New Civilization News: Fretless Perceptions    
 Fretless Perceptions30 comments
picture5 Apr 2008 @ 20:29, by Max Sandor

The other day I finished a conversion from a 'normal' guitar to a fretless one, giving me the inspiration to consider anew some unresolved questions:

- whereas the ability to 'classify' is the hallmark for human intelligence (some schools using it as its actual definition), continued use appears to result in a degrade of the original ability to perceive what was classified).

The most dramatic example is human language, of course. Count Alfred Korzybski was going so far to base insanity in general upon the misuse of identifying (literally) an actual object (thing) with the word that is representing it. (see [link] )

Earlier this year I was experimenting with a new rundown to "remove the bias on perceptions". The results were astonishing and clearly demonstrate that language is just one example of self-imposed limitations and the problem lies deep in the Being's loss of the ability to differentiate perceptions.

But back to the 'fretless guitar': playing with frets only allows for playing combinations of the Western tone scale (if tuned to usual standards). Of course, one could detune the entire guitar but that would result in yet another closed framework of sounds. Like painting only with 7 colors in 3 or 4 shadings. On the other hand the modern guitar works exceedingly well the way it is. Going back, at least for the experiment, is quite a feat. Forces to listen carefully instead of just playing mechanically.

On my long, long list of actual perceptions (much much longer than Hubbard's confused arrangement of 57 perceptions) is the perception of the archetype of a person. Which is another perfect example of a lost ability even amongst most of those who think of themselves as experts, for example in the field of 'Orishas'.
Resetting the classification and 'refinding' it from scratch provided a great way to enhance perceptions.

Now I gotta get back to practice the guitar for some months (years?)...

oh well, hope my hands&arms don´t fall off...

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6 Apr 2008 @ 02:23 by Merlin Silk @ : also bottomless
hmmm, that guitar is not only fret-less but also bottom-less - which is in itself a symbol for another limitation that we usually accept.

Removing the frets symbolizes the transition of discrete to continuous words to describe perceptions.
Removing the body expands a limited volume to the whole of existence making that what can be perceived infinitely larger.

But now, a body-less guitar sounds very thin - what is that a symbolism for???

O yeah, I know, when we expand too much we might get lost, or better evenly distributed throughout all existence, with no nodes and thus without a game.

Man, I just wanted to comment on the missing body and became so deeply philosophical!  

6 Apr 2008 @ 07:50 by vaxen : Hey now...
Max, that's a beautiful Guitar. Resembles a fretless base. Electronic? Could be a blast depending on whether or not you like advanced electronic music experimentation.

I think you might love the Arabic Oud. Of course in Arabic music, you can see this in Flamenco (Cante Hondo) too, we find the existance of the quarter tone and it is used extensively in Arabic musics.

Chinese music, as well, but the untrained western ear cannot hear the quarter tone thus finds Orientalische musics quite boring which it is anything but. Oum Kul Tum, Farid El Atrash, Fairuz, Shech Zhozho, Eliyahu Il Khal...a few wonderful Arabic musicians.

I majored in Classical guitar and studied with Joseph Bacon, with some seminars with Andres Segovia and Julian Breams and others. In the middle east I fell in love with the oud.

Arabic music was the subject of my thesis and love of my heart also Hassidic music.

If you've been away from it for awhile, playing the guitar, you'll have to develope those finger calluses again! Ouch! Good luck and wish you had some of your own music to share with us. Maybe in the future?

I thought Hubbie developed 55 perceptics? Where cometh the 57? Heinz? ;)


6 Apr 2008 @ 14:15 by mx @ : oud
yes, vaxen, it sounds like an oud...

i'm still too humble to present my own noises here, so listen to this

or, more out of tune, a Tom Waits instrumental here  

6 Apr 2008 @ 15:44 by Ed Dawson @ : Le Oud
Le Oud (lute) is an outgrowth of the Greek lyre. The lyre went three directions:
1. harps
2. lute/oud
3. viol family

There was/is a transitional instrument between lute and viol that still survives in Wales called a "crwth". It is a lyre with a fretless finger board, that can be plucked OR bowed. But it has a flat bridge so when bowed it sounds like an organ or accordion crossed with a bagpipe. Why bagpipe? because of the drone strings:


6 Apr 2008 @ 16:25 by solomoreno : That's rock-n-roll
Awesome, awesome post. As a songwriter, I lament often because the way I choose to play music, i.e. with a guitar, verse/chorus/bridge structure, western tone scale, etc., feels so paralyzing. Yet, I listen to songwriters like Elliott Smith and realize that he's working with the same limitations as I am and yet his songs are so gorgeous, so engaging. It helps me accept my limitations and accept that there always will be limitations in expression. I mean, expression is limitation, is it not? Is it not carving the "uncarved block of wood?"

Speaking of listening carefully, when the fiddle player in my celtic rock band became heavily intoxicated (which was quite regularly), the alcohol would numb his ears. He would rudely and unprofessionally yell at the rest of us onstage, "Turn my ****ing monitor up!!!" Because with a fretless instrument one has to listen so much intensely to be sure of pitch. We would oblige to a certain volume but it would never be enough. Sometimes he concluded his participation by smashing his fiddle! That's rock-n-roll!!!  

8 Apr 2008 @ 17:09 by dario @ : ogunda e okanran
in my opinion, persons who do not differentiate the object and what it is representing have problem with ogunda and okanran polarities...

or better, they confuse ogunda with okanran...  

8 Apr 2008 @ 17:22 by mortimer : Jaco Loves Fretless Perceptions

8 Apr 2008 @ 17:45 by Ed Dawson @ : to Dario
Close, excellent! :)

The actual confused polarities of persons who do not differentiate between the object and what it is representing, is ogunda/osa AND obara/okanran as a cross or wheel. In practical use in session either solo or with a twin, it is worded "inside/outside" for good results.

Obara is the inside of the inside. This is the Self (atman) which cannot be contacted because the looker cannot look at itself.

Ogunda is the outside of the inside. The looker can look at its own opinions, but these are a map which definitely is NOT the territory!

Okanran is the outside of the outside. It is totally objective. It is the territory which the Mind (composed of ogunda) maps.

Osa is the inside of the outside. Osa indicates that ogunda's mapping is all a lie, that nothing is ever really fixed anywhere...

Confusing, associating or identifying the above four functions creates a hell for a Being.


9 Apr 2008 @ 00:41 by mx @ : Vaxen, my other fretless is a..
6-string bass.. last Sunday in action with our Sao Roque (literally Holy Rock!) house & family band, starring Anthony on Vocals, pandeiro, and some occasional bass hits (also literally).

the still is from a lively video that was made (stay tuned for a major release, ooh my gawd!!).

But all programs that I tried to convert the quicktime clips from the camera until now failed for one reason or another... in other words, I can't input them into Pinnacle... hmm

SOLOMORENO: since I am the boss in the house (band), or so I do believe, I crank up the bass as I like to, haha.. .. do you have any pics to share? website? sounds like an awesame band :-)  

9 Apr 2008 @ 04:50 by Ed Dawson @ : woo-hoo!
Looks like fun, Max!  

9 Apr 2008 @ 05:59 by vaxen : Yeah!
Sure does. Fretless is definitely the way to go bass wise. Point counterpoint. Oneness of subject and object? Defintely Maha Yana...

Now that I think about it that lead off pic of yours, Mx, really resembles a stick! Ever hear of, or play, a stick? Fantastic instrument.

Thanks for the links Mx.
and Zazzle blog:

Ed: The real transition point was the Vihuela De Mano. Miguel De Fuenallana was a Vihuelist. There are other instruments, too, such as the Chittara...saying that the oud originated with the lyre is itself straining at a gnat...but Musicologists are a funny bunch. I think we should go back into the mists of time and not stop off at Greece for the origins of the Guitar. Lots of instruments in Africa, as an example, resemble the guitar or are guitar like. Anyhow it's nice to know there are so many musicians here! And a Keltic Rock band sounds extremely interesting solomoreno. Cymraeg dysgu?  

9 Apr 2008 @ 19:54 by Ed Dawson @ : Vaxen
Greek lyre was spread throughout the mediterranean by the Romans. The Romans owned north africa. The crwth was an instrument which did double duty as both plucked with fingers and bowed, and it was used during the middle ages throughout europe. The lyre gave rise to the harp and crwth. The crwth became viol types, and also percolated east into the mid-east, and south into africa and came back as banjos and ouds. And the ouds gave rise to first the lutes, then the guitar family.

That said, the lyre is probably not only from Greece. Music is international and I'll bet the instruments spread fast... so we just use the greek name for the lap harp, even though it probably originated in Egypt...

Am I learning welsh, you ask? A bit. I have 12,000 words of a novel (incomplete) or novella sitting on my computer, which story is set in early 7th century Elmet, and the majority of the characters in it are local welsh. I had to do research on customs, dress, food, drink, military equipment, etc.


10 Apr 2008 @ 01:14 by mx @ : stick ????
Vaxen, unless you thought about a berimbau (see picture). I never made noise with a stick specifically other than hitting drums...
tell us more about 'stick playing'!!  

10 Apr 2008 @ 02:33 by vaxen : The Stick
Here ya go Baba The body of your guitar, in the pic above, reminded me of the polycarbonate body of the stick...and the feel of it is so cool that it just inspires 'deep space song...'

Good for you Ed! Ryddyvu Aesyeu Dysgu Cymraeg (Largely phonetic spelling, except Cymraeg,as it has been years since I created a class for the study of Welsh Gaelic, Cymraeg, at the University of the tower).

I left because I was practicing Keltic Witchcraft at the time and the class ended up drawing a lot of Welsh Christians desirous of learning Cymraeg so they could speak adequately whilst vacationing in the old country.

Clash of cultures, needless to say, and I ended up getting a lot of prayers said for me...told em to stuff it. Bad thing to do. Good old Saint David. ;)

Great pic mx. Is that partially a dance as well?  

10 Apr 2008 @ 02:43 by vaxen : Here...
is another photo of 'the stick' with Emmett Chapman playing the 'ten stringed grand...'
The wider fretboard of this 10-string stereo Stick model provides more room for the fingers. Center-to-center string spacing is .350" as opposed to .315" on our standard 10-string Sticks. The space between the two groups of strings is also wider, at .500" instead of the standard .430".

Some "stick" forums:

Some "stick" resources:

Some "stick" artist sites:

Some "stick" manufacturers sites:

A variety of "stick" types:

And tunings:

So imagine a 'stick' band! It's percussive, too! Mama mio! Note, also, the MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) pickup!!! Can be ordered 'fretless' and, to my way of thinking/thinging that's the way to go. You'd love it Mx. I like the ten string grand...fretless, of course. Ever hear of the Hungarian Bassist by the name of Miklos` Harzegi? Plays fretless bass in and out of Budapesti...

This isn't him, needless to say...
It's Grace Chapman on the SB8

Some of Greg Howards CD Dumps so you can see what a stick sounds like:

Have fun...  

10 Apr 2008 @ 14:23 by solomoreno : My Celtic Rock Days
I WAS in a Celtic rock band. I left in 2005. But I do still get royalty checks!!! (Okay, so maybe they're not million dollar checks). Anways, you can find them at

Here I am playing with them at the Dublin Irish Festival in Columbus, OH:

Here we are playing at Whistle Binkie's in Edinburgh, Scotland (We also played in Glasgow...the year before, in Dublin, Limerick and King's Court in Ireland):

10 Apr 2008 @ 18:53 by Ed dawson @ : St David
What's amusing about the main saints of that post-Roman period is that Dewi Sant was reputed to be the son of Irish immigrants living in south-west wales. And he is their greatest of saints! And to keep things even funnier is that the top irish saint, Patrick, was a welshman from the area of what is now Somerset.

So the most revered saint in wales is Irish, and the most revered saint in Ireland is Welsh.

Go figure! :)))

10 Apr 2008 @ 20:47 by mx @ : St Anthony plucking fretless bass..
some people complained about the fuzzy picture above (from a video)...
here is a better one:  

10 Apr 2008 @ 22:15 by Ed Dawson @ : strummin'
He is so cute. ...and he's already strumming!  

19 Apr 2008 @ 06:19 by Ed Dawson, for Valarie @ : Val's icon
Hey Max, look at Valarie's icon she uses. Yeah, pink and black is Yewa...

This icon is called "little witch", and that is what you called her, remember?  

28 Apr 2008 @ 14:58 by vaxen : YHVH?
YHVH also pronounced 'Yewa.' Ha Shem is also pronounced in other ways. ;) Cute...

This thread is getting quite colorful, eh? Here's a bit more to 're-flect' upon. Oneness of subject and object where you are both the subject and the object...have a peek, take a poke.  

2 May 2008 @ 13:22 by luc @ : slide Guitar
OHI Famiglia !!!
Nice to write here. It is also interesting to have a look into this tool used on guitar to have a special sound and effect. ( see, but for the traditionalist- modern-24 scale- bach well temperate system, I suggest to see or also

A big hello to all of you !


3 May 2008 @ 04:19 by Ed Dawson @ : rita zousel
should play on here tooo... :-)  

3 May 2008 @ 18:37 by mx @ : a gift from Luc...
meant to mention all the time that the guitar used for the experiment had been a gift from Luc some years ago :-) thanks again and I hope you don't mind my modifications!

haven't found your website when I wrote the article and skipped your mentioning for later....  

3 May 2008 @ 19:43 by luc @ : slide guitar
Glad to be part of your research.
Violinists have the same matter all the time and especially in the beginning the student-violinist put his effort to build the well temperate system in an instrument that could be considered out of this system. That's why we close our ears when we listen the very first violin lesson: our mind set on the west system cannot recognize those sounds .
What do you think about slide-guitar? I think it goes in almost in the direction of your open discussion. As I know slide guitar has been used in the beginning blues music and also in some other context. I like the effect and guitar must have metal string .

All the best for all

Luc Guitar ( my art name....)  

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