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!

Annonser

New Music and trio featuring the Kala SUB through effect pedals!

Almir, Henrique and me in Brasilia, Brazil (May 2015)

Hi,

In May I visited Brazil for the first time and met a lot of nice people including Henrique and Almir. Read more in this post

Last week we met again…but now in my studio in Sweden! We started to jam and came up with some new music. 

One of the things we played was built on two short bass parts (bass bits). It has a very loose form and one version turned out to be 13 minutes! 

I used a Kala SUB with the new Kala Metal Round Wound strings. I went back and forth between a dry Ubass sound and a FX chain. This was the FX chain: Kala SUB Solid Body Ubass (with Kala round wound strings) > RMI Basswitch (the built in DI sends the signal to my Apollo Audio Interface) > In the parallel loop I used this chain: Boss OC-2 Octaver > Electro Harmonix BassBalls > Boss SYB-5 Bass Synth controlled by an Boss FV-500L Expression pedal. > Aguilar bass amp (Tone Hammer 500) and cab (SL-112). This time for monitor only.

Below is a link to a shorter version of the jam. (The whole song might be released in the future!)

Hope you like the music the cool sound of the Ubass and of course great playing by Henrique and Almir!

Henrique Alvim, guitar
Almir Cassio, drums
Magnus Sjoquist, Kala SUB

Kala ubass on Swedish tour and Live CD

If you follow playubass on Facebook you might have seen some posts about a recent tour I did in concert halls from the north to south of Sweden. The tour that started in October last year finished with a sold out show in the prestigious Berdwalldhallen, home of the Swediah Radio Symphonic Orchestra in Stockholm. All in all we played 18 shows.
On the first four shows I used my Bakithi Kumalo signature solid body for six of the 18 songs in the show that celebrated the life and music of Ted Gardestad. More about Ted and his brother in the sidebar! When the tour continued this spring I also added my spruce fretless. I used that on two of the six songs I played the Bakithi ubass.*
We recorded quite a few of the shows on multitrack and released a live CD in April.

At the moment this live CD is only available at our live shows.

I have made snippets of the songs that I played ubass on so you can hear how, in my opinion, beautifully the sound of the ubass sits in the overall sound of these songs.
I will probably make lessons based on these songs. Please let me know if there is any particular song you want me to do first!
Now let’s take a look and listen to the songs that feature bass parts played on a ubass.

Songs
Chapeau Claque (Bakithi Kumolo Signature Solid Body Ubass) This song is so much fun to play. It really takes a while getting used to the combined meters thoughout the song! I used the solid body here relying on its warm and round sound!

Angela (Bakithi Kumolo Signature Solid Body Ubass) This song is a bit folky and I go ”full country” with a root-five motion in the verses! Since I didnt bring a P-bass [Fender Precision Bass] on the tour the solid body doubles as one. and does a very good job! [ In my Kala SUB vs. Kala California video I compare the California solid body and the SUB with a P-bass if you want to hear musical examples played on all these three instruments. ]

Äntligen på väg [Finally on our way] (Spruce fretless acoustic/electric Ubass) For the ”unplugged” feel of this song the acoustic/electric was a easy choice. It sounds perfect here and it also looks killer!

När showen är slut [When the show has ended] (Bakithi Kumolo Signature Solid Body Ubass) Once again I’m looking for a P-bass-ish sound.

Satellit [Satelite] (Bakithi Kumolo Signature Solid Body Ubass) This song is SO much easier to play on a ubass compared to a regular full scale electric bass! I also sing backup vocals on this one and the extended fingering I use makes it easy to focus on both bass part and vocal part since I don’t have to look at the Ubass during the choruses because I don’t need to do any position shifts. I first used this approach when we did concerts back in 2012 featuring this song. You can actually learn this song if you want. Check out this lesson: Part 1  | Part 2. Singing the chorus while playing the  bass part is optional but a really good challenge! 🙂 Read even more here!

Jag vill ha en egen måne [I want my own moon] (Spruce fretless acoustic/electric Ubass) For the encore I use the acoustic/electric again. It feels so good the let people have the ”sight memory” of this wonderful instrument in their minds as they leave the concert hall 🙂


Sidebar

Ted Gardestad and his brother Kenneth wrote a lot of wonderful music that I cherished by a lot of the Swedish population. The keyword for all the songs is LOVE. And the songs all have a warm felling about them, no harch words…The songs range from really happy ones to more deep sounding lyrics. The brothers recorded their own demos and wanted to play these for record companies. They ended up at Sweden music and Benny Andersson and Stikkan Andersson. The musicians and singers on the first albums are quite well known throughout the world. I only need to say one word any you will know who they were……ABBA!

To find out more please check out this link!

I really hope you enjoy these little pieces of Swedish pop music history!

We have had a great time helping to keep this song treasure alive!
Play Music! /Magnus

(* Besides the two ubasses I used three more instruments.

– Swedish custom Ares fretted 5-string made for me in 1996

Ibanez Gary Willis signature 5-string fretless (Production model, GWB35 with a Aguilar OBP-3 preamp) Stringed with regular round wound strings.

Rob Allen MB-2 fretless 4-string. Stringed with LaBella Copper Nylon strings.

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Jammin’ with my Kala Ubass | 48 ”Regnen i mars” (Àguas de Marcos)

Me, Eva Stenström (vocals) and Daniel Björnmo (guitar)

 

Hi,

It’s once again time for a jammin’ video. This time a short but fun one!

I have written about the Live at heart festival before and this past September was the fifth one. The festival is inspired by the famous South by southwest festival in Austin, TX (US). The first festival was held in 1987! (Read more here.)

In this years Live at heart 5.0 festival i played with two bands. I wrote about M&M’s Honky Tonk earlier and now it’s time for Eva Stenström LTD. Read more here. I’m working on a album project with Eva Stenström and will release this hopefully during 2015.

The song featured in this video is written by Antonio Carlos Jobim and performed here with the brand new Swedish lyrics by Eva!

We all played through a Bose L1 PA system and I really think the Ubass sounds really good in their systems. First time I wrote about Bose was back in 2011.

Hope you like the short and lively street video of ”Regnen i mars” (The March Rains)!

All the best, Magnus

Jammin’ with my Kala UBass | 28 ”Rehearsing a new song with Mattias and Hannes”

Hi!

A while back I jammed/rehearsed with a dear old friend, guitarist Mattias Pettersson and drummer Hannes Nordgren. (You have heard Hannes before!) I wrote about this trio in an earlier post. I managed to record some audio (and video) that day. I hope we will play more again soon. In the mean time I’ll let you hear/see just a little bit from a song we worked on.

Bye for now!

[Song Teaser-Test Report] Jam Afrique and String test | Part 3

Hi!

Time for part three of my string test and a demo of the first part of the new song Jam Afrique (working title). See these earlier posts for some background info. Post 1 | Post 2

Besides the YouTube video below I also uploaded some versions with less instrumentation (and maybe a bit better sound) on my Soundcloud.

Soundcloud info.
The only thing I have done with the sound during mixing is some EQing. (The last two sound bites have no EQ!)

Update!
The recording path is as follows:
Track 1: UBass into Sheer Acoustic Headway EDB-1 then DI out to Universal Audio Apollo (sound card with built in digital mixer and effects from their UAD family).
Track 2: AKG C414 condenser mic.

There are four bass parts. 1. Regular bass part
2-3. African inspired single string riffs
4. Bass melody

Bass parts 1 and 4 is recorded with both line and mic while parts 2-3…

Test report
I have come to the following conclusion based on the recordings. I guess I like both string types but they do have some things that sets them apart.

Pahoehoe
I have played these strings (that come as stock/standard strings on new Kala Ubasses) for more than two years. I have actually been using the same strings the whole time! I did buy a spare set early on to be safe and prepared for emergencies… Since the strings are solid plastic rubber they are unlikely to break and there are no place for sweat and dust to ‘creep’ in. (As with regular wound strings). I have not felt the need to change them. I have however felt that I should have restringed and rewound them to get rid of the extra turns of string that I got. Especially on the A-string post.
One more reason for the strings to be able to stay on for so long is that I felt it would be hard to part from playing my beloved UBass for that time it would take the strings to ‘settle in’ 🙂
This is also one thing that sets the strings apart. There are quite a lot of tuning to be done in the beginning but once they settle in you’re fine. As I wrote earlier restringing one or two strings, stretching them a bit more, would have been a good thing to do! I know there are players that have done this a few times and then they felt they stayed in tune better. More about this in the Thunderguts section.

Ok. How do I feel about the sound and playability of these strings? Well, I have got quite used to the feel of the Pahoehoe strings under my fingers. I took a while to get used to the rubbery feel – well, it’s almost rubber so that alright I guess 🙂 I think you should try to ‘forget’ about how it feels playing this or that bass and/or strings. If you instead try to do the best of this ‘new and maybe strange’ feeling you’ll soon be on the way to make great music with these strings.

Thundergut
I have had these strings on my acoustic UBass for just a couple of weeks and decided to compare them to my ‘trusty’ Pahoehoe strings. There are a few differences. First of all. They are not that rubbery and the tension is a bit higher. This is on the plus side because of a couple of things. First they don’t take as long as the Pahoehoe strings to settle in making the switch quite fast. (It only took a couple of days untill the (almost) stay in tune). Another reason I like them is that because the higher tension they have a bit more ‘core’ to the tone. (I will make a video showing this soon!)

On the minus side. The Thunderguts have a ‘sticky’ feel. Especially on the thicker strings. This makes them a bit harder to play. Since I have the fretless version I do want to have the option to do slides and this is a bit diffucult to do when you feel like you get ‘stuck’. I don’t know if this will disappear after some use!? But I have read about other UBassists that have had the same feeling.

I will keep the Thunderguts on for a while longer to try some more playing techniques! Stay tuned!

[Song Teaser-Test Report] Trying Aquilas Thundergut on my fretless Kala UBass | Part 2

Hi!

I decided to do some tests, to compare the ‘stock’ Pahoehoe black polyurethene strings with the Aquila Thundergut strings I’ve just put on my UBass. I started jammin’ [with the Pahoehoe stings on] to a loop featuring African percussion. After recording a couple of tracks I transcribed my jammin’ so I could record the same parts with the Thunderguts. I haven’t yet been able to do that recording (but will do as soon as possible!) so I’ll show you the written music first. If you want, why not try to play it before you hear it! It could be a great reading experience 🙂

If any of you are interested in lessons about how to read rhythms like these please let me know! ubasslessons@gmail.com

It’s four tracks of Ubass total. A regular bass part, two harmony parts and a melody. Besides that there are the percussion loops and a choir part. (I might add a drum set part too…)

The PDF of the music can be downloaded here.

Stay tuned for a video with the song played first with the black Pahoehoe strings and then the Thunderguts. I will also share some thoughts about how I feel the differences in their sound are!

So please stay tuned for ”Trying Aquilas Thundercut strings on my fretless Kala UBass” | Part 3 Here’s part 1. [Update: Link to Part 3!]