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Lesson 1


The most important point in practicing fretless guitar is intonation. Intonation means accuracy of pitch in playing or singing. Most of the time you hear some singers and instrumentalist play or sing detuned notes.It means they are out of the and intonation. Intonation of fretless guitar is hard as the other fretless instruments.Playing the right notes is getting harder when the distance between the notes is getting closer.

Please download the backing track under this video and practice these major scales on its own BPM . Be careful not to make “vibrato” let look the exercises.

Lesson 2

Cmajor Scale Exercise

Lesson 2 – Cmajor Scale Exercise

First i would like to take the Cmajor scale.We are going to start from the Low “E” string and play the scale through the whole string of course where the strings allows us to play . Let me remind you again don’t make “vibrato”. Lets take a look at the exercises.

Start from the low “E”. E-F-G-A-B-C-D-E. when we came to the 12’th fret we change the string and do the same scale starting from “A” string.

We need to practice horizontally and without vibrato.

Now we can practice the same scale using the open strings . As you recognize its normal like the fretted guitar positions . Now in the other exercise we are going to practice the same scale with using “vibrato” and “glissando” technique.

Lesson 3

Glissando technique

In this exercise we are in the same C major scale but this time we are going to play with “Glissando technique” Glissando means a rapid series of ascending or descending notes on the musical scale. Every time i am on the same scale , of course you need to practice these exercises on every scale and it gives you approximately 45 minutes of exercise and i believe this will improve your intonation day by day.

Now i am going to play E-F-G and i come to the A with glissando with my first finger .B-C and i come to D with glissando with my first finger. Please switch the strings and practice the technique .

Glissando is very important while expressing the melodies on fretless guitar. The usage of the technique is personal, i mean when will you make it ? Or which part to the melody comes with glissando depends on your wishes.

I prefer 2 single notes and 1 glissando but you can play different of course. Lets move on to the other exercises.

Lesson 4

Carpma Technique

This is the most important technique of Turkish music instruments. It looks like the hammer on pull off technique in the fretted guitar. But of course there is huge difference between these two techniques. We play the “Çarpma” technique to give much more meaning to a melody. Its very hard to write this technique musically. We can write like grace note buts its not same. Let take a look to the exercise.

Again we start from the A note and with make the “çarpma” while playing the “B” note. Please look the video carefully because its very hard explain by writing.

Lesson 5

Carpma Technique 2

Lets take a look at the “çarpma” technique in our right hand.Generally Turkish music instruments are played with pick with down and up strokes. Of course they are using alternate pickings but most of the time the strong feeling comes from down strokes.

As we are a guitar player we can use the tirando and appoendo technique together.

On fretless guitar we have another right hand technique its between tirando&apoendo . It sounds warmer than tirado and softer than appoendo.

Press the strings through the sound hole and leave it. You will make the “çarpma” according to your wishes but i prefer to make it in the phrases which i want to push it more.

Please look at the video carefully.

Lesson 6

Carpma Technique 3 (Right Hand)

In the previous video we train our pinky with the “çarpma” technique.Lets go for the other melodic examples.In this exercise we combine the two techniques “çarpma” and glissando.Some times we came to the note with different fingers and this improves your playing.

Lesson 7

Carpma Technique 4 (Left Hand)

Lets make much more “çarpma”…and lets play the bass notes while we are playing the melodies with “çarpma” technique.

Lesson 8

“Çarpma” Technique – Electric Guitar

Lets have look at “Çarpma” technique with pick.In Turkish music, instruments generally played by pick and in this time up&down stokes takes a big roll while making this technique. I prefer to use a hard tension pick the have warm and fat sound of course. We use all the alternate pickings while playing the çarpma.
Lets hear what we have. Again we are on the same notes.In the first execise we are playing with only down strokes. Now its a little bit hard to have a rich sound with pick you need practice a lot to get a warmer sound and fluently playing. On fretted guitar most of the time we use alternate picking to play the notes.”Çarpma” in fretless gtr you can use both only down stroke and up stroke. I prefer to use alternate because its much more economic. If you play only upstroke you get a punchy sound. Of course you need practice everything and you will choose your own style. Again let me remind you first you need to understand the fretted guitar than you can switch easily to fretless.You can practice modes, diatonic scales, pentatonic scales etc. to improve you technique and harmonic knowledge.

Lesson 9

“Çarpma” Technique 6 – Electric Guitar (Right Hand)

Lets look at the çarpma technique from another angel. I am going to play the same notes again.First down strokes than up strokes. I prefer alternate but you can use both off them. Because every technique has a different sound. Of course you will choose your own style but I prefer alternate picking it helped me a lot while i start to play a lot of notes together. Alternate technique makes the traditions more organic.

Lesson 10

“Çarpma” Technique 7

In the previous video we train our pinky with the “çarpma” technique.Lets go for the other melodic examples. In this exercise we combine the two techniques “çarpma” and glissando.Some times we came to the note with different fingers and this improves your playing lets make much more “çarpma”…and lets play the bass notes while we are playing the melodies with “çarpma” technique.

Lets play the same exercise with the bass accompany…There are lots of characteristic “Çarpma” techniques for different instruments like ney , oud ,tanbur , baglama.You have to transcribe them and you can imitate these moves on your fretless guitar . Let me show you some the characteristic moves of tanbur…On this example its not easy to make this “çarpma” with your one finger.You need to make it with 2 fingers like (i-m).Again i am telling that you need understand the regular guitar and its technique than switch to fretless otherwise you will come to a point and you will stuck there.

Lesson 11

Intonation 2

Every guitar player has different arm lengths.And every player has his own siting position.This gives us different usage of angels while you are looking at your guitar . From my point of view i like to hold guitar in a natural position and this position allows me to see the neck from the top .I saw only the low “E” string and i figure out the other positions. There some small dotes which helped me to find out where i am .According to these dotes i will find my way on the fretless gtr. Lets move on the double stop exercise this time.This is an regular classical guitar exercise played on fretless gtr. Our fingers generally touch the fretboard with 90 degrees on fretted guitar.It can be changed on fretless bec. if you touch the fingerboard with a very small part of your finger its more easy to get the good intonation especially in fast passages. Now you can go for the double stop exercise i know its hard in the beginning but if you practice the earliest examples you will make it easily.

Lesson 12


Its very common to use e-bow on fretless guitar.E-bow is an electronic device that makes sustain we you put it on top off your pickup. It was produced many many years ago.
In Turkey we use this device to sound like Ney – Yayli Tanbur (bowed Tanbur). Let me play an example for you. After you put the e-bow on your string it starts to vibrate till the battery is off.
If you play without silence between your notes you start to sound unreal like a synth.Let me show you the example playing without breath.
Lets imagine if this is a Ney player, nobody can hold his breath like this or a Bowed Tanbur player, the bow has a length and you can have the sustain according to its length.
If you sound like a ney , tanbur player you need to learn to breath between your phrases.In the beginning its hard to make it bec. guitar players love make chops alot unfortunately.
You can do it like you this take deep breath and start to play with the e-bow when you are out of air stop playing the e-bow and take breath again and start to play the e-bow again.
This exercise help you to play naturally with e-bow.