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Essential Strums for the Ukulele

Ralph Shaw , Ralph Shaw  |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

Price: $29.95 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Ralph Shaw
  • Directors: Ralph Shaw
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Ralph Shaw Productions
  • DVD Release Date: July 1, 2005
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000A2RVUK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #150,675 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In this second volume of the Complete Ukulele Course DVD series Ralph Shaw teaches techniques and strums that will inspire your playing to new heights.

You will learn to play in the following styles; March, Waltz, 12 Bar Blues, Samba, Bossa Nova, Swing, Triplets, Bo Diddley, Reggae and more. In addition Ralph teaches the strum and chords used in IZ's famous Over the Rainbow/Wonderful World medley. Ralph also shows how to play your uke like an old-time banjo by using the clawhammer/frailing technique. Finally Ralph shows you how to play a syncopated rhythm solo in the style of George Formby. For each strum Ralph teaches the technique followed by a song that uses that strum. Songs include; Darktown Strutters Ball, Take Me Home Country Roads, Girl From Ipanema, Let Me Call you Sweetheart, Song to Bring Back Something Which Is Lost… and many more. All in GCEA tuning.


I enjoyed the new DVD very much, and found it both entertaining and educational. It is a natural progression to move on to it from your first volume. I particularly liked, and found very useful, the section relating to the George Formby technique - hope to master it one of these days!! --David Jessop. UK

The DVD (Essential Strums) is excellent! The little booklet is very helpful. It is good to be able to refer to it as I am trying to learn a new strum, and a new song at the same time.

Thanks to you, I have finally figured out the Samba [stroke]. Furthermore, I'm frailing up a storm! It's still a rather messy storm, with hammer ons and pull offs all sliding into one another, but I expect to get better fairly soon. I really appreciate the way you break the strums down into their components, and demonstrate them at different speeds. Thank you again for all your hard work. Thanks, --J. Bishop, Plainfield, MA.

I just wanted to say how much I love 'Essential Strums for the Ukulele' Am sitting here alone in my room (in Nara, Japan) at this moment playing along with it. Just learning how to play along with the Brudda Izs Over the Rainbow melody, that alone was more than worth the price of the DVD. Everything else is a bonus. --J. B. Japan

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun and worth every penny September 24, 2005
What's good about this video is that it is organized into many chapters, each of which is stand-alone tutorial on a particular type of song and technique. If you've already got the basics that's great because you can pick what you want and get a complete lesson. Even if you haven't seen his first this has a lot of value. This is a video you can come back to over and over as your interests change or you want to try different styles in your own preference order. Includes a nifty printed chord chart and guide to the songs, which makes for a complete package. Also his personality really comes thru in a very enjoyable way. I got this along with beloff's second (which i don't recommend), and this is way better for the money. Fun and worth every penny!
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43 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The DVD is Essential Even If The Strums Aren't June 30, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The title of this DVD tutorial is hyperbole, dreamt up most likely by a marketing wonk working for the publisher. Not all of the strums are "essential" and Ralph Shaw admits he doesn't use all of them all the time on the DVD. But don't let that put you off. Ralph Shaw is an excellent ukulele player and an outstanding teacher.

Ralph is incredibly pleasant and is adept at breaking down the process of playing the ukulele into easily learned chunks. He has clearly taught others and thought through the order he uses to teach techniques. Best of all, he has a way of making learning to play fun. A friend of mine that has seen me play for years and never expressed an interest in playing uke did so after seeing part of this DVD while I was watching. Yes, Ralph Shaw is that charming and that alone is worth the price.

I have been playing ukulele casually for 20+ years (I am a guitar player) so the parts of this DVD that are meant for beginners were a bit rudimentary. But Shaw teaches the right way of playing and I was able to correct a few mistakes I had been making. I bought this DVD (and the other in the series, "The Complete Ukulele Course") mainly to learn the syncopated style of George Formby. That I learned and I was delighted with the rest of the DVD as well. Shaw's endearing style of teaching make his DVDs worth the money even if you have been playing for a while.

If you are a highly experienced player hoping to reach Bob Brozman's level, this DVD is not for you. (I love Brozman's ukulele DVD but recommend it only for advanced players.) But if you are just getting started or have been playing a little while and want to take your ukulele skills above the average player you couldn't do better than this DVD.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beginning Ukulele March 23, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Overall, good quality. To enjoy, should have a good knowledge of uke chords; he goes through the sections pretty fast, so you can't be slowed down by figuring how to play a chord. Many strums are taught, worth the money and knowledge.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good fun strums May 8, 2007
By sundog
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This dvd shows some fun strums some easy some alot more advanced a little something for everyone.

A good dvd if you already have one of the beginner dvds.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great instruction and lots of fun February 8, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This DVD is great for anyone interested in learning to play different kinds of music. Ralph Shaw is a great teacher and he makes learning fun. I have definitely gotten better by playing along with this DVD. If you are a total beginner like me, you might also want to consider his other DVD The Complete Ukulele Course taught by Ralph Shaw.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Ukulele Strumming Technique Teacher December 6, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Excellent video and great instructor. I like his method of showing the strings and telling us what the name of the chords are. Then, he show us how to do the different strumming techniques and applies it to a song. It is easy to fellow. Mr. Shaw is an outstanding Ukulele player and wonderful teacher.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring.... March 11, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The one's a great "go-to" disk whenever I want to work on strums. His instruction is good, and the DVD format means I can re-play parts over and over again. When he goes into the actual playing, though, it's too fast for me to follow. Practice, practice, practice!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Just what I wanted! January 1, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This was just what I needed and wanted! I use it often and hope to become proficient enough to share.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent DVD
I found Essential Strums to be an excellent resource. The various strum pateerns were presented in a clear and informative manner. Read more
Published on April 19, 2011 by John
5.0 out of 5 stars red hot strumming lessons
absolutely excellent. I decided to believe the review that others had written and I am so glad that I did. Ralph Shaw is an excellent teacher, a very pleasant man too. Read more
Published on March 26, 2011 by Jan
1.0 out of 5 stars Inconveniently Essential Strums
I wanted to sing along while watching DVD without consulting a booklet which came with DVD.

Unfortunately, no single chord diagram and no single lyric showed up on the... Read more
Published on January 11, 2011 by Oscar
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy and Challenging Strums
This is a good introduction to some ukulele strum patterns. There are a whole lot more strums out there, and Mr. Shaw doesnt pretend to show them all. Read more
Published on September 20, 2010 by R. Harold
3.0 out of 5 stars Not what i was looking
I expected it to teach more about how to strum well, like improvise and techiniqes to make it sound better.
Instead he just teaches different styles. Read more
Published on January 13, 2009 by K. Tsai
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential DVD
Ralph Shaw's a great teacher--this show and tell DVD demonstrates technique, so you can see how the strums are created as you play along.
Published on August 14, 2008 by Sue Tarjan
5.0 out of 5 stars For Both The Beginner And Those Who Are Ready To Progress
"Never was and instructional video so well named, and such good value...
I would strongly recommend this video FOR BOTH THE BEGINNER AND THOSE WHO ARE READY TO PROGRESS beyond... Read more
Published on July 3, 2008 by Aung Htun
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