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What Ukulele Players Really Want to Know Paperback – April 1, 2011

4.0 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

While the book is indeed aimed at absolute beginners, it is in fact pretty comprehensive, covering all the issues likely to nip a the heels of someone starting out.  --ukulelian.blogspot.com

About the Author

Barry is a well known personality in the worldwide ukulele community and founder of the website Got A Ukulele, now one of the most popular resources for new ukulele players.

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!

Keep strumming!
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 150 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (April 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1461059941
  • ISBN-13: 978-1461059943
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.3 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,678,291 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Joanna Daneman #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 26, 2011
Format: Paperback
First, thanks to the author Barry Maz for making this book available for the Kindle and at an attractive price. If you have a Kindle and a uke, you should have this book.

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.
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This is a complete, thorough, and yet concise description of how ukuleles are made, the most common woods they are made from, and the history of the ukulele. There are tutorial chapters on basic techniques used for playing and maintaining the ukulele along with internet links for key ukulele websites. The writer discusses his own experience encountering the ukulele for the first time, buying his first ukulele, and learning from his mistakes. A few of the brands he refers to are no longer available, but by and large his desciptions of the nature of the different ukulele makers is clear, concise, and accurate. An excellent introduction to a thoroughly modern, largely misunderstood, and frequently underestimated musical instrument.
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This is not, I repeat NOT an instruction book on how to play your uke! But it IS a GREAT guide to how you should select your first uke, how to judge which types of equipment you will need the first time out instead of the usual trial and error approach taken by so many first time uke players. I literally read it in two hours of non stop reading, and came away much better prepared to start off my uke playing...and that is a great thing! Highly recommended to the first time uke player, the knowledge in it is priceless!
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This quick read is the book I wish I had read before buying my first ukulele. While not designed to teach you how to play the ukulele, it does tell you just about everything else you would want to know about the amazing uke.

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.
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There's some good info, but it's badly in need of an editor. Things like incorrect use of "there" vs "their" and an incorrect apstrophe in "its" made it into this book.

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.
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This is a slim volume about everything you wanted to know about buying, and care for your Uke- not a song book. It feels well covered in it's information, and I feel I will be able to give this book to my friend (who has an interest in a Uke, but doesn't know where to start.) If, like my friend, you have an interest in 'knowing, before you buy' you can't do better than this book. Recommended.
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This is an excellent resource for ukulele players from beginner to intermediate. A wealth of information is provided with help buying a ukulele and pretty much everything you would want to know about the instrument. Great read!
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Barry Maz answers all the questions you might have when you decide you want to get into the ukulele. Can you find a lot of this info free on the net? Absolutely. But, it's nice to have it all in one place, brought together by a guy who knows his ukes. Nice little book.
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