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Ukulele For Dummies Paperback – August 8, 2011
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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
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
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
Top customer reviews
Fortunately, Ukulele For Dummies is a rare exception to the rule. Granted, this is far short of a master's degree in fine arts, nonetheless for the player seeking to buy their first ukulele or for someone who picked one up because the local music store was having a sale on old stock this book contains absolutely everything a person needs to know to get started. It is divided into seven sections (including the appendices) and ranges from how to choose a new ukulele, to tuning, to playing basic chords, to a small selection of strumming and fingerpicking techniques, and it even covers several of the key personalities in the transformation of the ukulele from an odd little chordophone played by Hawaiians into a modern instrument suitable for orchestras and contemporary pop music. There is a woefully brief introduction to music theory, but the vast majority of people picking up a ukulele for the first are either accomplished musicians looking for a fun instrument or newcomers more insterested in playing a few songs than understanding how those songs are created.
Ukulele For Dummies and Alfred's Basic Ukulele Method are hands down the two best introductory books I have found for this delightful and whimsical little instrument.
The areas it needs improvement are:
The included audio tracks are not separated. One audio track can cover three or four pages of written music. This wouldn't be so bad, but in the Kindle app for iPad that I use there is no scroll button for the audio, so I have to listen to the whole track to practice a piece (if the particular phrase is not at the beginning of the track).
The longer music pieces should have their own page. Since it is the electronic edition that I am reviewing/using, a little extra effort should have been exerted to make sure that you can read a whole piece on a page, instead of starting with the first four bars on pg.59, and the next eight bars on pg.60 preceeded and followed by information. There is no reason for this in the electronic version, as there is no reason to save virtual paper.
What is great about it:
Very informative. Builds on skills. Gives you options for what you want to learn. Teaches good foundations for various styles. Teaches you musical theory without getting too complicated. Tab and traditional notation are included and both are explained for the ultra-novices. Helpful video segments are included.
Spend the extra few dollars and get this book as opposed to others. I have read the other popular ones, and while they were all good, this one was best by far.
I have been playing for about six months and I enjoy the simple way this book explains how cords fit together. How minor cords can sound sad and major more up beat. The alternative tunings of the ukulele and why you might want to try them.
This is a beginner book and I do recommend it. Also add a simple ukulele song book if you're just starting out.
Had an issue with the kindle edition because the audio files are only available on mac devices and I'm and Android user. I found that the author replied to another review raising this issue that it's possible to download the audio files on Wiley's site. Thanks for that! I am kind of disappointed in Amazon for making it a hassle for non ipad/iphone owners to get the advertised "enhancements" for the kindle edition, but the book deserves 5 stars.