Author Topic: Fretless Alembics; side markers, lines, dots, etc...  (Read 1070 times)

edwardofhuncote

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Fretless Alembics; side markers, lines, dots, etc...
« on: July 24, 2017, 05:00:47 PM »
I've become quite fond of the sidelines on my Custom fretless... for a hard-headed old upright player, they sure do take a lot of the error out of the trial-n-error part of playing fretless bass. 

So I guess there are several other acceptable methods to marked fretless basses... side dots, LEDs, ghost frets, etc... I'd love to see a few of them. 

Here's mine... now show me yours.  ;D

growlypants

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Re: Fretless Alembics; side markers, lines, dots, etc...
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2017, 06:09:02 AM »
That's the coolest thing I've ever seen - fret MARKERS!!  (And here I thought you could just have a choice between fret lines all across the fingerboard... or NOT!!)  Very nice.

keith_h

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Re: Fretless Alembics; side markers, lines, dots, etc...
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2017, 07:46:38 AM »
My Orion fretless. Picture courtesy of Mica.


 

growlypants

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Re: Fretless Alembics; side markers, lines, dots, etc...
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2017, 07:56:39 AM »
DOH!  Another one!  (I'm beginning to think I should get out more...)

hieronymous

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Re: Fretless Alembics; side markers, lines, dots, etc...
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2017, 10:03:46 AM »
My '75 doubleneck has markers for every fret, but I can't remember what kind - it's currently hanging out at the Mothership. I think it's dots for everything - normal dots where they would be on a fretted bass (3, 5, 7, 9, 12, etc.) and then different dots at each fret. Will post a pic soon when I retrieve it - dug through my archives and never took a photo of that aspect!

keith_h

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Re: Fretless Alembics; side markers, lines, dots, etc...
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2017, 10:08:12 AM »
It was Growling Tiger that got me on the sidelines train. I didn't want ghost frets and Susan pointed me to it as another option and the rest is history.  Again courtesy of Mica.


FC Bass

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Re: Fretless Alembics; side markers, lines, dots, etc...
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2017, 10:14:58 AM »
Just dots on my fretless Orion:



On the 3th. 5th,7th, 9th, 12th (3 dots) ,15th, 17th, 19th, 21th and 24th (3 dots) position where the fret would be.
My previous fretless had fretlines, I prefer these dots with nothing on the fretboard.
When I had both it did threw me off a little (going from fretlines to blank fretboard and vice versa) So one had to go or be fretted, I think Pierre-Yves is happy with the choice I made. :-)
« Last Edit: July 25, 2017, 10:18:25 AM by FC Bass »
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'79 Series I
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hieronymous

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Re: Fretless Alembics; side markers, lines, dots, etc...
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2017, 12:18:00 PM »
The instrument that turned me off to fretless for years was an MIJ fretless Jazz Bass that I got in Tokyo when I was in 10th grade or so. It only had side dots, but they were where they would be on a regular fretted bass! Not where the fret would be. I was too lazy to put in the effort to master it. It wasn't until the doubleneck with its markers "on the fret" that I began to play fretless again.

Quote from: FC Bass
[size=0px]On the 3th. 5th,7th, 9th, 12th (3 dots) ,15th, 17th, 19th, 21th and 24th (3 dots) position where the fret would be.[/size]


My early-'70s Guild M-85 II has similar markers on the fret - much easier for me. I think if I had a bass custom made I would do that - but with LEDs for those markers?
« Last Edit: July 25, 2017, 12:19:45 PM by hieronymous »

edwardofhuncote

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Re: Fretless Alembics; side markers, lines, dots, etc...
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2017, 02:01:45 PM »
Hmm. I suppose Alembic's standard for a fretless model has been side dots positioned at the 3rd, 5th, 7th, and so on...?  At least when I see older ones, that seems to be the more commonly seen layout. Cool.  8)

The sidelines on mine were Mica's recommendation, and the decision was made based on the above picture of them on Keith's Custom Orion. I'd have been fine with just bronze dots at the regular intervals, but I have to say the sidelines have somewhat spoiled me. So much that I am starting to wish my upright had them! And the Persuader 5-string is getting a little bit jealous of the extra attention that's been flowing to its smooth-boarded 'sister'.  ;D
 

moongerm

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Re: Fretless Alembics; side markers, lines, dots, etc...
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2017, 04:16:45 PM »
If I can ever afford another Alembic build it would be a fretless short scale version of my BoP with fret lines AND side LEDs :) 

Without fret lines I think would have had a much more difficult time attempting to transcribe Jaco's solo on Donna Lee, landing those fast position leaps https://youtu.be/8f9Tdnl5u3w 
« Last Edit: July 26, 2017, 03:21:51 AM by moongerm »

mica

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Re: Fretless Alembics; side markers, lines, dots, etc...
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2017, 04:55:25 PM »
I'm also a fan of adding a first position marker on fretless basses. It's a long blank gap up there!

rv_bass

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Re: Fretless Alembics; side markers, lines, dots, etc...
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2017, 06:14:16 PM »
I have LED markers at the frets on my bass (including non-LED markers at frets 1 & 2), suggesting it was once fretless, but I find markers only at the frets confusing at times.  Dots in between the fret markers would be very helpful.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2017, 06:17:12 PM by rv_bass »

keith_h

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Re: Fretless Alembics; side markers, lines, dots, etc...
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2017, 04:32:19 AM »
I have LED markers at the frets on my bass (including non-LED markers at frets 1 & 2), suggesting it was once fretless, but I find markers only at the frets confusing at times.  Dots in between the fret markers would be very helpful.

The different positioning of the dots between fretted and fretless basses was something I recall discussing with Susan. I thought it would be somewhat confusing so that added to my reasons for going with sidelines.

pauldo

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Re: Fretless Alembics; side markers, lines, dots, etc...
« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2017, 06:26:17 AM »
. . . So much that I am starting to wish my upright had them! . . .
 

Gregory,
I have black 'pin striping tape' that I used as sidelines on my upright, works well.
At one time I was playing the upright enough that my muscle memory didn't need my eyes to see where I was... not so much these days.   :-\
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JimmyJ

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Re: Fretless Alembics; side markers, lines, dots, etc...
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2017, 08:42:22 AM »
This compliments another recent thread on this subject.  This is one of those individual things and whatever works for you is the right choice. 


My concept is to make it as easy as possible to play in tune (!!) and since I mostly play fretted bass I want the fretless fingerboard to look the same from my vantage point. So LED side markers and full lines for me.  And if possible, a bright light on the fingerboard so I can see what I'm trying to do!


If you play fretless exclusively, or maybe come from cello or upright, then this may be overkill.  (I own an upright - though I'm not licensed to operate it - and have several pieces of tape doing edge dots and fret lines like Gregory’s…)


Jimmy J