The Best Bass Ukulele for Your Needs
The ukulele is a little guitar-like instrument that has gained popularity in recent years. You can play it at home, with friends, or in groups to make music and have fun. Coupled with other instruments, such as the electric guitar and electric violin, you are sure to have a wonderful time with your friends. The best bass ukulele will depend on your needs and what you want to use it for. This blog article will discuss the many varieties of ukuleles available and our top selections in each category!
The bass ukulele is a unique hybrid instrument gaining popularity in recent years. These basses, similar to ukuleles but have six strings instead of four, produce a surprisingly powerful sound.
Quick Picks: The Best Bass Ukulele for Your Needs
Kala Wanderer U-Bass
Kala Solid Mahogany U-Bass
Kala Exotic Mahogany U-Bass
Kala Rumbler U-Bass
What to Know Before Buying
Before you make your purchase, consider the following points.
The Bass Uke Will Feel Very Different
Playing the bass uke is different than playing the regular guitar. The strings are fat and rubbery, so you need to get used to it. You also need to practice so that your sound is good.
You’ll Probably Want an Amp
You can play a ukulele bass without an amplifier, but it won’t make any sound. If you want to hear your bass uke, you will need to buy an amplifier.
It Will Take an Extremely Long Time to Tune Your Bass Ukulele
This is expected due to the strings. It’s not a problem with the instrument or tuners. You’ll find yourself turning your bass ukulele frequently, especially when you initially acquire it.
Kala’s U-Bass was the first bass ukulele that people could afford. Kala is the biggest name for bass ukes, so I will be talking about their U-Basses, which are very popular.
The U-Bass is tuned to the same notes as a bass guitar, based on a baritone ukulele body. The shortened scale and fat, rubbery strings give it an unexpectedly similar voice to big upright bass.
There are many U-Bass models that Kala has come out with since 2008. Kala makes them in different materials, finishes, and price ranges. I will tell you about some of their more popular models below.
1. Kala Wanderer U-Bass
The Wanderer is one of the cheapest models of U-Basses. It has a mahogany body and minimal cosmetic features, which help keep the price down.
Kala’s U-Bass line doesn’t have a lot of expensive models. The UBASS-WNDR-FS is good and has the same quality as the more expensive U-Bass models. It is a fantastic choice for someone looking to get an outstanding ukulele bass. Still, it does not wish to spend an excessive amount of money.
Laminated Wood Body
The Wanderer features a laminated body, which contributes to Kala’s ability to provide this ukulele bass at such an affordable price. The all-laminated body might not sound as warm and rich as the solid-wood models.
The Wanderer’s Other Budget-Friendly Features
Several further cost-cutting features on a Wanderer include the following:
- The nut and saddle are constructed of plastic rather than bone or a substance such as TUSQ.
- It features generic tuners instead of Hipshot Ultralite brand-name on more expensive versions.
- The UK-500B pickup is a simple system sold with other electronics. The Shadow NFX pickup found in higher-end models is different.
- The included bag is not as strong. The more expensive bags are better.
2. Kala Solid Mahogany U-Bass
The Kala Fuji UB-10 is the most expensive and one of the few all-solid wood bass ukuleles in the company’s lineup.
The UBASS-SMHG-FS series has many different upgrades than the Wanderer and Rumbler series. The upgrades include:
- All-solid mahogany body
- TUSQ nut and composite saddle (better than plastic)
- Hipshot Ultralight tuners
- Custom Shadow NFX U-Bass pickup w/ built-in tuner
- Tortoise body binding
- Beveled headstock edge
- Inlaid headstock with Kala logo and frog
- Deluxe Kala gig bag
If you want Kala’s top-of-the-line ukulele and you don’t care about the cost, this one is worth a look. If you want to spend less or just try out a ukulele bass, there are other cheaper models.
3. Kala Exotic Mahogany U-Bass
The “Exotic Mahogany” body is the distinctive aspect of this Kala ukulele bass. This wood has a gold stain that imitates the look of koa or flame maple and is a kind of figured mahogany with gold highlights.
Kala’s website says that the Exotic Mahogany U-Bass is their best-selling bass uke. They are beautiful instruments, and the wood they use is usually really nice to look at.
The majority of the upgraded components seen on Kala’s higher-end instruments are included in this U-Bass. The laminated wood body helps keep the price down, but it may not sound as warm as models made of solid wood.
4. Kala Rumbler U-Bass
5. Kala Solid Spruce Top U-Bass
This U-Bass has a solid spruce top. It is between the all-laminated models and the all-mahogany model. It is more affordable than the all-mahogany one.
This design combines the tonal qualities of solid wood with the affordability of laminated wood by using a solid spruce top on a laminate body and sides. This is a typical construction method employed by many acoustic instrument producers.
6. Fretless Kala U-Bass
The majority of Kala’s U-Bass models are available in a fretless version. A fretless bass uke has a smooth fingerboard with flush marker lines where the frets would be on a standard guitar. A fingerboard without frets produces a smoother, mellower sound closer to an upright bass’s tone. It also allows for easy sliding effects.
A fretless bass needs more accuracy than a fretted one. On a fretted instrument, the frets make the notes always be in tune. You must be extremely cautious with your finger placement on fretless bass, or the note will go out of tune.
People who are experienced with bass may want to consider the fretless U-Bass. But for most people, the standard fretted U-Bass is probably the safest choice.
Other Bass Ukuleles
Of course, Kala isn’t the only game in town for ukuleles with bass. Seeing the popularity of the U-Bass, several different manufacturers began offering their own version of the instrument.
1. Donner DUB-1 Electric Ukulele Bass
The Donner DUB-1 is cheaper than the Kala U-Bass but still a quality instrument. This might be the best option for people who want to play around with a ukulele bass but don’t want to spend too much money.
Most customers liked the sound, how easy it was to play, and the quality.
There were a few negative reviews among the negatives. They said there was a problem with the pickup and tuner not working. But I also saw many people who did not generally understand bass ukuleles.
2. Kmise Bass Ukulele
This is the most cost-effective bass ukulele I’ve seen for sale online. Normally, I’d be wary of a significantly less expensive product than its competition. Still, Kmise has a good reputation, so I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with this instrument.
Kmise offers a 30-day return policy, which is good news if the uke doesn’t live up to your expectations.
3. Hadean UKB-23 Bass Ukulele
This is one of the most reasonably priced ones I’ve seen, and it doesn’t appear to have any issues. The walnut body and rope rosette were nice design features I’d never seen on an instrument in this price range before.
The customer reviews were good. Customers liked the craftsmanship and tone and how it was worth the money.
Many folks had no idea what they were getting themselves into when they left nasty feedback. A bass ukulele is different from a regular ukulele. It might take some time to get used to it, so be patient.
What is a Bass Ukulele?
A bass ukulele is a stringed instrument that is the same size as a ukulele. It’s tuned like a bass guitar or an upright bass.
The bass ukulele has been around for some time, but Kala popularized it in the 2000s with their U-Bass.
Bass ukuleles are often created from a baritone ukulele. A baritone is the largest of the four common sizes.
A bass ukulele has very thick, rubbery strings. It is different than any other stringed instrument I have tried, so it feels strange.
Do You Need an Amp?
The ukuleles produced by Bass Ukulele are extremely quiet instruments by nature. Using an amp with a bass ukulele is strongly advised, but it isn’t necessary. Make sure you set your expectations correctly before making a purchase.
Should You Buy a Bass Uke If You Don’t Have an Amp?
Even if you don’t have an amp, a bass uke could still be fun for practicing at home or playing with one other person. If you want to play with a larger group or perform at any kind of venue, then you’ll need an amp.
Why Are Bass Ukes So Quiet?
Bass ukuleles have fat, flexible strings with little tension. A bass uke’s strings are unlike the tight metal strings on a steel guitar in that they aren’t as good at “driving” the instrument and vibrating it. This is simply the result of playing as few notes as possible on such a little instrument with a short scale.
What Kind of Amp Should You Use With a Bass Ukulele?
If you want your bass to sound better, use a bass amplifier. But if you don’t have one, using the guitar amp will work too.
Guitar amps are not made to be used with bass instruments. They may not sound as clear or have the best sound. Playing a brass instrument through a guitar amp at high volumes might also be bad.
If you want to start playing ukulele and already have a guitar amp, it may be best to use it for a while before investing in more gear. However, suppose you intend to gig immediately with your bass uke. In that case, it’s definitely preferable to invest in a specialized bass amp.
Bass Ukulele Size
The baritone ukulele is the ukulele’s largest size. It is optimal for low notes found on brass instruments.
The majority of bass ukuleles I’ve seen are about 30 inches long from end to end.
Bass ukuleles have a scale length of approximately 20 inches. This is shorter than the baritone ukulele’s 19-inch scale length.
Bass Ukulele Tuning
The tuning of a bass ukulele is similar to that of a standard bass guitar: E-A-D-G. These are also the first four notes of a regular guitar, only one octave lower.
Tuning a bass ukulele can take a long time. This is normal for a new bass uke, but it could happen after adding new strings.
Bass Ukulele Tuning Vs. Baritone and Standard Ukulele
A baritenon is tuned D-G-B-E. This is the same as the four highest strings on a guitar, except one octave lower. A ukulele (soprano, concert, or tenor) is tuned G-C-E-A, similar to the fifth fret of a standard guitar.
Bass Ukulele Strings
Bass ukuleles require unusually fat, rubbery strings to play low notes on their small 20-inch scale. These strings are frequently constructed of polyurethane or a similar flexible material.
Problems Tuning a Bass Ukulele
If you are new to the ukulele, getting used to playing in tune will take some time. They will go out of tune frequently, even if you just bought them. This is especially true for brand-new strings.
The strings on a bass ukulele are much more stretchy than metal-stringed instruments like guitars. They are softer and more flexible. You can compare it to how paper clips are different from rubber bands.
Types of Bass Ukulele Strings
With the increased popularity of the bass uke, people have many different string choices. Each material has a unique tension or feels that is different from other materials or strings.
Kala makes strings for bass guitars. They feel a little more like traditional strings. Many people report that they are louder and produce a bright, punchy sound.
You can try different strings on your bass uke. It might take a while to find the right one, but it will be worth it when you do because most strings are very expensive for bass ukes.
The word “strings” means a lot of things. It’s a big topic, so I’m going to give you some more information about it. If you want more, just read this series on uke bass string tests.
How to Play a Bass Ukulele
The bass ukulele is a good second instrument if you know how to play bass. The playing style is different because it is smaller and has different strings.
The Fat Strings Require a Different Technique
When you first attempt to play the bass ukulele, you may feel uneasy. It features thick, stretchy strings that may take some time to adjust to. They are not what you are accustomed to.
Bass uke strings are different from other stringed instruments because they have a bigger diameter. They feel loose and floppy. There is not as much resistance as with other stringed instruments.
The technique for playing a bass uke is different from a regular bass or ukulele. For example, when you play the strings close to the bridge on a bass uke, you will not get buzzing sounds like other instruments. It is critical to play around the neck joint on a standard ukulele to avoid this.
These strings are loose and grippy. They can feel like they want to roll under your fingers when you pluck them. This is another reason why it is important to practice your technique and touch.
Most People Use Their Fingers
The majority of people play a bass ukulele with their fingers. Picks made from felt, rubber, or leather are occasionally used, but they aren’t as popular.
Bass Ukulele Vs. Baritone Ukulele Vs. Standard Ukulele
A bass ukulele’s body is similar to a baritone ukulele’s. Ukuleles are all smaller than a bass ukulele.
- Bass ukulele: E-A-D-B
- Baritone ukulele: D-G-B-E
- Standard ukulele: G-C-E-A
Most ukuleles have the same tuning. Alternative tunings are available, but they aren’t widely used.
Different Scale Lengths
- Bass ukulele: 20″
- Baritone ukulele: 19″
- Soprano, concert, and tenor ukulele: Between 13.5″ and 17″
Most ukuleles have a scale length of 19 inches, although this isn’t a guarantee.
Bass ukes use thick, rubbery strings. They are different than regular guitar strings. They can take some getting used to.
Ukes with thinner strings of the particular gauge are referred to as tenor, baritone, concert, and soprano ukes.
A bass ukulele is played like a bass guitar. With the index and middle fingers, you pluck out the bass lines. It is usually not strummed with a pick, either.
The strings on a baritone and standard-tuned ukulele may be strummed or fingerpicked. These instruments have a playing style that’s more guitar-like than other stringed instruments.
For more information about the best bass ukuleles, you can check out this link.
The Best Bass Ukulele On The Market
The best bass ukulele is a hybrid instrument that has become more popular in recent years among musicians. Different ukuleles, like the Concert, Soprano, Tenor, and Baritone. The bass ukulele is a size that is smaller than a bass guitar but can create a big melody. This makes it an amusing option for bass guitars and upright basses.
However, today we will review all about the Bass Ukulele. If you are interested in classic uke sound, you might like one of the modern instruments from the list. So, let's start a journey to seek the best bass ukulele for you.
1. Oscar Schmidt OUB200K Comfort Series Bass Ukulele
The Rumbler is a modified version of the Wanderer. It has the same laminated mahogany body as the Wanderer. Still, it has a few features that are only available on Kala’s higher-end models:
Oscar Schmidt is a well-known acoustic guitar producer. This time, it has made a high-quality bass uke. Mahogany was chosen for the top, back, and sides because of its natural color and resonance. The Satin Finish makes it look great.
It has a rosewood body which makes it more comfortable to hold. You also get access to the upper frets with the partial cutaway. It includes 16 frets with dot inlays.
The body design is beautiful. It's wrapped around the main body and goes to the top. This makes it look great. The quality of the construction is excellent. So it is a very attractive instrument.
This amplifier gives you a great sound. You can use the tone controls to make it even better. The instrument's resonance is also very clear when amplified.
2. Hadean Acoustic Electric Bass Ukulele UKB-24
One remarkable thing about the Hadean UKB-24 is that it is made with high-quality materials, including a swamp ash body. This gives it a unique look and feels compared to other models.
This Electric Bass Ukulele has a preamp that helps if you want to use the volume, midsection, treble, or bass loudly. It has Aquila Nylgut strings which help keep the bass in tune and sound better.
It also has a truss-rod adjustable neck and a built-in chromatic tuner with an LCD display. It also sounds decent.
The quality of the bass guitar is high, and its price is reasonable.
3. Hilo, 4-String Acoustic Upright Bass
The Hilo Acoustic Upright Bass is a Deluxe Mahogany uke that will impress any ukulele fan. It is slightly bigger than your average uke, and its mahogany finish makes it sound great. This bass uke is made from top-quality mahogany wood.
This uke has frets on its wooden fingerboard, which makes it beginner-friendly. It also has quality geared machines that give its sound authenticity.
This is a luxurious ukulele that can fulfill your desires. It is as good as other mahogany ukuleles, but it is more affordable. It is one of the best bass ukuleles in its price range.
4. Caramel CUB402
This bass guitar model has many features similar to a standard bass guitar. For example, they both produce sound. They also use the same notes. Additionally, you can set it up the same way as a standard bass guitar.
This model is unique because it has a very portable bass. This makes it enjoyable to use.
This instrument produces great sound and also has great playability. The Aquilla strings create a great low-end tone that professional players will love.
This mahogany model bass ukulele is pleasing to the eye and the ear. The preamp designed to amplify sounds makes it perfect for performances. At the same time, the integrated tuner ensures that you always sound your best.
One of the unique features of this guitar is the LED backlight screen. This can make your playing look better at night. You'll also appreciate how it was designed to use less battery power.
You can either play your ukulele acoustically or amplified. To play it amplified, you just need to plug it in. The manufacturer also included a few additional items that you will appreciate. It comes with a wall hanger to store your instrument with convenience. The uke also comes with a 30" gig bag for safe traveling. It's relatively lightweight and easy to carry around.
Some users feel that the tuners on the instrument are cheap. But overall, it is a good instrument worth buying.
5. Luna Bari-Bass Ukulele
This instrument is well-constructed and made to industry standards. The entire back, top, and sides are made of koa wood, while the neck is mahogany. The fingerboard is made of walnut, which will ensure the instrument's durability.
The overall finish is black, which makes the instrument look good. It also has four large die-cast tuning machines, making it easier to play the instrument correctly. It is unlikely that the bass will drop out of key with this model.
This is one of the few models that doesn't come with a built-in tuner. But don't worry, this doesn't compromise the sound produced. The instrument features Aquila Thundergut strings that make it a joy to play.
It is more expensive than the other models. But it has better sound quality than the other models in its price range.
6. MiNi 4-String Ukulele Electric Bass
If you want a high-performance electric bass ukulele, this is for you. It is lightweight, so you can move it easily to your gig location.
Even though it is small compared to other brands, this instrument produces a very large sound.
The light natural color of this instrument is very attractive. You can pick this instrument in blue if you're not a fan of natural colors.
This instrument is designed to be durable. The top, back, and sides are made of nut & swamp ash, while the fingerboard is made of Rosewood. You can use this instrument for a long time because it is built solidly.
The strings are of high quality and come from Italy. They are made of nylon, making the instrument's sound quality better.
You'll appreciate how the neck features adjustable truss rods. This will help you adjust the action to your desired level.
This instrument model is designed for musicians who don't like traveling with a lot of equipment. It is space-saving, so you can store it easily.
Unfortunately, it doesn't come with a gig bag, so you must purchase one separately.
The instrument is easy to operate and tune, depending on the sound you want. Some users feel that it produces too much reverb, but that is their personal preference.
This ukulele is a great value because it is reasonably priced. You don't have to spend a lot of money to get a good ukulele.
7. Alston Bass Ukulele
Alston Fretless Electric Acoustic Ukulele Bass is an instrument that has a great look and feel. It also features fretless features.
This is one of the lightest Ukuleles available. It is easy to carry it around with you. The scale length is only 20 inches, making it easier to play. The Ukulele EQ with the built-in tuner minimizes any buzz.
The small open gate on the body's lower back makes it easier to install strings. Finally, the satin butterfly wooden body gives it a premium look and feel, proving great craftsmanship.
Finding the best bass ukulele is easy if you know what to look for. You should already be familiar with the instrument before looking for one.
No matter what type of model you are looking at, whether it has frets or not, it is made of mahogany or spruce and comes with a flat wound or polyurethane strings. You can always choose the uke to suit your needs by determining your preferences and tastes.
The bass ukulele is a great instrument to take with you on the go. It has a great sound for its size. Even though some people might think it's a novelty instrument, it's really not. Once people know how good it sounds, they will be drawn to it.
The bass ukulele is a great addition to any music collection. It has a wide range of features and a reasonable price. You are sure to love the sound it makes.
They're also a lot of fun to use, which might be why you buy one after your research is finished.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Bass Ukulele
A regular ukulele has a hollow body and a soundhole, just like an acoustic bass. Ukuleles with solid bodies sound like light upright bass guitars, while those with hollow bodies sound like gentle bass guitars. Finally, there are fretless bass ukuleles. They are not as difficult to play as other fretless instruments, but they lack the sensitivity of fretted instruments’ fingerboards.
It is possible to achieve a low G tuning on your ukulele. A tuning makes the fourth string lower, and that note would be a G4 on an electronic tuner. This is different from the notes in standard tuning for ukuleles which have the fourth string tuned as high as possible.
The bass ukulele is played similarly to the guitar. The two index and middle fingers are used to pluck the bass lines. They are not strummed in the same way as ukuleles or guitars are. Baritone and standard-tuned ukuleles can be strummed or fingerpicked, but they play more like a guitar than a bass.
The bass ukulele is unlike any other ukulele style. It’s something that beginners need to learn how to do. But it’s not really hard to play a basic rhythm and add it to the sound of a group of players. You will need an amplifier for your bass ukulele, but you can also play with headphones if you don’t have one.
The EADG tuning of a bass guitar is one octave lower than the four lowest strings of a guitar. The GCEA tuning is similar to the guitar’s top four strings at the fifth fret, except G is tuned an octave higher than D.
The U-compact Bass’s design makes it easy to transport and play, and when connected to an amp, it delivers a huge bass sound. The U-Bass is enormous and small because of its small body, ultrashort 21-inch scale (compared to a standard Fender-style bass’s 34-inch scale), and booming plugged-in bass sound.
Bass ukuleles are typically the same size as baritone ukuleles (around 30-32" in overall length). There are two types of bass ukulele sizes, standard and contrabass, and the standard bass ukulele is tuned one octave higher than a regular bass guitar. The contrabass is tuned the same as a regular bass guitar.
A bass ukulele is a smaller bass guitar that looks like a ukulele. There are some key differences between bass ukuleles and other types of ukuleles. Bass ukuleles typically have strings made out of polyurethane, which is much thicker and denser than traditional ukulele strings.
These ukuleles are bigger than baritone ukes, but they can only be heard through a pickup, making your sound louder. Bass ukuleles have the same tuning as electric ukes (see below), but they are much shorter. It's quite astounding how low they can go in pitch (for such a small instrument).
The bass ukulele is different from other ukuleles. It is a good instrument to start with if you are new to playing music. You can play simple rhythms that will make the group sound better.
The bass guitar is tuned EADG, an octave lower than the four lowest strings on a guitar. Ukuleles are tuned GCEA, similar to the top four strings at the fifth fret. However, the G string on a ukulele is tuned an octave higher than the same note on the D string, the fifth fret of a guitar.
You can run a uke through a bass amp, but it won't sound as good as if you use a uke amp. A bass amp makes lower sounds, so your uke will sound slightly different than if you use its own amp. It's up to you whether or not you want to try it.
The U-Bass is a cool-looking bass ukelele that is about the size of a regular baritone uke. It has a 12 fret neck, making both bassists and migrating guitarists feel comfortable.