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Ukulele For Dummies Paperback – August 8, 2011

287 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


packed with tips, technical advice, easy-to-follow illustrations and rhythms The Sun

From the Back Cover

From simple chord progressions to rock solos – your ultimate guide to becoming a ukulele hero!

If you're among the tens of thousands of people who have fallen victim to the ukulele fever epidemic that's sweeping the globe, this book is the cure. Clinically tested and expert-approved, Ukulele For Dummies is the quick, painless way to satisfy your insatiable desire to play the ukulele.

  • Get to know your uke – get the lowdown on everything you need to know about buying, stringing, tuning and maintaining your ukulele

  • Start playing – take advantage of clear, step-by-step instructions on holding, strumming and picking basics, illustrated withdetailed photos

  • Build your skills – chord charts, strumming patterns and tons of instructions make it easier than ever to learn basic and advanced techniques for playing backup rhythms, solo melodies, improvisational riffs and chord/melody combinations like a pro

  • Aloha mahn – special chapters cover how to play reggae and 'Jawaiian', as well as rock and punk, blues, Hawaiian, classical and other popular musical styles

  • Listen and learn – hone your uke-playing skills with the help of audio tracks of the examples found in the book

Open the book and find:

  • A complete buying guide for the novice

  • How to string, tune and repair your uke

  • Chord charts and strumming patterns

  • Crystal-clear photo illustrations

  • Step-by-step instructions

  • Basic and advanced playing techniques

  • How to play in a multitude of popular styles

  • Audio tracks of examples from the book

Audio CD includes

The musical examples from the book so you can play along

Exercises to help you build your skills

Learn to:

  • Play the ukulele right away – no experience required

  • Master various chords and strumming patterns

  • Play rock, punk, blues, reggae and standards

Stretch your skills with the bonus CD


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 1 edition (August 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 047097799X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470977996
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (287 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,388 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

169 of 175 people found the following review helpful By Phredd on September 18, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the best book for learning the ukulele that I have ever owned. It is perfect for beginners, intermediate, or advanced players. It has everything; chords, strumming, tab, notes, songs, styles and above all else humor. It is written by someone who through self-instruction, hard work and curiosity has become a master guru of the instrument. At the same time the author is plain-spoken, to-the-point, funny and keenly adept at reaching the heart of a self-learner.

I got bit by the ukulele bug when I purchased a Martin Backpacker on ebay for $60. That was over 10 years and 20 or so ukuleles ago. During my quest for ukulele perfection I have enjoyed many ukulele instructionals. "Ukulele for Dummies" is more useful than all of them put together. It can be used in a linear fashion, going from one chapter to the next. Or you can hunt and peck to learn; brushing up on the subjects you are interested in improving or focusing on. I'm not turned off by the "dummies" label. In fact, I like a book that explains things clearly as if I'm starting from scratch. Musicians often act like they know more than they know, and "Ukulele for Dummies" wades through the music-speak and makes things clear and to the point. That is not to say that it is dumbed-down or condescending. It is not! The reader is treated with great respect and there is not a hint of patronization. You will not feel as though your intelligence is being insulted in any way. In fact, the inside jokes will make you feel smarter and "in the know".

This book gives background beyond the ukulele experience, explaining different styles, giving a little history and then giving song examples of that style and how to play it. To quote Ukulele Enthusiast and Ukulelia.
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53 of 58 people found the following review helpful By rock that uke on August 12, 2011
Format: Paperback
Ukulele for Dummies is a great book. I'm a fan of the author from his wonderful website, I've bought three of his e-books, and I've found him to be the best ukulele teacher I've never met. He brings the same clear style and encyclopedic knowledge to this book. It's a great introductory text, but it's got so much to offer the more advanced player. I just got my copy, and I've already worked on my reggae strum, some fingerpicking and some chord/melody combinations. They really need to take "dummies" out of the title!
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115 of 134 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas P Harrigan on December 30, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition with Audio/Video Verified Purchase
The Kindle Book I bought is called "Ukulele For Dummies, Enhanced Edition (For Dummies (Sports & Hobbies)) [Kindle Edition With Audio/Video]" What I didn't see, until I couldn't get the audio/video to work on my brand new Kindle Fire, was the note at the bottom of the picture that reads "Audio/Video content only available for iPads, iPhones, and iPod Touch devices". Seriously? Then what's the point of a multi-media capable Kindle Fire, and what's the point of buying a book specifically titled "Kindle Edition with Audio/Video" if I can't play the audio/video on my Kindle? I hope this is just a temporary situation; if Amazon provides more and better content to Apple's tablet than they do for their own, I clearly purchased the wrong tablet.

MITIGATING FACTOR - On the "Your Kindle Library" page on Amazon's site, one of the actions available from the drop-down menu is "Return for Refund". I don't know how long that option is available after purchase (I hadn't noticed it before and it's not there now for my other Kindle Books, some purchased last week) and I found it on this one only a few hours after I made my original purchase, but it seems to work fine. So, no harm done, but I think it's silly that a so-called "Kindle Edition" provides greater capability on the iPad than it does on the Kindle. Maybe this should be called the [iPad Edition With Audio/Video and Kindle Edition with NO Audio/Video].

Thank you for listening.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Herman Kirwan on October 11, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book by Alistair Woods is excellent. I have occasionally picked up my ukulele over the years since given to me by my mother in the early 1950's. Sadley, I only learned one song and played it poorly at that. I have now had this book for several weeks and can comfortably play more chords than I knew existed and am getting the "hang" of strumming appropriately. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wishes to lean to play the ukulele or wishes to improve their current ability.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Mary Z. Cox on March 19, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition with Audio/Video Verified Purchase
Downloaded the multi media digital version to my ipad2 and its the best music instruction book I've ever seen.
I love the format--with embedded video and audio.
I got a ukulele last week and have been slowly going through the chapters a little each day.
He shows you good chords for uke that you can use right away. And I like how in the intro--he tells you the beginner mistakes to avoid right up front.
Things I've learned from just the little I've read and watched.
How to strum with your finger--how to hold the uke--first useful chords--how not to buy a baritone uke or strum with a pick--how to make your uke sound like a ukulele.
Chapter 17--was awesome--he gave you good solid info on how to pick a first uke--which I took. I bought a Lanikai curly koa tenor right off ebay and it is lovely and sounds good too.
After one week with this book--I went out to the local uke group and played as well as 90 percent of the folks there. I wasn't a superstar--but played quite solid--which was just fine with me.
The videos are really helpful in they show you exactly where to put your hands. The audio clips are great and show you just what you are supposed to sound like. :)
I'm going to guess that the more advanced chapters are going to be good too and a real treat. :)
Girl With the Banjo Tattoo
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