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

The uBass on Tour with Magnus Sjöquist

Magnus Sjoquist backstage with his uBasses.

Magnus Sjoquist backstage with his uBasses.

 

Recently, our friend Magnus Sjöquist did an 18-show tour of his native Sweden and took a couple of his uBasses along.

According to Magnus:

The tour that started in October last year finished with a sold out show in the prestigious Berdwalldhallen, home of the Swediah Radio Symphonic Orchestra in Stockholm. All in all we played 18 shows. On the first four shows I used my Bakithi Kumalo signature solid body for six of the 18 songs in the show that celebrated the life and music of Ted Gardestad.

He also made a live CD of the shows. While the CD is only available for purchase at his live shows, Magnus was kind enough to offer some sound clips on his website PLAY UBASS!

Magnus notes that the songs on the CD include:

  • “Chapeau Claque”(Bakithi Kumolo Signature Solid Body Ubass) This song is so much fun to play. It really takes a while getting used to the combined meters throughout the song! I used the solid body here relying on its warm and round sound!
  • “Angela” (Bakithi Kumolo Signature Solid Body Ubass) This song is a bit folky and I go “full country” with a root-five motion in the verses! Since I didn’t bring a P-bass [Fender Precision Bass] on the tour the solid body doubles as one. And does a very good job!
  • “Äntligen på väg” [Finally On Our Way] (Spruce fretless acoustic/electric Ubass) For the “unplugged” feel of this song the acoustic/electric was a easy choice. It sounds perfect here and it also looks killer!
  • “När Showen är Slut” [When the Show Has Ended] (Bakithi Kumalo Signature Solid Body Ubass) Once again I’m looking for a P-bass-ish sound.
  • “Satellit” [Satellite] (Bakithi Kumolo Signature Solid Body Ubass) This song is so much easier to play on a ubass compared to a regular full scale electric bass! I also sing backup vocals on this one and the extended fingering I use makes it easy to focus on both bass part and vocal part since I don’t have to look at the Ubass during the choruses because I don’t need to do any position shifts. I first used this approach when we did concerts back in 2012 featuring this song.
  • “Ag Vill ha en Egen Måne” [I Want My Own Moon] (Spruce fretless acoustic/electric Ubass) For the encore I use the acoustic/electric again. It feels so good the let people have the “sight memory” of this wonderful instrument in their minds as they leave the concert hall.

You can listen to snippets of these songs on Magnus’s web site HERE.

Nik West Spreading the Word

Nik West presents Bootsy Collins with an acoustic uBass.

Nik West presents Bootsy Collins with an acoustic uBass.

Nik West is a uBass evangelist. Here’s she’s spreading the word to the one and only Bootsy Collins by presenting him with an acoustic uBass before a Seattle gig.

Nice Rundown of Kala uBass Models

Photo: YouTube screenshot

Photo: YouTube screenshot

Here’s a nice video from Winter NAMM 2015 showcasing Kala’s uBass models. They’re all included here, even the new five-string solidbody models.

 

Premier Guitar Takes a Quick Hit at the 5-String SUB

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Premier Guitar magazine’s online site reviewed th 5-string SUB uBass on June 7.

 

 

Premier Guitar magazine’s online site has a review of the Kala 5-string SUB uBass, complete with soundclip.

In a short review they call a Quick Hit, the magazine has generally nice things to say about the 5-string SUB. They rate it 4 out of 5 picks for tone and and 3 out of 5 for playability.

They had this to say about the SUB:

This bass works best when you keep your pick in your pocket, restrain your attack, and don’t slap or bend heavily. But its über-deep tones are astounding given the instrument’s size. This is no toy—it’s a great low-end tool that delivers spacious upright-esque sounds in a well-made and easy-to-tote package.

Their one criticism, which I see a lot from guitar magazines reviewing the uBass, is that it takes getting used to. I guess because of its small size and thick polyurethane strings, it feels weird at first to a guitarist. But as a bass player who’s played short scales for a long time, I didn’t have an adjustment period when I got my first uBass a few years ago.

Also, the soundclip they provide of the bass–which is nice, I wish all reviews would come with soundclips–doesn’t really help the situation any. The clip sounds terrible and whomever is playing the uBass sounds like they just picked it up for the first time right before recording the clip. It doesn’t show off the SUB to its fullest extent.

Still, it’s a nice review of the 5-string SUB. And it’s nice to see mainstream guitar magazines reviewing the uBass, or any bass for that matter.

To their credit, Premier Guitar is one of the better guitar magazines out there. In the spirit of full disclosure I should mention that I am a subscriber. Even though I am a bass player, I like to keep up with changes in the guitar industry. I like to read about the latest guitar gear, not just about basses. Premier Guitar is chock-full of reviews every month and they frequently review basses. That’s something that a lot of guitar magazines don’t do. Many guitar rags wouldn’t go near a bass review for fear of getting nasty letters to the editor about how a guitar magazine should not be talking about a bass. If it has less than six very thin strings, they don’t want to know anything about it.

Luckily the editors of Premier Guitar know better.

The Anniversary Celebration Continues

Kala's ad for the fifth anniversary of the uBass.

Kala’s ad for the fifth anniversary of the uBass.

I noticed a new ad for the uBass in the April 2015 issue of Bass Player Magazine. Looks like Kala is continuing the instrument’s 5th Anniversary celebration.

It’s a nice, simple ad that gets the point across.

Happy Birthday uBass.