Short-scale fretless electric bass

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Re: Short-scale fretless electric bass

Post by Martin Walker »

FrankF wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 12:03 pm I had my eye on this Ibanez Talman a while ago, only because it's so pretty in ivory (je suis très shallow) :
https://www.bax-shop.co.uk/right-hande ... ass-guitar

That is indeed a fine-looking bass FrankF!

Of course, you'd have to pop the frets out and add some flatwounds: I've just checked the price of a set of flats and they are not cheap, so that makes the Beatbass seem a real bargain... I am tempted!

Yes, I too investigated the cost of a new set of flat-wound strings and decided that the Beatbass was an absolute bargain. It may not sound like a Wal, but it's the perfect compromise for my purposes.
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Re: Short-scale fretless electric bass

Post by FrankF »

Can't wait to hear your thoughts on this once you've played it a bit, Martin: I've always wanted to learn a bit of Mick Karn (Wal or no Wal!), so I may yet be tempted.

I did try an Ignition bass several years ago, but couldn't get used to the shape when playing seated: I notice the chap in the vid "hooks" the Beatbass on one leg, which looks awkward to my eyes.
Does anyone else find the violin shape awkward when playing sat down?
Or is his technique the way to avoid the bass slip-sliding away?
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Re: Short-scale fretless electric bass

Post by Martin Walker »

FrankF wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 12:49 pm Can't wait to hear your thoughts on this once you've played it a bit, Martin: I've always wanted to learn a bit of Mick Karn (Wal or no Wal!), so I may yet be tempted.

I did try an Ignition bass several years ago, but couldn't get used to the shape when playing seated: I notice the chap in the vid "hooks" the Beatbass on one leg, which looks awkward to my eyes.
Does anyone else find the violin shape awkward when playing sat down?
Or is his technique the way to avoid the bass slip-sliding away?

Oh, so you don't tuck the violin bass under your chin then? :blush::mrgreen:

Yes, I'm a little nervous about the shape too, as I'll normally be playing sitting down, but hooking it across one leg looks OK to me. I'll let you know how I get on.
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Re: Short-scale fretless electric bass

Post by BigRedX »

Martin Walker wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 12:39 pmYes, I too investigated the cost of a new set of flat-wound strings and decided that the Beatbass was an absolute bargain. It may not sound like a Wal, but it's the perfect compromise for my purposes.

It certainly won't sound like a Wal with a set of flat-wound strings on it.

And while one of the best-known exponents of the fretless Wal sound is Mick Karn nearly all of his best known work with Japan was played on a Travis Bean TB2000 bass.
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Re: Short-scale fretless electric bass

Post by Tomás Mulcahy »

Martin Walker wrote: Tue Sep 20, 2022 4:21 pm For me though, one of the main reasons for buying a fretless bass is to enjoy plenty of sliding transitions between notes, which I suspect wouldn't be so easy to do with a sample library.

Good point. It does have a switchable legato mode which can slide, but on a keyboard it is not as much fun as an actual fretless and sounds unconvincing. I have a Seaboard which would seem like the ideal thing, but UVI Workstation does not support MPE. Falcon does but I don't own it.
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Re: Short-scale fretless electric bass

Post by Martin Walker »

BigRedX wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 2:43 pm And while one of the best-known exponents of the fretless Wal sound is Mick Karn nearly all of his best known work with Japan was played on a Travis Bean TB2000 bass.

I never knew that, and I was at the final UK Japan gig at the Hammersmith Odeon! :headbang:
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Re: Short-scale fretless electric bass

Post by BigRedX »

Martin Walker wrote: Fri Sep 23, 2022 1:06 amI never knew that, and I was at the final UK Japan gig at the Hammersmith Odeon! :headbang:

He got the Wal at some point during or just before the recording of "Tin Drum" so he would probably have been playing it at the gig you went to. However I've seen videos on YouTube of Japan playing Tin Drum material live with Mick Karn using the Travis Bean, so he may have been using both at that point. Post-Japan, I don't think I've seen him play anything but the Wal.

There used to be a section on his web site about how all the Japan bass lines were recorded, and IIRC when he was using the Travis Bean just the high register parts were double-tracked to make them stand out.
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Re: Short-scale fretless electric bass

Post by Fishnish »

Mrs Fishnish now plays short scales after a car accident resulting in long term shoulder problems. She has a Chowny SWB 1 Fretless which she likes a lot, its well built and solid with a nice slim neck and fingerboard. Not what one could call a 'lightweight' short scale though! She's had it a few years now and I do notice the price on them has pretty much doubled since she got hers so now its not exactly at the budget end of things any more either.

She has an Ibanez GSRM20 Mikro short scale as a travel bass and had originally thought about getting another Mikro or one of those HB ones mentioned above to defret but the Chowny (at the time) worked out just as cheap and less faff. Given the current price of the Chowny doing it nowadays she might have chosen the other route. (That's not to take away from the Chowney which is a good solid well appointed instrument.)
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Re: Short-scale fretless electric bass

Post by BigRedX »

Chowny's have increased in price because production has been moved from the far east to the UK. Although with the way everything is going up, all the move has done is brought on the increase earlier. At least now sourcing them is easier.
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Re: Short-scale fretless electric bass

Post by Fishnish »

BigRedX wrote: Fri Sep 23, 2022 9:31 am Chowny's have increased in price because production has been moved from the far east to the UK. Although with the way everything is going up, all the move has done is brought on the increase earlier. At least now sourcing them is easier.


I wondered if a change of production venue might have been responsible. Yeah she'd been advised of a possible long lead time but it turned out to be pretty quick I seem to remember. Same with a Maruszczyk short scale J type bass she'd ordered up last year - was expecting it to be months and it turned out to be mere weeks. That's a nice bass too BTW
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