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SonSprinter
04-19-2013, 08:26 PM
I'm looking to learn how to play the bass. I have had people tell me that to just learn to play the regular bass.

But I am much, much more comfortable with the ukulele tuning of G-C-E-A. I can read treble clef and pick notes on all of about the first five fret or so (a few years of ukulele lessons and playing with my family; as well as from playing band for a few years). And I also already know much of the bar chords going up to about the ninth fret. So, it would seem like it may be easier/quicker for me to learn how to play the bass on one of those bass ukulele, but with it tuned G-C-E-A (as opposed to like a regular bass guitar, which I think is E-A-D-G).

Where/how can I find a bass ukulele that is tuned G-C-E-A? Do I just buy a regular bass ukulele that is tuned E-A-D-G, and get after-market bass strings G-C-E-A? I so, does anyone know where I could find bass ukulele strings G-C-E-A?

Tootler
04-19-2013, 09:14 PM
Playing bass is very different from playing regular uke. As a result, the eadg tuning is no big deal. Just get hold of a fretboard map - or make one yourself - and keep it on your music stand. If you want to use notation, you will have to learn to read bass clef. It's not difficult, but takes some time and effort.

You won't be playing chords. Bass playing is largely single note, so you won't, by and large, need to use your bar chords so, again, no real advantage to gcea, especially as eadg is the standard tuning for bass.

So if you are really interested in playing bass, learn it in its standard tuning, eadg.

SonSprinter
04-19-2013, 10:04 PM
Thank you very much for taking the time to hekp me ou and reply.

Yeah, that is what i have been told.

The thing is that for gcea i do not need a fretboard map. i clearly know in my head which note changes the, for example, c to a c-minor to a c-7. So, yeah, i am trying to avoid learnin a new fretboard map.


Just get hold of a fretboard map...

Pondoro
04-20-2013, 02:11 AM
I'm looking to learn how to play the bass. I have had people tell me that to just learn to play the regular bass.

But I am much, much more comfortable with the ukulele tuning of G-C-E-A. I can read treble clef and pick notes on all of about the first five fret or so (a few years of ukulele lessons and playing with my family; as well as from playing band for a few years). And I also already know much of the bar chords going up to about the ninth fret. So, it would seem like it may be easier/quicker for me to learn how to play the bass on one of those bass ukulele, but with it tuned G-C-E-A (as opposed to like a regular bass guitar, which I think is E-A-D-G).

Where/how can I find a bass ukulele that is tuned G-C-E-A? Do I just buy a regular bass ukulele that is tuned E-A-D-G, and get after-market bass strings G-C-E-A? I so, does anyone know where I could find bass ukulele strings G-C-E-A?

A friend, made one of these, he tuned a baritone uke one octave lower than a conventional uke. I think the G is actually two octaves lower. I will get his string formula. It sounds pretty nice.

Pondoro
04-20-2013, 02:59 AM
http://typelink.net/wolfewithane/Baritone%20Contrentrant%20Tuning

Here is the link...

Jim Hanks
04-20-2013, 03:26 AM
Neat but I think that still just gets you down almost to the bottom of a regular guitar, I.e. the lowest G would be the 3rd fret of the bottom string of the guitar. That's still an octave higher than the bass. To get GCEA on a UBass you would have to tune bottom string up 3 semitones, next string up 3 semitones, next string up 2 semitones, and top string up 2 semitones. Right?

I've never played a UBass so I don't know if the strings and the uke could tolerate tuning up that far.

~dave~~wave~
04-21-2013, 04:23 PM
To get GCEA on a UBass you would have to tune bottom string up 3 semitones, next string up 3 semitones, next string up 2 semitones, and top string up 2 semitones. Right?

Correct.


I don't know if the strings and the uke could tolerate tuning up that far.
As the owner of two u-basses I believe one could use that tuning. The factory u-bass strings are very elastic polyurethane.

There are some tricks to proper wrapping and stretching of u-bass strings that are common knowledge to the u-bass community.
If you buy a u-bass, read up on them or ask for help.

IMHO, the original poster has some misperceptions about bass playing, which other kind folks have explained, so I won't bother.
:deadhorse:


There's nothing wrong with the premise, you can't hurt the instrument trying it, so go for it, best of luck in your musical journeys.
:music:

luckyduck
04-22-2013, 04:14 AM
Doesn't someone make a GCEA bass? I remember seeing one that looked a lot like a parlor guitar with 4 fat guitar strings when I was Ubass shopping a couple years ago. It seems like it was tuned above the U-bass to be an octave below the ukes, sort of like the low end of guitar range.

Couldn't find it again. Maybe they stopped making it.

Anyone remember seeing something like that? It was custom made, so would cost more than a tuned up UBass, but you would be the only one at a session with one.

Or you could probably have a resonator cigar box made for around $1200-$1500 in whatever tuning you wanted. That would make a super cool growl underneath the ukes on top.

Paul

Tootler
04-22-2013, 01:22 PM
I think some baritone GCEA strings are pitched an octave below the regular tuning, but I may be wrong on that.

The U-Bass goes an octave (and a bit) below that. Hence the special strings. I got the impression the OP was interested in tuning two octaves below standard so as to make learning a bit easier, understandable.

SonSprinter
04-22-2013, 08:24 PM
You all are so awesome. Thank you very much for taking the time to post.

I am so much more familiar with the G-C-E-A ukulele fret board (than the bass guitar’s) that for each G-C-E-A ukulele chord, I know which string/fret/finger is the “root” note for that chord; as well as the 5th, the 7th, and the minor (for that chord).

My goal in playing bass is to learn basic grooves (like in a church/worship setting), as opposed to fancy lounge blues/jaz setting.

So, when “practicing” on my tenor (G-C-E-A) ukulele, as long as the music provides the chords, I can pretty much play a basic bass, just by going between the root and 5th, of each chord, and I guess throwing in a 3rd if the chord, is a minor.

Any thoughts are welcome. I know this sounds weird (which is kind of to be expected since I’m somewhat weird). But it has taken me some time to get to my level of familiarity with the G-C-E-A fret board. I just would like to explore this being a launching point for also playing the bass G-C-E-A ukulele, as opposed to having to “re-create the wheel” and learn a whole new E-A-D-G fret board.

I guess I may be able to use a capo on the second fret and take the two other strings up a semi-tone each.




Not all notes are created equal. Certain notes in a scale sound better in a groove than others. The following notes are the prime choices for your grooves (listed in order of importance):
• Root: The root is the most important note in a chord. A band counts on the bassist to define the sound of each chord. That's why bassists play the root as the first note every time the chord changes. Play that root with authority.
• 5th: The 5th reinforces the root, and it fits over any major, minor, or dominant chord. If you have a lot of chord changes between major, minor, and dominant in a tune, the root and 5 combination is the perfect choice for your groove.
• 3rd: The 3rd identifies the chord as either major or minor. Choosing the 3rd also forces you to settle on a hand position. If the chord is major and therefore requires a major 3rd, start your groove with your middle finger on the root in order to reach all the notes in the scale for that chord without shifting. If the chord is minor and therefore requires a minor 3rd, start the groove with your index finger on the root.
• 7th: The 7th is another excellent choice for a groove, especially if the chord is minor or dominant.
• 4th: The 4th is a great note to play as a passing note (an unstressed note that you play on your way to the next important note). Just be careful not to emphasize a passing note because it can obscure the chord.
• 6th: The 6th is a good choice as a passing note.
• 2nd: Avoid the 2nd except as a passing note.

SonSprinter
04-22-2013, 08:33 PM
You ALL are great! Thank you very much.


To get GCEA on a UBass you would have to tune bottom string up 3 semitones, next string up 3 semitones, next string up 2 semitones, and top string up 2 semitones. Right?

Wait, is this correct? The top four strings on a guitar/bass guitar are E-A-D-G, right? Tenor ukulele is G-C-E-A.

E to G: three semi-tones
A to C: three semi-tones
D to E: two semi-tones
G to A: two semi-tones

salukulady
04-22-2013, 09:16 PM
I think some baritone GCEA strings are pitched an octave below the regular tuning, but I may be wrong on that.

You are not wrong. Guadelupe Strings in Los Angeles makes them. I have a Bari tuned that way, it works as a bass. You have to order 5 sets at a time.

SonSprinter
04-22-2013, 09:39 PM
You are not wrong. Guadelupe Strings in Los Angeles makes them. I have a Bari tuned that way, it works as a bass. You have to order 5 sets at a time. Are these as low as those fat strings found on the Kala U-Bass?

salukulady
04-22-2013, 10:30 PM
Are these as low as those fat strings found on the Kala U-Bass?
Two octaves below a traditional uke tuning.
One octave below a low G tuning.

Tootler
04-23-2013, 09:08 AM
Two octaves below a traditional uke tuning.
One octave below a low G tuning.

Actually, they're an octave lower than that. The G string is actually an octave below the low G in a low G tuned uke. The E string is an octave and a third lower.

SailingUke
04-23-2013, 09:25 AM
I have just begun my bass journey, so please correct me if I am wrong.
I thought the beauty of EADG was that basically the pattern for every major scale is the same.
Start on the root, the third, fifth are always in the same relationship.
I believe the Kamoa Bass is tuned EADG, but the E is the same as a guitar, the u-bass E is an octave lower.
I strung a bari GCEA down a full octave from a low G ukulele, it is nice to strum with other ukuleles, but is not so cool as a solo instrument.

~dave~~wave~
04-23-2013, 11:57 AM
Actually, they're an octave lower than that. The G string is actually an octave below the low G in a low G tuned uke. The E string is an octave and a third lower.

I believe my learned friend may be mistaken in this instance, unless he is aware of Guadalupe baritone strings other than those discussed lately in this thread:

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?62861-Guadalupe-custom-baritone-strings

~dave~~wave~
04-23-2013, 12:02 PM
I thought the beauty of EADG was that basically the pattern for every major scale is the same.
Start on the root, the third, fifth are always in the same relationship.

This is the fundamental flaw in the original poster's philosophy, which you have grasped and expressed eloquently.


I believe the Kamoa Bass is tuned EADG, but the E is the same as a guitar, the u-bass E is an octave lower.


You are correct, as discussed ad nauseum in a thread in the Bass section of this forum.

SonSprinter
04-27-2013, 12:32 AM
At a rehersal, I tried playing on my tenor ukulele g-c-e-a, a simple bass groove consisting of simple quarter notes between 1-5 (and 1-3b when a minor chord was being played). It sounded minimally sufficient, at least to me, and the others. I was even thinking of trying to arpeggiate (pattern pick), but being sure to start with the "1" (e.g., the root) when a new chord starts. But if I did pattern pick (staring with the root), g-c-e-a tuning would definitely make it easier/quicker for me to learn.

AndrewKuker
04-27-2013, 02:55 AM
At a rehersal, I tried playing on my tenor ukulele g-c-e-a, a simple bass groove consisting of simple quarter notes between 1-5 (and 1-3b when a minor chord was being played). It sounded minimally sufficient, at least to me, and the others. I was even thinking of trying to arpeggiate (pattern pick), but being sure to start with the "1" (e.g., the root) when a new chord starts. But if I did pattern pick (staring with the root), g-c-e-a tuning would definitely make it easier/quicker for me to learn.

Not many situations lend to the bass finger picking out chord patterns starting at the root or not. Adapting that idea is harder. Tuned in all 4th's EADG, bass is simple. Start with learning just the root notes of one song, then throw in the 5 at times, which will always be in the same relative place to the root. Then learn chord arpeggios and they will always be the same. Every major, minor, 7th and beyond will have the same pattern around the root anywhere on the fretboard. It's so much easier to play bass this way. And you may actually want to learn from another bass player at some point.

Oh, one more thought, while you learn the notes, don't drop that groove! More than anything, including notes, bass is about maintaining a solid foundation for the rhythm. Even if you hit a "bad" note, you're never more than one fret away from a "right" one (slide, listen, keep the groove, and have fun)

Tootler
04-27-2013, 08:02 AM
.
I believe the Kamoa Bass is tuned EADG, but the E is the same as a guitar, the u-bass E is an octave lower.
I strung a bari GCEA down a full octave from a low G ukulele, it is nice to strum with other ukuleles, but is not so cool as a solo instrument.

I'm afraid I didn't express it very well but that was what I was trying to say earlier. You have put it much more clearly than
I did.

imperialbari
04-30-2013, 02:11 AM
Individual tunings always have existed, yet some main patterns have proved themselves more practical.

I can play chords on ukes and on guitars, at least as long as I use my own patterns of extended chords. But playing scales and melodies is out, as I learned those on the bass. So I certainly understand the OP.

Like davewave I have UBasses that I like playing tunes on also. To take the tunes up in a more practical range I have looked at the Kamoa E3E as an option. Looks like there is a source for replacement strings even if Kamoa doesn't market them, so when one of my suppliers gets a shipment of E2E's I likely will buy one.

As for tuning up the strings on a UBass to GCEA I have these practical reservations:

With the Aquila Thundergut strings my experience is that they will thin acutely at a single point if tuned above their intended pitch. That throws out the pitch beyond usability. I have been more cautious with my present set of Aquila Silver Rumblers, but their structure is so similar to the Thunderguts that I doubt they will work in a higher tuning.

The sound of the Road Toad Pahoehoe strings is uniquely wonderful in its fatness, but they are much less stable in their tuning as they won't really settle. The sore string is the G, which will become erratic in tuning up the frets after some time. A process likely speeded up by tuning it up.

There may however be a solution in buying the thinner 5-set of strings for the 23" scale of the 5-string California solid body UBass and then use the 4 high strings for the 4-string acoustic UBass. I am not going to do that experiment myself, so I will suggest you ask Kala whether there are obstacles to that idea.

Klaus

SonSprinter
04-30-2013, 10:55 PM
Ah, Klaus, thanks for posting.

kissing
05-01-2013, 04:33 AM
If you want to do this on an actual "Ukulele", there is a very easy way to do it on Baritone ukulele.
Get these strings, install them on a Baritone:
http://shop.mainlandukuleles.com/product.sc?productId=85&categoryId=2

Here is a video where I use those strings:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCyLRHl0wEY

I keep a different instrument instrument in the low GCEA tuning though.
It's a steel-strung 4-string guitar.

Here is how it sounds:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxF1Mq9KIQg

SonSprinter
05-03-2013, 01:09 AM
Awesome, awesome, awesome!!!




I keep a different instrument instrument in the low GCEA tuning though.
It's a steel-strung 4-string guitar.

Here is how it sounds:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxF1Mq9KIQg

Is the instrument you speak of (gcea steel 4-string guitar) on the upper left?

What are you playing bass with on the lower right? This bass isn't tuned gcea, is it?

SonSprinter
05-05-2013, 09:37 PM
Anyone know the tuning of the Kala KA-SB5FS-SRD (Five-String Bass)? Is the fifth string lower than the E (top string), or higher than the G (bottom string), ... or some other tuning?

ryansals
04-28-2019, 11:46 AM
Hey SonSprinter, I know this post was from 6 years ago, but did you ever work out G-C-E-A tuning on a uke bass?

Jim Hanks
04-28-2019, 12:58 PM
Hey SonSprinter, I know this post was from 6 years ago, but did you ever work out G-C-E-A tuning on a uke bass?
Checking the profile, SonSprinter hasn't been active in over 3 years, so you are unlikely to get a reply.

I think the idea is just not practical. If you want the same intervals you can easily get that from standard EADG tuning by tuning down the top two stings (EAC#F#) or tune up the bottom two strings to FBbDG