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

Chamber Music and the uBass

Magnus Sjöquist plays his uBass with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra. Photo: YouTube screenshot

Magnus Sjöquist plays his uBass with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra.
Photo: YouTube screenshot

We all know the uBass is fast becoming a classic instrument. But how about an instrument that can play classical music? Check.

Leave it up to our friend Magnus Sjöquist, of PLAY UBASS fame – the coolest cat to ever play a uBass, by the way – to rock out on our favorite instrument with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra.

Check out Magnus HERE, performing “Hilda Smiles,” a composition by jazz pianist Lars Jansson.

The concert was staged by local talent in celebration of their hometown’s 750th Anniversary this year. And as Magnus notes on his blog, the decision to play was easy:

Since our hometown Örebro,Sweden turns 750 years in 2015 we decided to do a concert with songs that is either performed or composed by someone from here. I had to (which wasn’t a sacrifice at all) chime in and play two songs on these concerts. One of the songs lend itself towards the Ubass. So I decided to play my trusty acoustic/electric on a jazz ballad.

Magnus said that while he’s played with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra before, this was the first time he played his uBass with them.

Not a bad start, I would say.

Add a Little Color to Your Life

Mike Upton trying out a set of Dreads strings in the uBass.

Mike Upton trying out a set of Dreads strings on the uBass.

Spice up your playing and add a little color to your life by replacing those boring, old, black Pahoehoe strings on your uBass with a new set of brightly colored “Dreads” strings.

They’re the same Pahoehoe formula as the regular strings, but they come in black, green, yellow and red. And while you’re at it, might as well play some Reggae in honor of these colorful babies.

According to Mike Upton of Kala, the Dreads feel a bit smoother than the black Pahoehoe, even thought they are not significantly different in formulation. He also notes they are a bit brighter (in sound) than the black strings.

Check out Mike playing a set of Dreads in THIS VIDEO.

Pahoehoe or Steel Strings. It’s Your Choice.

Mike Upton of Kala demoing the Pyramid steel stings on an acoustic uBass.

Mike Upton of Kala demoing the Pyramid steel stings on an acoustic uBass.

While the Pyramid steel strings are not new for the uBass – we told you about them back in 2012 – Mike Upton of Kala just wants you to know that they are available on the company’s web site and from string retailers. They offer an alternative to the traditional Pahoehoe strings on the uBass.

As Mike says in THIS VIDEO demonstrating the strings on an acoustic uBass, the Pyramid strings offer “high end articulation and good fundamentals.”

If you’re looking for an alternative sound for your uBass, or (gasp!) you want to sound like all the competitive Ukulele basses out there, pick up a set of Pyramid steels. You can get them HERE from Kala (though the web site says currently they are out of stock), or at your favorite online string retailer.

You can get them for your Solidbody uBass too.

Check THIS VIDEO for a comparison between the Pahoehoe and Pyramid strings on an acoustic uBass.

It Was Bound to Happen Sooner or Later

 

Armin Alic (left) and Magnus Sjöquist - The Ubass Ambassadors.

Armin Alic (left) and Magnus Sjöquist – The Ubass Ambassadors.

You knew this was going to happen eventually. The world’s first uBass band! And I’m proud to say that it’s the brainchild on my friend Magnus Sjöquist of PLAY UBASS fame. The band, called the The Ubass Ambassadors, have released their first song, “Mr. Z.” It’s a collaboration between Magnus and fellow uBass musician Armin Alic.

Check out the video HERE.

According to Magnus, the song began like this:

It all started with a drum loop, a chord progression and then a little, if I may say so, catchy melody. We arranged the song together adding keyboard, synths, FXs and a guitar part. The melody was then recorded on UBass (two octaves) and synth. We also overdubbed the melody with our voices!

The two met in 2013 at Frankfurt Musikmesse, Magnus notes, and a collaboration was born.

I for one am looking forward to more music from the Ubass Ambassadors.

The Face of the uBass

Kala's Mike Upton runs through the new uBass offerings at Winter NAMM 2015.

Kala’s Mike Upton runs through the new uBass offerings at Winter NAMM 2015.

 

Belongs, of course, to Kala’s head honcho Mike Upton.

In this video from the recently completed Winter NAMM 2015 show, uploaded by Bass Musician magazine, Mike runs down the new uBass offerings Kala has in store.

One piece of news that’ll interest bass players is that reggae great Robbie Shakespeare is now a Kala uBass Artist.

New uBass Catalog Available for Download

The Cover of the 2015 uBass Catalog.

The Cover of the 2015 uBass Catalog.

 

Even though my friend Magnus at Play UBass beat me to the punch on this one, I won’t hold it against him. :-)

The 2015 uBass catalog is out and available for download on Kala’s web site.

Download your copy today and feast your eyes on the five years of uBass goodness Kala has available.