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Thread: when does a short scale bass guitar become a bass ukulele?

  1. #11
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    ^^^ Those are both good deals, especially the Kala, depending on what shipping is. but, probably good deals anyway!
    Just Play

    Sopranos: 1st uke, Lanikai soprano LU-11 - Aquilas | 30's Martin style 0 - Martins
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  2. #12

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    It seems to me that the Kala acoustic-electric U-bass (I own 2 and play and gig with them regularly) is best regarded NOT as a tiny bass guitar at all, but rather as a bass ukulele. These U-basses are neither upright basses nor bass guitars, but a third thing. To try to make one into a bass guitar will not work out any better than trying to make a bass guitar into an upright bass.

    Many of the complaints that I have seen about U-basses (often about the strings or the size) come from people who want a really small bass guitar. I think Kala has contributed to this misconception by the way they have marketed the U-basses, but posters on forums such as this one or TalkBass have also played their part. Perhaps the solid body U-bass is a micro bass guitar (I don't know), but if so then it should be treated as a different species than the acoustic-electric.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by kohanmike View Post
    Kala did not invent the U-bass, Road Toad did and licensed it to Kala.

    I have 25 sub-short scale basses, 21-24" scale that I've modified or converted. My definition for bass uke is 21-24" scale, poly or steel strings and under saddle pickup. I've converted small electric guitars with magnetic pickups using a set of steel flatwound bass 25" scale strings made by LaBella specifically for Gold Tone bass ukes, which I call mini bass electric guitars.




    This is Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly West near the Beverly Center
    9 tenor cutaway ukes, 5 acoustic bass ukes, 11 solid body bass ukes, 9 mini electric bass guitars (Total: 34)

    Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children in hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
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    I would have thought that steel strings would have to be very thick in order to get down into bass range on a uke. . . unless you had some kind of pedal that would drop the tone an octave.
    I wouldn't consider an instrument that played an octave higher than a bass guitar or doghouse (the bottom four strings of a guitar) a bass.

  4. #14
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    When it comes right down to it, all I know for sure is when my wife asks "how many ukuleles do you have now?", it's a bass guitar.
    Glenn

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Yates View Post
    I would have thought that steel strings would have to be very thick in order to get down into bass range on a uke...
    The La Bella/Gold Tone E string is .108.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by kohanmike View Post
    The La Bella/Gold Tone E string is .108.
    How long a scale would that be? It seems pretty light for a bass uke. Many players use a .105 for the low E on a standard P bass (34" scale length). Do they feel really loose?

  7. #17
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    23-25" scale is what they're made for but Mike has them installed on shorter basses with modifications. They did not feel really loose when I had them on a 23" MicroBass and didn't feel light to me. They felt to me like a BEAD set used for EADG tuning on the shorter scale.
    Ukulele:
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    !Flukutronic!

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Yates View Post
    How long a scale would that be? It seems pretty light for a bass uke. Many players use a .105 for the low E on a standard P bass (34" scale length). Do they feel really loose?
    They're labelled 25" and don't feel loose at all. On my 21 and 23" basses, I use string though holes and anchor the strings along the back in position so that the cloth ends wrap the tuner posts properly. With the longer ones, just going through string holes is enough. I started playing bass five years ago only because of discovering the availability of under 24" scale bass ukes, and then realizing I could convert junior guitars into a bass.

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