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johnson430
08-24-2015, 01:19 PM
Just a quick FYI about the Pekelo series book 1.

I just received a used copy of Book 1 from another UU member and I have to say that I am very impressed with the wealth of information in the first section of the book.
Although I have worked through other books and knew most of the information, it was nice to see an "all the things a uke should know" put into the front of this book.

I would highly recommend this book to a beginner wanting to learn a 'proper technique' (whatever that means) or an intermediate player with a desire to improve their finger-style abilities.

One of the first books I bought was "Learn to Play Fingerstyle Solos for Ukulele" but it was a bit too advanced for a novice like me. Although I think I can revisit that book once I finish Pekelo Book 1.

If you are a more advanced player then I think Book 2 would be a nice start. I became aware of this book series from a more advanced player who was working through book 2 and suggested I start with Book 1.

Perhaps others can share their experience with the Pekelo series as well.

Thanks for reading.
Johnson

Edit: This book is for Low G tuning but can be played with high G just be aware that the CD will sound different. Thanks to JustinJ for the info.

vanflynn
08-24-2015, 01:28 PM
Please be aware that the book is for low G tuning and of limited value if you prefer a high G

johnson430
08-24-2015, 02:09 PM
Please be aware that the book is for low G tuning and of limited value if you prefer a high G

Edited after reading JustinJ's post below.
A high or low G string can be used for this book series.

JustinJ
08-24-2015, 02:10 PM
One of the benefits of the Pekelo method regardless of low G or high G string is his emphasis on playing with a metronome in the examples. If you work with his books, your rhythm will improve.

Timing is one of the things most often overlooked by many players. You can count out a measure yourself but will slow down on difficult parts.

Put the metronome on and see if you're playing in time. I'm not suggesting playing all the time with a metronome. Especially when first learning new rhythms. Learn the finger placements and counting of the notes. Then add the metronome to your practice.


The Pekelo book teaches a four finger method of finger picking. This will be very helpful when tackling more difficult pieces. I know for myself that I was using a thumb and my pointer finger with an added middle finger sometimes. After working through the book, I now can play pieces that were too difficult to play before getting his book.

You could use this book with a high G string. It really does not matter. When you play along with him you will notice the difference in sounds but that is all.

johnson430
08-24-2015, 02:26 PM
One of the benefits of the Pekelo method regardless of low G or high G string is his emphasis on playing with a metronome in the examples. If you work with his books, your rhythm will improve.

Timing is one of the things most often overlooked by many players. You can count out a measure yourself but will slow down on difficult parts.

Put the metronome on and see if you're playing in time. I'm not suggesting playing all the time with a metronome. Especially when first learning new rhythms. Learn the finger placements and counting of the notes. Then add the metronome to your practice.


The Pekelo book teaches a four finger method of finger picking. This will be very helpful when tackling more difficult pieces. I know for myself that I was using a thumb and my pointer finger with an added middle finger sometimes. After working through the book, I now can play pieces that were too difficult to play before getting his book.

You could use this book with a high G string. It really does not matter. When you play along with him you will notice the difference in sounds but that is all.

Hmm, actually, YOU are correct. I re-read the beginning and it clearly states you can use a low or high G for the book series.
I will +1 the use of a metronome.
I was gifted an awesome Wittner MT-60 on my birthday and I can hear an improvement in my timing over the last few months.

mocash2003
08-24-2015, 02:56 PM
I really enjoyed Pekelo book 1. It's very helpful in learning/practicing with the thumb and 3 fingers (pima). It's also teaches how to read music notation, great if you're a beginner. Also, I really enjoyed the Hawaiian music used throughout the book

Recstar24
08-24-2015, 03:18 PM
Glad you're enjoying it! I was in the same position as you, the mark kailana learn to play fingerstyle book on Mel bay was just a tad too advanced, pekelo books were the perfect bridge that allowed me to develop the technique to where I can now tackle kailanas book now. In fact, Im handling Polani quite well and I really do owe the pekelo books for guiding me so well.

wayfarer75
08-24-2015, 03:21 PM
Yes, it's a great book. I have #1 and #2, and find I'm sort of transitioning into #2. I'm still sort of an advanced beginner, I guess. (Partly because I like to play a variety of songs rather than work hard to master a few.) My right hand has improved a lot with the Pekelo books, and I'm working on that stiff left hand pinky to get it to bend to my will.

These are great books, and high or low G they will help your playing.

johnson430
08-25-2015, 12:01 PM
Glad you're enjoying it! I was in the same position as you, the mark kailana learn to play fingerstyle book on Mel bay was just a tad too advanced, pekelo books were the perfect bridge that allowed me to develop the technique to where I can now tackle kailanas book now. In fact, Im handling Polani quite well and I really do owe the pekelo books for guiding me so well.

Thanks for selling the book to me Recstar24. I will "pay it forward" to another UU member in the future when I finish this book and buy book 2.
That being said, if you are a UU member reading this and are thinking about buying this book, it is worth the money they are asking.

Furthermore, Recstar24 is a music teacher and his praising of this book should give beginners and intermediates the confidence that this series is worth a try.

Thanks again,
Johnson

johnson430
08-25-2015, 12:06 PM
Yes, it's a great book. I have #1 and #2, and find I'm sort of transitioning into #2. I'm still sort of an advanced beginner, I guess. (Partly because I like to play a variety of songs rather than work hard to master a few.) My right hand has improved a lot with the Pekelo books, and I'm working on that stiff left hand pinky to get it to bend to my will.

These are great books, and high or low G they will help your playing.

Laura,
So glad to see another positive comment about the Pekelo series. I think more players need to be aware of this series. I tried several other books before this but feel like I am getting more out of this series than other beginner books I have tried...
and I have had the book less than one week.

Staredge
08-26-2015, 03:51 PM
If and when anyone would like to sell theirs, please PM me. :D

johnson430
08-26-2015, 04:54 PM
If and when anyone would like to sell theirs, please PM me. :D

I posted a "WTB: Pekelo book 1" in the UU marketplace area and had an offer to buy a used copy within 2 hours.
I would suggest you start a thread there. I am sure someone would be willing to part with a copy.
Or check out this link and see if you can find a new copy at a music store:
http://www.pekelosbooks.com/storelistings.php

Unfortunately, Amazon and Elderly Music have it listed as Out of Stock at the moment.

Good luck.
Johnson

Staredge
08-26-2015, 05:23 PM
Yeah, I looked at Amazon when I read the thread. Book 2 is there. I may try putting a post up. No real rush as I'm working on bass lines for my surf band right now. Poor little uke is sitting in her case, not getting any love (neither is my banjo). Acoustic guitar gets a little, as I play in a community band. Figured someone in the thread might be looking to offload theirs in a little bit.

maxmax
08-28-2015, 03:49 AM
Hi folks,

I bought both the volumes of this book, and have worked my way through most of the first book. I'm new to playing the ukulele, but not new to playing stringed instruments. Apart from trying to teach my ring finger how to pick the strings and not anchor my pinkie on the sound board, it's been fairly easy for me to go through this book, but I'm still glad I got it and agree that it's well written for the beginning player.

I can understand how not anchoring the pinkie will be an advantage when moving smoothly between strumming and picking, but it's just that ring finger which has me thinking though... I do want to learn "proper" technique so I won't run into trouble down the road, but I've been spending waaay to much time on YouTube lately looking at ukulele players, and I can't help but notice that no one seems to use their ring finger to pick. Most of the really talented people, seem to mostly use their thumb to pick, but throw in the index and middle finger where needed, but never the ring finger. The only people I've seen use their ring finger, have been, in a polite way of saying it, not up to an advanced level yet.

Am I wrong? I really hope I am and you all can share some information of great players that use their ring fingers. Cause I'm really putting in an effort to use mine now since this book preaches it. I can do it all right, for the exercises in this book it's no problem, but I can tell that it's going to take a very long time before I reach the same touch, timing and tone as I can achieve with my other fingers. I'm somewhat afraid that I'm putting in all this practice for something that I'll never use, and would be better off practising something else instead.

If anyone has any thoughts about this, I would very much appreciate your input! Many thanks in advance,
Max

Recstar24
08-28-2015, 04:00 AM
maxmax,

Youtube Matt Dahlberg. He's got some killer videos and uses a 4 finger picking technique with no anchor. I've taken lessons with him through skype and through our lessons he pretty much sold me on using 4 fingers.

wayfarer75
08-28-2015, 05:21 AM
Not anchoring my pinky is more comfortable for me. For other players it's probably more comfortable for them. We all have our own way of playing, and while I can admire others' artistry, I don't feel the need to imitate everyone's techniques. Should I just use my thumb like Ohta San? Use a pick like Brittni Paiva? Kimo Hussey plays in a very unique way, lots of upstrokes, should I do that? Grow my nails or keep them short?

Recstar24
08-28-2015, 05:37 AM
Not anchoring my pinky and/or ring finger is definitely more comfortable for me. Trying to force myself to anchor makes my hand too tight and restrictive.

Now, when I flatpick on guitar, I anchor my fingers. For uke, for whatever reason anchoring just doesn't work with me, I prefer the "free stroke" approach as it keeps my hand relaxed, and I don't have issues hitting the wrong string.

JustinJ
08-29-2015, 12:50 PM
Four Finger not anchoring ukulele players

Sara Maisel

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lP4-Loy65vs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AO66EHpuRko




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cD0lqR1-UmU Gerald Ross



Takashi Nakumura Jazz Guitar Professor and ukulele player from Japan. He plays a four finger with a mixture of using the thumb. I like how he adds percussion to the instrument.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hTMwGI69rY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVvNR9cptbk

A really nice version of the Jazz song Spain. Look around four minute to see him using four fingers to play part of the solo. There is also a ukulele bass player on this video for those interested.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DZM1jdHpxs

If you like the arrangement of the first video by Takashi, he has a book available. There are more difficult arrangements in the book but they're all very musical.

see my post here
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?109798-How-would-you-play-this-swing-turnaround-progression&p=1736531#post1736531



James Hill only using a thumb to play as an example of the tone.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UyRjYVDP3s


I use all four fingers without anchoring. Now that I've started playing classical guitar, I'm glad that I learned it from Pekelo. Using all four fingers will allow you to develop speed.

Sometimes when I play Jazz, I will use my thumb. It will give you a nice Jazz tone. It also a little less bright.

Why limit yourself to one technique? The way I approach the ukulele is to learn various forms of music and techniques. It can only add to your playing ability.

Ultimately, it's up to you to decide if it's worth learning.

Recstar24
08-29-2015, 01:45 PM
Thanks for the links justin! Some great players for sure. Love James hill for the reason you stated, very versatile player that has any different styles he likes to employ.

I love thumb picking, it was the first way I really started playing and James hill does a great job explaining the technique and how to influence tone through thumb position. I like to use a thumb rest stroke for playing melodies as it gives you a very round fat tone that is still focused.

Kim la
08-30-2015, 06:14 AM
Just FYI guys I ordered book 1 from elderly middle of the month. It is on back order says they expect to receive a shipment sep 3

JustinJ
08-30-2015, 09:37 AM
I'm glad that you like the links. It's truly amazing when you see the link of the spain video. It's three guys. I'm not sure what type of drum the guy is playing. The other two players are a kala ukulele bass player and a uke. I love the Takashi Jazz book. I can not always get some of his strums but the music is done well and not too complicated.


Thanks for the links justin! Some great players for sure. Love James hill for the reason you stated, very versatile player that has any different styles he likes to employ.

I love thumb picking, it was the first way I really started playing and James hill does a great job explaining the technique and how to influence tone through thumb position. I like to use a thumb rest stroke for playing melodies as it gives you a very round fat tone that is still focused.

Gerald Ross
09-01-2015, 03:08 AM
I pick with my thumb and three fingers and any combination of all of them. For my arpeggio "strums" I place my thumb on the 4th string, index on the 3rd, middle on the 2nd and ring on the 1st strings - just as you hand would naturally fall on the strings. When I pinch two strings I use either my thumb and index or my thumb and middle - why, you ask? If I want a more sensitive "soft" sound I will pinch with my thumb and middle because my middle finger is not as strong as my index finger - being not as strong, I get a softer tone.

I do not anchor any fingers on the face of the uke (same for when I am finger picking any fretted instrument). Anchoring locks your hand into position. You want your hand to float so you can pick/strum on multiple areas of the string to get the tones available at different points along the scale length.

I do not pick melodies solely with my thumb. Many players do this and are very good at it (I'm not). Picking with just your thumb IMHO is a waste of energy and too much work. Why? Once you pluck the note with your thumb you must "reload" your thumb by bringing it back up into picking position. Very inefficient. We have opposing thumbs - let's use the them along with our fingers. That being said, let me restate that some people are very good at this technique and quite smooth in their tone and rhythm. Many players are forced to play melodies with their thumbs because they don't use a strap. They hold on to the lower waist of the uke with their fingers of their right hands to stabilize the instrument and pluck with their thumbs - get a strap, make your life easier (please no ukulele religious flame wars about the strap/no strap issue) :)

I only play high g. I like the tight chord voicings and many times the high g string does a lot of work for me for "free". I can get higher melody notes without having to stretch my left hand into uncomfortable positions.

I play with flesh of my fingertips. I do not use my nails at all.

All this being said..... Do what you want. If it sounds like music, you are doing it right.

wayfarer75
09-01-2015, 06:50 AM
I play with flesh of my fingertips. I do not use my nails at all.

This is the one thing I do that puts me in the minority of uke players, it seems. It's totally by my own choice, not because I think I'll look weird with them long (I'm a female), or because my nails suck (in fact they're really strong). I just don't like them long, and I prefer how the uke sounds picked with my fingertips, not my nails. Plus it's just one less thing for me to fuss with. Makes me feel less odd that you do it too. :D

johnson430
09-01-2015, 11:55 AM
This is the one thing I do that puts me in the minority of uke players, it seems. It's totally by my own choice, not because I think I'll look weird with them long (I'm a female), or because my nails suck (in fact they're really strong). I just don't like them long, and I prefer how the uke sounds picked with my fingertips, not my nails. Plus it's just one less thing for me to fuss with. Makes me feel less odd that you do it too. :D

Add me to this group. I am a flesh player too. =)

Recstar24
09-01-2015, 12:06 PM
Thanks Gerald for chiming in and sharing some elements of your technique! Very much appreciated.

johnson430
09-01-2015, 03:34 PM
Many players are forced to play melodies with their thumbs because they don't use a strap. They hold on to the lower waist of the uke with their fingers of their right hands to stabilize the instrument and pluck with their thumbs - get a strap, make your life easier (please no ukulele religious flame wars about the strap/no strap issue) :)


Mr. Ross,
Thank you for taking the time to respond to this thread.
I will agree with the strap comment. I played many months without a strap.
The addition of a strap to my uke has given me the ability to free my right hand and also allowed me more freedom of movement with my left hand as well.

I hope others will be open to this suggestion.
Kindly,
J Johnson