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Best basslines for a FRETLESS beginner?


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4 minutes ago, mcnach said:

And for the love of God... make sure your bass is in tune. Every time...

 

I have a cheap Precision style bass that I had converted, with D'Addario nylon tapewounds and a Model P pickup, and it's got a lovely lovely sound. I have owned a couple of 'better' fretless basses but sold them and kept this.

Anyway! I'm mostly a fretless owner rather than player. I play it at home sometimes, then go for weeks or months without touching it... as a result I haven't yet built up a very consistent touch with it.

Last weekend I was meant to go into the studio to put some bass on one new song for my band's new album. It was just a jam that happened at the studio between the drummer and one guitarist, and then things were added to it and we decided to turn it into a song. I didn't know what to play and thought I could maybe use the fretless to make it sound a bit different and maybe it would inspire me...

So the previous two days I used the fretless exclusively, a lot, playing a long to various things, working out alternative basslines for the new song... and then, on the day, I checked the tuning and it was slightly flat across all strings. No problem! I tuned up. But then... I could not play in tune! I was always playing slightly sharp as I got used to putting my fingers slightly forward to compensate for the tuning being off. :D

Not fun. Because time is money, I ended up picking up a fretted bass instead, as it'll take me a couple of sessions to get used to playing the way I should. 

Check the tuning!!! That way you'll get into the habit of placing the fingers in the right spot from the beginning... don't be a silly billy like me 😛

 

Haha ill check, check, then check my tuning again every time I pick it up 😊 I should be doing some recording work soon, and it's the kinda stuff that a fretless would sound amazing on. So fingers crossed! Haha! 

 

I'll have some spare time to practice soon. So that'll be absolutely great! 

 

Thank you mcnach! X

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On 16/04/2019 at 16:54, uk_lefty said:

"Alive" by Pearl Jam is a cover band classic, a great song, and a great way to get used to fretless without having to do anything too difficult. 

There's also a hal Leonard instructional book on Fretless Bass (I think it's called fretless bass techniques and one of the contributors is Bunny Brunel... I could be wrong I'll edit when I get home if I need to) and that book has some great exercises for tastefully applying slides, vibrato etc. 

As others have said fretless is not a different instrument, you don't have to slide and vibrato all the time and you can just play anything on it... It is fun to whack in a sliding harmonic every now and then though :)

IMG_20190416_172328.jpg

Sliding harmonics are super fun! 😊 Thanks for the book suggestion. I also like the look of this one:

 

Steve Bailey's Fretless Bass: The Ultimate Fretless Bass Workout (Book & DVD (Hard Case)) https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0739040790/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_e24TCbK7TPHSS

 

Cheers Lefty! X

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Put extra effort into tuning; don't just pick it up and think "oh I tuned it this morning".  Otherwise it will mess your head up.

Also check your intonation with octaves and harmonics and open strings when you're practicing.

Personally, I'm a Mick Karn fan.  Much as I love Bakithi Kumalo on 'Graceland', Mick is the man.

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6 minutes ago, alyctes said:

Put extra effort into tuning; don't just pick it up and think "oh I tuned it this morning".  Otherwise it will mess your head up.

Also check your intonation with octaves and harmonics and open strings when you're practicing.

Personally, I'm a Mick Karn fan.  Much as I love Bakithi Kumalo on 'Graceland', Mick is the man.

Awesome tips! 

 

Cheers @alyctes! X

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I read an interview with Mick Karn, I think from around the time of Tin Drum, where he explained he didn’t have any musical training, I think he said “I don’t know a C from an E”. The rest of Japan would rehearse up an idea into a song but MK would sometimes just see the title of the song from the lyrics and let that inspire his bass line, then he’d take that bass line to the rehearsal and invariably it was so good the band would rework the entire song around his line. Yer’ proper one off Mr Karn.

 

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Just now, Frank Blank said:

I read an interview with Mick Karn, I think from around the time of Tin Drum, where he explained he didn’t have any musical training, I think he said “I don’t know a C from an E”. The rest of Japan would rehearse up an idea into a song but MK would sometimes just see the title of the song from the lyrics and let that inspire his bass line, then he’d take that bass line to the rehearsal and invariably it was so good the band would rework the entire song around his line. Yer’ proper one off Mr Karn.

 

That's so interesting! I love it! 

 

I can relate to the no musical training thing... Note names are foreign to me... I learn by ear mostly! But always wish I started with a load more music theory! 

 

ZH 

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3 minutes ago, Zoe_BillySheehan said:

I can relate to the no musical training thing... Note names are foreign to me... I learn by ear mostly! But always wish I started with a load more music theory!

Exactly the same here although I’m getting tuition now, finally, after forty years.

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I'm not a huge fan of the music Mick Karn gets involved in but i do like his own personal style. His left hand technique is simply amazing. One of the legendary fretless bass players without doubt.

He's one of those guys i would buy an album no matter how bad it was just to listen to his bass playing. That for me says a lot for any bass player.

Dave

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