Essential Strums for the Ukulele
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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
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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.
Note: There is some overlap with the first DVD in the series. If you are beginner and care to work towards professional level, buy both and Brozman's as well. If you have been playing for a while and are thoroughly comfortable with chords up the neck Essential Strums is perfect. If you need to learn the basics or progress beyond simple chords and strums start with The Complete Ukulele Course.