By C-String at electricuke.com
When I heard about bass electric ukes awhile back, my very first thought was, “Are they fun?”. Off in a flash I was to hear and see some videos of people performing on them.
As it turns out, they are here not to play along with the electric bass guitar. They’re here to play instead of them! In a given particular song that is. Ha. Ha. Don’t laugh too hard at that. The real question is where will they fit into use and who will be playing them.
WHAT IS IT?
These approximately 21” scale, polyurethane plastic strung pieces of gear are available in an increasingly wider selection. You can choose whether you want yours fretted or fretless, hollow or solid body and 4 or 5-string.
Electric uke basses are tuned the same as electric guitar basses are. Most of them are outfitted with a saddle mounted piezo pickup which is output to an amp via an active volume and tone circuit. They usually feature a bridge that is fixed in position (intonation) and of course they sound their best with that titan of a bass guitar amp that you may already have access to!
You are correct if you look to members of ukulele bands to be among the pathfinders of people who are first up; firing up the uke bass. Other players may opt for a bass that is compact in size or that will only be played on a few songs in a live performance. You could be hooked just by how powerful it feels to handle such small instrument that produces a beastly big sound. In fact you could just fall in love with an incredible paint job!
Blue, red, natural, sunburst, green! Maybe it’s simply a great different voice and feel in the realm of bass music.
Most electric uke players approach the instrument with the right hand finger technique that is commonly used on the electric bass guitar. It’s both challenging and worthwhile to go all the way into the EQ section (tone controls) of the amp that you are playing to get a great sound.
Maybe it’s the odd construction of the tuners and of the strings themselves that intrigues me about them. Or maybe it’s the unknown road ahead of us.
Was I wondering if bass ukuleles are fun?