I read this post on Talkbass yesterday about transitioning from a fretted bass to a fretless:
For some reason, it got me thinking. I haven’t moved my fretless down from the wall in at least a year, or even 2 years, except for the few times last summer that the baby pointed at it and said she wants “that guitar” so I let her play with it. I got curious about it, so I brought it down tonight to just dust it off, tune it up and see how it feels since I’ve intimidated myself against trying it out until I’m a better bassist.
Well, first, it was surprisingly dust-free. Second, all of the strings were a little flat, but not by much, and third: I ran the Cycle of Fourths on the E-string several times and didn’t mess it up!
My fretless is unlined, and has dots on the side for the usual 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th and 12th frets (I haven’t gone much higher than that even on the fretted ones just yet), so I had to orient myself using only those dots on the side and kind of approximate where the notes in-between are. I can’t believe that I was able to do it. This gives me hope that someday, I’ll be able to play something without looking at the neck. 😉
After running the Cycle, I went to my next permutation: playing it and the 5th (Root-5). This was harder. I think that here, I’m reaching a little too high or low on the A-string, when adding in the 5th, but its something I can actively practice until it gets better.
When I first got those basses, I showed them to my friend, Ray, who plays guitar and works in sales for Guitar Center. I remember him telling me that whatever I practice on one, I should practice on the other. I think I ‘ll try that. The feel is a little different. I think these are flatwound strings and the ones on the fretted are roundwound. But, ultimately, its really exciting for me – and I can try sliding into notes too.
Damn. If only I didn’t have work today. It sucks working 6 days a week…