The Best Fretless Bass Guitars in 2021 You Will Love

Are you looking for a new hobby to get into and are considering playing the bass guitar?

If you’ve done research online, you may have recently discovered that there are fretless bass guitars. A fretless bass guitar is a type of bass guitar that doesn’t have any fret on it.

Fretless bass guitars can be difficult to learn because it makes it challenging to identify notes. But, this fretless guitar produces a very warm sound. Plus, fretless bass guitars offer smooth playability that you won’t be able to find on other types of instruments. 

Keep in mind that if you’re just starting to learn the bass guitar, you should start off with a bass guitar with frets. However, suppose you already have experience with the bass guitar or another type of stringed instrument. In that case, you can always play around with a fretless electric bass.

After getting enough experience with a bass guitar as a beginner, you can switch over to a fretless bass guitar once you have a better understanding of the correct fingering positions. But, what are the best fretless bass guitars to purchase?

We’re here to help you with your buying journey. If you make the best possible purchasing decision for your wants and needs. Keep reading to learn more! 

Best Overall Ibanez SRH500 Check latest price
Premium Choice Fender Tony Franklin Check latest price
Great Value Fender Player Pau Ferro Check latest price 
Most Affordable Squier Fretless Jazz Bass Check latest price

How do you choose a fretless bass guitar to buy? 

When shopping around for a fretless bass guitar, you need to pay special attention to two details. Make sure you’re researching to ensure that you’re choosing the best fretless bass guitar model for yourself. Before you make any specific choice, you need to identify what your levels of skill are. 

You’ll also need to decide what your other personal preferences are, such as ease of playing and the design of the body. You also need to identify how much of a budget you want to spend on your guitar before you commit to shopping around for one.

fretless bass guitar

 Once you get an idea of how much you’re willing to spend on a guitar and what qualities you’re looking for, you can start searching around. Some many different brands and companies offer a variation of fretless bass guitars.

Depending on your experience playing the bass guitar, you may want to choose a brand that you’re used to playing with. While there are newer models of the fretless electric bass on the market, you may not feel like they’re as reliable as some models that have been on the market for a longer period of time.

If you’ve never played a fretless bass guitar in your entire life, be careful with your buying process. This is because you’re going to want to make sure that you are purchasing a model that’s comfortable for you to play on.

This is because a fretless bass guitar will drastically impact you’re playing efficiency, which means that you should be very careful when you’re shopping around for a model.

What are the best fretless bass guitars?

For you to truly get an idea of what’s out there on the market, it’s important for you to do research into some of the best fretless bass guitars. That’s why we’ve rounded up some of the best fretless bass guitars that have ever been produced, for you to make the best possible selection for your personal interests and playing styles.

Fender Squier Fretless Jazz Bass Guitar

 

Fender Squier Vintage Modified Fretless Jazz Bass Guitar

 

If you have been involved in the world of music for a little bit, you’ll likely recognize the brand name fender. Bender is one of the most well-known musical instrument manufacturers in the world. They produce some of the highest quality instruments ever to hit the market.

This bass guitar is one of their best selling fretless options. When looking at this instrument, you can tell if there’s been a lot of attention paid to this instrument’s structural design.

Plus, you’ll likely be able to see that’s the visual appeal of this instrument is nearly breathtaking. With three different Sunburst options available, you do have the option to customize your instrument a little bit.

 Besides a stunning visual appeal, you’ll also notice, but there is an exceptional sound quality produced from this fretless electric bass guitar. You’ll also notice that there’s a smooth functioning to the instrument, as well as playability that almost makes it seem like it takes no effort to run a few notes on this instrument.

You’ll find of this guitar has two single coil Pickups. Plus, it has three-knob controllers that offer musicians the ability to completely customize the fretless sound and tone that this fretless guitar produces.

The neck has a gloss tint on it, which just adds to how easy it is to play this guitar. Weighing in at around 13 pounds, you’ll find that it’s just as easy to carry this instrument around as it is to play it.

Pros:

  • Different color options to choose from
  • High-quality sound
  • Smooth functioning
  • Three-knob controllers
  • Customizable sounds
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Small humming noise produced
  • The finish isn’t the best you’ll ever see

Ibanez Bass Workshop SRH500F Fretless Bass Guitar

 

Ibanez Bass Workshop SRH500F Fretless Bass Guitar

 

This Gorillaz bass guitar is loaded with a bunch of different features that make it unique from all of the other bass guitar options on this list. This bass guitar has a semi-hollow body. It even comes with an F-hole.

 When looking at this instrument’s body, you’ll also notice that there is Spruce used for the top of the guitar. The sides and back are made with mahogany. You won’t find this with any other fretless electric bass guitar on the market, which makes this instrument so much different from all other options on this list. It’s even hard to find with regularly shredded bass guitars.

The wood used in this instrument’s body, it produces a tone that’s has a full sound when you’re playing it. The neck of this bass guitar is made with a combination of Walnut and jatoba wood. The fingerboard is made with Panga panga, a type of wood commonly used in replacement for Rose Wood.

It also offers dot inlays that act as a way to mark fret placements. Also, it has small black lines that act are the type of visual indicator to lead a musician known where they need to position their fingers to play the right notes.

But that’s not where this fretless bass guitar stops. It also offers outstanding quality electronics. This bass guitar has an AeroSilk piezo pickup setup best used on the bass guitar of this instrument. With this setup alone, you can shape both the tone and the volume of this bass guitar completely with the use of the control knob.

Read our full guide on how to find the best Fender Precision bass guitar.

Pros:

  • The size of the instrument makes it easy to handle
  • Great tone range
  • Lightweight
  • Amazing acoustic sound

Cons:

  • Headstock bias
  • Doesn’t deliver a booming performance

Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass Guitar

 

fender tony franklin

 

This next fretless bass guitar isn’t going to leave any fender fans disappointed. When you pick up this bass guitar, you can tell that there’s been a lot of attention to detail focused on it this instrument.

Before you and put your hands on this fretless bass guitar, you’ll likely notice the high-quality aesthetic. Plus, this bass guitar’s elegant black color will make it stand out from the other bass guitar options on this list.

Starting off with a neck, you’ll notice that it’s me with a high-quality Maplewood and is formed in the modernist c-shape. Plus, the body itself is made with a robust Alder. A fingerboard is made of Ebony and contains position markers to help musicians guide their hands as they play.

There are also vintage tuners installed on this guitar. Also, a three-directional blade switch provides the musician with complete control over the fretless sound and overall performance of this bass guitar.  This bass guitar is a little bit heavier than other available options, weighing in at 28 pounds. However, this guitar’s extra added weight greatly improves both the sound Clarity and the functionality that it has to offer. 

Pros:

  • Great feel
  • Electronics are high-quality
  • Easy and fun to play on
  • Quality tone

Cons:

  • The bridge pickup has a trendy of coming unscrewed
  • The case that comes with this guitar isn’t very useful
  • Unbalanced pickups

Fender Player Fretless Jazz Bass Guitar

 

fender player jazz electric bass guitar

 

This fretless bass guitar is for musicians that are looking for a vintage-inspired instrument. Even though the price of was bass guitar is impressively low compared to many other available options on this list, it isn’t a low-quality choice.

You’ll find that the body of this instrument is made with Alder Wood, and it has a modern C-shaped neck. The wood that’s used in the composition of the neck is Maple and is complemented with a Pau Ferro fingerboard. The weather for fingerboard is comprised of is an option that used to replace the traditional Rosewood.

Also, there are AlnicoMagnets are used in a single-coil configuration. He’ll find one magnet on the bridge and the other located in the middle of the guitar. Plus, there are also two volume knobs. There’sOne volume knob for each pick up on the guitar will allow you to truly blend your two signals to create your own custom sound. 

Pros:

  • Incredibly sound
  • Easy to play out of the box
  • High-quality growl and punch
  • Outstanding pickups

Cons:

  • Comes with an unlined fretboard
  • Intonation slightly off on some bass strings

FAQs

Question: How do you play a fretless bass guitar?

Answer: Suppose you’re truly interested in taking the plunge into playing it at fellows bass guitar. In that case, you’re likely wondering if it’s difficult to play this instrument.

Thankfully, it’s not very difficult to play the fretless bass guitar. If you already know how to play the bass guitar, it’s just going to take you a slight adjustment to get used to playing the fretless bass guitar.

Keep in mind that you will have to make a slight change to your’re playing technique and practice a little bit to truly get the hang of playing this instrument. All of the notes that you play on a fretted bass guitar are intonated by pressing your fingers down on the string of the bass guitar.

But with a fretless bass guitar, you have to press your finger down on the string and make sure that your fretting finger is placed in the position where the Fret would normally be. By pushing the string downwards towards where the fretFretld is located, you’re creating the note’s tuning.

Many people who play the fretless bass guitar use their right hands. Depending on what playing style you enjoy playing, you may also be wondering if you can slap on a fretless bass guitar. The answer is yes.
Slapping on a fretless bass guitar is possible, even though there are some people who may disagree with this statement. Keep in mind that it can be very difficult for you to slap on a fretless bass guitar because it could be difficult to make sure that the notes you’re playing Have the correct intonation. 

Question: Why would someone want to play the fretless bass guitar?

Answer: Suppose you’re somebody that has a lot of musical experience. In that case, you may be wondering why someone would want to choose to play the fretless bass guitar over the fretted bass guitar.

With a fretless bass guitar, you have the ability to have more freedom to move your fingers around the fingerboard. This means that you can easily slide in between notes that you’re playing. This is the biggest advantage that fretless bass guitars have to offer over a fretted bass guitar.

A fretless bass guitar gives musicians the ability to create their own distinctive sound. However, that doesn’t mean that the fretless bass guitar doesn’t come with its own disadvantages.

One of the most controversial things about the fretless bass guitar is that you can’t use vibrato in the same way that you would with a fretted bass guitar. Well, it’s not impossible to play vibrato on a fretless bass guitar, it certainly is a lot easier to do so on an instrument with frets.

This is because you can seat a guitar string to relieve some of the pressure that you’re applying to move a guitar string up and down. When you’re playing on a fretless bass guitar, you’ll have to perform the most necessary for vibrato by moving your finger side to side.

Keep in mind that some musicians find this to be a lot more comfortable and easy to control. Also, with this same method, you can create a more exaggerated vibrato sound. 

Question: What type of sound does a fretless bass guitar have?

Answer: Many musicians find a fretless bass guitar that has a woody and smooth sound to it. They don’t have the same metallic sound that many other electric bass guitars tend to have. You’ll notice that a fretless bass guitar has a rounded tone with very noticeable lows.

The sound that a fretless bass guitar produces is a huge part of the reason why so many people equivalate fretless bass guitars to jazz music.

Question: Do you have to use certain types of strings on a fretless bass guitar?

Answer: The type of strains that you use on your fretless bass guitar will largely contribute to this type of sound that your instrument is producing.

This is the same as with any type of bass guitar that you use. However, there are certain types of strings that you should use on a fretless bass guitar. This is because of the design of the bass strings best suited a fretless bass guitar. 

Roundwound strings are one of the types of strings that work the best on fretless bass guitars. They helped to deliver an aggressive but bright, sound.

Roundwound strings are made with a nickel core that’s wrapped with wire. The reason why this type of string is best used on a fretless bass guitar is that they are the least likely to leave grooves or indentations in the bear fingerboard of your fretless bass guitar.

The other type of string that works best on fretless bass guitars is a round wound string. They offer a slick and fast feel compared to other types of strings. The wire wrap construction of the strings gives them the warm sound that fretless bass guitars are best known for.

What fretless bass guitar is the best to invest in?

The best bass guitar for you to invest in is the Ibanez Bass Workshop SRH500F Fretless bass guitar. Not only is this bass guitar easy to carry around because of how lightweight it is.

It also has an outstanding tone range that makes it an amazing instrument for musicians of all genres to play. The biggest downside of using this instrument is the low headstock, but this isn’t that big of a deal for many musicians. 

Plus, this fretless bass guitar is a lot more affordable to invest in compared to other available options on the market. You even can choose between four-string fretted bass guitars, 5-string fretted bass guitars, and of course the fretless option.

So there truly is something here for you with this bass guitar, even if you aren’t interested in playing the fretless option. With the tone and playing performance of this bass guitar, you certainly won’t be disappointed.

Best Overall
Ibanez SRH500 Bass Guitar
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We may receive compensation from the companies whose products we review. We only recommend products that we believe in and test.
Premium Choice
Fender Tony Franklin Fretless
$2,049.99
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We may receive compensation from the companies whose products we review. We only recommend products that we believe in and test.
09/23/2021 06:16 am GMT
Great Value
Fender Player Pau Ferro Fretless
$799.99
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We may receive compensation from the companies whose products we review. We only recommend products that we believe in and test.
09/23/2021 07:46 am GMT
Most Affordable
Squier by Fender Fretless Jazz Bass
$479.99
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We may receive compensation from the companies whose products we review. We only recommend products that we believe in and test.
09/22/2021 10:47 pm GMT

Conclusion

Of course, there are a lot more fretless bass guitar options than we have put on this list. If you find one of the bass guitars on this list fit what you’re looking for, always go out and look to see if there’s anything else that you can find that best suits what your needs and preferences are.

When you’re shopping around for a fretless bass guitar, always make sure that you play around with the instrument Before you invest your money in it. This makes sure that you are entirely comfortable with the instrument before you finally decide to make your investment.

What guitar is your instrument to play on? We love to hear what your thoughts are in the comment section down below!

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