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Mel Bay Learn To Play Fingerstyle Solos for Ukulele Paperback – April 18, 2006

56 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Multi-instrumentalist Mark Nelson has been active in the folk, Celtic and world music scene since the early 1970's. Considered one of the nation's premiere mountain dulcimer players-he won the National Championships in 1979-he is equally adept at guitar, 'ukulele, bass and various other instruments. His passion for Hawaiian slack key guitar led him to seek out and study with the masters of the vanishing art form. In 1997, Mark and revered Hawaiian musician Keola Beamer co-authored "learn to Play Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar," the first comprehensive tutorial for this gentle art form. After a lengthy touring career, Mark now hosts The Aloha Music Camp, a weeklong immersion into the music and culture of Hawaii with Hawaii's beloved Beamer family. (Aunty Nona Beamer recently honored him with the Hawaiian name "Kailana".) Acoustic Guitar Magazine dubbed his most recent CD, "The Water is Wide", a lovely blend of Celtic dulcimer and Hawaiian slack key guitar, "achingly beautiful." Mark's new Mel Bay book, "Learn to Play Fingerstyle Solos for 'Ukulele" will be released in early 2006. Mark lives in Southern Oregon's beautiful Applegate Valley, where he maintains a small recording studio and writes about music and music technology for a number of publications.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Mel Bay Publications, Inc.; Pap/Com edition (April 18, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786673427
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786673421
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 8.5 x 11.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #468,568 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

107 of 110 people found the following review helpful By photo_artiste on March 31, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is not for beginners one wrote...depends on how you define a beginner? If you have a basic understanding of the 'Ukulele and have learned some cords and strumming techniques and have at least a basic understanding of how to read music (although this helps it is not necessary) and are patient then stretch your wings and go for it.

I started playing about 8 months ago and using this book about 2 months ago and it is the only book I use right now and will probably be working my way through it for several more months.

It taught me how to read TABLETURE a necessity for 'Uke or Guitar song books and with the understanding of the rhythm of musical notation (the CD can replace this although I have not used it yet) I am simply working my way through each song and getting it down about 50-60% then moving on the the next. Then the next day I warm up with a song I have down, practice the one I have down somewhat and start into the next and run through it a few time clumsily. Then continue in this pattern and depending on the difficulty of the song I find it takes me anywhere from a a few days to a few weeks to really get a song down.

I live Hawai'i and love the instrument and it heritage and relationship to the great culture I live in but I grew up on the mainland, playing guitar and see the instrument for what it is and it is a beautiful instrument that you can play lead blues on or whatever else you want to and to really get familiar with the fretboard and how to 'Fingerstyle Solo' as the title of the book suggests this book is the best I have come across so far. I have several book and DVD's and at this stage of my self-teaching this book is the best teaching tool in my collection and most used...I can't recommend it enough!
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Keith R. Snyder on July 8, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My uke playing up 'til now has been strumming. This book has many tunes of all sorts of styles, progressing from easier to harder. I like the mix of Hawaiian and non-Hawaiian pieces. Right now I'm at the stage of learning each song as written, but because some songs appear a couple of times with different degrees of technicality and style, it will help me to better understand how to play other songs using these techniques and expand my repertoire. It is such a beautiful instrument and easy to play, and I really want to get past the level of being able to strum along on some songs, and this is a book to really help. I only wish there were a few more slack-key songs in it. The CD that is included not only is helpful in learning the songs, but I play it in my office as nice music to just listen to. I highly recommend Fingerstyle Solos.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Loni Simone on July 17, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're into fingerstyle solos, and you want to apply it to the ukulele, this book is for you. Since I already play fingerstyle with guitar and banjo, it helps I know, but the uke is such a user-friendly instrument I think a beginner can be playing songs in little time. Start off with the old favorite 'first song', 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star' to get you ready, and then to folk tunes and Hawaiian tunes that you really want to play on the uke. Tabs will help the non-musical notation reader. The companion CD will help you get familiar with the tunes and is just great to listen to.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By F. P. East on February 26, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I should say this is best for the intermediate MUSIC (not just uke) player, meaning someone with a basic understasnding of chord structures and intervals (harmonies) because there is no explanation of how chords are formed. For example, re. the very brief discussion of suspended chords suggesting the 4 note is suspended (meaning dropped). Not so! it's the 3 note that is always dropped in a suspended chord and if it's just a straight suspended chord, the 4 note is included (replaces the 3 note.) If it's a "sus 2" chord, the 3 note (again) is dropped and the 2 note substituted in. Whatever, point is, a few more techical explanations would benefit those weak on music structure/theory.

More on the plus side, the commentaries for each song are very helpful and interesting although could benefit with a few more chord diagrams for new uke players (like myself). But the fact that many chord diagrams, plus tab, plus notation, are included is a big plus and should be a must for any self respecting song/fake book for the uke.

Song selections are nice in a beaufiful way. Nothing very lively though: some good bluegrass stuff would be welcome.

Lastly, the CD that comes with the book: quite nice playing on it , but the tone (sound) of the instrument is pretty dead. Sounds like it was recorded in a padded room with burlap sacks stuffed inside the uke, and gloves on the picking fingers! Well OK, that's a bit of an exaggeration! and the songs are OK as demonstrations. Next time, suggest getting a uke that rings and sings with some clarity!

Book is recommended. Good for those who detest ONLY strummin' and singin' the uke! and want to explore the much more appealing finger pickin' possibilites of the instrument.

Hope this helps.
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34 of 41 people found the following review helpful By John O'Connor on February 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
The arrangments in the book are not for beginning ukulele players. They are, however, very nice arrangements for intermediate players who want to get better. If you use them as a means to improve and to learn new voicings and progressions, they work wonders. Well worth the money.
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