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Re: Sparce 'n Spacey, part 2: fretless guitar

>> Just recorded this impro with my fretless electric + sustaniac:
>> http://www.looproom.com/audio/Coastline.mp3

On 14 aug 2007, at 08.29, Michael Peters wrote:
> wonderful again Per ... argh, I'm jealous ... my new sustainer  
> fretless
> guitar is still being worked on ... maybe I'll get it next  
> weekend ... did
> it take long for you to learn to play fretless?

No. It's very easy actually, because you can slide into any micro  
tonal twist you long for. I think 1979 was the first time I tried  
fretless guitar. I got the idea from Philip Catherine who played with  
Larry Coryell. I did not like the way Catherine played it though, so  
I took off the frets from a guitar to see if it could be made to  
sound the way I wanted it to sound. It did not. The problem was way  
too short sustain and I left fretless to move on with other  
instruments. Then in 2002 I started to experiment with gaffa taping a  
tiny loudspeaker to the headstock and liked that mechanical sustain  
feedback very much.  So when I heard from Ted Kilian, some years ago  
on this list, about the C model Sustainiac I though this device might  
be the ultimate solution for getting the fretless sound I had been  
hoping for back in the seventies - and this time it worked out fine.

Before I slaughtered my Telecaster I read up on http:// 
www.unfretted.com/. Some things I discovered, that I did not know  
before, was that the action has to be set as low as possible,, at  
least for the sitar-like buzzing attack that I am going for. You also  
have to carefully plain the finger board and best is if you can cover  
it with some really hard material. So I'm hoping for making me a  
second fretless guitar in the future, with a finger board of some  
extremely hard wood, metal or glass. I like the combination of low  
output fender pickups on fretless because that typical dual-mic- 
telecaster-country-tone attack gets kind of perverted by the woody  
buzzing in a funny way. I've heard some fretless guitars with  
humbucker type pickups and really did not like that sound - kind of  
"too serious" sounding for my taste. Also, it seams as when playing  
with Sustaniac-C (the mechanical vibrator clamper thingy) I tend to  
like guitars that acoustically give vary short sustain, because they  
tend to go wilder (answer faster) to the vibrator. So I would really  
like to check out the Sustainiac with a jazz box some day. Hmm....  
should I get a Gibson L5 and pop off the frets...? (sorry, just  
kidding ;-)

Greetings from Sweden

Per Boysen
www.boysen.se (Swedish)
www.looproom.com (international)