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

Actually, Size Really Doesn’t Matter

Bass Player Magazine listed the acoustic uBass in an online roundup of short scale basses.

Bass Player Magazine listed the acoustic uBass in an online roundup of short scale basses.

 

And the uBass is proof.

In an online roundup of short scale basses headlined “Size Matters: A Roundup of Short-Scale Basses,” Bass Player magazine mentioned the Kala uBass. Not surprising since the magazine has been a fan of the little guy from the beginning. But what is surprising is that the magazine added the uBass in with the likes of a $9,000 Alembic Stanley Clarke Standard 4 bass, a $4,800 Callowhill OBS bass and a $2,000 Birdsong Corto2 bass.

Now that’s pretty good company to be in.

Here’s a taste of what they had to say about the acoustic Mahogany uBass:

While the U-Bass is nothing like the other instruments listed here, it certainly offers a short scale and, most important, sounds just as capable as much more traditionally designed basses. Most every person that’s picked up a U-Bass remarks at the incongruity between the instrument’s big sound and tiny size.

They’re absolutely correct about the uBass. It’s nothing like the others: it’s the shortest scale, it’s acoustic, it uses polyurethane strings, it’s at the bottom of the price scale and it sounds the most like an upright of all of them.

Not to mention, the little uBass can hold its own pretty well among the other basses listed.

Win Your Very Own uBass

Anel Orantes Pedrero and Kala are giving away a uBass.

Anel Orantes Pedrero and Kala are giving away a uBass.

 

Kala and bassist Anel Orantes Pedrero have teamed up and are giving away a brand new uBass to one lucky winner.

Just follow the instructions in the photo above and you’re entered to win.

But be quick about it, because Kala is giving away the uBass tomorrow.

Good luck!

Now That’s Funny

Mahogany uBass with metal roundwound strings.  Photo: Kala UBass Facebook Page.

Mahogany UBass with metal roundwound strings. Photo: Kala UBass Facebook Page.

 

So I was perusing Kala’s Facebook page (as I am wont to do on many occasions) and I ran across what is probably the funnies exchange I’ve heard in a long time – at least on Facebook anyway.

Kala posted a photo of its acoustic uBass with metal roundwound strings (see photo above) and had this to say about it:

Solid Mahogany Ubass with Round Wound strings? Well that’ll sound good just about anywhere.

And then this exchange took place:

Jan: Is that a frog inlay on the headstock?
Kala UBass: A toad to be more precise.

But, wait, there’s more:

Semion: Wait, those strings are metal? Why doesn’t the instrument break?
Kala UBass: Magic.

Magic, indeed.

 

Yes, the uBass Can Do Salsa Too!

Alvaro playing Slasa on his acoustic Mahigany uBass.

Alvaro playing Salsa on his acoustic Mahogany uBass.

Here’s a nice video of my friend, Colombian bassist Alvaro Martín Gómez Acevedo, doing some Salsa on his newly purchased Mahogany uBass.

The backing track for this video is the 1978 hit “El Cocinero Mayor” by Fruko Y Sus Tesos with Álvaro José “Joe” Arroy on lead vocals.

Check out Alvaro’s YouTube channel at Alvabass.

Tonal Variation: It’s All in the Wood

Kala Tonewood Chart.

Kala Tonewood Chart.

 

So, you’ve decided to buy an acoustic Kala uBass, but you are not sure which model to get. It’s a tough choice, for sure.

There are a number of considerations when you’re in the market for a new uBass. What sound are you going for? What type of strings do you plan to use: Pahoehoe or Roundwound? What look are you going for?

These are all important considerations. But probably the most important consideration should be what kind of wood do you want your uBass to be made from. While there has been a debate for years in guitar/bass/ukulele/mandolin circles about which tonewood is “better” for a particular instrument, the type of wood doesn’t really matter much in an electric instrument. But an acoustic instrument is another thing entirely.

When you are looking to buy an acoustic instrument, the type of wood used to make that instrument is probably the number one consideration. Do you want a light and airy tone? Or a dark, rich tone? The type of wood used will have a major effect on the sound of the instrument.

So, now that you want to buy an acoustic Kala uBass and you know that the type of wood it’s made of is important, which do you choose? Ask three musicians their preference and you’ll get three different answers. But fear not. Kala has got you covered.

As you can see in the above photo, Kala has categorized the tonewoods it uses and the sound you can expect from a uBass made from it.

For example, Spruce will give you “crisp, consistent note articulation.” While Mahogany will give you a “soft and warm balance” with a lot of mids. Koa, on the other hand, is “sweet, mellow and warm.”

So there you have it folks. Straight from the horse’s mouth, as it were. Kala has taken all the guesswork out of which tone wood gives you what sound.

Now go out and buy that uBass!