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Thread: Playing UBass in ukulele group advice

  1. #11

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    Edspyhill05,

    Appears that you already know a lot about what's expected of a bassist. As you noted, it's similar to what you were doing with a classical guitar but more effective cuz the notes are 2 octaves lower. Since the notes are a lot lower, any mistakes are not as noticeable!

    I wouldn't face the speaker upwards in case someone spills a drink. Corner placement with the speaker facing the wall would emphasize the bass but you'd lose some clarity. You have the right idea of starting simple & adding more as your comfort level expands.

    Your Peavey amp is more than enough unless you are playing outdoors. Surprisingly, I've been using my Blackstar Fly 3 bass pack for jams as well as gigs. The only time I had to bring my Roland Supercube Bass 60 was for an outdoor gig at the Honolulu Aquarium.

    Don't be intimidated; the group will likely welcome your bass playing. ....and above all, have fun!

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Arizona
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    Quote Originally Posted by ampeep View Post
    My suggestion is to listen to what the ukes & singers are doing & try to play bass lines that support them & fit the music. You can vary the amount of sustain & volume of your notes, depending on the song. Do not drown out the other instruments or vocals. If it's a slow ballad, there's no need to put in a lot of runs which would be a distraction. Agree with others that you can (along with the percussionist) lay down the beat.

    Playing with unamplified ukes & vocals is different from playing bass in a rock group - in that case you don't necessarily worry about drowning other instruments out.
    That's pretty much what I do. I started out playing along without an amp, just to "get a feel" for how I can fit in, some players didn't even realize I had a U-bass! I mostly just play root note and fit in some 5ths along the way. I get comments that it fills out the group and people say I'm getting better, so I guess it's working out.
    Just Play

    Sopranos: 1st uke, Lanikai soprano LU-11 - Aquilas | 30's Martin style 0 - Martins | Fender Piha'eu - Worth Browns | Lanikai banjolele - Fremont Blacklines
    Concerts: Kanile'a K-2 CP - Living Water | Islander AC-4 - Living Water
    UBass: Kala Rumbler - Pahoehoe

  3. #13

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    Fortunately, the leaders of my ukulele groups are pretty flexible so I can basically play what I feel like that day. Occasionally, I'll let everyone else start the song so I can hear what they're playing/singing. Then I'll start playing the chorus or the 2nd verse, which is an interesting change of pace. Sometimes this was inadvertent as when I had problems locating the right file in Dropbox.

  4. #14
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    Irvine and San Jose, CA
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    Some ukulele groups post their songbook online. If your local group does, then familiarize yourself with the songs and the key they'll be playing before you go. You'll sound like a pro! Good luck!

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by UkerDanno View Post
    That's pretty much what I do. I started out playing along without an amp, just to "get a feel" for how I can fit in, some players didn't even realize I had a U-bass! I mostly just play root note and fit in some 5ths along the way. I get comments that it fills out the group and people say I'm getting better, so I guess it's working out.
    UkerDanno.

    I like your idea of playing unamplified at first. I'll try that with the smaller group that meets on the second Tuesday of the month. That subgroup is thinking about adding some chord melody arrangements.

    Thank you.

    Ed
    Córdoba 23T Tenor
    Currently strung with D'Addario EJ65T strings and an Aquila Red low G-String.

    Kala UBass SSMHG-FS
    Solid Spruce top and solid mahogany B&S ( I think)

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by ampeep View Post
    Fortunately, the leaders of my ukulele groups are pretty flexible so I can basically play what I feel like that day. Occasionally, I'll let everyone else start the song so I can hear what they're playing/singing. Then I'll start playing the chorus or the 2nd verse, which is an interesting change of pace. Sometimes this was inadvertent as when I had problems locating the right file in Dropbox.
    I'll be interested in the feedback from the groups. One role for me will be to hit the root note and slow down the speedsters. I'll just dive in cautiously.

    Thanks,

    Ed
    Córdoba 23T Tenor
    Currently strung with D'Addario EJ65T strings and an Aquila Red low G-String.

    Kala UBass SSMHG-FS
    Solid Spruce top and solid mahogany B&S ( I think)

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by lfoo6952 View Post
    Some ukulele groups post their songbook online. If your local group does, then familiarize yourself with the songs and the key they'll be playing before you go. You'll sound like a pro! Good luck!
    lfoo6952,

    Ours sends out links to the song books being used for each jam. I was printing them out but the song lists are very similar and just the order changes. Now I use my iPad. Just bought a bluetooth page turner. Not using so much paper and toner.

    Thanks,

    Ed
    Córdoba 23T Tenor
    Currently strung with D'Addario EJ65T strings and an Aquila Red low G-String.

    Kala UBass SSMHG-FS
    Solid Spruce top and solid mahogany B&S ( I think)

  8. #18

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    Ed, have you played with your group yet? If so, an curious about how it went.

    UkerDanno, can your U-bass be heard unamped?

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Arizona
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    Quote Originally Posted by ampeep View Post
    UkerDanno, can your U-bass be heard unamped?
    Only by me or maybe someone sitting right next to me. I could easily practice without an amp...
    Just Play

    Sopranos: 1st uke, Lanikai soprano LU-11 - Aquilas | 30's Martin style 0 - Martins | Fender Piha'eu - Worth Browns | Lanikai banjolele - Fremont Blacklines
    Concerts: Kanile'a K-2 CP - Living Water | Islander AC-4 - Living Water
    UBass: Kala Rumbler - Pahoehoe

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