Uke group bass players roll call

Deaks

Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2011
Messages
143
Points
16
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

New member
Joined
Mar 17, 2017
Messages
4
Points
1
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

Member
Joined
May 2, 2010
Messages
950
Points
16
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

New member
Joined
Mar 22, 2017
Messages
37
Points
0
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

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 3, 2012
Messages
3,014
Points
63
So, if I understand correctly, you're saying, practice your major and minor pentatonic scales. Practice with a metronome? :shaka:
 

KohanMike

Los Angeles, Beverly Grove West
UU VIP
Joined
Sep 15, 2013
Messages
6,158
Points
113
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.

Bass wall rack 1024.jpg
 
Last edited:

UkerDanno

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 3, 2012
Messages
3,014
Points
63
^^^WOW, Mike! No wonder there's a string shortage! :rotfl::rotfl::rotfl:
 

Benjolele

New member
Joined
Mar 22, 2017
Messages
37
Points
0
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.

Bass wall rack 1024.jpg

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

KohanMike

Los Angeles, Beverly Grove West
UU VIP
Joined
Sep 15, 2013
Messages
6,158
Points
113
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.

Rondo Olympic & tortoise 900.jpg
 
Last edited:

UkerDanno

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 3, 2012
Messages
3,014
Points
63
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

Los Angeles, Beverly Grove West
UU VIP
Joined
Sep 15, 2013
Messages
6,158
Points
113
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

Active member
Joined
Mar 16, 2017
Messages
330
Points
43
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

Los Angeles, Beverly Grove West
UU VIP
Joined
Sep 15, 2013
Messages
6,158
Points
113
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

Active member
Joined
Mar 16, 2017
Messages
330
Points
43
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

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 3, 2012
Messages
3,014
Points
63
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

Los Angeles, Beverly Grove West
UU VIP
Joined
Sep 15, 2013
Messages
6,158
Points
113
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

New member
Joined
Jan 6, 2016
Messages
28
Points
0
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.

13495522_1229281793769071_1042755096447635273_o.jpg
 
Last edited:

grajay

New member
Joined
Nov 12, 2017
Messages
15
Points
1
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.
 
Last edited:

KohanMike

Los Angeles, Beverly Grove West
UU VIP
Joined
Sep 15, 2013
Messages
6,158
Points
113
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