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Ukulele For Dummies Paperback – October 5, 2015
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From the Back Cover
- Fully understand ukulele basics
- Play the key ukulele chords and strumming patterns
- Tackle guidance on fingerpicking instruction
- Develop your skills by downloading the accompanying tracks from Dummies.com
Pick up a uke and start playing fast
Do you want to learn to play the ukulele? This friendly guide covers everything from chords and strumming patterns to finger picking and style variations. With clear instructions and musical inspiration on every page, it will have you making a big splash with this tiny instrument in no time.
- First things first weigh your buying options, grab the essentials, check out the accessories, and master maintenance
- Start strumming get to know the ukulele chords and their families, play your first songs and create more strumming patterns for great results
- Play your heart out rock or jazz, Hawaiian or classical, find the groove that fits your mood
- Pick a winner discover fingerpicking patterns, get to grips with tabs and notation, plus solo techniques with melody/chord combos
Open the book and find:
- How to hold a ukulele and position yourself to play
- Guidance on developing your strumming
- The 'three-chord trick' that'll help your playing
- What to do if things don't sound right
- How to diagnose and solve uke problems
- Unbeatable tips for improving your playing
- Ten ways to get involved in the ukulele scene
- Chord charts and guidance on reading standard musical notation
About the Author
Alistair Wood is a ukulele player, transcriber and arranger who owns the most popular ukulele site on the Internet, ukulelehunt.com. His expertise and the continuing ukulele boom has led to media hits that include The New York Times, The Guardian and BBC News.
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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.