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View Full Version : Uke player falling to the Bass side...



kissing
07-03-2011, 04:20 AM
Ukes were my introduction to stringed instruments... and lately I've been having a strong, growing interest in basses.

I got the Ashbory bass a few months ago, and I quite like it.
It's compact, sounds bouncy and jazzy, and I love being able to have some bass in my arsenal. But the more I practice, the more I feel the need for frets for certain styles of playing. It's a bit hard going straight to a short-scaled fretless as a complete beginner of bass.

Now, coming from a background of ukes and dipping my feet for the first time in Bass waters.... I'm torn between getting a conventional, full size bass.... or going for the unique, smaller sized, novel choices that I'm attracted to.


I have my eyes set on 2 basses, and can't decide.

First is an Italia Rimini semi-hollow Bass:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=370523093858&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT

The advantages of this choice to me seems:
-Full sized bass with humbucker pickups (better sustain, more bass response)

The disadvantages are (in my view):
-It's big and heavy compared to the instruments I am used to playing
-It's a bit expensive, but I won't settle for less either if I go for a standard bass



Second is a more whacky, unconventional choice. A Fernandes ZO-3 ("Nomad") bass:
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/NEW-Fernandes-Nomad-Bass-Guitar-Black-w-bag-Piezo-Pkp-/110704737953?pt=Guitar&hash=item19c6843ea1

Advantages (in my view)
-Has that novel, 'cute and small' factor that attracts me to ukes
-More familiar sized fingerboard
-More affordable

Disadvantages:
-Shorter scale means less sustain and bassy sound quality than a full sized bass?
-Piezo pickup also means less sustain than magnetic pickup basses?



So I figured I'd ask for the opinions of the bass players of the uke community.
At the moment, my heart is leaning a bit more towards the Fernandes.

I'm thinking that the bigger bass would be a more substantial instrument as far as basses go... but something about a unique, tiny bass with some interesting features (like a built-in amp) appeals to me.... am I making a huge mistake? Please help!

johnmoen
07-03-2011, 06:41 AM
I play an Ashbory bass a lot as well as the uke. I love that little thing. I actually mount it on a mic stand and use it like an upright. The fretless thing does take some getting used to and you need to use your ears to keep you in tune, but there are some advantages too. I have recently switched to using the UBass strings on the Ashbory and love the fuller tone it gives. You could also try a UBass. I love those too, but don't presently own one. They have fretted and fretless, too.

kissing
07-03-2011, 07:09 AM
Thanks for chiming in. My Ashbory is also setup with the black polyurethane strings that the Ubass uses.

However, I'm not too fond of the Ubass. First of all, it is too similar to how the Ashbory is, except it also comes with a useless (and in my opinion, unattractive) plain baritone body.
It costs a lot compared to what it does, in my opinion.

The new solid body Ubasses cost around $1000... Sure, there might be some justification for such a price. But it's a "No Thanks" from me.
There are far too many better value alternatives for less than that.

knadles
07-03-2011, 07:56 AM
I know this isn't always practical, but I can't overstress the value of playing the instrument you want to buy. Anyone who has tried eight identical instruments in the store, only to have one "call to him," knows what I'm talking about.

Unless you've actually held them in your hands and plugged them in and played them, choosing between the Rimini and the Fernandes, or something more traditional like a P-bass, is going to amount to nothing better than an educated guess. To be honest, more guess than educated, since you're still newish to the bass.

I know that's probably not what you want to hear, but you and I may have very different tastes, so learning what my choice would be probably isn't going to be very helpful.

Pete

ichadwick
07-05-2011, 02:30 AM
I agree: play it if you can. If not... go with a standard size. Or a short scale (30") bass. Higher resale value, better exercise for your fingers, easier to find strings and parts if needed.

Best idea: get both. One can never have too many instruments.

kissing
07-06-2011, 01:46 AM
Best idea: get both. One can never have too many instruments.

I'm starting to get a bad feeling about this... see what happened to me with ukuleles..
Except basses take up a lot more room >_<

I'm also interested in violin basses as well.
They have that warm, oldschool, jazzy sound I like, and they look quite fancy.

UkeNukem
07-11-2011, 02:17 PM
How about this? 28.6 inch scale!

http://www.ibanez.com/BassGuitars/model-GSRM20

I converted a cheap baritone uke using the Pahoehoe strings. It does take getting used to the lack of tension. If I when with a "normal" bass I'd get the above for sure. As for the Ashbory, I'd like to try one but have never seen any around South Florida.

ichadwick
07-13-2011, 01:13 AM
Ibanez makes competent basses. There are some real diehard fans of their hardware on the talkbass forums. You can convert a baritone using classical guitar strings and get a piccolo bass - an octave higher but still playable for learning.

kissing
07-13-2011, 04:47 AM
On a baritone uke body, the lowest strings I would put on it are octave GCEA strings, as I describe here:
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?50244-Never-been-so-EXCITED-over-a-new-set-of-strings-before-YOU-GOTTA-TRY-THIS!-D

Absolutely fantastic :)



I've splurged on my bass purchase - getting a Saein ("Shine") Violin bass.
This company is the OEM for many other companies including Epiphone. Their Violin bass model is actually pretty much identical to the Epiphone one, as they're made in the same factory. The reason why I chose this one is that it costs $200 cheaper than the Epiphone one from a local store, even including international shipping. Reviews and reputation seems to be positive from what I've read in bass forums (though the company is not widely known).
Plus, it will come with a good setup..

http://i.ebayimg.com/00/$(KGrHqZ,!jgE4D)9Tp6JBOCu2kjgZQ~~0_12.JPG

(and it's the "Beatles" bass that Mccartney played woO!)

Nickie
07-15-2011, 10:02 AM
Ukes were my introduction to stringed instruments... and lately I've been having a strong, growing interest in basses.

I got the Ashbory bass a few months ago, and I quite like it.
It's compact, sounds bouncy and jazzy, and I love being able to have some bass in my arsenal. But the more I practice, the more I feel the need for frets for certain styles of playing. It's a bit hard going straight to a short-scaled fretless as a complete beginner of bass.

Now, coming from a background of ukes and dipping my feet for the first time in Bass waters.... I'm torn between getting a conventional, full size bass.... or going for the unique, smaller sized, novel choices that I'm attracted to.


I have my eyes set on 2 basses, and can't decide.

First is an Italia Rimini semi-hollow Bass:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=370523093858&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT

The advantages of this choice to me seems:
-Full sized bass with humbucker pickups (better sustain, more bass response)

The disadvantages are (in my view):
-It's big and heavy compared to the instruments I am used to playing
-It's a bit expensive, but I won't settle for less either if I go for a standard bass



Second is a more whacky, unconventional choice. A Fernandes ZO-3 ("Nomad") bass:
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/NEW-Fernandes-Nomad-Bass-Guitar-Black-w-bag-Piezo-Pkp-/110704737953?pt=Guitar&hash=item19c6843ea1

Advantages (in my view)
-Has that novel, 'cute and small' factor that attracts me to ukes
-More familiar sized fingerboard
-More affordable

Disadvantages:
-Shorter scale means less sustain and bassy sound quality than a full sized bass?
-Piezo pickup also means less sustain than magnetic pickup basses?



So I figured I'd ask for the opinions of the bass players of the uke community.
At the moment, my heart is leaning a bit more towards the Fernandes.

I'm thinking that the bigger bass would be a more substantial instrument as far as basses go... but something about a unique, tiny bass with some interesting features (like a built-in amp) appeals to me.... am I making a huge mistake? Please help!

Wow, I am really liking that Fernandes bass. It looks great! I'd say go for it.