View Full Version : In Search of the Bass Line - Journey to the Darkside

06-24-2010, 06:46 PM
As has been discussed in several threads on Low-G tenors and baritones, I like to play country songs ballads and sing (badly). I love my little Ohana soprano and my concert flea, but for me neither has as much bass as I want for these types of songs. One, may go on the auction block soon. My low-G tenor got me closer, but I seriously wanted a baritone.

After listening to lots of YouTube uke music I found that I really liked the ones with someone playing either a bass or a guitar in the background, along with the uke. I don't know how to play the bass, but I have spent several hours in Guitar Center and Sam Ash over the last few months playing with them. I was seriously considering buying a used acoustic bass they had very cheap, when I started also framing away on the acoustic guitars. I still have an old classical guitar I got in high school and never really learned to play, but have been using it as a sort of make-shift baritone uke, since it is missing the two lowest strings.

A few days ago, I finally succumbed to the charms of a used solid-cedar top acoustic guitar like this one, for a good price at GC. I think playing the uke made me appreciate its cedar-topped tone and balance, as well as the gentle finger-picking style it seemed to do better than most of the spruce tops they had, including some really expensive ones. It doesn't have a pick guard for a reason, although many people who like picks put them on later. The guy in the video is using a pick, by the way. It had a very slight buzz on one note, so they threw in a free set of new strings and a minor truss rod tweak and setup (which I got to watch em do). The thing is like new for less than half of their regular price, so I am happy.


I have just about worn my fingers out (man are they sore again) alternating between this thing and my tenor for hours and hours. I think I have played almost every song in my two notebooks on both of them several times. Man those guitar necks are wide! I am having to re-learn all the guitar chord shapes and get used to all that wonderful bass, but I am having a ball, and switching back and forth isn't as hard as I thought it would be. Unfortunately, it will probably be several weeks before I can play as well as Brad Davis in the video - yeah right!!

Strangely, that used acoustic bass still calls me every time I go to GC.

06-26-2010, 10:42 PM
Now you know why it is that some of us continue to play guitar and ukulele. Well, I play bass, too, but I have over forty years experience on guitar and ukulele. Uke was first in my list of string instruments. I love the fullness of sound that can be achieved when you play bass, acoustic guitar, ukulele, and percussion together in one song. To me, it is all about making good music and no instrument gets an exclusive.