What did upright bass player and blues legend Willie Dixon mean when he said that an electric bass with frets didn't have any action?
- Mr. SmartypantsLv 72 months agoFavorite Answer
The 'action' of a stringed instrument is the distance between the strings and the fingerboard. But I don't think that's the 'action' he was talking about.
A fretless instrument gives you more capability of bending notes. A bass line can be a lot more fluid and nuanced. It does take a little more skill. (Well, okay, a LOT more skill)
Search for 'fretless bass guitar' on YouTube and you'll see what I mean. Just about anyone who plays guitar can pick up a bass guitar and do a pretty fair job, but without frets, intonation is going to be harder (but more flexible!) In the hands of a real artist, a fretless bass can really SING!