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katysax
11-15-2016, 07:00 AM
I know there are at least two of us and must be more here on UU who regularly accompany uke groups using our u-basses. Please comment in this thread if you are a uke group u-bass player.

Currently I am accompanying four ukulele jam groups that meet regularly. One of those groups also does some gigs and has additional rehearsals. I'm not really a bass player, and I've had no training on bass at all. My bass playing derived from being a guitar player who knew the notes on the fretboard.

It seems to me that playing uke bass with uke groups is a somewhat specialized kind of bass playing. It's sort of akin to playing bluegrass bass. My style is heavily influenced by bluegrass jams I've attended to play bass. My playing involves too much root/five and I'm trying to branch out and to try new rhythm patterns. The key though for us uke types is to fit in and not overpower or throw off the group.

PTOEguy
11-15-2016, 08:05 AM
I'm just starting with uke-bass for the ukulele club at my kids school. I'm working on what sounds good and it needs to be simple enough I can teach it to a gradeschool kid.

In terms of influence, I've found that tacky of 70s country music my father developed a taste for (and I heard a lot of) when I was growing up hasn't helped my tendencies when playing bass. I try to counteract by listening to the ukulele orchestra of great britain.

kohanmike
11-15-2016, 11:38 AM
I've been playing uke bass with The CC Strummers for the last two years. Even though I played guitar for almost 50 years, I never learned "music" or theory, etc., just chords doing 95% rhythm guitar, I hardly even knew the notes on the fretboard. I learned by being shown notes and chords or looking a sheet for the chords. I had often been told I should take up the bass because I have a good feel and time, but didn't want to be encumbered by a large electric bass, forget about a stand up bass.

When Cali Rose, the leader of our group asked for volunteers to play bass, I looked up and found all the U-bass, small basses available and decided to go for it. At first I checked out various web sites for bass instruction, but because I wanted to get proficient quickly to play with the group, I took lessons from Denny Croy at McCabe's Guitar Shoppe in Santa Monica, CA. Certainly has been an eye opener for me. He started with the basic 1-5, but also showed me patterns for specific songs we were doing in the group, which in itself taught me more than I had learned in 50 years playing the guitar.

I do my own arrangements for each song (our song book is up to about 150 songs) and I'm now proficient at walkups and walk downs within the 1-5 set of notes, plus boogie licks for rock and blues songs, latin beats, and recently jazz walking with major and minor progressions. I'm very locked into patterns more than specific notes, but try to know where I am with that.

What I've also learned from Denny and Cali, and a lot of posts on the Talk Bass forum is that the bass should hold together the group, provide the beat and feel and drive it along, not be in the background. The better I get at that, the more praise I get from the group and the audience.

pbagley
11-15-2016, 01:16 PM
I occasionally play my U-Bass with a local ukulele group. There is another bass player in the group, and if he wants to be the bassist I am happy to play one of my regular ukes instead.

I also use my U-Bass when my cover band plays "unplugged". It provides a more woody upright tone than my electric basses without requiring the real estate of an upright.

I've been playing bass in church and local cover bands for around 25 years. Most of that was with electric basses, but some was on upright. The U-Bass is far easier to play in anything I've played before, and yet in that ease of playing there are different challenges. Playing fast is a challenge with the lower tension strings. Slides tend to pull the note out of tune. I cannot play exactly the same lines as I do on electric on every song, which presents the opportunity to be creative and come up with something new. I'm having a blast with the little thing.

Barrytone
11-16-2016, 12:44 AM
I recently started playing bass with a uke band and I'm teaching two others so I'm not "lumbered" with the job full time. Since the introduction of the bass, the general opinion is the overall sound is tighter and fuller. I play whatever pattern fits the song, boogie, 1-5, single notes or chords with fills. My "job" is to keep the timing solid while rounding the sound out. It is usually good fun but if the beat falters, the bassist is first in the firing line. One down side is, humping an amp to rehearsals, no more care free turning up with uke and OnSong on a tablet.

LDS714
11-16-2016, 02:39 AM
What about playing uke bass with a heavy alternative group?

I've been playing with some guys that do "metal-ish" alternative, lots of drop D and drop C tuning. I've found that the Gold Tone ME through a Digitech Drop pedal blends quite well with highly overdiven, sludgy guitars.

https://www.reverbnation.com/thepleading/song/26228938-cold-2016-pre-release-demo

kohanmike
11-16-2016, 04:13 AM
One down side is, humping an amp to rehearsals, no more care free turning up with uke and OnSong on a tablet.

I specifically bought a really small Phil Jones Double Four 70w amp for rehearsal and small gigs, added a laptop battery and it's still very light, and sounds heavy duty, but it's over $500.

http://www.kohanmike.com/uploads/PhilJones DoubleFour300.jpg


What about playing uke bass with a heavy alternative group?

Not only do I buy bass ukes, I also convert small guitars to bass because I like having commercial looking basses that are small. I'm having this "metal" looking one done currently, ESP LTD F-Junior 21" scale guitar.

http://www.kohanmike.com/uploads/ESP Jr.jpg

Barrytone
11-16-2016, 05:30 AM
Cool amp, but it is too pricey for this O.A.P

katysax
11-16-2016, 06:13 AM
Barrytone,

The Blackstar Fly 3 Bass combo pack for $109 will work well for up to about 25 acoustic ukulele players. My advice is that you need the full two piece set and not the single one (which is $69). The two pieces fit easily in a briefcase or tote bag. They each weigh less than 2 lbs. They run for quite a while on double A batteries. The sound is a real bass sound.

The Phil Jones Double Four is an amazing amp weighing only 8 lbs that is probably the most ubiquitous among folks who play with uke groups. I have one and love it. It will work in just about any situation that I need short of a large outdoor gig or a gig in a really big hall. For rehearsal or friendly playing the Phil Jones is fantastic. BUT sometimes the Phil Jones is more than I need.

The Fly 3 has a lot of limitations. I don't know that it would work for busking (outdoors) or in any kind of amplified setting. It won't carry over drums. But if you are playing acoustic with a small number of people and want something portable and easy for rehearsals - give it a try. Most major retailers will let you return it if it won't do the job for you. I am using mine in place of the Phil Jones about half the time now, depending on the group I am playing with.

By the way the Fly 3 combo pack seems to be sold out just about everywhere but is still in stock at BH Photo Video. If you end up buying the pieces separately it is $20 more.

Patrick Madsen
11-16-2016, 06:15 AM
When I get back to our group, I plan to start bringing my Chennell bass and use it with a Phil Jones D4 and Baggs preamp.
The Chennell is one of the best basses I've played in the 50 plus years of playing.

katysax
11-16-2016, 06:37 AM
Patrick,

Is your Chennell one of the Arco basses. Those look very intriguing.

Barrytone
11-16-2016, 06:54 AM
Thanks for the heads-up Katysax. I'll look into the Blackstar

Patrick Madsen
11-16-2016, 07:26 AM
Katy mine is from his arch top jazz ukes. Jazzboxukes.com. Look in Emporium section then scroll down to Xander.

His stand up basses are unreal especially the Argo basses. Chennell string instruments.

kohanmike
11-16-2016, 07:11 PM
Last Thursday when I ordered the Fly 3 Bass from B&H it was on sale for $99. I opted for overnight delivery for $63 so I could have it for my hospital gig today, but B&H screwed up and didn't deliver it until yesterday, so they're refunding the $63.

The rig did a great job, very good bass sound and kept the volume on the lower side. It certainly sounds better than my 10w Chinese amp, which actually isn't basscentric as the Fly 3 is.

Patrick Madsen
11-17-2016, 03:25 AM
Sounds, no pun intended, like a great deal Mike. Will check it out. I think it was you who suggested the Phil Jones Double 4 amp. Best little amp I've had so far. Especially when using the computer battery with it.

kohanmike
11-17-2016, 01:24 PM
Yep, PJD4 is my go to for rehearsal and all our small gigs, then my Carvin MB15 200/250 combo for larger gigs, adding a Carvin 115MBE extension cabinet for even larger gigs, and now the Fly 3 Bass for those roaming hospital gigs. I think I have the bases (pun intended) covered.

gaichele
04-03-2017, 10:46 AM
I agree, I don't play with a uke group but with a small acoustic band. We have no percussion. My main concern is to set a good beat/rhythm and harmonize well on the bass line. That does mean lots of roots and fifths, but there are opportunities for arpeggios, walking bass, etc. if you pay attention to the music. It does require some advance preparation with the music, but the more I do that, the easier it gets to do it on the fly.

UkerDanno
04-04-2017, 04:37 AM
I'm just starting out with Ubass, my main club has 2 bass players and the one guy is giving lessons, but they're on a day I have other commitments.

I've been playing along with another group, though...pretty basic stuff, I use the group to practice with, since it's hard to practice alone at home. I'm getting the hang of it and I think it sounds decent, but I don't do anything fancy, just throw in a few 5ths once in a while.

I have a Kala Rumbler and an Orange Crush 25, works good for what I do...

Fuzzbass
04-04-2017, 06:50 AM
Been playing Ukulele bass in two local groups since being diagnosed with spinal cancer last year. I've been playing electric bass for twenty plus years in an electro pop three piece we formed at school. My best friends (and band mates) clubbed together whilst I was in hospital and bought me a Kala UBass. It's so light I can still play it comfortably. I miss playing my two Fender basses in the band, and it upsets me to even think about it, but the UBass has been a fantastic instrument. I look at it when its plugged in and still can't believe such a powerful sound can come from the thing. I managed to save up for a bit and got myself a Markbass Micromark 801 1x8 combo. I daren't even try to lift my normal SWR 300w gigging amp anymore. I bought a Hartke HD25 amp before Christmas last year, It's a lovely amp, sounds great, well built, but at over 10kg I was still struggling to lift it. The MicroMark is only 5.2kgs. It's tiny, with a 1x8 speaker. It's so loud too! Very simple controls, just two knobs, a volume and a variable frequency eq knob. I love the yellow and black styling too.


Although it has been heartbreaking to be diagnosed with terminal cancer, they say that good things always come out of bad situations. I would never have found the UBass, never have found my three beloved Ukes or made so many new friends both online here and at the two Ukulele groups I go to.


I have found I have simplified my playing quite a lot for the UBass, but thats no bad thing to learn playing in a new style. I have recently changed string type too, going from the UBass Rubber or Aquilla Reds to the UBass nickel wound nylon. I am finding myself more at home with these strings as they feel more like traditional electric bass strings. They still have the UBass bass and thud :-)

ampeep
04-04-2017, 08:53 AM
Fuzzbass, thanks for sharing your story. I am inspired by your positive outlook on life & wish you all the best.

Deaks
04-06-2017, 03:14 PM
Our local uke group used to have a regular bass guitar player but his work changed and he can rarely attend now. UAS meant the wife and I had bought a Countryman bass uke so I started playing about six weeks ago. It's really revitalized my interest in playing although mostly just root and 5th at present, and the group have been very complimentary so far. To help me practice I play and sing the song normally and record it on my phone, then play it back while I work out the bass line, making notes on the song sheets where needed.

Amp-wise I wanted something versatile so I got a Laney AH40. It has multiple inputs so I can set up mic, uke, backing track etc.. and has plenty of power for the small village halls and nursing homes we generally play.

jimscullion
05-18-2017, 05:52 AM
I'm very new to music generally, even more so to Ukes. I started learning guitar about a year ago, then in March this year I came across my local uke group, the Ayrshire Ukulele Clan. I've always liked the bass, so I got myself a Caramel bass uke. I already had a Rocket Music ADB40 bass amp, which is fine for rehearsal and small gigs. I'm learning rapidly, and the feedback from my fellow ukers has been tremendously positive. I'm having a great time ������

Gillian
05-18-2017, 08:42 AM
I play bass at my uke club. Started with a U-Bass, then sold that to get an Ohana fretless bass ukulele, which now mostly hangs on my wall since I bought a Hofner Contemporary HCT-500/1. I guess I have a case of Bass Acquisition Syndrome, as I also just bought a Fender Mustang PJ. Now I can't decide which bass to bring to our meetings, except when we have Beatles Night...then the choice is easy.:)

Benjolele
06-08-2017, 09:33 PM
I know there are at least two of us and must be more here on UU who regularly accompany uke groups using our u-basses. Please comment in this thread if you are a uke group u-bass player.

Currently I am accompanying four ukulele jam groups that meet regularly. One of those groups also does some gigs and has additional rehearsals. I'm not really a bass player, and I've had no training on bass at all. My bass playing derived from being a guitar player who knew the notes on the fretboard.

It seems to me that playing uke bass with uke groups is a somewhat specialized kind of bass playing. It's sort of akin to playing bluegrass bass. My style is heavily influenced by bluegrass jams I've attended to play bass. My playing involves too much root/five and I'm trying to branch out and to try new rhythm patterns. The key though for us uke types is to fit in and not overpower or throw off the group.


I have never played uke or bass with a uke group, but I do play my ukulele with rock, funk, blues, etc, both acoustic as well as electric.
I also play a bit of bass.

If you want to expand your bass skills, practice your major and minor pentatonic scales. Practice with a metronome. Practice you major and minor pentatonic scales. Practice with a metronome. Once you get yourself well versed in those, your ears and your sense of the music will tell you what will sound good for the ensemble and songs you're playing.
BUT,,, don't be afraid of 1 & 5. Coloring your line is great, but bass players have survived for millions of years on a steady diet of 1 & 5.
Remember that being a good bass player is more about rhythm, so if you want to be more solid and interesting, work on the sharpness in your timing, both in your right hand and in the way your left hand supports and affects the rhythm.

Practice you major and minor pentatonic scales. Practice with a metronome.
Also learn other people's bass lines. Even if you don't remember them two days later, playing other people's lines will build your understanding of how bass works.


For acoustic or lower volume situations, I play through a Roland Cube 30 Bass. for the size and price, it has a pretty darn good sound, at lower and higher volumes. It has some cool effects onboard too.
My U-Bass is a Kala Rumbler, I also play a Fender (MIM) Jazz fretless and a mid-80's Peavy Dyna Bass. Though I don't think I'd play the Dyna with a uke group ;)

UkerDanno
06-09-2017, 03:41 AM
So, if I understand correctly, you're saying, practice your major and minor pentatonic scales. Practice with a metronome? :shaka:

kohanmike
06-09-2017, 06:36 AM
I've had two bouts with cancer, a good attitude always helps. Just as an aside since this thread has come back, here is a shot of my basses, all between 21 to 24" scale, many I've modified from 3/4 guitars or from Rondomusic.com Hadean solid body bass ukes.

http://www.kohanmike.com/uploads/Bass wall rack 1024.jpg

UkerDanno
06-09-2017, 06:33 PM
^^^WOW, Mike! No wonder there's a string shortage! :rotfl::rotfl::rotfl:

Benjolele
06-11-2017, 10:34 AM
I've had two bouts with cancer, a good attitude always helps. Just as an aside since this thread has come back, here is a shot of my basses, all between 21 to 24" scale, many I've modified from 3/4 guitars or from Rondomusic.com Hadean solid body bass ukes.

http://www.kohanmike.com/uploads/Bass wall rack 1024.jpg

Oh man, that Green SG though!! If you ever wanna sell that thing you let me know.

UkerDanno
06-11-2017, 02:39 PM
^^^WOW, Mike! No wonder there's a string shortage! :rotfl::rotfl::rotfl:

which brings up the question, what are your favorite strings?

kohanmike
06-11-2017, 06:51 PM
Oh man, that Green SG though!! If you ever wanna sell that thing you let me know.

I had that made in China a couple of months ago for $285, but it's not as nice as it looks, the pickup is DOA so I bought another one that I still have to get it installed, and they took a normal size neck and just cut the down the body end, so it's wide and not proportional to a 22" scale.


Which brings up the question, what are your favorite strings?

For my bass ukes with piezo under saddle pickups I prefer Road Toad Pahoehoe even though they take a long time to stretch. For my mini electric basses with magnetic pickups, I now only use the LaBella custom 25" scale Deep Talkin' flatwound steel made exclusively for Gold Tone. But I'm actually going to try them on the Rondo solid body piezo I'm having painted just to see how well they will work.

http://www.kohanmike.com/uploads/Rondo Olympic & tortoise 900.jpg

UkerDanno
06-12-2017, 03:53 AM
For my bass ukes with piezo under saddle pickups I prefer Road Toad Pahoehoe even though they take a long time to stretch]

take along time is an understatement, mine have been on for a couple months and still stretchy, I have to crank and crank to tune every week!

kohanmike
06-12-2017, 06:58 AM
take along time is an understatement, mine have been on for a couple months and still stretchy, I have to crank and crank to tune every week!

Yep, that's the reality, then at a certain point you have to lop off a hunk to avoid winding around the post too much, but I still much prefer them to the sticky Aquila Thundergut and Thunder Reds (which do improve with a coat of powder for an extended time, not the whites).

ampeep
06-17-2017, 02:25 PM
Benjolelle, finally someone else who has a mid-80's Peavey Dyna Bass!

Kohanmike, you have an amazing collection of basses! The only things missing would be a Vox Phantom, Ampeg bass (the weird one with f-holes that go all the way through the body), and maybe an Eko?

kohanmike
06-17-2017, 08:18 PM
Kohanmike, you have an amazing collection of basses! The only things missing would be a Vox Phantom, Ampeg bass (the weird one with f-holes that go all the way through the body), and maybe an Eko?

Thanks Ampeep. I try to choose ones that are different from one another, the Vox seems to be similar to my gold AudioVox Serenader tribute. The Ampeg is very unique, not for me, but I would like to do a mini hollow body with f holes. I already have a violin/Hofner style, the fourth one from the right.

ampeep
06-17-2017, 08:54 PM
kohanmike, agree w/ you, the Ampeg is just too weird! Is your Hofner style a hollow body? In high school my friend had a Hofner; was amazed at how light it was. Also had a very trebly sound w/ almost no low end which may have influenced Paul's bass lines.

How do you decide which bass to play? I don't have that problem cuz I have a bass & a classical guitar. Only other decision I have is whether to use my Blackstar Fly3 Bass or my 80's era Roland Super Cube Bass amp. Have thought about replacing it, but I've had zero problems with it in 30+ years.

UkerDanno
06-18-2017, 05:04 AM
Thanks Ampeep. I try to choose ones that are different from one another, the Vox seems to be similar to my gold AudioVox Serenader tribute. The Ampeg is very unique, not for me, but I would like to do a mini hollow body with f holes. I already have a violin/Hofner style, the fourth one from the right.

I would love to have a good Hofner style UBass! Paul McCartney got me interested in the bass, I used to have a model of him and his bass!

kohanmike
06-18-2017, 06:23 PM
Is your Hofner style a hollow body?

How do you decide which bass to play? Only other decision I have is whether to use my Blackstar Fly3 Bass or my 80's era Roland Super Cube Bass amp.

No, it's a solid body because it was based on a Rondo Hadean solid body.

My uke group meets twice a week so I just rotate through my collection regularly. When we have a gig coming up I pick one and practice with that until the gig is over.

banditcosmo
06-19-2017, 02:55 AM
I don't play in a uku group (but I'd like to) but I do use my GT fretless in the band I play in. It works really well in an acoustic rock band.

101054

grajay
12-24-2018, 11:25 PM
Not much recent activity on this thread. So I'll introduce myself as probably the newest uke & bass player. Our tiny village in the deepest part of Shropshire started a really small group of about 6 uke players in February last year (2017). Earlier this year I came across a bass ukulele and thought what a great sound, and so I took the plunge and bought A Kala UBass together with a Roland Micro Cube RX amp, and stated teaching myself from scratch.

Initially I made the mistake of signing up to a series of on line bass lessons, but it seems to me that a lot of these (so called) teachers (talented though they undoubtedly are) like to show off how clever they are and drive me to the brink of depression. I cannot read music, and at 76 years of age, I suspect I can spend my time better by doing things by 'feel' as it were. By dint of a lot of research and listening to professional versions of our group songs I have identified how bass fits in and I plug away developing each of our groups songs bass lines until it sounds about right, and will soon add a few 'twiddly bit' - excuse the non-tech jargon here.

So that's me - loving the bass sound and hoping to launch myself at our group in 2019.

kohanmike
12-25-2018, 06:30 AM
Good for you Graham. Sometimes you just have to take the bull by the horns and go for it.

I played guitar for almost 50 years and was often told I should play bass because I had good feel and timing, but I didn't want to be encumbered by a big electric bass, forget a stand up, but a year after I started playing ukulele over 5 years ago (I'm 69), the leader of our group asked if anyone would take up the bass to fill in our sound. When I discovered all the bass ukes and mini bass guitars being made, I went for it. Luckily living in Los Angeles there are many very good bass teachers and I took a bout a dozen lessons that helped me tremendously.

I'll also find an online tutorial for a particular song I want to learn, which has been very useful as well. Like a couple months ago I learned Stand By Me and once I learned it, I realized how straight forward it was.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDhg-sQ6jWg&list=RDJDhg-sQ6jWg&index=1

8 tenor cutaway ukes, 5 acoustic bass ukes, 10 solid body bass ukes, 7 mini electric bass guitars

• Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children's hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
• Member The CC Strummers www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/video

grajay
12-26-2018, 12:04 AM
Thanks Mike. The link you posted is really interesting and is the kind of little gem that helps us noobs along that long road to figure out just what is really going on with the bass.

kohanmike
12-26-2018, 07:01 AM
In case you haven't seen my other posts, here's my collection of bass ukes and mini bass guitars (another opportunity to show them off).

http://www.kohanmike.com/uploads/Bass Collection All 900.jpg

8 tenor cutaway ukes, 5 acoustic bass ukes, 10 solid body bass ukes, 7 mini electric bass guitars

Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children's hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
Member The CC Strummers www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/video

grajay
12-26-2018, 08:03 AM
Now THAT is seriously over the top. But having bought 4 ukes in 20 months (2 for me and 2 for my dear wife) - I do get the picture!