View Full Version : Considering learning bass

07-15-2011, 09:18 AM
Hi, I'm one of the ukulele players here, not a bassist. My GF and I were considering a U Bass but when we looked at the prices, we said forget it. We found the Ashbory bass, and we bought her one. She has since passed away, and i still have the little bass. It's very unusual looking, and sounds a lot like a bass fiddle. I have been considering learning to play it, because the bass compliments the ukulele very well, and I know lots of uke players better than I.
Is the Ashbory bass hard to learn to play?

07-15-2011, 07:20 PM
Hey Nickie -

I think the bass is great fun to play. I suck at it, but it's really fun. I have a U-Bass but the Ashbory is quite similar. I've got the Hal Leonard Bass Method which is quite a good book for the beginner. Make sure you get it with the CD because it really helps to play along with it. There are probably some good beginner tutorials on youtube as well though I haven't really looked.

Definitely get that baby out and plug it into the amp. It's really fun just to play around with. Hope you are taking good care of yourself since your partner's death.


07-16-2011, 04:25 AM
My condolences for the loss of your partner.

I had an Ashbory bass. Just sold it today to someone in UK after playing it for a few months.
It was a really lovely instrument, and my first bass instrument. I was a complete beginner to bass when I got it. It was a challenge, but not overly difficult.
I would've loved to keep it, but I only sold it because finances were very tight and I have a bass guitar coming my way.

To start off, you can use it as an accompanying instrument by simply playing chords. In bass, the "chords" are simply the notes on the strings. Don't need to bother with Minors, Majors, 7-chords, etc for now. If you have chords for a song, just play the single notes on the bass. I suppose it takes some familiarisation with the bass guitar tuning.

The Ashbory is a great little instrument. I got it because I think the Ubass is a bit overpriced.
If you haven't already, consider replacing the white, silicone strings to the same strings that the Ubass uses (the black polyurethane strings from Road Toad Music). They are MUCH better than the default strings. Last longer and feel less sticky to play.

The fretless nature does take more getting used to as far as playing with good intonation goes. You have to estimate where you press your fingers, as the fretlines that are inlayed do not match up perfectly with tuning.

And also consider changing the battery by unscrewing the back panel. The default batteries that come with it are cheapo "heavy duty" batteries. Alkaline batteries use a lot better.

07-16-2011, 11:48 AM
I think the micro-scale basses are fun to play, but they each have their own peculiarities. You might want to get an inexpensive 30" scale bass to learn on, and transfer those skills to the Ashbory when you feel comfortable playing basic bass.

Is it difficult? No more or less than playing the guitar or ukulele. Depends on what level you want to play at. Like the uke, you can be playing along with songs in a fairly short time. Or you can spend years trying to perfect your skills to sound and play like Stanley Clark.

07-16-2011, 02:54 PM
Sorry to hear it turned out that way but play it well in her honor. Check out these folks, the place for Ashbory info and tips. I modded a cheap baritone uke into a bass using Pahoehoe strings and Ashbory tuners.


07-17-2011, 08:12 AM
Thank you all so much for you kind words of encouragement. It has not been easy. I had no idea that there was a battery in the thing! Annie also left me a large bass guitar, a 5 string Peavey, but of course, it is much heavier, and more complicated. She had it set up by a luthier, and said it was "sweet".
I think I'd prefer the simplicity of the smaller one.
There is a set of Ashbory strings with it, but maybe I'll just ignore those and go to the U Bass strings...

07-17-2011, 08:20 AM
There is a set of Ashbory strings with it, but maybe I'll just ignore those and go to the U Bass strings...

Good choice! The Pahoehoe (pa-hoy-hoy) strings are great and I've not heard good things about the Ashbory strings.

07-17-2011, 10:41 PM
I had no idea that there was a battery in the thing!

Indeed, and when you plug a cable into it, an LED light near the tone/volume knob should light up red.
So when you're not using it, leave it unplugged, as plugging drains the battery :)