UBass for a beginner?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by svtown, Jan 13, 2014.


  1. svtown

    svtown

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2014
    I've played guitar and a bit of ukulele and like the form factor of smaller instruments.

    I also saw this bass cover of "What's Going On" on a UBass: is also a nice video that alternates between a Fender p-bass and the Kala basses.
  2. Dubista

    Dubista

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    I'd recommend against it. You should already have some theoretical knowledge on how to play bass, coming from guitar e.g. note locations, scales. The UBass is cute, but it won't "feel" like an actual bass guitar due to the size.

    If you want something smaller. Have a look at short scaled basses, like the Fender Mustang Bass or whatever is in your budget.
  3. svtown

    svtown

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2014
    I have a few short-scaled guitars which I like playing (GS Mini); what's the difference in sound with a Mustang?

    Since I like the Motown sound, I'm basically just planning to get some variant of a P-Bass.
  4. Gorn Captain

    Gorn Captain Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2011
    Location:
    Queens
    I wouldn't recommend learning to play bass on a ubass. It requires a special touch that's unique to those kind of basses. You have to play it lightly, and fret in between the frets which is very different from playing a "normal" bass.

    It's like learning to drive in a bumper car. The skills you learn aren't gonna help you once you get in a real car and take it on the highway.

    But ubasses are great. I love petrochemically strung basses.
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  6. 1stnamebassist

    1stnamebassist

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2012
    Location:
    Ft Myers Florida
    If you don't plan on playing any larger basses the u-bass will be fine. If however it's not going to be your only bass I would recommend a full scale bass first. Then move to the u-bass after learning on the larger bass. You will find playing it very easy then.
  7. svtown

    svtown

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2014
    What do you mean by fretting between the frets? On guitar that is what I do; are you saying that in bass you need to fret on the wire (or very slightly behind the wire?)
  8. lz4005

    lz4005

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    On most instruments you can get away with fretting anywhere from the center of the space between frets to very slightly behind the wire. On a Ubass (with the stock strings at least) you have to be careful to put your finger in the middle between the frets in order to get clean notes.

    The strings are so big and rubberbandy that you'll get fret buzz if your finger is too close to the fret.

    All of that with the stock strings, at least.
  9. dannybuoy

    dannybuoy

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    Location:
    London, England
    You should always fret just behind the wire when possible - try it, you'll find you can get away with less finger pressure.

    If it's for learning on, there are cheaper options than the Kala - this is a European site, but sure what's available in the US:

    http://www.thomann.de/gb/harley_benton_kahuna_clu_bass.htm?sid=66e1c62d2356b7841367575d629153b7

    That way you could get a cheap P bass and a U-Bass for the price of a Kala! Unplugged, the Kala sounds a lot like a Motown P bass with flats. I don't see anything wrong with starting out on one, I say go for it!
  10. Solarmist

    Solarmist Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Location:
    15 miles from Mt. Rainier
    I'm going to echo the others here, and say no. If you move towards a standard long scale (34") some day - you won't be used the longer stretch.
  11. Gorn Captain

    Gorn Captain Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2011
    Location:
    Queens
    What I meant about fretting:

    On a normal bass, you fret just before the fret. For a C on the a string, you fret just behind the 3rd fret.

    On a ubass, for the C on the a string, you fret directly between the 2nd and 3rd fret.

    You get fret fart otherwise, which is the ubass equivalent of fret buzz.
    This:
    [​IMG]
    as opposed to this:
    [​IMG]
  12. lz4005

    lz4005

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    That's a good name for it. When I was typing "buzz" I was thinking 'that isn't really right'.

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