Playubass at the 2017 Winter NAMM show in Anaheim, CA

Long overdue here’s finally a short travel log about my trip to the 2017 Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, CA

I have been to a couple of music trade shows in Europe as a visitor but this was my first trip to the Winter NAMM show in Los Angeles. It was also the first time working closely with Kala. My main focus was to release and letting people know about my first Ebook/ePub in my Learn to play the Ubass series.
I started working on the ebook back in 2013 and it has slowly taken its form. The basic idea and the text was ready after about a year but working on how to present it, all the movies and the graphics and navigation took quite a while to finalize. You can read more about the Ebook/ePub and where to find it here.

After a +10 hour flight from Stockholm ARN I landed at LAX and took a bus to Anaheim where I met staff from Kala. I settled in and started to plan the next coming days.

I arrived on Monday, January 17 with the show starting on Thursday that week. I helped out a bit loading in some stuff and setting up the booth. The booth was fantastic with a really well throughout design that got a lot of compliments from many visitors and booth neighbors.

Load in and set up of the Kala Booth

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Once the show started I met a lot of great people, both visitors, other companies and press. Besides talking to some online magazines myself I was also fortunate to get help to set up some meetings and interviews both from Kala and other friends in the music business. It was, for example, crazy to see Nathan East being interviewed in the exact same spot a day before I got an interview from the same online community! 🙂

You can find the news coverage and interviews here.

I got a lot of new friends at the show and also managed to do quite a few nice jams with amazing musicians. Bakithi Kumalo, Miki Santamaria, Corey Fujimoto, Ariane Cap, was some of the musicians I got to play with. Great fun!

Booth and NAMM show pictures

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The Ubass got a lot of attention at this Winter NAMM show. 8 years after the first Kala Ubass was released its still a ”show stopper”! Many musicians, including lots of bass players of course, came by and was floored by the small footprint bass with the huge sound. It’s so great to see the happy smiles on the faces of the first time players


The California solid body Ubasses was revamped with slightly bigger and rounder bodies as one of the main differences. Check them out here.

I also got to try out the prototype Paddle Bass by Kala. A great one string bass for a quick and refreshing way into the wourld of bass playing! Link to Bass Musician Magazine article.

All in all my first NAMM show was a very nice experience. And although it’s quite exhausting being on the show floor with the intense sound and constant stream of people I hope to return and continue my ”IRL” networking across the pond as soon as possible!

A big thank you to all the staff at Kala and the wonderful Kala and Ubass artist I got to hang and work with!!!

– – –

I read a Kala Ubass review in Bass player magazine back in 2010. At the same time my parents happened to be on vacation and they helped me to buy my first ubass at a music store in Honolulu while visiting the islands of Hawaii. l had not been able to try one beforehand but it only took me a few minutes getting acquainted with the short scale length and rubbery strings. After that I have gotten more and more in love with the feel and sound of the ubass. Hope you have or will get the same feeling for these amazing instruments! Read more about my first encounter here!

Annonser

NEWS FLASH! Official release of ”Jag vet att vi ses snart igen/Manhã De Carnaval” on YouTube and digital outlets!

Single cover ”Lago Norte, Brasilia, Brasil” Photo: M. Sjöquist

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Hi,

I’m very exited to finally be able to share this song! I have worked on my album project on and off since 2012 and this tune especially has been very important to me. It has seen its ups and downs, I have had copyright issues and other problems that have delayed the release but now it’s ready to share with you!

First a bit of the back story…

My love for Brazilian music started in the early 90’s. I studied music at different music schools in Sweden and was turned on to the lovely and colorful music of Brazil. The melodies, rhythms and harmony, everything fits together so nicely and makes a music so complete and wonderful to my ears and heart.

In 2010 I got to know Nelson Faria and his family when he first came to Sweden to be a guest professor at the Orebro University. I got to play and study with him and more amazing musicians/teachers from Brazil.

I was the recording engineer of the first Tavares – Faria Duo record ”Na Esquina De Mestre Mignone” that can be found on cdbaby.com. During the recording sessions we had some time left and did a quick recording of one of my favorite Brazilian songs, Dindi. I overdubbed a bass part with my fretless spruce Kala Ubass

 

I started to record songs in 2012 for my first album featuring my first Kala UBass.
I decided to have jazz and Brazil music as a focus and ”Jag vet att vi ses snart igen/Manhã De Carnaval” is one of the songs I have recorded. I have already pre-released a few other songs from this project on bandcamp.com please go there and have a listen if you haven’t already.

I think the version of ”Jag vet att vi ses snart igen/Manhã De Carnaval” is really special because of the bi-lingual duet I perform with the amazing Brazilian vocalist Ilessi. Please check out her music on Facebook. I met her when she was in Sweden as a part of an exchange program between one of the Universitys in Rio de Janeiro (UniRio) and the University of Orebro here in Sweden. I studied at this University back in the 90’s and have also worked there as a teacher.

Carlos Fuchs and Ilessi during the recording session of the Portuguese vocal parts at Estúdio Tenda da Raposa in Rio de Janeiro.

Illessi recorded her vocal part at Estúdio Tenda da Raposa in Rio de Janeiro engineered by Carlos Fuchs. The rest of the song is recorded here in Sweden by me. Both in my studio and at a friends house. I’m very happy and proud of my fellow musicians in this recording. They have all contributed in such a great and musical way.

Big, big thanks to Ilessi, Tommy, Daniel and Lasse!

I really hope you will love our version and that you can feel the all the love put into this project. I’m so glad it can finally see the light of day!

Please have a look at the video that features this song and feel free to share it around!

The song can be bought at several digital outlets as (Apple iTunes, cdbaby.com, Google Play…) and can also be streamed (Spotify, Tidal, Google Play, Pandora, YouTube Music). Some of these services might not be available in your country but someone of the hopefully will!

Personel on the recording of ”Jag vet att vi ses snart igen/Manhã De Carnaval”

Ilessi, vocals
Magnus Sjöquist, vocals and kala ubass
Tommy Nilsson, accordion
Daniel Björnmo, acoustic guitar
Lasse Fhager, percussion

Buy (or stream) the song from any of these services:

iTunes

CDBaby

Spotify

Tidal

Amazon.com

Amazon.de

…and 24 more services 🙂

Musik är livet! / A música é vida! / Music is life!
/Magnus

Video Premiere of a special song next Friday, July 7. See teaser video now!

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Hi,

Next week I will release a very special song. Its meant to show my love for Brazil and Brazilian music. It’s a bi-lingual duet of one of the most famous Brazilian songs.

Please have look at this studio sessions teaser and prepar for the video premiere next Friday, July 7.

Can hardly wait letting you see and hear the whole song and let you know more about it!

Video lesson 10- now for everyone!

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Hi,

Last summer i released a video where I performed a version of a classic Swedish folk song, ”Visa från Utanmyra”. I also released a video lesson but it was only available for my newsletter subscribers. It’s now available for everyone! Have fun playing this great and beautiful melody and bass part!

Link to Video lesson page!

Lesson video

Performance video

 

It is here: Learn to play the Ubass – Basic techniques. Get your copy now at the iBook store

Hi,
After three years in the making, I’m proud to announce that my first interactive ebook is live at the iBook store!

The ebook is packed with amazing features that make learning about the Ubass a new and exciting experience! I will go through these features in detail in a future blog post but for now, let’s have a quick look:

  • Picture gallery’s that enhances the reading experience
  • Multi-angle videos that show you how to get the best out of your Ubass playing
  • Highlighted words are clickable and explained in pop-ups or in the extensive word list. (I bet you can spend hours just  navigating the word list alone!)
  • End of lesson quizzes – check and see if you have understood the lesson you just worked with
  • Marking text and make notes – find something especially interesting? Mark the text/or make a note – these are collected and can be browsed and/or searched

Preview videos

Link to the iBook Store
Learn to Play the Ubass
by Magnus Sjöquist

Ubassists of the World – Abraham Laboriel

Abraham Laborial and me before the Open Hands concert in Sweden this past July
Abraham Laborial and me before the Open Hands concert in Sweden this past July

Hi,

One day in July I got the news that one of my bass heroes would come to Sweden for one gig. We are both Kala Ubass Endorsees (which is pretty amazing to start with) so I managed to hook up with him through the company. 

The meeting/concert was in the southern parts of Sweden and I traveled there with two of my Kala solid body ubasses. 

Who is Abraham Laboriel?

Some of you may know about him and some don’t so I’ll give you a brief background here.

Let’s start with some of the artists he has worked with as a session musician in Los Angeles:

Al JarreauGeorge BensonAlan SilvestriAlvaro Lopez and Res-Q BandAlvin SlaughterDon FelderAndraé CrouchAndy PrattAndy SummersBarbra StreisandBilly Cobham, Carlos Skinfill, Chris IsaakChristopher CrossCrystal LewisDave GrusinDjavanDolly PartonDon MoenDonald FagenElton JohnEngelbert HumperdinckFreddie HubbardHansonHerb AlpertHerbie HancockJohnny HallydayKeith GreenKelly WillardLalo SchifrinLarry CarltonLee RitenourLeo SayerLisa LoebMadonnaMichael JacksonNathan DavisPaul Jackson Jr.Paul SimonQuincy JonesRay CharlesRon KenolyRuss TaffStevie Wonder, and Umberto Tozzi.

Abraham Laboriel Sr. (born July 17, 1947) is a Mexican bassist who has played on over 4,000 recordings and soundtracks.[1] Guitar Player Magazine described him as ”the most widely used session bassist of our time”.[2][3] Laboriel is the father of drummer Abe Laboriel Jr. and of producer, songwriter, and film composer Mateo Laboriel.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_Laboriel

Abraham trying out my Solid Body fretted 5-string tuned EADGC
Abraham trying out my Solid Body fretted 5-string tuned EADGC

 

Meeting Abraham was such a joy. He’s a wonderful, warm human being with such a big heart. Hearing/seeing him play live has knocked me every time. He is an ”all in” performer that really speaks to you from heart to heart. He has been in my musical life for quite some time. I told him about hearing/seeing him at concert in the mid 80’s and even in the town where I work now on a gig probably more then 10 years ago. 

We started talking and I showed him what I have done on my blog, video lessons and recordings. What was supposed to be an interview became a nice chat about music and life, almost as we had known each other since the mid 80’s…

I really hope we can meet again soon and continue of talk and I might even get around to ask him my prepared questions! 🙂

As I wrote earlier my two solid body’s were on the trip with me and I wanted to show Abraham these. You might have picked up that I have experimented with ”new” strings on these two 5-strings. (I will do a proper blog post about these tests soon!) Anyway, Abraham started playing on the fretted one, unamplified, and after a while I grabbed the fretless one and join in on the quiet jam. It sure was nice to get to play with one of my bass heroes!

Here’s a little snippet of that jam…

All the best to all ubassists out there,

Magnus

Some youtube videos featuring Abraham:

Build your own solid body Ubass – all you need to know | Phase 2 – Body Setup 1

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Hi,

It’s time for Phase 2!
It will focus on the setup of the body and first up is strap buttons and thumb wheels for the bridge.

The PDF instructions I compiled from info at kalabrand.com (no longer available) can be downloaded on this link: U-Bass Kit Assembly Instructions compiled by playubass-SMALL

Next up: EQ/Pre-amp, output jack, volume/tone knobs and back plate!

I have also done a video that shows you how to change the EQ/Pre-amp in a solid body ubass!

Read more about previous steps in this DIY project in posts that can be found on the DIY-page!

Until next tine: Have fun – play Music!

/Magnus