Next bass uke (sort of) project.


Los Angeles, Beverly Grove West
Sep 15, 2013
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near the Beverly Center.
A couple of weeks ago I thought I had a good assortment of small basses, but a couple of days ago I was flipping through the Musicians Friend catalogue and saw a sea foam green Les Paul guitar, beautiful color. Then yesterday I was on the Talk Bass forum and there was a thread about sea foam green basses. Then earlier I watched a car restore show for a sea foam 52 Chevy flatbed truck.

Too much coincidence for me so I looked around and bought a 1/2 size 24.5" scale P-bass from, I don't have a P-style, which is designed from a Fender Precision (not exactly a bass uke, and also I've said in the past that I don't like long horns on my bass, but I gave up on that). The small bass comes in pink, which is on sale for $149, or black for $199. I ordered the pink since the finish is going to change. Either I will take the time to do it, or just go to a finisher my luthier works with.

Here is a mock up of it. The body and truss rod cover will be sea foam and the pickguard will be pearl, as will be the block fret markers that I will add.

small P-bass both.jpg
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It's going to look awesome Mike. What kind of strings are they using? Doesn't look like Pahoehoe.

Thanks Pat. As far as I can tell, they're round wound steel strings, gauges 45-100 for 24.5"-25.5" scale basses. Basically it's a miniaturized Fender Precision style bass; steel strings, magnetic pickups, solid body, that's why I "sort of" call it a bass uke since it's really a true electric solid body bass, just shrunk. Not like the Rondo Hadean poly string, saddle piezo pickup solid bodies, which are fashioned after the Kala solid body basses.
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HMMM, now you have me gettin' the ole BAS. Would be nice to have a short scale steel strung bass.

My buddy Brian and I are sure enjoying our Double 4's we bought after your recommendation. The preamp really made a difference on the Chennell archtop and the battery accessory is outstanding. So far Brian has logged 8 hours, I think, since he re-charged it with a two day in-between uses. Best 53 dollar investment so far. He doesn't even bring the plugin any more; just uses the battery. Think I'll do the same. Thanks again for the recommendations.
25" scale "regular" electric bass may be next for me for when uke bass doesn't fit. I have a birdsong 31" scale electric which is beautiful but even the 31" scale is hurting my arthritic hands these days. But, Scott, who makes birdsong basses, just announced a 25" scale bass. However, I'm having too much fun playing my uke basses, did my first gig on the California 5 string last night (got it at 2pm, did a gig at 10!) and it was great, aside from a few tweaks I need to make during the week- mainly adding a thumbrest.

But, those small guitars basses look cool, good luck with that mod Mike!
...the battery accessory is outstanding...

I just received the battery from Amazon. Been testing it and so far no matter how loud I go, it does not shutdown, great.

But, those small guitars basses look cool, good luck with that mod Mike!

I just sent an inquiry to Wilkinson guitars here in Los Angeles, a custom finisher and builder recommended by my luthier Fren Asken. His custom basses run around $4500-5500, I hope this simple paint job will be reasonable, if not, I'll tackle it myself.

Edit: Hold it! I just looked at a video of a guy repainting a solid body bass, that's way too much for me to tackle, I'll pay whatever it cost.
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Just heard back from Pat Wilkinson, it's going to be $270 to paint if I do the disassembly/assembly and about 5 weeks. I live near enough that I can drop it off and pick it up.
Mike, check this out:

My birdsong is beautifully built and I can imagine these are going to be incredible. I may I have to see if he'll take a trade in, mine is another prototype he built but decided not to make as a regular model. It is a highly functional work of art!
Hey, I just looked at that video about 15 minutes ago, great minds... Sounds like a plan to trade it in, makes sense if he's amiable about it. Still a little big for me, not only do I want really short scale, but I store my basses in a cabinet in my office room that can only fit up to about 34" length, the Sparrow looks longer than that, and judging by his other stuff, expensive. The one I bought is 31.5" even with 24.5" scale.

I just ordered a white pearl pickguard blank, and I already have white pearl block fret markers I used for my black mandolele, getting things ready to go. Looks like I have to update my signature images. (But, in thinking about it, I realized my small electric bass guitars can't really be considered bass ukes, so I removed them from my signature, leaving only the poly string u-bass ones.)
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Here it is, the finished product. Pat Wilkins did an excellent job. I decided to hold off on the pearloid pickguard and just added the stick-on pearlish block fret markers because the two pearl colors did not match. I'll see if I can find matching pearls.

Small P-bass done 600.jpg
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Thanks Pat. I really like having a one of a kind when I can. In this case not only the paint and fret markers, I also added the truss rod cover that it didn't have just to put a cap on the surf green color scheme.
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