I’m finally done with phase 1 of my ”Build your own ubass” series. In this series I will build a Kala Solid Body Ubass. All the parts are from the Kala web shop!
In the first phase 1 worked with the finish of the body. As you might have seen on my instagram or facebook page I wanted to get close to the finish of my Bakithi Kumalo signature solid body 4-string fretless. I’m quite happy with the result and learned a lot in the process!
All associated blog posts regarding this project will be accessible on the DIY page!
I will go into the details about the first phase, but first, let’s check what you need to build your own ubass.
Step 1 – Buy the parts
You need to decide what model you want to build. There are four options:
5-string fretless (the one I’m putting together!)
When I got the parts to my UBass there was a kit option with all the parts included. This is not available anymore so you need to add all the parts yourself at the Kala Web Shop.
Step 2 – Decide on the body finish
I choose to mimic the look of my Bakithi Kumalo signature ubass and went for a so called ”tar” finish. I will not go into detail of the different products I used since these will differ from country to country. It is of course possible to do whatever you want with the body finish!
Please send me pictures of YOUR custom UBass finish so we can show them to the world! 🙂
Step 3 – Put the ubass together
I have compiled a guide from the instructions you could find on the previous version of the kalabrand.com web page.
One of my favorite groups is Snarky Puppy. I love their sound, groove and energy!
I was fortunate to attend their only 2015 concert in Sweden. It was great to finally be able to see them live after listening to their albums and seeing their great YouTube videos for a couple of years.
On the concert in Stockholm they were joined by Swedish drummer/percussionist, André Ferrari. He did an amazing job! André is one of the members of Swedish neo folk music group Väsen. The group is featured on Snarky Puppy’s upcoming release, Family Dinner vol. 2.
The first song released from that live recording is called ”I Asked” and besides Väsen it also feat.Becca Stevens on vocals and charango.
To help out in the bass department Mark Lettieri, one of the guitar players in Snarky Puppy, plays UBass together with the Moog bass played by Snarky Puppy founder, leader and bass player, Michael League. The Moog and UBass makes the sweetest low end! One of the greatest things with the Ubass IS the super great low end you get with those rubbery strings!
It sure was a great and pleasant surprise to see this combo in the first video from Family Dinner vol. 2!
I have wanted to write about this for quite some time now. I got this kit last year and my plan was to start the project early August…this wasn’t possible because of my hand injury…
But now I’m back on track and will get started with the Kala Solid Body Ubass Kit!
EDIT: This kit is no longer available, you have to add all the parts to the shopping cart in the Kala Web Shop! See more here!
I will build the 5-string fretless based on the US made California series.
I will do this in a couple of phases. First phase has just started, working on the body finish. The goal is to mimic the espresso finish of my Kala Bakithi Kumalo Solid Body.
You will be able to follow each and every step/phase of me putting together the Ubass. Every phase will be a separate blog post, but they can all be easily found on my DIY page. I will update that page as the new blog posts rolls out.
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!
UPDATE 2: (3.10.16) This preview is no longer available on the iBooks Store. Partial books are not allowed. Let me know if you want to try it out and I can send you a download link. Still working on completing my first iBook. More info ASAP!
UPDATE: Had some problems with the Google form I’m using for my questions below. But now it seams to work!
If you already subscribe to my newsletter you might have seen that I have a sample lesson up on iBooks store. It’s a preview of my brand new Lesson Packs series- Learn to play the Ubass!
I’m putting the final touches on Lesson Pack 1 – Basic Techniques at the moment and hope to release it early 2016.
I really want your feedback and I know there are a at least a handful of downloads of that Lesson Pack 3 preview. Please help me out answering a couple of questions in the Google form below.
Ok. But if I haven’t got that preview yet, where can I find it? Click here to get the free preview on the iBooks Store.
I went for the iBooks format for a couple of reasons…
Free updates and fixes
I did a poll a while back checking what preferred platform you have for digital media. Quite a few answered that they use iPhone/iPad or Mac so at the moment the iBooks format seams to be a good decision.
What do I want to know now?
One of the obstacles with the iBooks format is what to include regarding multimedia contents. As you know video takes up space and even if I go for a decent quality (720p) the videos add up on the final size of the download.
So one of the most important questions is how big a lesson pack can be? How much should be included and would it be ok to have links to some content outside of the book, additional videos on YouTube for example?
It won’t take more than a couple of minutes of your time to answer these questions and it will help me a lot to know what you think.
From the newsletter: Education material for the Ubass
In this next issue of the newsletter I will finally let you try out a portion the educational material I’ve been working on for quite some time now.
These so called Lesson Packs is aiming towards different topics and since I haven’t been able to play with my right hand because of a hand injury (more in the newsletter) the first thing up is part of a lesson focusing on the hammer-on and pull-of techniques from a future Lesson Pack 3 ”Etudes and dexterity” lesson.
In the lesson you will be able to try out the interface. I will start by releasing these Lesson Packs in the iBooks format.
This format is available only via the AppStore/iBooksStore so iPhone, iPad and Mac users (Yosemite 10.10 and up) will be able to uses these.
To check ”the market” I have made a little survey trying to find out how many of you that have access to any of the above mentioned platforms. If demand is high, I might put time into transforming/developing versions of these lesson packs for other formats/platforms.
Please fill in this survey (will take 1-2 minutes tops!)
The first lesson pack to be released is Lesson Pack 1 ”Basic techniques”.
I’m still in the process of making the video portions of these lessons, and it takes a lot of time to get these right. Can’t yet let you know about an exact date for the release but my goal is the beginning of 2016.
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
A while ago the amazingly talented Swedish duo, Good Harvest uploaded a video on their Facebook page.
I have followed Good Harvest for awhile and got to know them when they have played in Orebro, Sweden.
The song is called ”Ukulele man” and I thought… -I’m kind of a ukulele (bass)man! 🙂
I started to jam along and came up with a bass part and a vocal harmony part.
These parts were added to the Facebook video and the result sent to Good Harvest.
They liked it! 🙂 I have already put it on my Facebook page but now it’s also on my YouTube-channel
We have talked about the possibility to record the song together in the future.
Would be very nice!