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Alembic Club » Alembic Basses & Guitars » Archive through June 16, 2012 » Playing fretless in the dark « Previous Next »

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Username: piers_williamson

Post Number: 6
Registered: 3-2011
Posted on Sunday, May 06, 2012 - 4:53 am:   Edit Post

I am the proud owner of a left handed epic 5 string fretless. I am told with a fretless that practice makes perfect. It's a 'cheat' fretless...lined, so I can play in tune pretty well (looking at the markers). In live situations, it's typically pretty dark and the lack of the attack on the notes makes it more difficult to pick up whether notes are in tune versus the rest of the band without playing too loud. Are there any top tips from other members of the forum?

PS the epic is a great sounding bass. The first fretless other members of the band have liked!Lined left handed Epic
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 5147
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Sunday, May 06, 2012 - 9:09 am:   Edit Post

Try these, lots of members around here use them and report excellent results.

Bill, tgo
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 2883
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Sunday, May 06, 2012 - 10:45 am:   Edit Post

I have some Fret FX on one of my Europa's and they are great In fact they still have the original batteries in for about 5 years now.

I've also used the stick on luminous dots on my electric guitars and they work great as long as there has been some light on stage to "charge" them up first. the are pretty cheap for a few hundred. Or you could try this although I've never used them.

Senior Member
Username: benson_murrensun

Post Number: 604
Registered: 5-2007
Posted on Monday, May 07, 2012 - 12:55 pm:   Edit Post

I like my Fret FX, but my batteries last a couple months and that's it. Seems like every time I take that bass out of the closet it needs new batteries for the FX...
Advanced Member
Username: tubeperson

Post Number: 271
Registered: 5-2005
Posted on Monday, May 07, 2012 - 1:18 pm:   Edit Post

It could as bright as the sun shines, but whenever I play fretless bass, I am playing in the dark. Lines, no lines, straight, altered state blah blah blah. How does an Alembic fretless compare to say a Pedulla, or even a Rickenbacker with the straightest neck known to people kind? An inquiring densehead (and deadhead) would like to know. Duh?
Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 1745
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Tuesday, May 08, 2012 - 9:02 am:   Edit Post

One very good fretless player I know says you need to learn by playing in the dark. For the most part it is just using the bass a lot to get finger memory up to speed and your ear trained. Once you get in the groove you will find that you will automatically make minor finger movements to have the correct intonation. It also helps if the folks your playing with like semitones. :-)

As for comparisons to other basses, I wanted the tone to be similar to a fretless Jazz Bass with the mid-range bump/mwah. To this end I decided to go with a set neck Orion, ash body and maple neck. To my ears it hit the nail on the head (not that I would ever use it as a hammer). The nice thing is with the flats and EMW electronics I can also get a nice old fretted P-Bass thump or a fairly bright slapping tone.


(Message edited by keith_h on May 08, 2012)

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