How I put on a new set of round wound strings on a solid body ubass

Time to put on a new set of Kala Round Wound strings on my custom sunburst Kala California (EADGC-tuning)

Stringing Guide

1. Remove all the old strings

2. Make sure to tape down the bridge saddle so it doesn’t move

A piece of masking tape helps to keep the bridge saddle in place

3. Remove string back plate (if you have one)

4. Start with unpacking the E (lowest) string (and next time around the A and so on…)

5. Check and see if any metal washers are still in the string barrel. If so remove the one on the new string you’re about to install

When you remove the old strings the old metal washers might still be in the barrel. In that case let it be and remove the washer from the new string.

6. Put the sting through the lowest string slot/barrel

String threaded in the through body bridge barrel/slot.

7. Stretch the string past the string post. I use a cable cutter to measure how long the string needs to be before I cut it. I don’t want to have to much excess string around the post. 2-4 turns around the post is the goal.

I have found that the plastic handles on this cutter gives me enough string for the string post.

8. Put the end of the string into the hole in the middle of the string post. Push it down as far as it goes

This is how much of the string that goes down into the middle of the tuner.
Bend the string (see no. 9)

9. Bend it to the right for the lowest two strings (tuners pointing upwards) and left for the top three strings (tuners pointing downwards

Turn the tuner and make sure you let the string add turns beneath the first!

10. Keep turning the tuning peg to get rid of the slack

11. Use a tuner and tune the string up to approx. one whole tone beneath the goal pitch (ex. D for the E-string)

12. Repeat step 4-11 for all the remaining stings

13. Put the string back plate back

14. Tune the strings up to pitch. Come back and retune until they stay in tune. This can take a day of two depending how much you play and stretch the strings

Using a tuner to tune up to pitch. Notice that I have approx. 2-4 turns around the string post on the strings. Try to get the last winding as close to the base of the tuner as possible. This will help to get a good string pressure over the nut and prevent the stings from “popping out” of the nut slots.

Time to make some new music with a fresh set of strings. Yummy!

Hope this is helpful for your next string changing session!

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

DIY UBassKIT Video 2-upload-teaser

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

Ubass Cases: Different options for the acoustic/electric Ubass

Hi!

If you want to get a new case for your acoustic/electric UBass there are a few options.
You can read about some of the options here at kalaukulele.com

Rectangular Diamond Black Hard Case for U-BASS (HCUB)

Tweed Rectangular Hard Case for U-BASS (HCT-UB)

 

Besides these very nice hard cases you can also use the case designed for the Baritone Ukulele!
You can find it here.

Ukulele Case Baritone (UC-B)

I’ve used one of these Baritone Cases for a while now and it works really well.
It’s super light and still quite sturdy. It’s not as sturdy as the hard cases above but still a good lightweight alternative. You can also use it as a back pack or side carry with the supplied straps.

Some more photos below!

Happy Ubass Summer to everyone!
/Magnus

Inside Case
Inside Case

Tuning pegs gets quite close to the side of the case so be careful when you put the ubass in the case!
Tuning pegs gets quite close to the side of the case so be careful when you put the ubass in the case!

Tips and tricks: Maintenance – tighten the output jack

Hi!

Here’s a little quick tip for every Ubassist that plays any of the acoustic/electric models.

If you use a strap the output jack can sometimes unscrew itself and become loose. To avoid further problem it’s important to solve this problem quickly. If not you can run into more serous problems with the output jack maybe even break the cable from the piezo pickup!

Here is a little guide how you can fix this!
If you’re not comfortable doing this yourself please let a professional repairman help you out!

1. Open the back cover (depending on when you bought your Ubass this cover is either attached with four screws or magnets.)

2. Loosen the actual strap button. Be careful so you don’t turn the whole output jack. This might break the cable that comes from the piezo! Through the open hole you can hold on to the output jack to prevent it from turning while you loosen the strap button.

3. While still holding the output jack tighten the nut with a proper tool.

If you can’t tighten the nut enough you might have to make even further adjustments. If you unscrew the nut you can remove the output jack and change the location of the fixed nut to shorten the thread length on the tip of the jack. Make small adjustments to find out the best position of the fixed nut.

4. Now fasten the nut and then the strap button while still holding the output jack through the opened back cover.

5. Put the back cover back.

Done. Play Music! 🙂

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Q&A: Playing Fretless UBass? Here’s some tips for you!

Hi!

I got a question about my view on playing in (or out of) tune on the fretless UBass. I decided to share my answer with all of you.

Q: Do you find that you’re fingering in between frets rather than directly on the fretline like you would with a regular fretless bass?

A: Sorry but there is not a simple answer to that question I’m afraid 😦 Since the scale length of the UBass is merly 20-21 inches all your muscle memory from playing a 34-35 inch fretless is not much of a help. BUT what really IS helpfull is if you have played
fretless bass of upright. Because then you’re probably used to listen as you play. That’s really the best way of playing in tune.
I find that I’m only ‘roughly’ use the fret lines as guidelines and than try to use my ear in ‘super-sensitive-mode’!
One more thing that is crucial to playing in tune is trying to get the best sound possible out of your UBass. You really have to HEAR what you’re playing. AND MOST IMPORTANT you have to hear what you’re fellow musicians are doing to be able to make it all work as a ‘unit’!
Ok. That might not be the answer you hoped for but it’s almost all about LISTENING!

I will try to do some specific lessons on playing the fretless UBass!

Good luck with your playing!

/magnus

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