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What Ukulele Players Really Want to Know Paperback – April 1, 2011
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About the Author
For the past 30 years he dabbled with acoustic and electric guitar, but was switched on to the ukulele some years ago on account of a number of his musical heroes championing the uke (the likes of George Harrison and Loudon Wainwright III amongst others).
Like most beginners, Barry started with a cheap and nasty ukulele which was a struggle to play, so he started to explore better quality instruments and learned along the way. The more he played, the more he enjoyed this little instrument and decided to start sharing his experiences on the internet and in print. The response was massive with the site being hugely popular today and considered to be a key 'go to' resource for impartial beginners advice. He doesn't so much write about 'how to play', but rather shares his love of the instrument and provides advice to new players on how to live with a ukulele. He has played an enviable number of ukuleles and reviewed many of them on his website in great detail, making his site a regular resource for people looking for opinions on their next instrument.
He doesn't class himself as a great player, but someone who has been around the ukulele for quite some time with a desire to help other new players who are just starting out. Following the ongoing success of the blog he was persuaded to put down his best tips and advice for new players into a series of books. They hit the shelves at just the right time with great success (his first book going on to become the best selling music book on Kindle at one point in 2011)
The ukulele really is an instrument for everyone - its quick to pick up the basics (most beginners can easily be playing a simple song in 30 minutes) and it really gets people talking. But like all good instruments, it will take a lifetime of enjoyment to master!
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Top Customer Reviews
This is NOT a "how to play" method book. There are plenty of books for that, plus video tutorials available for free and for pay all over the Web. (check out Ukulele Underground.) This is a reference book on how ukuleles are made, the sizes they come in, the variations, the woods used to make them and other subjects, such as stringing.
The string section was in particular very helpful for me. The types of material (nylon, fluorocarbon) are discussed, how they affect the sound, and when you might want to employ them. For example, if your ukulele has a naturally bright (loud) sound, you may want to put on the Worth brand brown fluorocarbon strings which will mellow out the tone. If you have a ukulele and you are not fond of the sound, try restringing it first.
There is a section on electronics (pickups, mics) a section on training your fingertips to harden against blisters and pain and a section on common notation for ukulele transcriptions. There is much more. It really is "what you want to know."
I think this book is a must-have for any player.
Buy this book before you buy your first ukulele and you'll be better informed. If you've already bought an uke, then this book will help you familiarize yourself with your new favorite instrument.
There was a lot of repetition, probably because it was cobbled together from a bunch of blog posts. Also, there's a lot of wasted space discussing expensive brands of ukulele and detailing specific types of wood that ukuleles could be made of. Things that I didn't find useful as a beginner.
It can easily be read quickly and there is some info that helped me out, but if I'd paid more than the Kindle price I'm definitely feel cheated for the meager quantity and the un-polished quality of the manuscript.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good info all in one place. You can search around and read similar stuff for free online, but you just got your first uke so you'll be doing that either way. Read morePublished 23 months ago by M Schmick
Great for the absolute beginner. If you don't want to spend a lot of time searching the internet for details of the ukulele, this book covers a lot, including a comprehensive... Read morePublished on January 6, 2014 by FranklyMuso
This book covers much basic information that someone starting out playing the ukulele will need. Clearly written and enjoyable to read.Published on September 6, 2013 by L. Atkins
the basics you need are in this book. all the things you need to know about the Ukulele. great if your only thinking about getting a ukePublished on January 18, 2013 by john sheckells
This wasn't my first new musical instrument purchase but it was my ukulele. The book was very helpful with lots of practical advice.Published on November 9, 2012 by Margie