Silver and the Serengeti Strat

Silver, Zebra, Bunny, Sheep, and the Serengeti Strat.

I assembled a new Serengeti Strat (Ron Blood named the guitar). You might notice that there are no frets on the neck of my new creation. It’s like a guitarist’s version of “free the frau, burn the bra!” by going fretless with “free the neck, burn the frets!”

Since I don’t have time to make a video with the Sereneti Strat, you can hear what it sounds like in the song below I’m calling Fretless Pow Wow. It’s noisy and dissonant, and gives you a really good idea of how the Serengeti Strat sounds.


Fretless Pow Wow

Music and Lyrics by Timothy Price
Guitar and Bass: Timothy Price
Drums assembled and arranged by Timothy Price

“How their corruption divides us
As they use their words to hurt us
While their narrow minds disturb us
Because their intolerance aggrieves us
They use their love and peace to kill us!”

28 thoughts on “Silver and the Serengeti Strat

  1. My computer sound is not currently working so I can’t comment on that, unfortunately. But I love all the black and white, Silver, and the toys. 🙂

  2. This is very interesting. I knew there are fretless bass guitars but I’ve never seen a fretless guitar… My friend used to play a fretless bass and I tried it too years ago. I loved the sound of Mick Karn, the (occasionally) fretless bass player from the English band Japan (1974-1982).

    • Hi Herman. Fretless guitars are rare and very expensive, unless you assemble one yourself like I did. I put the Serengiti Strat together for $130. You have to be more accurate when playing a fretless neck, and it’s difficult to bend strings, but you can slide on the strings instead of bending them. I ended up putting on heaver gage, flat wound strings.

      • Wow, that’s very cheap for such a beautiful guitar. I talked with my best friend this afternoon and mentioned your guitar. He’s a guitar player and told me that he had never seen a fretless guitar in his life.

      • Hi Herman. This is what Lewis, my guitar guru, had to say about the guitar and song:

        “Ya know, I’ve never liked fretless guitars. Thankfully there have only been a few of them and usually their wielders have the good sense not to play em out loud around decent folk. They don’t really offer much over the fretted variety except rampant glissandi, chords are damn near impossible and melodies are most likely gonna be outta tune like a muffugga. Nope, never liked em a bit.

        Ah but then you come along and take advantage of those “features” to create a most pleasing noise. Nicely done young man. I still don’t want one mind ya but thanks for proving they can, in the right hands, be most musical. It’s a good lookin’ critter too. Way to go!”

        As I explained to Lewis, there were two main reason I wanted to have to put together a fretless beast:

        1) I figured I could get the action really low (I was right). However, I ended up putting medium gage flat wound strings on it. I couldn’t feel the light gage strings much at all with my numb fingertips.

        2) Having numb fingertips, I figured it would be good for working on accuracy. I still really stumble around a lot on all guitars when I play. And I have a super hard time with playing above the 12th fret. It’s really frustrating. I noticed right off that without the frets playing above the 12th fret is easier because can change my hand position slightly and get my fingers close to where the frets would be with out having to deal with the verticality of the frets.

  3. Your Fretless Pow Wow sounds free and burning hot. All those killed are now revived and restored. You have quite a way with music and spirit 🦄

  4. Okay, love the guitar on this. It sounds terrific! Your playing is definitely Burn The Bra Free!
    I’ll try to loop this and draw to it!

    • Thanks, Resa. I can’t wait to see what kind of wild sketches you will come up with.

  5. One of my friends played a fretless guitar once. He said it was a different experience. Mack also said you really need to be a skilled guitarist to handle it. He said he was so-so at playing the instrument.

    • Hi David. You have to be accurate. You have to press where the frets would be on the neck, not between where the frets would be like you do on a fretted neck. If an experienced guitarist doesn’t realize that and does not adjust where he’s playing, he will be playing flat or sharp, and chords will be out of tune.

      For me and my numb, arthritic fingers it’s working out nicely because I have the guitar setup with super low action and I don’t have to deal with the straight angles of the frets above the 12th fret. I simply have to press where the fret would be at a more comfortable angle for my hand. Bending strings is difficult, but I can glissando instead of bending the strings, or get a slight bend and glissando.

      If you read my comment to Herman where I quoted Lewis’ email comment about fretless guitars, you will get an idea of what normally happens when people play them. Lewis is a super musician and guitarist extraordinaire.

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