Fretless bass and vocalists.

Fretless bass and vocalists.

Postby rsnell22 » Fri Oct 10, 2008 7:56 am

Is it just me, or does anybody else notice that when you play your fretless, the vocalists seem more in tune?

My own theory is that the fretless note isn't as "precise" as fretted, even when intonation is spot on.
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Re: Fretless bass and vocalists.

Postby ~lightwaveryder~ » Fri Oct 10, 2008 8:34 am

hey hey
good topic.

i'm going to come in 180 degrees out of phase with you and say this....
the fretted bass has it's intonation hard set and most likely, the singer is not singing in perfect pitch.
the reason why the fretless sounds better, is becuase the singer and bassist are doing very subtle vibratos
and by 'feel' actually playing in perfect intonation to each other, and if the singer had a fretboard in his throat
and an intonation adjustment in his gut, the fretted bass and singer would have to be strobe tuned in order
to get the same 'feel' that the fretless guy gets with the singer.

i could also be wildy off bass with this (pun alert - dadum dum tish !)


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Re: Fretless bass and vocalists.

Postby GLJeff » Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:19 am

I sing while playing both fretted and fretless basses and haven't noticed any difference, not in my ears anyway. I do like the sound of vocals along with a fretless in jazz and blues, over the sound of a fretted bass. The fretless is so much smoother sounding for those styles, which probably compliments the vocals more than a fretted bass would.
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Re: Fretless bass and vocalists.

Postby rsnell22 » Fri Oct 10, 2008 8:20 pm

I think we're both trying to say that the margin of error is more similar between a fretless and the human voice.
Neither are precise in pitch like a fretted note would be, therefore the effect of both seemingly more "in tune".

And I can always use another reason to play the fretless... [smilie=grinning-smiley-003.gif]
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Re: Fretless bass and vocalists.

Postby ghiadub » Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:53 am

I was trying to hear this at my gig earlier tonight. It might be because bassists (me) roll up to the note and the vocals are the loudest thing in the monitor to pitch with. Either way, it seems like I would have to agree.
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Re: Fretless bass and vocalists.

Postby rsnell22 » Sat Oct 11, 2008 8:01 am

Maybe "more in tune" isn't quite the term. "Sounds sweeter" might be more accurate.

Anyhow, I notice the difference.
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Location: Western WA, USA

Re: Fretless bass and vocalists.

Postby El Tookay » Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:28 pm

When I'm playing fretless, i find that i concentrate on my vocal pitch and inflections more than i would playing fretted. I would think the opposite would happen, paying closer attention to the bass intonation, but that's how we roll, i guess.
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Re: Fretless bass and vocalists.

Postby nolabass » Tue Jan 13, 2009 11:30 pm

I think it's a simple as a fretted note creates a stable tone reference making any vocal variation stand out when not quite on.
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Re: Fretless bass and vocalists.

Postby brunelli » Tue Jan 20, 2009 8:14 pm

Just Intonation to the rescue! Just another example of how Equal Temperament is the work of the DEBBIL!!!

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Re: Fretless bass and vocalists.

Postby harleyyy » Tue Jan 20, 2009 8:19 pm

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