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Ukulele Aerobics: For All Levels, from Beginner to Advanced Paperback – March 8, 2014
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UPDATE: I am on week 10. I would be a liar if I told you it would be easy; some of the exercises are tricky to get right (Be sure to listen to the CD). BUT so far so good. I am actually noticing an improvement in my playing!
Who this book IS for: players with a firm grasp of the basics, that have a good number of chords already under their belt, have good practicing skills, aren't afraid of standard staff notation and are glad to see it side by side with tablature. If this is you, you're going to get a lot out of this book.
That said, I consider myself an intermediate player with a lot of musical knowledge that translates over from other instruments I've learned to play. Even with that kind of background, there's some pretty tough stuff in this book that you're going to have to be patient with . . .
The toughest part may be the advanced/tricky chord shapes that are thrown out pretty early in the book (I have a hard time understanding the rhyme/reason for the order in which chords are introduced). But, if you're like me, you'll enjoy stretching yourself a bit to make your fingers fit these shapes.
I like what one of the other reviewers said about using each week as a daily round of seven drills. I think people will get a lot more out of the book practicing this way as some of the drills are not going to be mastered in a day.
WHAT I LOVE: There's stuff in this book I haven't seen anywhere else, and I've bought about twenty instructional ukulele books in my quest to be a better teacher. Also, as a singer/songwriter, it is so nice to be able to pick up new techniques, fingerpicking, strumming, chords, riffs to inspire my own writing.
Pedantic note to non-musicians: learning any instrument means putting in the time. Go SLOWLY! If you can't play an exercise SLOWLY you can't hope to ever play it smoothly at a faster tempo. Slow study builds the muscle memory. Period. Learning almost anything--think of learning a foreign language--is all about repetition: endless repetition. There is nothing natural to your fingers and hands in playing the uke (or the piano). Your body needs time to adjust to awkward new demands. End of lecture. Enjoy your uke! You'll enjoy it even more if you buy and use this book. Thanks, Jake!