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

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.


Kala Debuts New uBass Models at NAMM Show

A Cherryburst and Red 5-String uBass in the Kala booth at the NAMM Show.

A Cherryburst and Red 5-String uBass in the Kala booth at the NAMM Show.


You asked for it. And you got it.

Kala at the 2015 Winter NAMM show introduced five new 5-string S-U-B series Soldibody uBass models to its lineup.

As the company noted:

Fans of the four string models have consistently asked about the possibility of a five string model. Kala has answered that request with four new models for 2015.

The new 5-string SUB models feature Kala’s Pahoehoe strings, a Shadow active pickup system with volume control and 2 band EQ, Custom Hipshot Tuners, and a Graph Tech Black Tusq self-lubricating nut.

Five-string fretted versions are available in Sunburst, Cherryburst, Red, and Black finishes and come with a Custom Deluxe Logo Gig bag. The new models list for $619.

The Secret is in the Strings

Jon Liebman of For Bass Players Only interviews Kala's Mike Upton about the origin of the uBass.

Jon Liebman of For Bass Players Only interviews Kala’s Mike Upton about the origin of the uBass.


The uBass is all about the strings. Or, to put it another way, the strings (specifically the original Pahoehoe strings) are what made the uBass possible.

That’s according to Mike Upton of Kala, in a new interview with Jon Liebman of For Bass Players Only. Liebman interviews Mike in a video entitled “The Story Behind the U-Bass,” which you can watch on YouTube Here. Intercut in the interview is footage of Abraham Laboriel and Bakithi Kumalo playing during what looks like the recent Bass Player Live uBass clinic.

According to Mike, the uBass is a success with professionals and amateurs alike. He told Liebman that Kala has sold about 15,000 uBass instruments in the past five years. The Spruce-top acoustic is arguably the company’s most popular uBass, Mike notes.

Today, Kala has two solidbody uBass lines (California Series and imported) and the original acoustics and the USA acoustic/electrics. The solidbody uBasses are a different animal altogether, Mike says, being “a lot more focused and a lot less woody” sounding then the acoustics.

But that’s not the biggest news from the interview.

Mike says Kala is developing an upright uBass! That’s right, a uBass on a monopod stand that can be played upright, or quickly flipped over and played like a regular uBass. No word on when they will be available or how much. But I do know that I definitely want one. That will definitely be my next uBass purchase.

I can see the ads now: “Much More Bass. Still Less Space.”