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Re: fretless looping guitars

on 3/15/01 5:40 PM, Curtis P Seiss at seisscp@washpost.com wrote:

> hello everyone.  my name is curt, and i am intrigued by the fretless 
> thread to the point of considering removing the frets from an old hondo
> electric (6 string) thats been sitting in its case for quite sometime.   
> have little use for the guitar, as i have several of higher quality that 
> use frequently for my own brand of loop based compositions...   more to 
> point, what would be the 'correct' way to go about removing the frets...?
> it  seems straight forward enough, but any advice/tips/strategies would 
> most appreciated.
Removing the frets is a matter of care, patience and gentle craft. Once
removed without damage to the fretboard the difficult bit is to fill the
grooves left by the frets (unless you get a luthier to replace the 
altogether). In my first experiment I used very fine saw-dust mixed with
natural carpenter's glue, filled with the resulting paste, left to dry
properly, sanded carefully...
Something to be considered is that, in order to obtain a decent sound with
some "body" you need thicker strings - I have tried various combinations 
am now using some electric bass and some metal wound mid-gauge guitar
strings. This results in a lower tone and different tuning, it also 
strengthening the bridge and saddle as the strings' pull is stronger and
could easily rip the bridge off (or simply not keep the intonation).
There is plenty of room for experiments!
> ---just a little info about myself...    ive been playing stringed
> instruments of all type for about 15 years, and have recently been
> introducing more oscillator based electronics into my studio.  as far as
> looping goes, i hold closely to a minimalist aesthetic, but often work 
> other musicians in live situations.  being a newbie to the list, i would
> enjoy being exposed to anyone's music who would care sending along their
> respective URL's.    i am enjoying the tracks on 'pseudobuddha' as we
> speak.  the track "gra"  would be described as "free-world music"...   i
> love it!
Check www.rustyrobot.com - in the catalogue area you find two of my CDs 
a lot of (loosely and not "mechanically") looped fretless guitar.
A new CD is under production with a mixture of my guitars and Chieko's
wonderful Kodo and Shamisen, looped live...
The site is under refurbishment and hopefully in the next few weeks the new
version (including credit card transaction) will be uploaded.

> thanks for your time, and many thanks for this list.


Roberto Battista
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