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Fretless guitar


I  I mjrn

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Recently saw a film on PBS called Driven to Play about the "North American Rock Guitar Competition".

 

I must confess that as good as the top contenders were, they weren't really that great except a guy who played a fretless guitar.

It had a very metallic timbre (exactly why, I'm uncertain) &, of course, allowed some interesting pitch movement but the main thing was his seemingly flawless intonation (& there were no fretmarkers, even!).

 

What concerns me here, though, is taking an inexpensive guitar & removing the frets to practice this myself----both as an ear& fingering exercise & for the sound.

What would be the best filler for the slots?

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Hey, I saw Ned Evett on that Guitar special too. Evett play a Fernades with a Glass FingerBoard along with the Fernandes Sustainer.

As for filling the slots try an Epoxy. That is what I have used with good results. Here are 2 extensive sites with FORUMS that focus on FretLess or UnFretted Guitars.

UnFretted.com

KronoSonic.com

Both FORUMS have Links to the best ways to UnFret your Guitar.

VVV

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Just a second now. How could there be any other Michael Vick in this world except THE Michael Vick of the NFL? It's like having another Magic Johnson or another Eric Clapton.

bbach

 

Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.

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I took the frets out of a cheap bass once (never did finish that project...yet) I made some thin strips of maple, for a contrasting color to the rosewood, and glued them in there. After the glue dried I sanded down the excess maple. Afterward I put tung oil on the fretboard to keep the maple from getting stained with sweat and gunk. It came out really well, and the maple allows you to still see the positions. I stole the idea from a fretless bass I saw a long time ago that I believe was made by Peavey.
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Originally posted by FunkJazz:

hey Michael, i'm glad i was wrong about you. no hard feeling? :wave:

:confused: Oddly, I have no idea what you are speaking of, Funk Jazz...

 

At any rate, I'm particularly interested in what materials will suffer least from expansion/contraction differences with the original wood...which in my case, at first will probably be rosewood (inexpensive acoustic) but later might be maple.

 

Thanks all!

Anyone else?

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I'd be really interested to see that movie.

I'll have to check if PBS make it available on Video and if I can order it.

 

I've been intrigued with fretless guitar for years.

I tried, semi-successfully, to create a fretless hybrid nearly 15 years ago.

ie. Frets for E-A-D, none for G-B-E

 

It worked reasonably well. I used a Japanese made Fender Squire, and had a local luthier fret up a 24 fret neck as above.

He thought I was totally insane...

I used it on a couple of atmospheric pieces a new-age KB playing friend of mine recorded, and live with a 4 piece pub-rock outfit.

Live I tuned it to an open G and played 'slideless slide'.

 

It certainly turned a few heads...until a W-bin fell onto it and broke the neck (and my amp and Charvel...)

How can we fight ignorance and apathy?

Who knows! Who cares!

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A book of mine talks briefly about how Jaco Pastorius de-fretted his bass. He used whatever worked (forks, pens) to get the frets out. Then he filled the spaces with ¿wood putty? and coated the fingerboard with ¿polyurethane?.
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Hey, I actually have something to add:

 

http://www.godinguitars.com/gtrsglissentar.jpg

 

Or, if you prefer 6 strings:

 

http://www.godinguitars.com/gtrmultiacnylonfretless.jpg

 

Cool stuff. I wonder how they play?

I really don't know what to put here.
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Yes, the Godin Guitars above are excellent!

 

Try these LINKS for even more information.

Fret Not Guitar Repair

UnFretted Hints & Tips

 

As for making your own; there are no real rules. I unfretted my Korean TeleCaster almost 10 Years & love it. I just had a soldering gun, pliers, 2 grades of sandpaper, epxoy & the guitar itself. The rest is up to you. Good luck, it is a totally different world to say the least; being UnFretted that is.

MAV

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  • 1 month later...
Originally posted by Sylver:

Hey, I actually have something to add:

 

http://www.godinguitars.com/gtrsglissentar.jpg

 

Or, if you prefer 6 strings:

 

http://www.godinguitars.com/gtrmultiacnylonfretless.jpg

 

Cool stuff. I wonder how they play?

the fretless multiac plays sweet. i was looking at one that a guy was selling because of losing his job. i am not sure of the prices, but i am sure they are more than reasonable. some of them have synth access.
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You mean ANOTHER WIERDO!!! Just kiddin of chorus!

 

I am sure you would be cool hang with micheal. I would guess your favorite shape is a 'rhombus' cuz it is kinda weird and the name rules. You should make a guitar that looks like a rhombus (gotta love silent 'h'--for me it is love/hate--maybe the H stands for the hate aspect)

 

You can call this guitar the silent H because you will NEVER record with it. You can record a song that has absolutely no sound and 'brag' to a bunch of your mime friends about how your not into being normal and that the Rhombus guitar should be felt not heard.

 

After you do all this, order a low carb pizza with rubber cheeze to my apt. I will know its from you.

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