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Here are some bass lines from a few Big Sir songs. If you are unfamiliar with Big Sir, you may recognize the bass player as Juan Alderete from The Mars Volta. If that still doesn’t ring a bell, I urge you to check out both groups and buy all their music.
I’ve selected four great bass lines that display Juan’s great facility on the fretless bass (I hope I’m doing him justice!). His lines are lyrical and very groovy. You can dance to and sing these bass lines easily. They support the tune, the vocals, and are quite catchy. That is melodicism my friends.
If you are just starting on the fretless, these lines are simple enough for you grasp and to help you develop some of your own ideas, while being melodic. I’ve always felt that the fretless has to be somewhat melodic in order to showcase its distinct tone, otherwise, you might as well use a fretted.
Seeing as these are all fretless bass lines, the hardest part is going to be the intonation. You may want to practice these on fretted first to get the fingerings and proper tuning in your head. This way you won’t develop any bad habits if you attempt the fretless right away. That being said, if you feel confident or if you are already experienced on the fretless, then by all means, go for it.