Ned Evett Fretless Guitar Blog: 'An Introduction to Fretless Guitar'
Hi, I'm Ned Evett, I'm a singer-songwriter fretless guitarist.
In 1998, after several years of building, unbuilding and experimenting with fretless guitars, I decided it was time to put together an album using the fretless guitar exclusively. I named the album An Introduction to Fretless Guitar after my favorite Ravi Shankar album, An Introduction to Indian Music.
Recorded at my Ocean Beach area apartment in San Francisco, California, the album features 10 of my original compositions. The album came out in 2000 and is my only instrumental record.
At the heart of this recording effort was my Fernandes Native Pro with a sustainer pickup and my trademark glass fingerboards. Sustainer pickups function as electronic bowing devices that excite the strings into motion using electromagnetism. I developed a sound using a two-handed technique while engaging the sustainer pickup and eliminating most of the attack, creating an almost backwards envelope. This technique opens the album on the song "Singing Bowl."
For additional pizzaz on the song "Cantadada," I utilized prepared guitar techniques by attaching sinker weights to the strings on my Stella acoustic fretless, giving the rolling arpeggios on that song a bell like sound. Overall on the album I used an MXR Dynacomp into a Sovtek Mig100 with a Fender speaker cabinet for the electric guitar sounds. My friend Kevin Woodhouse of San Francisco plays tabla on the Indian-inspired "Transcendental Floss."
Here is An Introduction to Fretless Guitar for you to enjoy in its entirety on Bandcamp.
Here's a video of my fretless sustainer technique shot in early 2000: