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  1. #26

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    Just play normal guitar like everyone else :-)


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller
    Just play normal guitar like everyone else :-)

  4. #28

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    You could have both like Dave Fiuczynski - a fretted and fretless double-neck (the top neck has had the frets removed). I saw him play this guitar in Hiromi’s band years ago, he did some interesting microtonal stuff on the fretless neck.

    Talk to me about frets - Why do we need them?-4aca0d1b-b037-4f41-bfe6-9196a90acaa7-jpeg

  5. #29

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    The standard guitar tone (it's not the jazz guitar's) that is engraved into our brains need frets to happen.
    So, short answer - tone+sustain+playability=reason for frets.

  6. #30

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    A few folks on YT doing some chordal stuff on fretless guitar but this is a good one to watch:

  7. #31

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    Of course, some of you may be thinking, fretless? Nah I want lots MORE frets!

  8. #32

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    Speaking from my own experience: I built a fretless Tele partscaster with a thinline body that was surplus and a China made $70 fretless maple/rosewood neck that I bought off of Ebay. It is easy to play for single notes and helpful for exercising my ears since the intervals are vital. However, it is pretty much impossible for me to play any real chording except for triads here and there at the most. I don't know if the fellow in the link above plays anything except for a nylon string classical fretless but he obviously has been doing it for a long time and has mastered chord playing.

    Oops, looks like zdub beat me to a link for Buzz Gravelle. BTW, Buzz is an appropriate name for a fretless player since saying the name is the only time you will hear any buzz.

  9. #33

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    I played a friend's fretless a few times. I was surprised that my fingers knew where to land at all! But think about playing with eyes closed for a minute.

    So nobody mentioned Cenk yet. There's something pretty magical about his sound. Maybe it helps to come from a culture where their classical music is played on a fretless and plucked instrument: oud.

  10. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by ccroft
    I played a friend's fretless a few times. I was surprised that my fingers knew where to land
    It’s even more surprising when you consider that a fretless has to be fingered where the frets would be, not between them. The contact point that sets string length is the fret, not the finger. Without frets, the contact point is the finger-fingerboard sandwich.

    The few times I’ve tried a fretless guitar or bass, I had to use open strings as references to get close to the right positions. And even staying within ten cents (which is not very accurate) required frequent reorientation while playing. I like the sound but not the effort.

  11. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by jack-e
    So, one of the things I've noticed after beginning back up into jazz guitar, after having spent most of my adult (non-teenage) years at the keyboard: there's a big obstacle in producing solid tones on my current "cheap but cheerful" Ibanez AF-55.

    Namely, taming any tendency to unconsciously produce any vibrato in the fretting hand.
    Vibrato is good. I don't this as any sort of obstacle to getting a good sound out of a guitar; very much the contrary.

    Quote Originally Posted by jack-e
    What exactly do the frets have to offer a guitarist with a decent ear and some amount of discipline?
    They offer it the possibility of being a guitar. Frets are part of the sound itself (not just a tool for playing on tune). Without frets, you get a different envelope and you get fretboard buzz, a sound more like an oud. LIke this:

    If you play through enough effects, the envelope gets to be more like a fretted guitar played with a slide, but still a bit different. Like this:

    [this actually sound pretty cool to me, and something I'd like to try]

    Quote Originally Posted by jack-e
    I don't believe they're "training wheels," really: the nearest guess is that producing chords which use most of the strings is likely improbable without frets. There's no way a single finger acting in a barre chord can produce that amount of consistency, even on a flat, wide fretboard like a nylon classical guitar.
    It's that, and it's also that the sound of a guitar is the sound of the string against a metal fret, not a string against a board.

    Quote Originally Posted by jack-e
    That's all I have for a question, but am I off my nut, or just plain stupid or inexperienced?
    You're playing guitar on purpose like the rest of us fools, right? So off your nut and just plain stupid are pretty much part of the deal. Inexperienced? That comes with time (and can be aided pharmacologically).