Hiya -

 Has anyone tried making a git with a single U-bass string as the low string? Meaning, one U-Bass string along with 3 other nylon strings (on a 4-string git)? This would involve placing that odd tuner and accounting for the extra width of the U-Bass string - things I could do in a build but wouldn't try on a standard ukulele (for example).

  When I play, I end up thumping that low string as the bass line for whatever chord I'm playing. Thought I might as well get some extra oomph behind it.

  Any thoughts? I'm sure I'll end up making one sometime just to see how awkward it is to play. But, I'm curious if anyone's actually tried it before...


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  • Figured you planed to use the rubber/silicone ubass string for the bass string, which wouldn't work with a regular wound pickup, it would need a piezo. 

    • There're a few types of metal-wound strings made for the uBass; the Pyramids sound particularly nice. Those would work just dandy for a magnetic pickup.

      You assumed he'd use a rubber string...I didn't want to assume he'd be using a piezo and say 'Oh heck, sure, go right ahead!' and hear back later about a blown amp because he'd bought a set of the Ni-wounds...

      • That's good to know!  My assumption was based on that I didn't even know metal strings existed for a ubass. The next question is why would any of these combinations blow the amp?

        • I started to answer this, then realized that I'd never empirically tested what I was about to say, and that I'd never heard of anyone who knew anyone who it actually happened to. The common hearsay I was taught amounts to 'bass amps are for basses, and playing a bass through a regular guitar amp will blow it sooner or later, either by just destroying the speaker, or worse shorting it and causing a fiery meltdown.'

          I did a little digging and found this tidbit, apparently it's less about basses and more about overdriving your equipment, which is easier with a bass and small speakers than it is with a normal-range guitar and small speakers...But it's not impossible in any case.


  • You remember the foto of Daniel Borel's four-stringer I posted? His box is designed to drive the pickups through a guitar and a bass amp separately... With piezos you could have the problem that the bass string mutes the other ones...

    • I think that for the first experimental attempt, I'll be skipping the wiring and simply try to get a decent sounding and playing acoustic git. Then, I'll deal with the wiring concerns. Maybe a pair of piezos, one for the bass?

      • Soup, if it was me (and darn it, you're giving me THAT ITCH) I think I'd probably rig my strings, nut and bridge on a fretless neckboard before going and building the box, and get an idea for the realities of how trying to play the string set works. I'm assuming you're using the G string from the UBass? Are you planning to keep it tuned as G? In any case, actually building the 'setup' on a scrap neck or board and just trying some chords and strumming on it may be helpful, particularly around the 12th fret. I'd have some concerns about string spacing sideways as well as vertically away from the fretboard for the uBass string, and actually trying it on will give you information that no amount of speculation will.

        Also, will you be running the uBass strings out to a separate bass amp? Because that'd affect your choice of pickups. I've read elsewhere that the MicroCube can actually handle bass guitars if you aren't cranking it through the roof, but the common wisdom says that a regular guitar amp will get fried sooner or later by a bass, so UAYP. If you're only using the G-string off the Ubass, you'll never reach the really heavy, deep notes that you'd get from the other three strings, and that might also enter into your calculations.

        • Excellent advice, thank you. 

          A no-fret neck with a quick, low-tech minimal setup is decidedly the way to start this wacky experiment. I'll bang out a quick test construction first... once I get my U-bass strings.

          As is becoming more apparent, wiring this thing into an amp (or 2 amps) presents all sorts of new obstacles! I'm going to put that aside until I can come up with a reasonably playable prototype.. or not. 

          Thanks, guys - the great feedback and unrealized considerations are why I post wacky ideas here. I'll post the progress as I get into it more. 

  • It might need a crazy bridge and nut!  I made a cbu bass and the low string really vibrates, it needs a ton of action to not hit the frets when you pluck it.  Then the other three will be normal height which would make things interesting, strumming might be a challenge too now that I think about it. Hope you try it, love to see how it comes out. 

    • I hadn't considered the vibratory action needed for the bass string.... more planning. Thanks for the new wrinkle!

      Vibratory Action would be a good funk band name...

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