Welcome All Kala uBass Enthusiasts

If you have an interest in the Kala brand uBass, then this is the blog for you.

The uBass Appreciation Society is the first blog on the Internet solely dedicated to those who play, or are interested in, the Kala brand uBass, a combination baritone ukulele and bass guitar. This ground-breaking 21″ short scale bass guitar produces the same pitches as a standard bass and is the closest you can come to the sound of an upright acoustic bass without an actual upright.

This blog is for all those interested in playing tips, news and information about the Kala brand uBass.

*We are not affiliated in any way, nor are we supported by, the Kala Brand Music Co., its employees or related companies.

– Dean Tomasula – uBass Appreciation Society

Bass Player Live 2014 uBass Clinic

Abraham Laboriel Sr. and Bukithi Kumalo on stage at Bass Player Live 2014.

Abraham Laboriel Sr. and Bakithi Kumalo on stage at Bass Player Live 2014.

 

If you were lucky enough to be at Bass Player magazine’s 2014 Bass Player Live show on November 8-9 in Los Angeles, then you probably saw the uBass clinic live. If you weren’t there, you can still enjoy the clinic thanks to Kala, which posted the highlights in a vide on its YouTube channel.

The clinic was hosted by Abraham Laboriel Sr. and Bakithi Kumalo. Those in attendance were treated to a duet by the two bass greats, with Laboriel on an acoustic uBass and Kumalo on his signature Solidbody.

Check out the video Here.

Highlights from the show include:

The presentation of Abraham Laboriel’s Bass Player Lifetime Achievement Award, followed by a performance by Open Hands, with Abraham, keyboardist Greg Mathieson, saxophonist Justo Almario and drummer Bill Maxwell.

A VSOP clinic performance by Abraham Laboriel, Bakitihi Kumalo (Paul Simon) and Hutch Hutchinson (Bonnie Raitt), presented by Kala.

If you play bass, then the Bass Player Live event is like heaven for you. All that bass talent in one place would make anybody want to immediately run out an buy a uBass – or two.

Going Once. Going Twice…

This Custom uBass SUB, signed by 12 famous bass players, is being auctioned for charity.

This Custom uBass SUB, signed by 12 famous bass players, is being auctioned for charity.

 

If you’ve always wanted to pick up a uBass with a little something extra, now’s your chance.

Kala is auctioning for charity on eBay a U-BASS-SUB4FS-SBK, signed by not one, not two, but a dozen famous bass players. The uBass was made by Kala’s Custom Shop and features a pink mirrored pickguard and truss rod cover provided by WD Music.

The uBass sports the following bass players’ autographs:

Abraham Laboriel
Bakithi Kumalo
Leland Sklar
Tim Lefebvre
Phil Chen
Mike Merritt
Bob Glaub
Chuck Rainey
Steve Bailey
Neil Stubenhaus
Philip Bynoe
Oscar Cartaya

Kala says that 100% of the funds generated by the auction will be donated to Family House, Inc., a non-profit that serves as a home-away-from-home for families of children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.

The uBass features the following:

Poplar body
Fretted bolt-on Maple neck with rosewood fretboard
HIPSHOT licensed tuning machines
Rosewood nut
SHADOW active pickup system with volume control and 2-band EQ
Proprietary Polyurethane strings
U-Bass logo gig bag included
Pink mirrored pickguard and truss rod cover

You can bid on the bass on eBay Here. As of this posting, the bass has four bids and is at $510. There are nine days left in the auction.

It’s a great uBass. And an even greater cause. If you have the money, put in a bid. You might just win. If you don’t win, you’ll still be contributing to a great charity.

Bass Player Does the uBass

The cover of the Nov. 2014 Bass Player magazine

The cover of the Nov. 2014 Bass Player magazine

 

Bass Player columnist Ed Friedland has a nice two-page spread on the Kala uBass in the November issue of Bass Player magazine. The article goes into the history of the uBass and its development by Owen Holt of Road Toad Music and Mike Upton of Kala Brand Music Co. It also gives a rundown of the different strings available for the uBass.

The article isn’t posted on the Bass Player web site yet, so you’ll have to go out and buy a copy of the magazine to read it.

Here’s a taste of what Ed “The Bass Whisperer” Friedland has to say about the classic uBass thump:

While the electronics, wood and construction all play a part in the big picture, the basic character of the U-Bass is greatly influenced by the string – and with several types of string available, it is possible to tailor the instrument’s response and feel several ways.

The article also includes a timeline of the development of the uBass and the various models available.

Ed concludes the piece this way:

This instrument is no joke: It is capable of delivering all the low-end punch you can handle, and based on my personal gig experiences, I consider it not only a serious addition to the bass family, but a welcome one.

And with that, the uBass continues its winning streak: yet another positive article about our little friend, with nary a negative review in sight.

Kala “Made in USA” Ukes Get Major Coverage in Music Press

Kala's USA Ukes are the subject of a major article in the October issue of Music Trades magazine.

Kala’s USA Ukes are the subject of a major article in the October issue of Music Trades magazine.

 

Kala’s newly opened U.S. Uke factory is the subject of a major story in the October issue of Music Trades, an industry magazine. While the article focuses on Kala’s new U.S. factory and not specifically on its uBasses, it does mention the U.S.-made uBass.

The article does offer some interesting bits of information about Kala, such as the fact that the first USA-made Ukes should be available in January at the Winter NAMM show. The U.S.-made line of Ukes is expected to sell from $700 to $1,800.

The piece also points out that Kala posted sales of $13.2 million in 2013 of Ukes and related products. The company plans to add some new models to its Asian-made Uke line in 2015. Six and eight-string Uke models are slated for 2016.

Let’s hope they have a new uBass or two in the works.

To read the article in PDF version, click here: Music Trades 10-14 Kala Article

New Forum for Ultra-Short-Scale Low Enders

Join the discussion at the MicroBassTalk Forum

Join the discussion at the MicroBassTalk Forum

 

For all of you out there that are into the Kala uBass, and maybe even some of the competing ultra-short-scale bass instruments available, there’s a new forum. Introducing the Micro Bass Talk Forum, featuring discussion of ultra-short-scale–or micro–basses. Of course you can discuss the Kala uBass (which has its own board), but you can also discuss any other model of ultra-short-scale bass like the Gold Tone MicroBass or the Aquila ShortBass One, to name only two. There’s even a board for travel basses. There also boards for discussing strings, gear, playing tips and recording techniques.

Check it out. Sign up for free and join the discussion. Tell your friends.

And help spread the word about our little bass friends.

New Kala Fifth Anniversary uBass Advertisement

Kala Ad 2014

 

We all know that the Kala uBass rocks (in every sense of the word). But did you know that the company’s ads for the uBass rock as well?

Here’s your proof. And this one features two of the best bass players out there.

For more on Nik West.

For more on Tal Wilkenfeld.

 

Getting Jazzy with a uBass

Gabriel

Gabriel Olortiga plays “Autumn Leaves” on his uBass

 

Think the uBass is not very versatile? Then think again.

Here’s a nice rendition of Ron Carter’s bass line from the Jazz standard “Autumn Leaves” played by Gabriel Olortiga on his uBass.

The uBass is equally adept at Rock, Jazz, Classical, Heavy Metal–it can handle just about any genre of music.

And here’s the man himself, Ron Carter, playing the song.