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Fretless Tips Needed!

Discussion in 'Music Education - Share your knowledge here!' started by Florin, Mar 10, 2019.

  1. Florin

    Florin Warwick Forum Administrator Staff Member

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    OK I think I am crazy, but I have a STreamer LX fretless (Thanks @schlobodan ), and It sounds soooo gooooood!

    I brought the bass to yesterday's rehearsals, and my guys actually liked it, to my surprise :)
    Sooo, in 5 days I have a gig, give me all those dirty little secrets you have for a good intonation.
    - I am using in ear which helps
    - fretless is unlined, dots are a bit off.
     
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  2. jester

    jester ocdemon Moderator

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    Oh man, emergency! :) Where's Philosopher King?
     
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  3. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    Dots are probably not off, you just gotta think from the edge of your fingers instead of from the middle of them, especially near the octave and beyond.
    First Check the intonation setup, then doublecheck it with a capo at 12th fret position. - but then again with Schlobodan involved it is probably set up properly already.

    Edit: unlined is good - no lines to trick you into playing by sight. Trick to increase muscle memory: Try to make perfect octaves from notes you play on the same string. IE quickly move from 3rd fret position to 15th, 4th fret to 16th etcetera just judging from the side dots. Then do the same without looking.
     
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  4. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    Oh and play some stuff with chords high up the neck while incorporating an open string - also quickly makes your intonation better.
    And DON'T BEND STRINGS for vibrato - rather roll your finger gently along the string like a violinist would.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
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  5. eyvindwa

    eyvindwa Supporting Member

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    My best tip would be: just play it, and don't worry too much! I found that I could actually play better than I thought, by just going ahead with it, playing songs I knew well from before.
     
  6. eyvindwa

    eyvindwa Supporting Member

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    ...and another thing: people always say: play with your ears, and not your eyes - i.e. don't look at the strings or dots or whatever for reference. However, when you play in front of people, and hear that you are off, it is already much too late! So, at a gig, use whatever you can to help play the right note :D
     
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  7. Hoggles

    Hoggles Supporting Member Good Vibe Sponsor

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    Watch some Remco on fretless (and fretted ofc).

    Really good inspiration for "not so normal" fretless playing. A lot of cool, unique techniques (especially the right hand) that even many of the fretless greats never used.

    No doubt @Florin you don't have this kind of free form opportunity in a band setting, but regardless...I think Remco should be required viewing for fretless owners. @DiMarco highlighted him in another thread. Good stuff.

     
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  8. Florin

    Florin Warwick Forum Administrator Staff Member

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    Thanks for the tips guys, @Hoggles that vid is awesome.
     
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  9. Foal30

    Foal30 Supporting Member

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    Just play.
    It'll be ok
     
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  10. jay28

    jay28

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    One practice technique that I found extremely useful, is to use tanpura drones from Hindustani music. They have alot of overtones and are easier on the ears than the sine wave drones from tuners. Adjust the tonic to match what key your playing in, or if the piece modulates, change the tonic to match the root of the chord. Also, play scales/ arpeggios with the drones. Shifting the intervals in relation to the tonic, results in a pure intonation, instead of equal temperament, where all the notes are equally out of tune. This also trains your ear and muscle memory. You will have to adjust when playing with piano & guitar though, because they are equal temperament.
     
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