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Fretless guitar

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The fretless bass is a bass guitar without frets (including similarly configured guitars known as a fretless guitar). It operates in the same manner as most other stringed instruments and traditional guitars, but does not have any frets to act as the lower end point (node) of the vibrating string. On a fretless bass, the vibrating string length runs from the bridge (also called chair), where the strings are attached, all the way up to the point where the fingertip presses the string down on the fingerboard.


[edit] Advantages and disadvantages

Fretless guitars are not constrained with particular musical tunings, tuning systems or temperaments, as is the case with fretted instruments. This facilitates the playing of music in other than 12 tone scales, these scales are typically found in non-western or experimental music. As well, fretless guitars produce a different sound than their fretted counterparts, because the fingertip is relatively soft (when compared to solid and hard fret) and absorbs energy from vibrating string much faster. The result is that the pizzicato on a fretless guitar has a more damped sound.

However, playing a fretless instrument usually requires much more training of the fretting hand for exact positioning and shifts, and more ear training to discern the minute differences in intonation that fretless instruments permit. To make this easier, many fretless guitars and basses have lines where one should put their fingers, as seen here.

Acoustic fretless guitars produce less volume than their fretted counterparts, which is usually addressed by the use of pickups and amplification. Fretless bass guitars, which have much heavier strings and a bigger body, are also typically amplified.

[edit] Fretless instruments

Fretless guitars are typically modified versions of factory made traditionally "fretted" guitars. There are also professional builders specialising in custom-made fretless guitars.

Fretless bass guitars are much more common than fretless guitars, and there are many manufacturers offering these as standard models.

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[edit] Fretless guitar

[edit] Fretless bass

This article was started using a Wikipedia guitar article
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