Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Posts 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    I need another guitar like I need a hole in my head, but I have enough parts laying around for another partscaster assembly. Literally the only things I need are pickups. I am thinking about going fretless with one of these necks:

    Fretless electric guitar Neck Replacement 22 Fret Maple rosewood parts | eBay

    Anyone here play fretless? Any comments about it? I may be mistakenly thinking that fretless will train my ears even better.

    (One thing that is throwing me a bit is that the Ebay ads for these necks all say 22 frets and 25.5" scale length, but when they show the neck heel the fretboard doesn't cantilever like a 22 fret 25.5" scale neck would. Not sure what to make of that. I guess that maybe because it is fretless it actually doesn't matter. It's not like the fret spacings will make intonating the neck impossible. Thoughts?)

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    Fretless can be fun...until you try to intonate chords Stay with single-note stuff, and you'll be fine.

    I can't help you with your last paragraph.

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    only have experience with fretless basses...but will say, an ebony board would be better...strings (esp roundwounds) can eat up rosewood pretty quickly...unless you plan to coat the fingerboard...jaco used marine boat epoxy on his defretted fretless board

    rickenbackers have coated rosewood fretboards and recommended using flats....in old days you could void the warranty otherwise

    cheers

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    I would skip the rosewood and go with ebony or find one of Vigier's metal fingerboard necks. I've often toyed with the idea of removing the frets on one of my Warmoth ebony necks but I usually stop myself when I think about how difficult this will be to play. I do take inspiration from Cenk Erdogan so maybe one of these days.


  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    Thanks all. I’m not too worried about the rosewood. I had a fretless Fender Mexican bass for a while. Flat wounds seemed to work fine on it, and this isn’t the type of project that I want to sink a boatload of $ into. Just thinking about it at the moment.

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    The other (better) guitarist in my band used to play a lot of fretless in a previous band, not so much in mine. He's also a violin player, so I've gotta think that helps.


    This one has more chordal work:


  8. #7

    User Info Menu

    your old hagstrom had the rich-lite board!..composite ebony style

    hah

    cheers

  9. #8
    I play fretless guitar on a wooden fingerboard. It really helps my fretted playing by making me aware of every note and the precision and thought needed to commit to it. I can't just grab a shape or pattern in my fingers, and it really helps my linear playing (playing up and down the neck). And it's beautiful and has a great vibrato. Mine is an archtop and it's not long on the sustain, so my phrasing content tends to be more vocal in nature, not a whole lot of fancy figures and sustained tones in my playing on the fretless.
    It's a really great companion instrument to my fretted. It makes me think differently and it gives a lot to my fretboard awareness all around.

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    your old hagstrom had the rich-lite board!..composite ebony style

    hah

    cheers
    If your talking a Hagstrom HJ-800, yes it has some kind of resin board. I don't have it any more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy blue note
    I play fretless guitar on a wooden fingerboard. It really helps my fretted playing by making me aware of every note and the precision and thought needed to commit to it. I can't just grab a shape or pattern in my fingers, and it really helps my linear playing (playing up and down the neck). And it's beautiful and has a great vibrato. Mine is an archtop and it's not long on the sustain, so my phrasing content tends to be more vocal in nature, not a whole lot of fancy figures and sustained tones in my playing on the fretless.
    It's a really great companion instrument to my fretted. It makes me think differently and it gives a lot to my fretboard awareness all around.
    That is kind of what I am thinking about how it may challenge me. Many years ago when I only had a classical guitar and an acoustic steel string I strung up my classical to play left handed. I sucked at it, but I noticed that my right handed playing improved dramatically. Part of it was the result of the dexterity involved I am sure, but another part of it was forcing myself to play the right things so that I could hear the right things.

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by lammie200

    That is kind of what I am thinking about how it may challenge me. Many years ago when I only had a classical guitar and an acoustic steel string I strung up my classical to play left handed. I sucked at it, but I noticed that my right handed playing improved dramatically. Part of it was the result of the dexterity involved I am sure, but another part of it was forcing myself to play the right things so that I could hear the right things.
    Yeah, it changes the playing field, keeps you on your toes...and your fingertips. When I had certain musical passages and phrases that worked well on fretted, and just sounded awful on fretless, I came to see things like shifting positions A LOT was very liberating. My music breathed more. My linear choices became shorter but more meaningful. All from not having such a strong connection with positional playing that frets make convenient.

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    I used to have a Godin fretless 6 string (it was double stringed on the top 5 strings). It played great! The main issue with most fretless guitars is sustain, or lack thereof.

    I'm primarily an upright bassist so I understand the benefits of the ear training aspect of it, although, there are two parts to it: learning to hear very precisely when something is a bit sharp or a bit flat (which is generally super valuable) and then being able to adjust for it when playing (which is very very difficult for chords on fretless and this part was of questionable value for me).

    In the end, I wasn't compelled enough by the *sound* of the fretless guitar for the kind of music I play. I just didn't practice it enough, and eventually sold it.

  13. #12

    User Info Menu

    Sustain was the primary reason Vigier went to their metal fretboard



  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    Anyone fretless?-eb7549e9-a986-469f-a3c1-73b52c894dd0-jpegAnyone fretless?-aedff527-30de-4227-85d9-36dea06d45fe-jpegAnyone fretless?-d0e10854-5b7a-4674-a163-851909e61a4e-jpegI converted my Gibson ES-339 to a fretless guitar with a stainless steel fingerboard. Let’s see if the 3 photos attach. It’s basically a “sarode guitar” at this point, with a modded Lollar CC pickup.