Untitled Document
     
Advertisement Click to advertise with us!
     

Geetars

Steve

Clarinet CE/Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
#21
I forgot to add - a short scale fretless is a little less common of a beast.

You may have to buy a short scale bass you like and have a luthier properly defret it for you.
Yes I searched for a short scale fretless and came up with little, actually nothing.

But I dropped in on my local music store on the way home which has a selection of guitars and a few basses.

The two basses they had were Fender Vintage and Jazz 4 string models.
I found this out:

on the Vintage I had a hard time reaching the top string. The neck was deeper and slightly wider. The lower and more straight it was the harder or I was unable to reach it. As I tilted the neck down you can see my finger withdraw totally from the top string.

With the Jazz I had a much easier time reaching the top string and I could reach it at a variety of angles. A much thinner and less width neck. The salesperson was knowledgeable about this design too, so that was helpful.

Of course both of these were normal scale - length.

The fretless actually has celluloid lines instead of frets. I think I'll try the Guitar center this weekend for more of a comparison.
 

Carl H.

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
#22
The fretless actually has celluloid lines instead of frets. I think I'll try the Guitar center this weekend for more of a comparison.
Those are called "lined fretless".

Be aware that Squier is made by Fender, but is not considered a Fender - except by people trying to sell one. They are what they are - some are quite good in fact - but they are not Fenders.
 

Carl H.

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
#24
VI and a Brilhart Levelaire.
 

Steve

Clarinet CE/Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
#25
VI and a Brilhart Levelaire.
is it a relaq .. the VI looks really nice ?


update .. looks like my 12 year old wants to try bass too - his arms are longer than mine and has worse hand/wrist movement than I do. Thus I'm going to get a fretted (ack !) jazz model. The frets seem so big and obtrusive to me .. but for the price it can't be beat. Could always get a fretless one too .. but I'm still planning on going to the guitar centers and see what they have.

My 10 yr old was the original one interested in the guitar and he's getting a 3/4 sized which will alllow my 8 and 6 yr old to fiddle on it too.
 

Carl H.

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
#26
Original, bought new.
 

Carl H.

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
#27
Thus I'm going to get a fretted (ack !) jazz model. The frets seem so big and obtrusive to me .. but for the price it can't be beat.
Details?
 

SOTSDO

Old King Log
Staff member
CE/Moderator
#28
What I don't understand...

...is why there are frets installed on some instruments in the first place. I know that fretless basses are relatively common, and that guitars all seem to come with the inlaid bars pre-installed, but why do they need them in the first place?

Violins, violas, 'cellos and traditional upright/doghouse/double basses/contrabasses seem to work just fine without them. Are guitar folks too slow to understand the basics of finger "positions" and all?

I am given to understand that the viola d' gamba was provided with frets, and that it was widely regarded as an instrument for "amateurs". This fact might point towards the ultimate reason...

And, what's with capos? I don't get a kludge to install on my clarinets or saxes to handle the flock of sharped pitches that are thrown my way when the poor guitar player wants to perform in a "guitar key". So, why do they need one when the music modulates away from their favorite "home"?

(Also, bear full in mind that, when I hear the term "bass guitar", I automatically think of a Mexican guy/gal with a big tubby soundbox against their belly, not an instrument that's usually played by the slower member of a rock group...)
 

Merlin

Content Expert/Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
#30
Terry, my first thought was that you couldn't be serious...however, I've decided to answer your questions seriously.

...is why there are frets installed on some instruments in the first place. I know that fretless basses are relatively common, and that guitars all seem to come with the inlaid bars pre-installed, but why do they need them in the first place?

Violins, violas, 'cellos and traditional upright/doghouse/double basses/contrabasses seem to work just fine without them. Are guitar folks too slow to understand the basics of finger "positions" and all?
Basses are usually required to play single note passages. Guitars are expected to play chordal accompaniments. When playing single note passages, it's relatively easy to place the finger accurately. When playing chords, the precise placement of the fingers is generally not possible due to the close spacing of the strings and the width of the fingertips. Frets mean the finger accuracy does not have to be absolute to have acceptable intonation.

And, what's with capos? I don't get a kludge to install on my clarinets or saxes to handle the flock of sharped pitches that are thrown my way when the poor guitar player wants to perform in a "guitar key". So, why do they need one when the music modulates away from their favorite "home"?
Guitarists often make use of open strings with chordal forms in suspension above them. Capos enable the player to make use of these voicings in other keys. Capos have been used by classical guitarists for centuries.

Classical guitar repertoire frequently makes use of alternate tunings as well to similar effect. Many pieces require the tuning of the 6th string to D or F rather than the usual E to facilitate passages that would be impossible otherwise. I've also seen music with the third or G string to be tuned to F# to make lute transcriptions easier to play.

Frets on electric basses were originally used because the instrument was developed specifically to enable guitarists to double on bass.
 

Carl H.

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
#31
(Also, bear full in mind that, when I hear the term "bass guitar", I automatically think of a Mexican guy/gal with a big tubby soundbox against their belly, not an instrument that's usually played by the slower member of a rock group...)
See above comment about the Guitarron.

Just like bass clarinet players. If the bass clarinet player shows any inkling of talent they are automatically promoted to alto clarinet. This is why bass clarinet players are so resentful of alto clarinet players! :geezer2:
 

Steve

Clarinet CE/Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
#33
well I picked up a 3/4 geetar for my 10 - 8 & 6 yr olds and the Squier (by Fender as the sticker shows) - jazz bass for my 12 yr old.

Luckily they are off to their moms for this weekend so it gives me a little time to 'fiddle' with everything.

BUT ... my fingers hurt now.

I love this bass guitar. I should have bought one several decades ago. Even though I'm only practicing the E & A strings right now it is so much fun. I keep falling into a quasi-rendition of the birdland bass part (just on the E string, and E & A strings), and I've figured out 'Fly Me To The Moon' just on the E string.

This is such a much better idea than a cello.

of course the frets are driving me crazy - mostly brushing against then on the side as I move up and down the board. And the smoothness on the backside of the neck is not as smooth as I would like it but I can easily take care of that. You can see where the quality of the finishing (smoothness) on the neck and head isn't "excellent" but it's pretty good and an excellent value for $179.

guess I should read the manuals to figure out all the knobs on the guitar and amp too :)

that reminds me .. I have a couple PDF bass fake books but I should wait on those ...
 
Last edited:

Merlin

Content Expert/Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
#36

Steve

Clarinet CE/Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
#37
Get this book, if you want to learn how to construct walking lines really well:

http://www.advancemusic.com/dx/publ...le=The+Jazz+Bass+Line+Book&author=Mike+Downes
Excellent. I was actually contemplating finding some learning tool for that. I was thinking of taking that one example of Fly Me To THe Moon and recording it on my tenor sax, and then I was thinking of how to make a nice bass line to it. I actually started doing a walking bass line yesterday from what I've heard in the past. Of course on just the E & A strings so far.

My 10 Yr old son, who started the entire acoustic guitar side was using YouTube, the internet and Apple apps to look at videos of how to play & learn the keyboard and guitar.

Some pretty neat apps out there, but nothing as good as having a guitar itself. :)

 
Last edited:

Steve

Clarinet CE/Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
#38
update

I have a Squier jazz bass 4 (made in China) and a Squier Jazz bass 4 fretless (made in Singapore)

Interesting quality differences between the two.

As mentioned before the fretted model the neck was very slightly rough to my liking. But the fretless model was very nice smoothness to the back of the neck and much more preferable.

The neck back of the fretless also has an inlay, whereas the fretted didn't.

The tuning keys are different too. The fretted model has small tuning posts (small diameter that the string winds around) whereas the fretless model has much larger diameter tuning posts. I'm not sure if one has an advantage over the other in the long run.

The fretless model is not 100% fretless though, as mentioned before it's lined fretless. Which is essentially a thin thing instead of a big fret. It's mostly flush but one can feel its location. I think this is a low cost alternative as the wood is small blocks of wood put together and the "lined thing" is the seal between the blocks versus a much more expensive long wood piece. It's a good transition to a completely fretless model at some point in the future.

time to replace those junk strings with flat wound strings.

(EDIT: after closer inspection with my glasses the wood is one long piece, just slotted. Not "small blocks" as I mention above)
 
Last edited:

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#39
Just like bass clarinet players. If the bass clarinet player shows any inkling of talent they are automatically promoted to alto clarinet. This is why bass clarinet players are so resentful of alto clarinet players! :geezer2:
I wouldn't exactly call that a "promotion" :p.

Speaking of Terry, I'll refer back to his fret questioning: A fretless bass usually also has much more sustain than a fretted bass. Not that I'm a bass expert or anything. I've just played a lot of keyboards and a lot of bass lines.
 
Top