Making a bass fretless
I play guitar since I'm 13, and bass since I was 15. I bought Saskia Sleegers' bass right after she decided to become a house DJ and start a record label. That is the only bass I every owned, until recently.
I wanted to play fretless. After all, that produces the real cool sounds, and offers intonation freedom. Earlier, I had removed the frets from a guitar. Don't do this if you aren't me. BAD IDEA. Sustain dies, chords are impossible to grab. But apart from the chords, I found out that I could play in key on that guitar. So then I really wanted to play fretless bass too.
(By the way, you can hear me play fretless acoustic guitar in the video on the direct color positives project page.)
So I ordered cheap but cool looking fretless bass. I upgraded it with Pelle Kuipers, and then I found out that I had a hard time playing in key, eventhough it should be easier on a bass than on a guitar and I did not have such problems on my double bass.
It was then that I found out that my new bass' neck was a fret and a half longer than the bass I essentially grew around. I decided there was no way I could get two bass guitars in my muscle memory.
I did a little work for Frances Marie Uitti. I thought of it as a friends service, but she insited on paying. I decided to put this money to work. I put a search in Marktplaats, and after some time I got a notification: This is how I bought the exact bass I had played for decades. Even the serial numbers are close. The new one is about a month newer. I took this second one to Pelle, and withbhis help and guidance I took the frets off, filled the gaps with wood, repaired all the glitches and sanded the neck flat. I paid Pelle the money I got from Frances.
So now I do have my fretless bass, that hangs from my shoulders in the same way and has all the note in the same places as my old bass, and therfore it totally works with my deeply engraved muscle memory.
I'm no Mick Karn, but I am practicing his lines to aquire the agility to be able play what I want to play.
At the time if working on this bass, I had no idea I would be in this works hours on end for a different project: to build a classic street camera into a Chinese cash box. When I picked up the bass, I did do an attempt to shoot video of bats for the Dark Trails series. I never processed it. I should check that footage again.