I added a fretless neck to one of my guitars

For guitars of the straight waisted variety (or reverse offset).
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I added a fretless neck to one of my guitars

Post by rhythmjones » Sun Jul 31, 2022 4:20 pm

I've never been able to get the hang of slide guitar, and I don't like being hemmed in to a bar of whatever open tuning you're in. So I wanted to experiment with fretless guitar to get that portamento sound "my way."

So I grabbed a cheap fretless neck from eBay and slapped it on this Paranormal Tele.

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Re: I added a fretless neck to one of my guitars

Post by Shadoweclipse13 » Sun Jul 31, 2022 4:41 pm

Hell yes!!! I've always wanted to try fretless!!
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Re: I added a fretless neck to one of my guitars

Post by windmill » Sun Jul 31, 2022 5:09 pm

Anddd....

How did it sound ?

Nice looking guitar tho.

:)

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Re: I added a fretless neck to one of my guitars

Post by sessylU » Tue Aug 02, 2022 10:22 am

I did a fretless conversion a number of years ago. It's good fun, every single note is a wrong note!

Keep meaning to take newer/better pictures.

https://www.shortscale.org/viewtopic.ph ... s#p1331569

The nut on that neck looks crazy high though. I've found that you really need the neck to be super straight, and the action as low as possible, with as low a nut as possible. You want there to be a buzz no matter where you stop the note, as this buzz seems to be where the sustain comes from. So action as low as possible, with the neck as straight as possible, but not quite at the point that this kills all the notes. (this is different from a fretless bass, and you might have a different experience).

I eventually went for flat wound strings as heavy as possible. Think I'm using the heaviest six from a 7-string set, tuned to D standard.

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Re: I added a fretless neck to one of my guitars

Post by camilonava27 » Fri Aug 05, 2022 3:17 pm

Nice! I'd love to hear how it sounds

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Re: I added a fretless neck to one of my guitars

Post by 46346 » Fri Aug 05, 2022 11:42 pm

yeah! flatwounds sound like a fine idea.
i’m kind of amazed that i’ve never gotten around to
trying this on guitar, tho i’ve had two fretless basses.

would love to hear more of everyone’s experiences
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Re: I added a fretless neck to one of my guitars

Post by sessylU » Sat Aug 06, 2022 5:05 am

camilonava27 wrote:
Fri Aug 05, 2022 3:17 pm
Nice! I'd love to hear how it sounds
Here's a quick thing I threw together a few years ago. I was mostly playing with and EWI USB at this point and this track was mostly to see how convincingly I could record sax. But it has fretless guitar on it. That thinness to the tone is something of a feature I think, even on a thinline style guitar with fairly hot P-90s.

https://soundcloud.com/ediblecannibals/newdles

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Re: I added a fretless neck to one of my guitars

Post by BeeTL » Sat Aug 06, 2022 7:09 am

It has kind of an electric sitar vibe. I like it!
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Re: I added a fretless neck to one of my guitars

Post by sessylU » Sat Aug 06, 2022 8:09 am

In that sketch, it does, yeah. But a lot depends on how you play it. It needn't sound sitary.

Must play it more. When I did it I got an ebow around the same time and challenged myself to only play fretless and with an ebow for a year or so.

Lasted two days. Sounded terrible. Made me realise how much I take technique for granted, and being able to make whatever sound I want with a fretted guitar with a pick.

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Re: I added a fretless neck to one of my guitars

Post by rhythmjones » Sun Aug 07, 2022 6:30 pm

You probably can't see from this photo, but I filed the nut-slots down significantly to get any kind of workable action. The shitty plastic nut that came with this neck needs to go anyway, but I wanted to get it up and running for now.

I've got a lot of practice to do with this style of playing but this guitar sounded great to begin with so it was the right guitar to try this experiment on. It was the Paranormal Tele that I put AV65s into.
- Mitch

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Re: I added a fretless neck to one of my guitars

Post by sessylU » Mon Aug 08, 2022 8:08 am

I think I'd really struggle without fretlines! I'm struggling enough with them!

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Re: I added a fretless neck to one of my guitars

Post by Larry Mal » Mon Aug 08, 2022 8:38 am

Despite being a fretless bass player, I struggle to comprehend what a fretless guitar would be like at all.

However, I was surprised at how much the fretless bass could do, it does basically everything a fretted one does.

But I can't imagine chording on the fretless guitar.
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Re: I added a fretless neck to one of my guitars

Post by sessylU » Mon Aug 08, 2022 8:43 am

In my experience, the big issue with chords on a fretless guitar isn't so much the manual dexterity/flexibility needed, but the fact that octaves or fifths that are slightly out will be really obvious and you'll hear that "beat" thing that you use to tune using harmonics.

Thirds can be doable, (or tenths). Fifths are sometimes doable, but you need to be careful.

Like with fretless bass, a bit of vibrato helps to smooth things out, rather than just sitting on the not quite right note.

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Re: I added a fretless neck to one of my guitars

Post by camilonava27 » Mon Aug 08, 2022 3:59 pm

sessylU wrote:
Sat Aug 06, 2022 5:05 am
camilonava27 wrote:
Fri Aug 05, 2022 3:17 pm
Nice! I'd love to hear how it sounds
Here's a quick thing I threw together a few years ago. I was mostly playing with and EWI USB at this point and this track was mostly to see how convincingly I could record sax. But it has fretless guitar on it. That thinness to the tone is something of a feature I think, even on a thinline style guitar with fairly hot P-90s.

https://soundcloud.com/ediblecannibals/newdles
Sounds great!

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Re: I added a fretless neck to one of my guitars

Post by Shadoweclipse13 » Tue Aug 09, 2022 8:44 am

That sounds really cool. It's got a 70s R&B vibe to me :-*
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