The Ukulele bass is a more recent addition to the uke family than it’s conventional brothers and sisters. While the theme of a ukulele bass may not be new, it only became main stream in the Uke community when championed by the Kala uke company a few years ago. Since then, many uke companies have developed their versions with their own specific twist. The Eddy Finn EF-bass (pictured above) can be immediately recognized by the signature Shark Finn sound hole unique to the brand.
While these instruments can be thought of as “ukulele” because of their size and the fact of being offered almost exclusively by ukulele companies, they really have more in common with an upright bass than a uke! They are tuned like a bass guitar and for those of us that have played ukes, guitars and basses in various forms, nothing quite prepares you for the initial surprise you that awaits your first pluck of this singularly unique instrument.
It’s all about the strings! The uke pictured above and it’s competitors, are equipped with large diameter Silicone strings which have an “at first” strange rubber feel unlike any bass you have ever played. The bass is immediately infectious as you navigate the fret board making it hard to put down. Not only have I experienced this but I have watched many people who pick one up for the first time reach the same conclusion, notable when their inquisitive facial expression turns to a smile. You literally watch them ‘Get it”.
The big surprise however is still waiting and isn’t evident until you plug it in. I wasn’t quite prepared for the big upright bass tone of this little instrument. I mean after all I have played acoustic bass’s before. But not like this. I immediately realized that the potential for the instrument far eclipsed the “ukulele only” applications and that this little gem could stand on its own amid the bass’s of the world. So there you have it; a great addition to any uke ensemble as well a fantastic bass guitar suited to any genre of music. Whether you buy one or not, you should check one out, you will be surprised.