The bass guitar has long been the driving force behind some of your favorite bands. This instrument provides the rhythm or the band with its low resonating tones and clear, distinct sound. If you’re in the market to switch it up from the traditional bass, the fretless acoustic bass might just be the instrument to breathe new life into your musical style.
Simply put, a fretless acoustic bass is a bass without frets. This lets the musician have direct contact with the fretboard without interruption from a fret. You can really hammer down on the strings when there is nothing stopping your fingers.
When you’re looking at a fretted versus a fretless instrument, there are distinct differences between the two to take into consideration. The sound produced by the strings on a fretless acoustic bass may require amplification to get the level of volume you want. Another aspect to consider with a fretless instrument is there is usually nothing to guide you where to place your fingers. While this is fine for advanced musicians, it might prove to be a bit difficult for beginners or less experienced musicians. The last big difference between fretted and fretless is the ease of playing sliding notes. A fretless neck allows for slides between notes to be more natural and not notched to a particular part on the instrument.
The fretless bass is a favorite among jazz, funk, and R&B players because it mimics the sound and feel of the acoustic double bass (at a fraction of the size). Whether you’re looking to become the next Stanley Clarke or just wanting to add another instrument to your collection, the fretless acoustic bass gives you a chance to step out of the norm when it comes to making your mark on the musical world.