My friend Marlowe is a Kala Ukulele Artist that I met in California earlier this year. We decided to do a collab and I recorded overdubs to one of the songs of her brand new album ”Moments”. The song is called Battle Royale and it sure was fun adding ubasses to the track. I decided to play my Kala California custom fretless solid body tuned EADGC.
This song is a traditional folk tune from Gotland, Sweden. Eva and I started playing it as a duo on our trip to Brazil back in 2015. We wanted to bring some examples of traditional Swedish folk music on our trip. To make it work in a ubass and vocals setting I played the bass part through a delay pedal. I thought the extra rhythmic motion we got using this technique really helped us capture and deliver the haunting melody in a great way. I use a combination of arpeggios, chords and regular bass lines in my bass part.
In the trio version Daniel Björnmo adds an extra layer of color with his world class guitar playing. The added grit with close cluster like harmony through distortion pedals makes the song even more ethereal and haunting, I think. The ubass have some added modulation and octave up effects blended together with the delay.
This is a live in studio recording but we also added some percussion parts. I played some suspended cymbal swells.
You can also hear what we call ”the submersed gong”. This is a gong gong that we recorded as it is put under water after it is played. This bends the sound in a very nice way. I first heard this on records and live with one of my musician heroes, Indian percussionist, Trilok Gurtu.
We really hope you will enjoy our version of this Swedish’s folk song!
For the best listening experience please listen to this song with good headphones or speakers that can reproduce a wide frequency spectrum!
This is a little tribute to one of my musical heroes: Mr Steve Swallow. I have listened to his Music for quite some time and have always admired his unique approach to playing bass. In my version I play fingerstyle although Mr Swallow uses a pick. One of his most famous compositions are Falling Grace. You can find out more about him here!
There are videos on youtube with bass players playing solos performed by Swallow but not many (if any) playing one of his chord-bass parts. This one is transcribed from a John Scofield Trio version of the evergreen ”Someone to watch over me” (George and Ira Gershwin) from the musical ”Oh, Kay!”.
I heard this performance last year and decided to transcribe the part when he comps behind John Scofield during the the melody. I wanted to explore the voicings he used with his 5-sting bass tuned EADGC.
In the video I’m using my Kala California Custom Flame Maple solid body ubass. One of the first made using the ”exotic tops” back in 2012-2013. Please check out the new updated ones!
I decided to add the melody singing the Frank Sinatra version of the lyrics. I got some nice help with a great brushes and cymbals part too.
Magnus Sjöquist, kala solid body ubass (EADGC-tuning) and vocals
Mats Nyström, brushes and cymbals
I’m working on more ebooks in my Learn to play the ubass series and one of these will focus on playing chords on a ubass/bass.
The ubass was recorded through my RMI Basswitch IQ/DI and then re-amped using a Radial X-amp. Se pic below. I used a combination of mics to capture the sound of the Phil Jones Double Four combo amp. Read more about the amp in my review.
D minor 7 chord
Please check out my review of the PJB Double Four!
Mats Nyström, brushes and cymbals
Carla Bley, Daniel Björnmo, Steve Swallow and me Sweden, 2009
Still from video
Re-amping my Phil Jones Bass Double Four
Steve Swallow and Billy Drummond live in Sweden 2009
Its Christmas and time to release the third track from the first ”Speaking UBass” album!
This time it’s a track that I started working on quite sometime back! I have always loved the classic song from The Wizard of Oz, ”Over The Rainbow”. I love to sing it and thought I should do something with my voice and the ubass. I decided to start with the lesser known verse and wrote a ubass chord arrangement using mostly arpeggios but also some ”regular” chords. Playing this in tune was quite a challenge and took a while to learn and record.
Anyway, I hope you have a great Holiday and that you will enjoy my ubass version of this classic song!
The collaboration. I’m very happy to announce the first song by The Ubass Ambassadors, ”Mr Z”. A collaboration with fellow Kala Ubass Artist, Armin Alic!
I met Armin for the first time at the 2013 Frankfurt Musikmesse in Germany. He worked for Kala at the UBass booth. We quickly became friends and during his first visit to Sweden and my hometown in October 2014 we had really nice ”hangs”, talks and even managed to play/make some music together 🙂
The Song. It all started with a drum loop, a chord progression and then a little, if I may say so, catchy melody. We arranged the song together adding keyboard, synths, FXs and a guitar part. The melody was then recorded on UBass (two octaves) and synth. We also overdubbed the melody with our voices!
When Armin got back home to Germany he got a great idea! He said: -”Why not replace the drum loops with a real drummer!” What a great idea! Getting more real musicians adding their craft and colors is always a real plus. Armin’s drummer friend, Felix Engel, recorded a great drum part in his studio. We wanted even more and decided to add percussion too. Max Klaas, the percussionist of Armins band Royal Street Orchestra, was kind to lend us his great skills. This made the song even more alive and colorful!
This past fall I have done a short tour in Sweden. (Four shows celebrating the music of the great Gardestad brothers. Famous for writing lovely swedish pop music. I have a lesson on one of their songs on the video lessons page! Read more about this and my use of a solid body ubass in that show on my Facebook page.) In the band is my long time friend Fredrik Kjellgren on keyboards. We wanted to breath even more live into the song and Fredrik added really nice Rhodes and organ parts.
Now the song was ready! We started mixing and continued to collaborate through the internet. As well as audio we also filmed all the different musicians! To round it of Armin’s friend and the oud player for Royal Street Orchestra, Nikolaos Rondelis us with the audio mastering!
What you’re about to see and hear is the first song from…
…The Ubass Ambassadors…
The song is a tribute to my labrador Zorro – Mr Z 🙂
Ok it’s time for my 49th video in the jamming’ series. This is a great one!
Last weekend I had a recording session at a friends house. The main focus was to overdub accordion and percussion to a track that will be featured on my first Ubass focused album. Pass: silverfish
On the link above there is a few song samples from the upcoming album AND also an old update to my upcoming interactive UBass Bass method! More about this later!
If you have followed me for a while you know that this project has been going on for a couple of years by now! When will it be ready you might ask!? Well, it has taken quite a while mostly because the focus is different constellations for the different songs. I have recordedNow I have finally decided on how to release the songs and I will send out a newsletter soon letting my newsletter subscribers in om my plan!
If you’re not already a subscriber please sign up here!
In the upcoming newsletter I will also try to release a snippet from one or two songs!
Once we were done recording the overdubs we also did a few play-throughs of a tango the accordion player had suggested we play.
I hope to record more with these fantastic musicians and the song in this video might also end up on a future ubass album!
On this video you’ll hear the great Tommy Nilsson on accordion. He works as a free lance musician and a music teacher. He plays a accordion he bought just the day before.
Side note: The Rämjes accordion is imported by a music store that I used to visit while I was younger living in Trollhättan, quite a coincidence I think!
Playing wonderful percussion (cahon and finger shakers on the track) is Lasse Fhager. He is currently working as percussion player (mainly as a timpanist) in the world reknown Swedish Chamber Orchestra that is based in Orebro, Sweden. He also used to be my drum and percussion teacher while I studied at the Örebro University.
The track they overdubbed parts to will be mixed and hopefully included on my, above mentioned, first Ubass focused album and I can hardly wait letting you hear it!
The song in the video is written by french accordion player extraordinaire, Richard Galliano.
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…AND… video no. 50 in the jamming’ series is in the pipeline. It’s gonna be a game changer I can promise 🙂
Time for a new video. This time I’m exporing the difference between the 1MΩ and 10MΩ settings on my RMI Basswitch. Read more about the Basswitch here and here.
One of many great things with the Basswitch is the option to choose between two impedance settings on the first channel (INST A). My acoustic/electric UBass hasn’t got any onboard preamp so in order to get a great sound I need to use an outboard pre before plugging into a bass amp, PA, sound card or mixing console. I have tried a few and you can read about my thoughts here and here.
You will of course benefit from using the Basswitch even if you have an onboard pre but in that case you will probably get tge best sound using the 1MΩ setting. The quality of the components are super good and the built in DI is very good. Played a show this past weekend and the sound guy was very impressed with the sound from the DI and that’s not the first time.
More about how I use the RMI Basswitch in future posts.