I just love playing this thing!
Thanks so much!
Hi Kona Bob . . .
Just wanted to let you know what a great time I'm having with my Walking Bass. ...I haven't touched a ukulele since January and everyone in our band here is also thrilled with the sound and depth it adds to our ukulele music. I'm headed back to Oregon in three weeks and anxious to show off my new addiction to everyone at the Portland Ukulele Fest....Will also be going to Nashville this coming Friday for a week... wonder if any 'country' bands have discovered the Walking Bass yet?? Thank you so much for coming up with this wonderful instrument that so many of us enjoy ...and please feel free to use my name as a reference if anyone else is interested...you'll get rave reviews!!
-Penny Wrobel, Indio, CA
"I love my bass and play it at our weekly Southbay Strummers group in Torrance, CA"
I'd like to share some impressions of my newly acquired Walkingbass.
I am a `ukulele player living in NYC and was curious to check out this instrument at last week's New York Uke Fest. I first met up with Konabob and Shirley on Thursday in the vendor's area and was impressed with the Walkingbass's construction, looks, and sound--but in the crowded area I couldn't really make a valued judgement. Then on Friday night following an evening concert by Hawaiian performers, a kanikapila (Ed. note: jam session) erupted and I made sure to get myself and my `ukulele right next to Konabob. Bob's playing was superb and the Walkingbass sounded great, but more importantly to me it seemed as if Bob wasn't working very hard to get such great playing done. My decision was almost made to buy a Walkingbass, but it wasn't until the next day when after a brief lesson I realized that I could play the thing. So I took the plunge and bought one.
I spent the next afternoon at home watching Konabob's instructional DVD and fooling around playing to a recording of `ukulele that I had made. I was having fun, but did I dare leave my `ukulele at home and take the Walkingbass to our weekly NYC kanikapila after only a few hours of practice? I decided to "live in fame or die in flame" and packed up the Walkingbass in it's nifty gig bag and my Fender Amp Can and EQ and cables in a backpack and headed out to jam.
My friends were curious. I suggested we start off with the songs I'd just practiced at home, which went well, but then we ventured to new songs and I was still jamming along - a Gotham sized grin broke out on my face. I was playing bass after only 4 hours on the instrument, and our 'ukulele only group had a richness that was always missing.
The Walkingbass is very easy to learn to play. There is great joy in the immediate satisfaction that it provides to someone new to it, and I trust that it will continue to please as my playing skills advance. Mahalo nui loa to Konabob and Shirley for their graciousness, and for introducing me to the Walkingbass. I recommend it to anyone looking to spice up their musical life."
- Tommy Cheng, NYC
Got my Walkingbass last night, and wanted to give you a quick first impression. Having never seen or played one before, I wasn't sure what to expect. It seemed a little pricey, given the simplicity of the design, but as a collector, and uke nut, I had to try one. It didn't take long for me to realize that it's worth every penny of the price.
I plugged it in, directly, to a Fender PA system and was sounding pretty good within minutes. My wife and daughter, both piano players, were in the room, and they couldn't wait to try it. With some quick instruction from me (a guy who had never seen one of these things before), they were running some great 12 bar blues bass lines, with me joining in on guitar.
Seems like the simple ideas are always the best, and you've got a great one here. Some of my jamming buddies are coming by tomorrow, and I can't wait to try it in a big group session. Thanks for getting it to me so quickly, and good luck in your continued efforts to develop, and market, this fine instrument.
The PVC pipe you use for shipping is also a great hard case for travel. It's a simple modification to put a latch on one of the caps, a handle, and a shoulder strap on it. I think one can even find threaded PVC pipe at any local hardware store, then glue on one end cap and screw on the other for easy access. The fact that you've shipped them all around the world in these tubes is reassurance that that it's airline baggage safe."
- Joe Moyer, Myrtle Beach, SC
There isn't any way I could be anything other than totally enthusiastic about my Walkingbass. I love it! It gets the job done and that's what it's really all about.
The interesting thing is that even musicians are surprised to see only three strings. After I point out that all music is based on major triads and that all other chords are either an alteration of a triad or contain added notes. Even old standard bass players are astonished at what you can do with three strings. And I'm living proof since I have been a bass player since I was a teen ager.
Played a job yesterday for an old timers group at a church nearby. Several of the people came up afterwards to see the Walkingbass. One young guy was there with his mom and he's a musician. He couldn't believe the sound I was getting out of it. When I told him it was based on major triads, he was flabber-gasted.
Every time I play it I learn something new and find ways to do some of the same riffs I used to do on an upright.
Thanks again for bringing the Walkingbass into my life. You have no idea how much joy it has brought me!
- Dick Jeffers, Houston, TX
"Well, my curiosity was piqued when I saw mention of this bass on an internet bass forum. I had just sold my [electronic upright bass], but I was just hired to play with an acoustic folk/country artist, so I wanted something that might be able to be played in its stead...It's a beautiful piece of handmade art, with a unique playability and rich sound. My first thought at seeing it was that it was kind of like an upright Ashbory. It's probably better looked upon as an upright [bass] ukulele...Bob states on his website that you're going to need an outboard EQ. So, I plugged her in to a K&K mini preamp, and WOW!!! Suddenly I had a very warm sounding faux upright! Much easier to play than the EUB I had, primarily because of the scale length and the nylon strings. The fingerboard is not curved like an upright, so the feel is very much like playing a fretless bass guitar. It does cry out for a light touch though, as the piezo does tend to pick up any harsh attack upon the strings...
So, was it worth the price? I would definitely say, "yes".
Bottom line: I love it!"
- Jason Keller, New Orleans, LA
"Greetings again from Canada! Just an update to let you know how successful
it has been to integrate the slack key style of bass playing into our group
with the Walkingbass. Our bass players now prefer to use it more
than our traditional upright and our standard electric bass because of the
attention it gets them. We currently have 4 students playing it. Our two
boys whom you met last spring have since graduated, but did a fabulous job
of teaching the slack key bass method to the younger 4 (2 boys and 2 girls).
YES, WE WANT ANOTHER!"
- Vince Sequeira, Penfield School, Campbell River, B.C. Canada
"The bass and the strings arrived today, it is fantastic! Thanks for getting it here so quickly. I'll find a way to use it one of music education classes next week....it will be a great addition to the instrument collection we use with both pre-service and in-service music teachers."
- Fred Wilman - Music Dept., University of Missouri-St. Louis
Aloha Konabob! I just wanted to report that I love my Walkingbass. It is the best thing I've ever done!
- The Reverend Richard L. Vinson, Rector, Episcopal Church of the Holy Nativity
"It's amazing that something this compact can kick out such a big sound!"
- Robbie Koanui, Big Island bass player
In the Eddie Kamae film, "The Sons of Hawai'i", it was stated that the original bass player for the group tuned his bass in open A. So you've got historical precedence for open tunings on the bass."
- Curtis Takahashi
"Aloha, Bob... I am having so much fun with it! I might even be interested in buying another one that I could travel with...#9 (serial no.) isn't going to leave this island, as I don't want anything to happen to her ;)"
- Claire, Island of Hawaii & Austin, TX
(Ed. note: Claire DID buy a 2nd Walkingbass to take with her on her travels!)