History 2010’s

History – The 2010’s


MayDutch Fretless Guitar Festival V takes place at Den Haag, Netherlands.



Glastonbury Festival UK, June 26th – Muse concert on the Pyramid stage, in the song “Resistance” Matthew Bellamy played a custom double-neck, top neck fretless – used in the intro and outro with sustainer. The guitar was custom made by Manson guitars and has the model name “Casinocaster”.

matthew muse manson casinocasterMatthew with CasinoCaster

Japan, December – Tim Donahue Produces the World’s first production Fretless Harp Guitar. Crafted in the Nagano Mountains of Japan, it features separate channels for harp strings and neck, EMG active pickups, ebony neck green oil finish mahogany body, and gold hardware. The extra bar on the headstock allows individual harp strings to be played one semitone higher.

Tim Donahue Fretless Harp GuitarGreen & Gold – TD Fretless Harp Guitar


MayDutch Fretless Guitar Festival VI takes place at Den Haag, Netherlands.



January, France / USA – Vigier release the Second Generation of Surfreter at Winter NAMM. The fingerboard is now made of Imetal, a chrome coloured metal that is harder than the previous Delta Metal, it is also more resistant to wear, does not tarnish and will shine forever.

Excalibur Surfreter Special vigier black imetalExcalibur Surfreter Special (Black)

JuneDutch Fretless Festival VII takes place in Den Haag, Netherlands featuring: Mika Niehorster, Jahloon, Tellef Øgrim, Craig Scott Band, MTS Trio, Wonka Live, Barend Tromp Band, Melle Weijters, Dream Flight to Antarctica, Scott McGill.



October, USA – The planned 2012 Fretless Festival in NYC has to be cancelled due to lack of funding.


June, Austria – Albert Dambeck along with Inge Habereder organise and present the first Austrian Fretless and Just Intonation Festival.


Fretless guitarist Nicolas Meier joins the Jeff Beck Band, recording a new album with a World Wide tour starting April, in Japan.

Nicolas MeierNicolas Meier

August – Second Austrian Fretless and Just Intonation Festival.

December – The book “Fretless Guitar – The Definitive Guide” by Jeff Berg (aka Jahloon) is released. Foreword by Tim Donahue.


Fretless Guitar - The Definitive Guide



January USA – Dweezil Zappa receives a Gibson fretless with some special features. In his own words….
I’ve been waiting over a year for this instrument to be completed. It is a unique custom guitar specially built for me. It is a fretless SG made by Gibson that includes 2 very important modifications. The first is Auto Tune for guitar by Antares. This micro computer device processes each string individually with extremely low latency and can not only keep your guitar in tune; it can instantly tune the entire instrument to other tunings, open string chords and more. In fact it can process each string individually twice, allowing for 12 string sounds or even baritone 12 string. Most importantly however is the fact that since this particular guitar has no frets it will enable me to do some physically impossible things. Typically a fretless guitar would be impossible to use for chords. Anteres Auto Tune will allow me to play chords on fretless guitar and venture into new musical territory. This is very exciting and inspirational! I anticipate pedal steel type harmony slides and other unique chordal sliding techniques to develop.

dweezil Zapp fretless SG gibsonFretless Gibson SG

April, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia – Ron Thal (Bumblefoot) visits Likas Children’s Hospital, plays for 15 minutes in the hospital’s atrium then visits the wards distributing gifts. Full Story here.

August, UK – Jahloon starts re-writing the Unfretted website to bring it up-to-date and compatible with mobiles / tablets / iPads etc. The new website launches ahead of schedule on the second Friday in September.

SeptemberThird Austrian Fretless and Just Intonation Festival.

AFG – Acoustic Fretless Guitars start selling an electro acoustic in the UK.

October, USASmoothboard Fretless Guitars relaunches with two new fretless guitars.

smoothboard fretless guitars

November 2015 – February 2016, Middle East – Fretless Guitar lessons available in a luxury hotel in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The one day lessons take place on 3/Nov/2015, 1/Dec/2015, 5/Jan/2015, 2/Feb/2015. The cost for a single lesson is 8745 SAR (Saudi Riyal) that’s $2332 USD, £1522 GBP, €2054 EUR. See more at: http://www.unfretted.com/news/fretless-guitar-lessons-mecca-saudi-arabia/


February USA – Killick Hinds receives the first Fretless Acoustic Guitar fitted with a Vo-96 Acoustic Synthesis device. Full story here.

USA – Ned Evett makes a glass capo to use on his glass fingerboard fretless guitars. See how to make your own here: Making a Glass Capo for a Fretless Guitar.

Glass capo fitted

September Japan – Tim Donahue with Madmen and Sinners premiers the Fretless Guitar Opera “The Cage” in Tokyo. More info.

The Cage


April UK Rich Perks publishes his Academic Paper Fretless Architecture: Towards the Development of original techniques and Musical notation specific to the Fretless Electric Guitar


History 2000’s Timeline