Fretless electric guitar…

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Fretless electric guitar…

Postby Buffalo_Bill » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:30 pm

Well, I decided to try going fretless electric. :?:

I'm gonna have to modify a guitar for this, so I'm bidding on some guitars on eBay right now.
A solid body with humbuckers for sure, and probably a Epiphone G400 or Les Paul.
I'll pull the frets off, fill in the slots and try it that way.
If I like it, I may do the Jaco Pastorious method of laying down fiberglass tape and epoxy, and sanding it smooth.

I love playing fretless bass, and I've heard samples of fretless guitar on youtube. 8)

I like slide sound but I don't like using a slide, so this could be right for me.
I think my playing style will convert to fretless pretty easy, because I mostly play single notes, double stops and bars. :wink:
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Re: Fretless electric guitar…

Postby kiwiblues » Thu Aug 23, 2012 2:20 am

Could be interesting Buff. I've seen a guy playing one locally. Sounds pretty different.
Guess you need a good ear, but no different to slide?
I'm wondering how difficult chords would be if you play in standard tuning. One of your fingers would only have to be slightly out and bingo you've got a discord! :roll: :lol:
Still I suppose violinists can do it.
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Re: Fretless electric guitar…

Postby Buffalo_Bill » Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:20 am

Well, I got this for just $124. Asian guitar prices are racing for the bottom…
It's a good starting guitar for this project, but way too glossy black for me. :roll:
That's OK because I have some excellent Flame veneer I will laminate on the front and back. 8) 8)
I'll take it for granted that all of you know about Greg Bennett design for Samick guitars.
I've been wanting to try one of these Torino SG types for some time,
as they are the same quality as the Epiphone G-400, but with better balance. 8)
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Re: Fretless electric guitar…

Postby guitarslim101 » Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:15 am

I've got an old Teisco neck that I pulled the frets and filled the slots that occasionally rotates onto one of my guitars. The fretless thing is a lot of fun, but it's still a different sound than slide. Takes a few days of playing with it to really get used to all the little tricks you need to do with your fingers to play chords and what-not, but they aren't too bad. I'd recommend the epoxy method, though. Guitar strings will eat into a rosewood fretboard pretty quick and the epoxy will give you a bit stronger tone, too.
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Re: Fretless electric guitar…

Postby tinsmith » Sat Aug 25, 2012 12:58 am

I knew a guy that had his guitars altered & made fretless.
He played with a gasmask on & used two slides at the same time.....
Berkley grad...
Quite a character....I think he's a cop now.....
Expert at close hand to hand, hand to weapon...
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Re: Fretless electric guitar…

Postby ricbleu » Sat Aug 25, 2012 4:06 am

I took the fretboard right off a very old 3/4 scale Chinese acoustic guitar - this was made before the Chinese guitar industry started to lift their quality. I made a new fretboard and marked the fret positions with small cuts. I strung her with three flatwound strings E A D and three nylon G B e. I was hoping for an oud type of sound but there is no sustain and it sounded too "guitar-ish" to be an oud. Godin make one that sounds good. Still, it was an interesting experiment. Doing it with an electric guitar would have been better. Good luck with yours, BB. :D Peace.
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Re: Fretless electric guitar…

Postby tinsmith » Sun Aug 26, 2012 2:20 am

The guy I had mentioned; he put a G bass string in place of the regular low E
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Re: Fretless electric guitar…

Postby Buffalo_Bill » Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:40 pm

I noticed on youtube, some people were improvising over a droning E string. Could explain his choice.

As with a standup bass, many players play open strings to help them stay intone.

Improvising over a drone gets boring fast, but that's one step away from a boogie.
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Re: Fretless electric guitar…

Postby kiwiblues » Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:52 pm

Sorry to show my ignorance but are fretless guitars usually played in open tunings like slide? :roll:
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Re: Fretless electric guitar…

Postby Buffalo_Bill » Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:34 am

:?: :?: :?:
Do they have musician police in NZ?
Making sure everybody has their instruments tuned, and plays within the strict rules of the National Orchestra? :blink:
They'll never tape me alive! :twisted:
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Re: Fretless electric guitar…

Postby kiwiblues » Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:45 am

?? Not sure what you are on about there Buff.
We don't need many police in NZ, we are all such good law abiding citizens!
Our violin cases actually contain violins! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Buffalo_Bill wrote::?: :?: :?:
Do they have musician police in NZ?
Making sure everybody has their instruments tuned, and plays within the strict rules of the National Orchestra? :blink:
They'll never tape me alive! :twisted:
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Re: Fretless electric guitar…

Postby ricbleu » Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:59 am

There might be some confusion here. First off, I see no reason why you can't tune a fretless guitar in any way you like, just as you can with a fretted one, provided that you can then become familiar with the wherabouts of the notes and play it. But more significantly, the sound you will get from a fretless guitar is produced by flesh (or flesh and fingernail) on the fretboard substance whereas the sound you get from slide guitar is steel on steel ie slide on string just like a fretted guitar is steel string on steel fret. They are totally different concepts. Check out Guthrie Govan on Youtube. It will be interesting to hear how yours turns out BB. How far off is she? :D Peace
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Re: Fretless electric guitar…

Postby Buffalo_Bill » Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:17 am

Yes, of course your right, but people should tune and play their instruments as they choose.
And sometimes they come up with wonderful new ways, as we can be sure that's how slide was invented.
Special tunings are another way. Most music books don't encourage people to try new tunings, but I think they should.
I have a painful thumb joint, that discourages me from using thumb pressure behind the neck, so I can't play many chords.
But my origin is from bass, where we don't play chords, so I transpose my bass playing technique to guitar.
All this is guiding me to play in a unique style for guitar.
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Re: Fretless electric guitar…

Postby kiwiblues » Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:58 pm

Being an average guitar player, fretless playing has always been a wonder to me. I have enough problems stretching my fingers to make chords when I know where they are supposed to go, let alone trying to get them right without frets.
That's why I assumed they must use open tunings to make things a bit easier.
We have a guy in Christchurch who plays a fretless guitar and when he plays at gigs it makes my jaw drop.
The sounds he gets are really out of this world!
I know he uses a lot of open tunings however, some of which he makes up himself.
It doesn't really matter it still sounds fantastic and quite different to anything else I have ever heard. :)
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Re: Fretless electric guitar…

Postby Buffalo_Bill » Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:27 pm

Bummer,
It seems that FedEx has lost track of this guitar… :?
No update on it's location since they put it on a truck from Texas to Chicago 8-24-12, and that's all she wrote.
I reported that it was 2 days overdue, so they're trying to locate it. :|
Meanwhile, I'm looking at other low priced solid bodies.
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