What is a Bass Uke?
Merely a copy of the bestseller Kala UBASS, which is a short scale bass guitar in the body of an ukulele. The main component of this special bass is the string material. The strings are based in the silicon strings used by the Ashbory, later evolved to polyurethane strings when Kala launched their Kala UBASS; and Aquila has its own version of these strings called Thundergut.
The idea came to me after seeing a 3/4 classical guitar at a local shop. After comparing side by side with a Kala UBASS, I discovered to my surprise that the scale length (distance between the frets) was the same, so I had a donor to begin my DIY Bass Uke.
Note than this instrument is not a real ukelele, neither the UBASS. When Kala introduced the UBASS, they used an uke body shape because they are a ukulele brand, thus only for marketing reasons.
- 3/4 classical or steel string guitar
- Aquila Thundergut set of strings
- Bass guitar tuners
- Electric drill and wood drill-bits
- Small rat file
Step 1: Select a good donor instrument
Step 2: Assembling the tuners
Then I just realized that it would be better if the outer strings were looped from the outside, so there is better string alignment.
At the beginning I though I would cover the holes, put a face veneer or something like that, etc. But later decided that this should be a DIY approach, and would be better to leave a rude look.
Take care when assembling the bass guitar tuners, because with minor rotations, you can be able to fix them with three or four screws.
Also notice that the two tuners for the first and fourth strings are reversed and offset (because there was not enough space).