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 Fretles bass for absolute beginner?????? View next topic
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truedog
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:08 pm   Reply with quoteBack to top

My wife is showing some interest in learning to play bass. She has never played a musical instrument, but DOES have a good ear. She can carry a tune quite well when singing.

She has been eyeballing basses at local pawn shops and asked me to llok at one today. It was a Jay Turser bass and did not impress me much. It has WAY too much bow in the neck and the strings are almost 1/2" off the neck at the higher frets. It may just need some setup, but it makes me wonder if the neck is so bad that someone did this to eliminate fret buzz.

Anyhow, while at the pawn shop I pulled down a Squier Jazz Fretless and played it a bit for her. I was amazed at how easy it played and how good it sounded for a less than $300 bass. She really liked the sound too.

Would a fretless be too difficult for an absolute beginner or would it be okay?


Last edited by truedog on Sat Jan 03, 2009 6:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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tbonesullivan
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:19 pm   Reply with quoteBack to top

what is her musical experience? fretless is usually not a beginner instrument unless you are switching from double bass. Even with the lined fretboard you still need good ears.

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Tripoutski
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:51 pm   Reply with quoteBack to top

Absolutely, positively go with the fretless if she is really into it. Are there beginner fretless violins? Cellos? I don't buy into the fact that most here have come up with fretted instruments and that a fretless bass is for the experienced. She will learn her instrument well and be a better musician by starting on it. I am all in on this one.
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ElfDude
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 8:02 pm   Reply with quoteBack to top

Many children take lessons on fretless instruments without any prior musical experience (as I did with the cello, starting in the 6th grade). They play out of tune for a while, but the ones with a good ear learn to correct.

For her to start on a fretless is not out of the realms of possibility. But there is that increased chance that she'll get frustrated and quit more easily than she would have with a fretted instrument. *shrugs*

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Last edited by ElfDude on Sat Jan 03, 2009 8:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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MikeBass
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 8:21 pm   Reply with quoteBack to top

I'd say go for it! My first bass was a Squire and they're definitely a great beginner instrument. Being able to rock out with a fretless is a whole different thing than being able to play a fretless, especially if you're just learning.

Keep us posted!

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mixalot
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 9:03 pm   Reply with quoteBack to top

I had a Squier as my first bass as well. Fretted, but it was a great starter bass besides the fact that it weighs a ton. Maybe since it is fretless it will be a little lighter Mr. Green . Seriously, I really enjoyed it before I got my LB20. I also put a Badass bridge on it after having it for awhile and it made a big difference. The stock bridge is kind of crappy. Hope this helps. I say, go for it Yeah!
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truedog
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 9:21 am   Reply with quoteBack to top

Thanks for the advice guys. She may end up going for it. I was actually thinking about kids and their violins too. Their teachers often stick on position markers made of masking tape to help them get started. This bass DOES have fret lines, which would help. I was pointing out to her the importance of playing right on the note and not just anywhere between the markers. I told her that Fender called their first fretted bass the Precision bass for a reason.



Last edited by truedog on Sun Jan 04, 2009 1:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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ElfDude
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:45 am   Reply with quoteBack to top

truedog wrote:
I was actually thinking about kids and their violins too. Their teachers often stick on positions markers made of masking tap to help them get started.


It's true. I had two pieces of masking tape on my (rented) cello. I thought I'd show a pic of them but my head seems to be in the way. I'm the shrimp on the left...


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timlaw2
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 12:26 pm   Reply with quoteBack to top

My opinion is no. My expierence is with a trombone....no frets here...
in the learning process it is important to achieve quickly, this self exteem will go a long way in creating "fun".....on the other hand, fustration is never fun Not talking .....best bet, in my opinion spend as much as you need to to get a bass that will finger effortlessly...fit her guitar body stlye with her actual body(women sometimes have a problem with lap / breast fit)
fretless is a great option down the road...my son's favorite bass is a LB70AF but this is years after he started..and is his 4th or 5th bass...

1) make "fun" easy (thereis no perent pushing her to practice) Tongue Spin

2) Get a quality bass..... the limitations should not be her bass...it should be her ability Nice Axe

3) believe it or not.....fit is important Guitar

PS: I wish my wife wanted to play.... Band

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sirmyghin
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 1:57 pm   Reply with quoteBack to top

timlaw2 wrote:


1) make "fun" easy (thereis no perent pushing her to practice) Tongue Spin

2) Get a quality bass..... the limitations should not be her bass...it should be her ability Nice Axe

3) believe it or not.....fit is important Guitar

PS: I wish my wife wanted to play.... Band


Frets are a crutch if you have a good ear go nuts on the fretless. My excursions with fretlesses though few, were pretty good sounding. I just don't buy one as I don't need that type of sound.

As for buying a quality bass for a beginner? You can get many midranges basses that are decent to good for quality, and a not experiences player can't really tell the difference. The risk is also much less if they give up. A friend of mine tried to pick up guitar in her 30's, her acoustic "wasn't good enough and hard to play" so she bought a taylor, figured it would help her learn, she still slagged it and didn't bother. A higher quality instrument WILL NOT influence how well you can learn. I played on a fender jazz no name knockoff fret 75 until earlier this year. The action was terrible, and the only reason I got a new bass as fixing the other up (frets, rewiring, new bridge etc) would cost too much. Did this ever limit my playing? Not at all, infact it allowed me to be that much faster and more precise. Then after your had excursions like that you can truly appreciate good action too, as you aren't ramming a string 3/8 of an inch.

I say go for it tbone.
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timlaw2
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 2:32 pm   Reply with quoteBack to top

I agree...you don't need to spend alot of money for playable quality. The size and strength of her hands needs to part of the equasion, cramps are no "FUN"

And as for the "taylor player" she at least can resell her taylor (which retains its value) (Give her my name, I could use a good, slightly broke-in taylor) Guitar

and as for "follow thru to learn to play"....while being forced to practice my trombone....I learned to play (sort of) with my dads left handed tenor guitar....then moved up to a junk GC MURPHY special...bandaids on my fingertips helped prevent bleeding.....so there is something to be said for "want to"... Exclamation

I still feel frettless is a Harder "start" to playing Shocked

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MikeBass
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 4:30 pm   Reply with quoteBack to top

truedog wrote:




Are those Seymour Duncan pickups? Man, i wish Fender/Squire had put that extra effort into basses what i was just starting Confused

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truedog
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 5:22 pm   Reply with quoteBack to top

MikeBass wrote:


Are those Seymour Duncan pickups? Man, i wish Fender/Squire had put that extra effort into basses what i was just starting Confused


They say "Designed by Duncan", so I assume it's a Duncan design but manufactured by Fender/Squier.

The one I played sounded really nice and was surprisingly comfortable to play for a bass in this price range.

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BluesPicker
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 6:25 pm   Reply with quoteBack to top

Okay, so I'm the odd man out. Kids tend to pick up on things, like languages and stuff, more quickly than us old farts. If it was me (and it's not) I'd go the fretted route. Nothing is more frustrating than not playing in tune.


Last edited by BluesPicker on Thu Jan 08, 2009 3:49 am; edited 1 time in total
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phalanges
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 12:27 pm   Reply with quoteBack to top

My initial response is like BluesPickers. But you guys make some good points about beginners on classical stringed instruments. Now I'm over my trepidation, I've gotta get a fretless too! Mr. Green

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truedog
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 12:34 pm   Reply with quoteBack to top

I am waiting now (NOT pushing) to see if she stays interested in trying bass. IF she decides to go forward this fretless is one we would look at. When (and if) the day comes I will take her down to Fort Collins, CO to Guitar Center to look at what they have. I was watching the Guitar World DVD demo this week where they reviewed the Squier Classic Vibe line. Any of those would probably be a good choice for a beginner if she wants to try fretted instead.

We'll see.......................................
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truedog
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 12:36 pm   Reply with quoteBack to top

phalanges wrote:
Now I'm over my trepidation, I've gotta get a fretless too! Mr. Green


I had never tried a fretless before picking up this one at the store. Other than the fact that I haven't played a bass at all in years, and my chops sucked, I was amazed at how natural it felt to play the fretless.

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ElfDude
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 12:47 pm   Reply with quoteBack to top

truedog wrote:
phalanges wrote:
Now I'm over my trepidation, I've gotta get a fretless too! Mr. Green


I had never tried a fretless before picking up this one at the store. Other than the fact that I haven't played a bass at all in years, and my chops sucked, I was amazed at how natural it felt to play the fretless.


I'm definitely having fun with mine, though I kind of wish it was only a five-string. It's fun and challenging at the same time. Simple bass lines I have been able to play in the past without thinking now require concentration... just to keep them in tune. While it's a fun concentration, I'm wondering if I'll ever get to a point where I can play simple lines on the fretless without thinking. Smile

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Russ
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 4:11 pm   Reply with quoteBack to top

I'm with the "go for it" crowd. Considering the child mind picking up things faster, AND the fact that it's got the lines as the counterpoint, I wouldn't hesitate for a second (if it were an instrument she was interested in).

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eudaimonia
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 4:29 pm   Reply with quoteBack to top

ElfDude wrote:
Many children take lessons on fretless instruments without any prior musical experience (as I did with the cello, starting in the 6th grade). They play out of tune for a while, but the ones with a good ear learn to correct.

For her to start on a fretless is not out of the realms of possibility. But there is that increased chance that she'll get frustrated and quit more easily than she would have with a fretted instrument. *shrugs*


Q.E.D.

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