Hi, I'm FriendlyFred and running this blog. I play 'em all from soprano to baritone, acoustic and electric. Yes, big hands can handle small instruments. Enjoy strumming around and have a good day !
5 Facts About Bass Ukuleles
A few years ago a new ukulele-like instrument was on the market: the bass ukulele . Or ukulele bass as some like to call it.
It's a mini version of an electro-acoustic bass guitar.
There are models from different luthiers available now.
They all have in common the size ( which is pretty much like a baritone ukulele), polyurethane strings and a piezo pick up.
If you never saw or heard one, here's a video from Kala where they show some bass players with their U Bass. You also can see some really good ukulele artists:
Here're my 5 cents on bass ukuleles:
1. Not a bass, not a ukulele
They produced a hybrid of bass and uke.
For me this unification wasn't really necessary.
Like the liger
2. Not an acoustic instrument
Well a bass ukulele has a hollow body.
But because of the low string tension, the short scale and the small body you won't hear a lot without an amp.
The sound comes from the piezo pickup when the signal is amplified.
3. Polyurethane strings and piezo pick ups: not the best choice
I played a Kala U Bass. It was manufactured well. But I didn't like the polyurethane strings.
It's like pulling a rubber band.
Another option are the Pyramid bass ukulele strings with nylon/silk core, wound in silver-plated copper.
You find an overview of the strings you can choose from here
And a piezo pick up always produces this " plop " sound when you play a tone.
4. They actually can sound quite good
As you can see in the linked youtube video above a bass ukulele ( or in this vid a U Bass ) can produce a nice sound.
Played with skilled hands and with a good amp it sometimes sounds a bit like a double bass.
Of course not for every music style. If you play in a Slayer cover band or you're into punkrock you might cinsider to play a real electric bass.
5. They're quite expensive
Nowadays you can choose between bass ukuleles from different brands like:
And these instruments are pricy.
The cheapest I know is the Kahuna bass ukulele from Thomann
( Germany ) which is sold out at the moment.
In the end it's up to you if bass ukuleles are hot or not.
I'm old school. When I want to play base, I take my Fender Jazz bass.
What's your opinion about bass ukuleles ?
Ever played one or even made a video ?
Just let me know and leave a comment.