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Thread: Questions re starting UBass ......

  1. #11
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    Check out Stephen Cox on You Tube. Fantastic source of info for everything Ubass!
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOn...LtaolWHpnHAbIA

  2. #12
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    Bass ukes are tuned exactly the same as regular size bass so any bass lesson will apply to bass ukes. I first took some lessons from a super pro bass player and teacher at McCabe'e Guitar Shop, Denny Croy.

    Rondo has 20.5" and 23" scale ukes, both acoustic and solid body, and their return policy is very good. My sweet spot is just under 23" which is not very common so I actually convert short scale electric guitars to mini basses, and recently had a custom made in South Africa for $700 plus $100 shipping. i also prefer Pahoehoe because they have a very smooth finish, where the Aquila Thundergut, Thunder Red and Black tend to be sticky (I heard recently that Aquila recommends wiping them with Windex and a soft cloth). The Pahoehoe are more difficult to install and take a longer time to settle in.
    Last edited by kohanmike; 03-10-2020 at 11:08 AM.

  3. #13
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    Dec 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by tm3 View Post
    Yes I would have to try to learn how to play the UBass. I would think that there are resources such as YouTube or books or even private lessons.
    My point is that what you're wanting to do, is learn how to play BASS. Personally I would take some lessons with a professional bass guitar instructor. This will get you off dead center quickly as to playing the bass instrument. (And one finger per fret is way easier on Ubass than on a full 34" scale Precision!)

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by kohanmike View Post
    Rondo has 20.5" and 23" scale ukes, both acoustic and solid body, and their return policy is very good.
    Before this thread I didn't realize that there is a spectrum of scale lengths -- I thought that there was "regular" bass, like the Fender PBass, and UBass. And that the UBass was easier for a lot of people to play because of the shorter scale, essentially analogous to uke vs guitar. I tried guitar long ago and gave up after never getting anywhere with it. After playing my uke for a few months I handled a guitar and thought, holy cow, no wonder the uke is so much easier to play as with the uke I can just get around the fretboard easier due to the small size. That, and the nylon strings are easier to play than metal.

    So with that in mind I think I lean towards starting with a shorter scale instrument with non-metal strings, even though the tone may not be exactly optimal.

    kohanmike, given that I can't handle the different options how do I tell if, say, a 25" scale is too long? And, if there is something wrong with the electronics on a Hadean will I be able to figure that out pretty quickly and easily within the return window?

    Thanks again for the help!

  5. #15
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    Guitar scale is right around 25" so you can try playing that one note at a time to get an idea if that's what you want.

    If you have an amp or recording interface, I think you could tell pretty quick if you were getting output from all the strings mall the frets, etc. and hopefully fairly even response across the strings.
    Ukulele:
    Iriguchi Tenor "Weeble" - A, WoU Clarity
    Blue Star 19" baritone Konablaster - DGBE
    Cocobolo 16" SC#1-gCEA, SC SLMU
    Ono #42 19" baritone, Ab, LW
    Imua iET-Bb, M600
    Covered Bridge CLN pineapple - Eb cuatro, SC XLL
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    Kala KSLNG, Eb SC XLU
    Hanson 5-string tenor, dGCEA
    Bonanza SLN GCEA
    Bonanzalele concert
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    !Flukutronic!

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hanks View Post
    Guitar scale is right around 25" so you can try playing that one note at a time to get an idea if that's what you want.

    If you have an amp or recording interface, I think you could tell pretty quick if you were getting output from all the strings mall the frets, etc. and hopefully fairly even response across the strings.
    That is good info. I think I can access a guitar and fool around with one-fingering it and see how it feels. I also found a nice diagram on the Cordoba www site for visual comparison.

    So essentially three scale lengths (20, 23, 25) and at least 3 different kinds of strings (poly, metal, and metal with poly core).

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by tm3 View Post
    kohanmike, given that I can't handle the different options how do I tell if, say, a 25" scale is too long?

    And, if there is something wrong with the electronics on a Hadean will I be able to figure that out pretty quickly and easily within the return window?Thanks again for the help!
    It's hard to say which scale will work for you without trying each. I started with a 23" Gold Tone Microbass, which was fine, then ordered a full custom 22.5" that also was comfortable.

    I do find that any of my 20.5" are a little difficult to play at and above the 8th fret because I'm partially handicapped with nerve damage to my neck spinal cord, which forces me to slouch in my chair (and I can't stand for too long either), so I tend to turn the bass slightly towards me in that slouched position, which forces me to turn my hand a little too much.

    Quote Originally Posted by tm3 View Post
    That is good info. I think I can access a guitar and fool around with one-fingering it and see how it feels.
    The 4 bass strings are the same notes as the 3, 4, 5, and 6 guitar strings (G, D, A, E) but an octave lower, so trying that should give you an idea.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by kohanmike View Post
    It's hard to say which scale will work for you without trying each. I started with a 23" Gold Tone Microbass, which was fine, then ordered a full custom 22.5" that also was comfortable.

    I do find that any of my 20.5" are a little difficult to play at and above the 8th fret because I'm partially handicapped with nerve damage to my neck spinal cord, which forces me to slouch in my chair (and I can't stand for too long either), so I tend to turn the bass slightly towards me in that slouched position, which forces me to turn my hand a little too much.



    The 4 bass strings are the same notes as the 3, 4, 5, and 6 guitar strings (G, D, A, E) but an octave lower, so trying that should give you an idea.
    OK, great info! Thanks again for all of your help.

  9. #19
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    Just in case anyone is following, here is an update (realizing that with isolation we all, sadly, may have some extra time on our hands, so there might be some interest in this mundane topic) --

    I managed to get my hands on a guitar. I think that size would be OK, although one of the things that I really like about the uke is its convenient size makes it so easy to pick up and play regardless of where I'm sitting, on the couch, on the deck, etc. plus it is very easy to transport back and forth from the local uke group. I'm a little concerned about going "too large" and losing some of that convenience. However additional prowling around on the interwebs has uncovered bass players who consider the 23-25" instruments with metal strings to be more versatile than the UBass and that has appeal. Another advantage of one of those instruments, for example the Guild or the Taylor, is that some are available from Elderly Instruments who IIRC is one of the popular dealers here as they do QC checks and setups before shipping. However another twist is I have read that the small scale acoustic basses don't work optimally with "regular" bass amps (like the Fender Rumble series) so I'm digging into that.

    If anyone has any additional comments or suggestions please share.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by tm3 View Post
    Just in case anyone is following, here is an update (realizing that with isolation we all, sadly, may have some extra time on our hands, so there might be some interest in this mundane topic) --

    I managed to get my hands on a guitar. I think that size would be OK, although one of the things that I really like about the uke is its convenient size makes it so easy to pick up and play regardless of where I'm sitting, on the couch, on the deck, etc. plus it is very easy to transport back and forth from the local uke group. I'm a little concerned about going "too large" and losing some of that convenience. However additional prowling around on the interwebs has uncovered bass players who consider the 23-25" instruments with metal strings to be more versatile than the UBass and that has appeal. Another advantage of one of those instruments, for example the Guild or the Taylor, is that some are available from Elderly Instruments who IIRC is one of the popular dealers here as they do QC checks and setups before shipping. However another twist is I have read that the small scale acoustic basses don't work optimally with "regular" bass amps (like the Fender Rumble series) so I'm digging into that.

    If anyone has any additional comments or suggestions please share.
    Interesting discussion. I just picked up my uke bass after a longish break from it. I've been playing my baritone on a regular basis and even though they're both about the same scale, the baritone fret spacing borders on being too roomy. The bass, I could appreciate a bit more space so I can see where kohanmike is coming from. Probably, if I was a more active bass player, I'd consider one with a bit longer scale, but 20" is okay for my purposes.

    I have a cheap Amazon UK Dream, if you're wondering. It's perfectly adequate. Fret edges weren't as smooth as I'd like so I had to file them a bit. I won't endorse it or warn against it, but it's affordable.
    Glenn

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