Fretlines vs. The Blank Plank

In the world of the fretless bass, there are two schools of thought when it comes to fretlines on a fretless bass: Either they are ok and a good idea sometimes, or that they are cheating and for beginners. (fretlines are the thin lines that are put in place of frets on a fretless bass to show where the frets would normally be and to help with intonation).

When it comes to the fretless bass and fretlines, my feeling is that its up to you whether you use lines or not.

While a blank fingerboard might look really cool and sexy, lines can be very useful while you are in the midst of playing the bass.

When you get right down to it, its all about how the bass sounds anyways, so why should your decision to have lines or not affect anyone else?

They don't make playing the bass technically any easier for your fretting hand nor do they give you any real advantage when you look away from the bass.

As well, they can give you something to shoot for when you have to jump up the neck really quickly. Having a target can make it so that you are much more accurate, especially when you're jumping up a fretless neck.

Besides, they aren't just for new bass players. If anyone ever gives you that reason or calls you less than worthy because you have lines, all you have to say is: "Jaco". (its like when someone sneezes and you say "gesundheit", except "bassier".) ;)

Mainly, its up to you to have fun. If you aren't having fun, you aren't going to want to play, so do what makes you feel comfortable. And don't let anyone get to you.

It's all a matter of opinion anyways :)

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