Thanks to Dawsons for the following guest post. When first starting out on fretless, it always helps to have some basic information available to help pick a bass and get moving. Since we tend to cover more advanced material on here, I thought this was a great way for them to contribute and to cover off an area that is a bit underrepresented on The Hub. Enjoy!
The fretless bass guitar is a very interesting and unique instrument. Ordinary bass guitars rely on a fret board, which gives the musician a guide to the position they should hold their fingers in and the level of pressure they need to create a good sound.
A fretless bass does not have this; therefore the player is pressing their finger more or less directly onto the wood of the fingerboard. It gives the instrument a much more distinctive and sharp sound.
Squier Vintage Modified Fretless Jazz Bass
A guitar such as the Squier Vintage Modified Fretless Jazz bass would make an absolutely ideal model for a player who was just starting out, though many players with more experience choose the model too, for its mellow sound and build quality.
It has a one piece maple neck with an Ebonol fingerboard which makes it very easy for beginners to know exactly where they`re playing and positioning their notes. Players will note how punchy the sound is and how controllable the treble is.
If you`re a bassist who tends to play closer to the neck of the guitar, the sound will become much warmer and relaxed, too.
ESP LTD B204 SM
One of the newest and mid priced range fretless basses on the market is the four string ESP LTD B204 SM. For a slightly higher price point, this bass does a good job of sounding like a much more expensive instrument.
One of the main features it offers is comfort for the player. The fret board has smoother, rolled off edges which mean it is comfortable to hold and makes pitching notes much easier. It has standard ESP pickups which offer, good, reliable sounds and tones. The guitar also offers a good balance control which means that the output of the two pickups can be effortlessly blended.
Fender American Standard Jazz Fretless Bass
Anyone with an eye for real quality and design, or who is a more experienced player looking to upgrade to the finest, should think about purchasing a Fender American Standard Jazz from a reputable supplier such as dawsons.co.uk.
The guitar has been recently updated and has the benefit of already feeling like it has been used and broken in. The body of the guitar itself has a vastly improved sound from previous models because of its thinner undercoat, which allows a more wood influenced tone to come through. Its High Mass Vintage bridge also helps to provide a much punchier sound and increases sustain.