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?

1 Answer

  • 2 months ago
    Favorite 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!

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.