1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
     
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

ukulele as starter bass???

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by 6mthprsngYAYtab, Dec 24, 2017.


  1. 6mthprsngYAYtab

    6mthprsngYAYtab

    Dec 24, 2017
    I have a 4 year old little boy, that loves my basses and loves to play with them.
    As you might imagine, they swallow him whole, so there isn't much hope for really teaching him anything, hands on, anytime soon.

    It occurred to me, (ignoring the obvious differences in tuning and other fundamental differences), to the casual observer, a uke, is just a tiny 4 string bass.
    Is it something any of you have contemplated, or experimented with, the idea of getting
    a little one started learning bass, on a ukulele?

    It seems, in terms of getting his hands on something he can physically handle and becoming familiar with the basic posture, hand movements, etc. to be a no brainer.
    That said, I'm nobody's "musician", i'm a novice to the core, who learns by tabs and
    determination.
    Which is to say, I'm fully aware of how absolutely absurd the idea may be.

    So by all means, give it to me straight, doc...

    Any thoughts?

    First post, btw. So, hi all :) I'm Jerry, in Houston.
    Thanks!
     
  2. bassweazl

    bassweazl

    May 30, 2017
    Bavaria
    cnltb, somegeezer, LarryBama and 3 others like this.
  3. Oddly

    Oddly Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    Firstly, welcome!

    As Bassweazl says there are ukelele basses out there. Kala's are probably the best, but pricey.
    I'd say go for it ... even with an ordinary uke.
    At the least, it'd get his fingers ready for a 'real' instrument.:D
     
    RedVee and 6mthprsngYAYtab like this.
  4. 6mthprsngYAYtab

    6mthprsngYAYtab

    Dec 24, 2017
    Thank you guys!
    Freakin' awesome:)

    lol @ "real" instrument \m/\m/
     
  5. Nev375

    Nev375

    Nov 2, 2010
    Missouri
    Are ukuleles not real? Did I just imagine them?
     
  6. bassweazl

    bassweazl

    May 30, 2017
    Bavaria
    i´d want one too for noodling around on the couch, but the kala´s are too expensive for that.

    does anyone know if there are cheaper ones worth trying?
     
  7. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music.

    May 3, 2009
    N.E Illinois
    A regular Ukulele has a totally different feel and approach that a bass uke.
    Not to mention sound.
    A Rondo Hadean bass Uke is perfect.
    And it won't break the bank.Rondo Music Banjos and Ukuleles
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2017
  8. Picton

    Picton Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2017
    Reading, MA
    At four?

    If your kids are anything like mine, four is so young that getting ANY instrument into their little paws is great. I wouldn’t get hung up on the number of strings, nor the type of instrument. If they’re willing to play it, go with it.
     
    tlc1976, SLO Surfer and Oddly like this.
  9. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 Groove it

    Oct 31, 2006
    AMERICA
    most kids don't develope any musical inclinations until age 10 or 12. Until then, just keep instruments around the house. Remember kids that young have virtually NO attention span.
     
    Jhengsman and gebass6 like this.
  10. skwee

    skwee

    Apr 2, 2010
    Minneapolis
    just tune it to EADG in the uke's octave. It'll be fine.
     
    lz4005 likes this.
  11. cnltb

    cnltb

    May 28, 2005
    ukulele as starter bass???
    No.
     
  12. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    +1 on the Hadean Bass uke. Nicely made, good sounding (if you like the sound of a bass uke), and very affordable compared to some of the alternatives. Depending on his size, there’s always the 25” micro basses such as the Ibanez Mikro to consider.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2017
    gebass6 likes this.
  13. DavC

    DavC Supporting Member

    May 17, 2005
    Trinity, FL
    i started on piano at age 6 ... ( but that was eons ago )

    i know for piano ... a whole new world of music opens up as soon as your fingers can reach an octave .. !
    before piano , i was noodling around with a melodica for a year-ish ... great for little fingers ..!

    the small bass ukes would be cool ... and it's also something you could use .. !
     
    Cowboy in Latvia likes this.
  14. gebass6 likes this.
  15. Cowboy in Latvia

    Cowboy in Latvia

    Mar 1, 2015
    It's like the "real world". People keep talking about it and so far it seems I haven't gotten there. I think that ukuleles and the world I'm living in must be imaginary. Oh well, these ukes and this world work for me so I'll just keep waiting for the real thing. :chicken:;)

    On topic, a uke should work as a first instrument but I'd say if you really want to give him a good start, go with piano lessons either now or in a year or so like @DavC mentioned.
     
  16. pbass2

    pbass2

    Jan 25, 2007
    Los Angeles
    I agree. If he's into hitting, plucking, etc. any kind of thing that he feels is making music, then let em at it! I bought my son a Bronco bass when he was about 8. Even that was way too big for him, but he had some fun with it. It was actually quite awesome--he'd lay it flat on the floor and we'd run it through all kinds of stomps--multiple delays, fuzz, you-name-it-- and he was doing abstract drone noise music at 8!
    He's not toying with it much now (he's 12), he still grabs it from time to time. It sits right by the piano and he's more into that these days, but the bass did get him started.
     
  17. Pirate Captain

    Pirate Captain Elitist Jazz Snob ******** Supporting Member

    Dec 22, 2016
    Shelter Island, NY USA
    by the time Esperanza Spalding was five years old she'd taught HERSELF to play the violin and was performing with The Chamber Music Society of Oregon. She's now on track to become the worlds greatest living bassist...so, I'd say four is OK and Uke is OK.
     
    tlc1976 and Bassist4Eris like this.
  18. dxb

    dxb

    Dec 25, 2016
    Every kid should have a uke to play around with. Its a great introduction to stringed instruments. Cheap digital keyboard/synths are good too. Both are inexpensive so you're not out much of the kid loses interest or breaks it.
     
    Jhengsman likes this.
  19. Nev375

    Nev375

    Nov 2, 2010
    Missouri
    Could you expand upon your reasoning so we can mock you easier?
     
    Bassist4Eris and Element Zero like this.
  20. 4dog

    4dog

    Aug 18, 2012
    You so win the net today!!!