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Thread: Just Got a U-Bass - Advice

  1. #1

    Default Just Got a U-Bass - Advice

    I just got a u-bass. My ukulele group is comprised of around 20-30 people sitting around playing all together with the standard chucka chucka. The absence of bass almost hurts my ears. And endlessly playing C F G7, C D Am G, etc is getting boring.

    I don't play bass - I have an electric guitar bass but never played it much. My thinking is that I can start by playing root of the chord on the first beat and maybe a little more. Since I play full sized guitar I know the fretboard on the bass already, and since I can read music (treble) clef I'm figuring the song sheets can give me some ideas to vary from just hitting the root. My thought is that even just playing the root will give a lot more depth to the sound of a bunch of ukuleles.

    To those of you who are bass players - does this sound like a reasonable place to start. Do I need to know more than this to get started accompanying the uke group?

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default

    For me, I treat my bass like a lead guitar much of the time and do lead runs with it. I think there's a bass forum here also. Whoops sorry, this is the bass forum lol.

  3. #3
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    I think you're okay to start with the root notes and work your way from there. Soon enough you'll be walking through the scales. Sometimes it's nice to play the melody on the bass instead of the root. Just start figuring stuff out and see what works. I'm a bass player myself and every song I see as something different. My playing is adjusted to what the song actually needs. That can vary tremendously.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
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    am sneaking up on you patrick - have been immersing in the u-bass since i got it a few
    days ago and yes it's so versatile one just has to start somewhere and then it
    begins to grow. i started with root notes but it's already expanding from there to
    runs - and then to playing a bit of lead with some things. You can't go wrong
    starting with root notes though.


    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Madsen View Post
    For me, I treat my bass like a lead guitar much of the time and do lead runs with it. I think there's a bass forum here also. Whoops sorry, this is the bass forum lol.
    Love your Ukes - Love your Life
    Don't hate me because i play Moore Bettah !!!


    am a Moore Bettah Uke custodian
    BIG MAHALO to Chuck for creating such a beautiful Uke
    and to Tom for sharing the joy of owning one.

    Vintage Uke in the stable "95 Kawika Baritone
    Sideways 8 Monkey Pod Baritone
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  5. #5

    Default

    I'm wanting to just jump in and start with the group with only a couple of weeks of practice on the bass. My thought is that the root would be my fallback if I can't do anything else. I'm thinking since I do know a lot of bass runs on the guitar, and read music, between those two things I'll be able to vary enough from the root at least to start. I'm pretty comfortable with the major scales after messing with it for a day. I ordered the book "Bass for Dummies". Thanks for the advice.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Default http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?72185-Just-Got-a-U-Bass-Advice

    Playing the roots ist just the way I started to play the bass about 25 years ago. I played classical guitar at that time, and also could play chords.
    After a short time playing just the roots, you will discover the patterns of notes you can add, depending on the style of the song. You don't even have to know every note you're playing, just follow the patterns, then you'll soon have a "dumdeedum" beneath the "chuckachucka"
    ...playin' Zappa on tiny instruments....

    http://www.ukuleleovernite.de

  7. #7
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    I have been messing with the bass as well. Bass adds so much to a ukulele group.
    I basically play root/five, imitating a tuba. Every once in awhile I get a run in.
    What I have discovered is timing is the important. Even just root notes in time sound good.
    The group really needs to listen to the bass for the timing.
    Keep Strummin'

  8. #8
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    hahahahaah sounds familiar -- am finding that having a guitar background is really
    helpful and i understand about wanting to find a group to play with am already
    chomping at the bit for that one. Of course would be easier to play with those
    playing guitar as recognizing uke chords isn't in place here. But if one has a heads
    up on the chords it's off and running.

    Quote Originally Posted by katysax View Post
    I'm wanting to just jump in and start with the group with only a couple of weeks of practice on the bass. My thought is that the root would be my fallback if I can't do anything else. I'm thinking since I do know a lot of bass runs on the guitar, and read music, between those two things I'll be able to vary enough from the root at least to start. I'm pretty comfortable with the major scales after messing with it for a day. I ordered the book "Bass for Dummies". Thanks for the advice.
    Love your Ukes - Love your Life
    Don't hate me because i play Moore Bettah !!!


    am a Moore Bettah Uke custodian
    BIG MAHALO to Chuck for creating such a beautiful Uke
    and to Tom for sharing the joy of owning one.

    Vintage Uke in the stable "95 Kawika Baritone
    Sideways 8 Monkey Pod Baritone
    Acacia U-Bass Uke
    Mya Moe Mahogany Baritone
    Mya Moe Blue Pond Myrtle Tenor
    Kamaka Curly Koa Tenor
    cajon & cello (cello is new addition Dec 31th)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Central Illinois
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    I played bass for decades before I picked up uke. The root is always a good note choice. But after awhile might sound a bit boring if you do nothing but the root note. Try adding in the 5th (as suggested in an above post) The 5th is located one string higher(pitch wise) and two frets up from the root. OR one string lower (pitch wise) and on the same fret as root note. Easy right?
    The 5th will work for major minor and 7th chords. Diminished chords you need to lower the 5th one fret. and augmented chords raise he 5th one fret.
    Work on that for quite awhile and listen to alot of simple bass lines (country, classic rock, Southern Gospel etc...)
    After awhile you'll want to learm major, minor triads and arpeggios for 7th chords.
    here's me playing ubass and ukes. I use lot's of root 5th along with some walk ups/ downs. Trust your ears, you'll get it.

    I have more on my Uke page in my signature below.
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Default

    This site is a good start to learn bass playing:

    http://www.studybass.com

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