Thursday, December 16, 2010

Fretless Basses


My memory appears to be only good for about a year or so. That is about how long it takes for me to forget that I do not like to play fretless basses.

You see, I like the idea of them. They have clean-looking fretboards and there is the implication that one must have a lot of skill to play one properly. And, of course, they do sound incredible in the right hands. Find some Jaco or Tony Franklin, and you will hear what I mean.

But, it never works out that way for me. I have never been willing to put in the time to get very good at playing the fretless bass. My intonation is usually not great, and I rarely get the mwah that Tony or Jaco produced so effortlessly. And, to tell you the truth, even when I do get the mwah, I do not find it as satisfying as playing a decent fretted note.

It is not the fault of the instrument, of course. I've had some fine basses, but things never work out

So, I sell the fretless, and go back to tinkering on fretted basses and plain-old guitars. And I am happy again. Until 6 months or a year go by and I hear The Firm on the radio or my iPod.

And then the cycle starts again.

Anybody have a fretless bass you are looking to sell?



  1. All three of those are really pretty. The Stingray looks good as a blank plank fretless.
    Is the second one a Jazz Bass Special?

    I actually have a soft spot for the original Ibanez Artist models, ever since I saw Sting playing one in the late 70s. Yeah they weigh a ton, but so what?

  2. Hi guys, and thanks for checking in!

    That is a Jazz Bass Special, Corey. I have always had a soft spot in my heart for those.