Learn To Play Bass Ukulele – Bass ukulele? It’s a bold idea, but not just an idea. Bass ukuleles are now available as small wooden instruments with solid or hollow bodies. They are similar to guitar ukuleles but have four thicker strings to produce deeper sounds.
I may have simplified the matter, which may be exactly what you need. If you’ve never owned or seen a bass ukulele, I don’t blame you. We are talking about an experimental, tropical instrument that is not widely present in mainstream music.
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But I don’t want to go on without covering the proper basics. I want you to approach the situation with the right information so that you can make an informed decision.
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That being said, we’ll check out our buyer’s advice on bass ukuleles, then move on to the 7 best models you can buy right now.
Viohl Ukulele bass” by Lardyfatboy / CC BY-SA 4.0 The bass ukulele is not a traditional instrument like the regular ukulele. However, these are modern alternatives that arrived in 2007.
Creating our list of the 7 best bass ukuleles requires some preliminary information. We also need to consider e-commerce site reviews, YouTube demos, user reviews, and personal experiences.
We then consider various factors that we will reveal. Bass ukulele construction in particular is very important because the constructions are more delicate and less mass-produced than solid-body bass guitars.
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Remember that there are many different brands of bass ukulele, many of which you may not recognize. However, bass ukuleles are relatively new instruments, so there is not much difference between brands today.
A bass ukulele usually has a hollow body and sound hole, just like an acoustic bass. The sound is similar to an upright bass, while solid ukuleles are more like soft bass guitars.
Tuning these instruments is equivalent to tuning an electric bass guitar (E-A-D-G). This means you can transfer your current skills to these instruments. There are also other models with a different tuning, namely D-G-B-E or G-C-E-A.
If you want to play bass ukulele, you probably already play bass, ukulele, or both. The transition from one instrument to another is not that difficult.
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There are various uses for the bass ukulele. By far the most popular use is simple pleasure. In this regard, there are many options that fit the budget. Overall, these games are good and have nice builds.
These instruments are great for people who want to learn to play the bass ukulele. They come with new user-friendly features such as quick necks, soft strokes and a comfortable design.
New bass ukuleles, however, have a common problem, namely intonation. No matter what strings you use, these instruments can be easily announced. That’s part of the reason why it’s not a popular thing in mainstream music.
There are also bass ukuleles with pickups. A client and preamp will allow you to play live with these instruments, but then you need a more professional alternative that can maintain the tone while you play live.
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Another thing to consider with electric bass ukuleles is the sound shaping options. If you’re concerned about the versatility of your sound, you’re probably better off looking for models with 3-band EQ and the like. The built-in tuner is great too.
Bass Ukulele Strings” Hastour / CC BY-SA 4.0 Bass ukulele strings are shorter but sometimes thicker than electric bass strings.
These new models are small enough to fit in your backpack, but still loud enough to be heard—at least by you.
The sound is also excellent, almost equal to the surreal sound of electronic drums. However, it is the new instruments that appeal to geeks and music collectors.
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Today, the original bass ukulele comes from a small company, the Road Toad Music company. They made their first bass ukulele in 2007, the Road Toad Big Bufo Bass. Years later, they introduced the first series-produced bass ukulele, the Kala-U model.
Big Mufo remains on the market. However, it is an expensive instrument because it focuses heavily on the luthier. The Kala model comes in collaboration with Kala, a renowned ukulele maker.
Currently, the Kala-U is at the top of the most popular instruments of its kind. We will cover more details as part of our reviews.
Bass ukulele 2” by Supericonoskop / CC BY-SA 4.0 Bass ukuleles often use maple or mahogany for their construction.
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Perhaps the most important thing to consider is the bass build. It determines its aesthetic appeal and sound. In addition, it also determines its use, whether professional or amateur,
Remember that bass ukuleles can produce big sounds despite their small size. Larger models have a gauge length of 30-32”, making them smaller and lighter than their electric counterparts.
As I mentioned before, these instruments can have a hollow body or a solid body. Body type plays a big role in voice.
Hollow body models have a sound similar to an upright bass, which means that the sound tends towards jazz, swing, blues, country, classical and similar genres of music.
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Solid body bass guitars sound like an electric model. I’d say their sound is fine for pop, reggae and latin pop, for the most part.
The choice then depends on the type of music you like and want to play. Body type is key to the resulting sound.
As a general rule, instruments with solid wood construction are better. They produce warmer, sweeter and more beautiful tones than models with laminated wood construction.
When it comes to budgetary instruments, however, this “truth” is not always true. Sometimes using quality laminated wood is better than using cheap solid wood for the body.
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So when you’re looking at a tube, ignore the “laminated” or “solid” labels. This only matters once you start hitting the mid-range price tags where laminated pieces no longer need it.
Most bass ukes are the same size as the baritone ukulele, which is the largest type of ukulele with a 30′ to 32” scale.
I advise you to choose a ukulele with standard tuning to make it easier to play.
I should also mention that there are two versions of the instrument, the other being the double bass ukulele.
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The bass uke has fat and rubber strings. They need these chunky pieces of hardware to produce deep tones in shorter scales.
With the rise in popularity of bass ukes comes a greater choice of strings. Of course, different materials provide different playability, tension and tone.
Kala, the current leader in the bass uke race, makes metal round wound strings. It feels softer and more like traditional bass guitar strings. They are also louder and can produce punchy and bright tones.
It might be okay to experiment with bass uke strings. But keep in mind that they are more expensive than most strings, with the average model retailing for $25.
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As I said before, bass ukuleles don’t stay in tune for long. In addition, they are tuned immediately after installation and it can be difficult to get the right tune.
This problem is more apparent with new sets. This is the main complaint about “U” basses, and it happens because the strings have to stretch a lot to produce the sound.
You see, bass uke strings have a unique character. They are flexible, stretchy and thick. It’s like having rubber bands for strings and paper clips for tuning pegs.
So the problem is that the strings are constantly vibrating. However, there are ways to reduce vibration, which ultimately increases tuning stability.
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De Vekey type 2 Ukulele bass side” by Lardyfatboy / CC BY-SA 4.0 Standard ukuleles come in four sizes (soprano, concert, tenor and baritone). Because bass ukuleles don’t have much time on the market, sellers tend to lump them into one category/size.
Some bass uke strings come with patented technology that increases density in one way or another. This is where polyurethane strings come into play. As such, they have a “rubber band” feel.
In addition, polyurethane strings can stretch for two weeks while you play the bass. After all, the bass has a better tone.
There is another option that uses newer silver-plated nylon cords with a silk core. They feel more like bass strings and are less susceptible to stretching. But they are more expensive.
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Bass ukuleles typically use a piezo-electric pickup system, as do acoustic-electric guitars. There are some models with magnetic pickups with passive or active electronics, meaning regular bass pickups.
Client choice also goes hand in hand with body type, so body type determines the sound:
If you do not choose a model with pickups, remember that these instruments are very quiet. There is less sound projection and volume without an amplifier. I mean, the volume is fine for just playing, but you need an amp for everything.
So I recommend using a spare speaker. You need a regular bass amplifier to work.
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Whatever you plan to do, make sure you have realistic expectations for the instrument. Even if you don’t have an amp, the bass ukulele is fun to practice at home or even play with someone in a quiet environment.
Playing in a larger group or in any area requires more power. Also a hollow body bass uke
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