What is a U•BASS®? [The Original Ukulele Bass Instrument Explained!]
The U•BASS® came thumping and flying onto the scene in 2009, taking the bass world for a spin. Musicians of all kinds began taking to the instrument, and some of the most acclaimed names in bass started incorporating it into their rigs and their live sets.
So what makes this instrument so special? Why have we at Kala dedicated so much attention, time, and love into the design of this innovative product?
Well, let's find out!
What Makes the U•BASS® special?
More than anything else, bassists tend to look for superb low end and a rich tone in the instruments they play. Given their need to be extremely versatile and complimentary players within an ensemble, we know that many bassists are constantly looking for instruments that can unlock a brand new feel and a new sound for their playing.
The U•BASS® is a fantastic example of a bass with a tone, feel, and overall character that is quite unlike anything else on the market. Known also as the original "ukulele bass," the U•BASS® combines unique, light tension bass strings with a small body size and a powerful pickup to produce a simply massive bass tone.
The U•BASS® offers its own uniquely deep, booming, and round tone, but is well known for its ability, with a little tweaking, to closely replicate the sound of an upright bass.
This is significant because a variety of genres and styles available to non-upright bass players open up when the U•BASS® is deployed, on-stage or in the studio.
Jazz, Folk, and Country players love the U•BASS® for its deep, clear, upright tone.
On the contrary, Funk, R&B, Hip-Hop, and Soul players love it for its huge, clean, low end!
What is a U•BASS®?
The U•BASS® has the scale length of a standard baritone ukulele and, needless to say, is significantly shorter than the typical electric bass guitar. This leads to ultra-fast access up and down the fretboard that would be more difficult to achieve on a standard-size bass, let alone an upright bass.
The Road Toad Pahoehoe U•BASS® Strings come standard on many U•BASS® models: a polyurethane blend with a bouncy, rubbery feel that adds to the unique tone and experience.
If traditional strings are more your style, Kala offers a Round Wound U•BASS® String Set that will give you that familiar traditional electric bass string feel.
Most recently, Kala released the Flatwound U•BASS® String Set, unlocking a whole new world of tones for our players.
Is The U•BASS® Portable?
You can take it as a carry-on at the airport when you travel and its lightweight body makes it perfect for grab-and-go practice sessions and impromptu jams.
The U•BASS® is designed to fit right into your rig, so when you get to that song that sounds just right on the Kala U•BASS®, swapping out your instruments is as easy and seamless as any other electric bass.
Which U•BASS® is Best for Me?
Wondering where to start? Our U•BASS® catalog here at Kala is constantly growing and adapting to best fit the ongoing needs and feedback of our incredible U•BASS® community.
Here's a quick rundown of some of the best models available:
The Nomad U•BASS® and Wanderer U•BASS® are two of our most popular U•BASS models and are a common "first" U•BASS®. Each model has their own distinct strings and EQ — feel free to check out both to find the right fit!
The Journeyman U•BASS®, Exotic Mahogany U•BASS®, Striped Ebony U•BASS®, and the Striped Ebony U•BASS® with Round Wounds are four distinct models that are common picks for performers and studio musicians.
Left handed players can go for the Lefty Exotic Mahogany U•BASS®, while lovers of fretless often go for our Striped Ebony Fretless U•BASS® or one of the Fretless Solid Body selections from our USA Made California U•BASS® Series.
What are some things you'd like to learn about the U•BASS®? For those who own the U•BASS®, what do you like about it most? Connect with us on Instagram to let us know @kalabrandmusic.