets are just like that shïtty Autotune nonsense. 😉

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, songofthewind said:

Practice practice practice. The ear for pitch will come with that.

If I pick up my fretless I find it hard to put it down, fretted basses sound limited in comparison. At least, the way I play them they do.

Yep, I feel the same, love the feeling of playing with no frets, it's like being set free.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to admit I was really nervous about fretless. 

Shouldn’t have been. It’s liberating and a fretted bass feels like a “my first bass” now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, MacDaddy said:

- Severe vibrato can help slightly out of tune pitching.

I wouldn't advise that approach, as you'd just a wobble around without a centre pitch. That may work as occasional effect but don't over-rely on it!

You need to train your ears to hear intervals and know what the note you are playing is supposed to sound like. There is no substitute for accurate pitching....

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, paul_5 said:

This. Frets are just like that shïtty Autotune nonsense. 😉

only if they are like this

Image result for truly accurate guitar fret

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will give a tip: Even a bass with fretlines needs you to understand and adapt technique to hit the sweet spot. The line is 2mm, your finger is up to 2 cm wide so to be in tune means finding the correct spot for your finger to push the string against the fretboard. How meaty (the part of) your finger is, how you hold your fingers etc has an impact and you need to compensate accordingly.

Use your ears for that. 

I find I am in tune when I have the edge of my pinkey on the fretline (boney) but that my index hits the spot when positioned with the fretline towards the middle of the finger (more meat). The great thing is that muscle memory does this adjusting for you so practise.... and it will come.

2nd tip: your bass setup needs to be right (unless you are Jaco) and for adjusting your bass’ intonation use a toothpick. It is as wide as your fretline, so if you create an artificial fret with the toothpick (slide it under the string) you can get intonation spot on.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Practice on a fretted bass. 😮

If you are able to play a fretted bass with absolutely no fret buzz then you can easily translate that onto fretless. To avoid fret buzz completely you have to position your finger just behind the fret. Try it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×