Defretting Basses

My brother has an older bass and we want to defret it for awesome sound. So does anyone know how? We need to know:

  1. What you need

2)Step-by-step instuctions


You might like to ask your question at the MusicPlayer Expert Forums. The bass forum is called The Low Down Lowdown. Lots of knowlegeable people there (even some famous guys). I’ve gotten quite a bit of good info there.

I defretted my first bass, more or less following these instructions. Also found another version here. I’m sure a general search will turn up a lot more advice.

The defret job I did on mine turned out playable, but I am glad it was an old cheap bass. It wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be, and I have some woodworking experience. The fingerboard has to be very, very straight, and even with a sanding block, it’s easy to get some little ripples. It’s a doable project, but I don’t recommend doing it on an expensive bass.

I still have that old defretted bass, by the way. I leave it at my parents’ house and play it when I visit. I’ve bought several other basses since then, all fretless.

There’s another way to go, if you’re not sure you’re accurate enough to play fretless. Don Was had a bass built with wooden frets. He gets the warm, fuzzy sound of a fretless, but he gets accurate note placements.