Ever since I saw the Victor Wooten / Steve Bailey “Bass Extremes” tour eons and eons ago, I have been intrigued by this technique of using a hair scrunchie to mute open strings, dampen harmonics, etc.. in an effort for a cleaner tone when playing fast runs or tapping. However, I had never found a scrunchie that would be able to fit over the headstock and still be able to slide over the strings easily and mute them effectively. Many of the artists that I’ve seen use them have adapted gigantic scrunchies to fit, and while that worked, I had never been that industrious to do it myself.
Then about a month ago, while looking at the V-Cart Solo from Gruv Gear, I saw that they had these things called FretWraps. Someone had the brilliant idea to make a more user-friendly version of the scrunchie! The only drawback I could see was that they were sold in sets of three, but given that I had three basses anyway, it wasn’t really a problem. After talking with Jay, the president, about bass necks and appropriate FretWrap sizes, I ordered some (along with a couple of the really cool genre tees).
Putting them on the basses was a snap. They have a velcro clasp that allows a lot of different neck sizes, given the three general sizes they offer (small, medium and large). Given that the Warwick LX is a broadneck, I opted for the large size, but found that they even fit my Corvette 5 string neck fairly well.
Other than that, they do exactly what they’re meant to do. Slide them over the strings (preferably between the 4th and 6th frets) and they effectively mute the strings, allowing you some extra clarity that you may or may not have previously had when playing. I’m considered a very “clean” player, in that I have worked hard in minimizing string noise and phantom notes popping up when they shouldn’t, but I definitely noticed a little more quiet when the Wraps were over the strings.
So all in all, there isn’t much to say. FretWraps from Gruv Gear is one of those products that is simple in design, but flawless in its execution. Very easy to put on your basses and get used to incorporating them into your technique, and the couple of color options are pretty cool to boot. Add to that an owner that has been a pleasure to converse with via email, and it’s pure win-win.