Magnus Demos the Paddle Bass

 

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Magnus Sjöquist puts the Kala Paddle Bass through its paces.

 

Our friend Magnus Sjöquist of PlayUBass fame, posted a video of himself and his bandmates putting the new, as yet unreleased, Kala Paddle Bass through its paces.

Check out the video here.

As Magnus demonstrates in the video, the one-string bass can be adapted to any genre of music and can be played on the lap, mountain dulcimer style, or it can be held like a guitar and played that way.

He also did a Facebook Live video, explaining how the Paddle Bass works. Check that video out here.

 

You Now Have (String) Options

 

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Kala uBasses (from left) The Rumbler, Bubinga and Exotic Mahogany are now available with string options.

 

As pointed out by Bass Player magazine, Kala is now offering its uBass models with different string options.

In an article on their online site, they point out that Kala is now offering Road Toad Polyurethane Pahoehoe, Aquila Silver Rumbler and Kala Roundwound strings on some models.

Not exactly new, the uBass models have been available for a while (all except the Bubinga, which is fairly new) and you could get the strings separately and restring your uBass if you were so inclined. Still, it’s nice to know Kala is offering options if you are not a fan of the original Pahoehoe strings.

You can now get The Rumbler U-Bass with Aquila Silver Rumbler strings, which are designed “with increased density and stability for a clear, resonate low end.”

You can buy the The Bubinga U-Bass strung with Road Toad Polyurethane Pahoehoe strings, which gives “it a deep, punchy low end.”

Or you can buy The Exotic Mahogany U-Bass with Kala Round Wound strings that adds “treble while retaining the immense low end.” Pahoehoe also are available on the Exotic Mahogany if you prefer.

Kala Affected by Rosewood Restrictions

 

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East Indian Rosewood is one of the Rosewood species restricted for export.

 

Like all companies selling instruments and products containing Rosewood, Kala is affected by the new regulations restricting Rosewood species sales across borders.

The company has placed this disclaimer on its web site:

INTERNATIONAL ORDERS
Please bear with us—due to new International Export Regulations regarding all species of Rosewood there will be an undetermined postponement of orders containing Kala Elites, California U-Basses, and USA Banjo Ukulele shipping outside the United States. We hope to have this resolved as soon as possible.

The Convention of International Trade of Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES) held a conference from September 24 to October 4 this year in Johannesburg, South Africa, where it was decided that all species of rosewood under the genus Dalbergia and three bubinga species (Guibourtia demeusei, Guibourtia pellegriniana, and Guibourtia tessmannii) will be protected and its export restricted, according to Reverb.com.

The restrictions went into affect January 2.

Kosso – sometimes called African rosewood (Pterocarpus erinaceus) – will also be protected, they note.

While Brazilian Rosewood is was already under CITES protection, now all the nearly 300 other species of rosewood are under similar regulation. This includes East Indian rosewood and Honduran rosewood – as well as woods like cocobolo (Dalbergia retusa) and African blackwood (Dalbergia melanoxylon) – that are widely used in the manufacturing of stringed instruments, marimbas and some woodwinds.

Rosewood is the world’s most trafficked wild product, according to the UN Office of Drugs and Crime, accounting for a third of all seizures by value, more than elephant ivory, pangolins, rhino horn, lions and tigers put together.

So, if you’re an overseas customer of Kala’s, prepare for delays if you buy an instrument form them. Sales shipped within the United States are not affected. If you already own an instrument with rosewood and have it in your possession, there’s no need to worry. You can also travel with previously purchased instruments with no restrictions.

Paddle Bass First Look

 

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Magnus Sjöquist demonstrates Kala’s new Paddle uBass at Winter NAMM 2017.

 

Last month we told you that Kala introduced a new type of uBass called the Paddle Bass, aimed at the educational market and first-time bass players.

We mistakenly told you that it was not a uBass. Well, according to Mike Upton, it indeed is a uBass.

Thanks to Bass Musician magazine, we have a video of Mike and our friend Magnus Sjöquist demonstrating the Paddle Bass at Winter NAMM.

Click Here to watch the video.

As usual for Bass Musician, the camerawork is not the best, but the video is still watchable and informative. Besides, they are a bass publication, not a video publication, so I guess I should cut them some slack.

Mike says the Paddle Bass is the “most simple uBass” that Kala has created.

He explains that the new uBass is a one-string instrument meant for new players and kids. It comes in three tunings: the keys of “E,” “F” and “G.” It also features magnetic fretboard overlays for each tuning marking the notes at each fret.

The Paddle is meant to be played in your lap, mountain dulcimer style. But it looks like it would be a lot of fun to put a strap on it and play it like a one-string bass guitar.

If you belong to a mountain dulcimer club or a ukulele club, I can see this as being a fun addition to the group, enabling you to lay down some simple bass accompaniment.

No word yet on availability or price. But stay tuned. As soon as we know anything, we’ll let you know.

I’d love to get my hands on one and do a proper review for you guys and gals. Keep it tuned here for more information as it comes in.

 

The Book is Out. Get it Now.

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Learn to Play the UBass is available now from the Apple iBooks Store.

One wonders where Magnus Sjöquist found the time at Winter NAMM between jam sessions, partying with famous bass players and hanging out at the Kala booth to release his new book about playing the uBass. But find the time he did.

The book, Learn to Play the UBass, is available now from the Apple iBook store for $14.99.

We told you earlier this month that Magnus was planning on releasing the book at the NAMM show. He wasn’t lying. The book is interactive, features tons of information and easy to follow videos. It’s a worthwhile investment at twice the price.

Magnus made a short video promoting the book. You can watch it here.

Head on over to the iBooks Store and pick up your copy now.

Paddle Faster, I Think I Hear Banjos

 

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Kala unveiled its new Paddle Bass at the Winter NAMM Show earlier today.

 

It’s not a uBass. But it is small. And it is a bass.

It’s the new Kala Paddle Bass. The company unveiled the new paddle-shaped instrument at the NAMM Show earlier today.

Kala says that the new bass is aimed at “those who are brand new to the bass and for schools who want to add a cheap alternative to their ensemble.” The frets are marked with their respective notes. This one is tuned to “G.”

It looks to be a one string short scale bass. Most likely uBass scale. The string looks to be a Pahoehoe.

Kala says it’ll have more info about the little bass after the NAMM Show.

While one string basses are not new, this one looks to be a lot of fun to play. It may find a home among uBass players, as well as kids and schools.

Learn to Play the uBass

 

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Magnus Sjöquist of Play UBass plans to release the first module of his Learn to Play UBass lesson packs at Winter NAMM.

 

Our friend, uBass musician Magnus Sjöquist, has been busy lately. Just in time for Winter NAMM 2017, he’s putting the finishing touches on his new book about how to play the uBass – called, naturally, Learn to Play the UBass.

Magnus says the first module of the book, called Learn to Play the UBass – Basic Techniques, should be ready January 18, the first day of the show.

According to Magnus:

I started out writing different lessons and decided to put together a couple of these as a Lesson Pack. My goal is to release Lesson Packs covering different topics and the first one, Basic Techniques is now complete.
I wanted to combine text, pictures, videos, sheet music (and more) and decided that a regular printed book wasn’t the ideal solution.

So he came up with releasing the books as an iBook, available on the Mac, iPhone and iPad.

I decided to go with the iBooks platform since this offers the possibility to combine all my different media content in a single product, he says. An advantage of the iBook “all-inclusive” format is that you get a self-contained product and once it’s on your device you can pretty much work without an internet connection.

Magnus uploaded a video to his YouTube Channel, giving a preview of what we can expect from the new book. Check out the video here.