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blodzoom
12-14-2015, 08:33 AM
I've been playing for about 6 months now so I'm not a complete beginner. My playing has mostly consisted of learning to play songs from videos and tabs online (lots of strumming open chords). I'm taking lessons now and that's exposing me to a little solo uke style and a little music theory.

Does anyone have any books that they want to recommend? Any book that had a big impact on their ability/motivation at any point in their journey? I'm open to all types of playing but I'm definitely planning on digging into fingerstyle more.

janeray1940
12-14-2015, 08:52 AM
When I was first learning to play I went through a lot of books. Most of them got re-homed, but a few that I still have and still use (6+ years later) include:

Fred Sokolow's Ukulele Fretboard Roadmaps (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1423400410?keywords=fretboard%20roadmaps&qid=1450122547&ref_=sr_1_4&s=books&sr=1-4)
John King's two books (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=john+king+ukulele)
Ukulelezaza's two books (https://www.etsy.com/shop/Ukulelezaza)
Aaron Keim's books (http://quietamericanmusic.com/storestore/)
Tony Mizen's Baroque and Romantic books (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=tony+mizen+ukulele&rh=n%3A283155%2Ck%3Atony+mizen+ukulele)

Most of these are pretty intermediate but I've been making my way through them since I was a beginner. The Aaron Keim books are great for beginners (and fun for those of us who are more advanced but just want to take it easy from time to time!).

blodzoom
12-14-2015, 11:14 AM
Thanks for the recommendations. I'm not as interested in the songbooks. The Fretboard Roadmaps looks right up my alley. I ordered that one along with a couple others that get good reviews on Amazon.

Nothing like stuffing your own stocking.

Rllink
12-14-2015, 11:25 AM
I was going to suggest Daily Ukulele. I love that book. You can do a lot with it. But I guess if you don't want to play songs, don't get it.

JustinJ
12-14-2015, 11:48 AM
I'm not a big fan of Ukulele Roadmaps. I think there are better books that teach you.

I"ve said this before and will do it again. I love Melbay Understanding Ukulele Chords http://www.amazon.com/Mel-Bay-Understanding-Ukulele-Chords/dp/0786672153

This book has 48 pages of goodness. There's nothing fancy but if you do the exercises and take the time to work through this book , you'll never need to look up a chord again. You can pick a lead sheet and start playing. You'll also know the fretboard really well and how to transpose songs. You''ll learn chord progression and even a chapter on chord melody playing. You'll understand what a 7th chords, minors, majors, and etc…
'
It's not easy but time spent in this book pays off greatly.

You may want to pick up a book on finger picking like Pekelo's books. You'll want to pick up a book on reading notation.

blodzoom
12-14-2015, 11:58 AM
JustinJ, that looks like exactly the kind of thing that I want.

Rllink, Obviously i want to play songs, I think everyone here does, and maybe there is value for me in some of those song books, but what I'm looking for isn't really just a book of songs, I'm looking more for something to advance my knowledge.

Recstar24
12-14-2015, 12:19 PM
Thanks Justin - ordered.

Sven-Uke
12-14-2015, 01:05 PM
Thanks for suggesting Mel Bay Understanding Ukulele Chords.
Just the thing I was looking for!

Rllink
12-14-2015, 01:25 PM
I think that you got something started here Justin.

JustinJ
12-14-2015, 01:28 PM
Mel Bay Understanding Ukulele Chords: tips

I'm glad that people have found the book helpful.

I suggest supplementing the book by watching a few videos on the circle of fifths. I printed up a circle fifth pdf and leave it on the top of music stand.

To get the benefits of the book, you have to work through the exercises. Sometimes this can take a while. It's not something that happens in a day. When he says to play in all keys, it's important to do this. You're training your ears and your fingers for the chord shapes. The circle of fifth will help you transpose the songs. At first I did not use it but later I found it invaluable. It would have been easier going if I used it from the beginning.

In the beginning of the book with the basic movable chords, do not worry about the 3rd and 5th. He mentions it but it's not necessary. Just work on knowing the root of the chord shape. Expect to spend a week on the first movable chords. A benefit is that you'll learn the fretboard while doing this.


You'll learn where the 3rd is when you turn the page and work on the minor chords.

Make sure that you have the shapes down well before moving on. There's not many but they will build on what you learn, especially the seventh chords.

I've spent a lot of time with this book. It works well but only when time is devoted to it. It's not something to read and learn from. You have to practice the exercises. I think about 10 - 15 minutes a day is sufficient to see progress. I set a timer in the beginning and worked until it went off. I like to do the book when I first start my practice.

You'll notice that songs become easier to play because you're able to make the chord shapes. The transitions to the chords are easier because you learn progressions and practice in different keys.

JustinJ
12-14-2015, 01:42 PM
I think that you got something started here Justin.

Hopefully, it will be helpful.

For those who want to see inside the book, it's here . This preview jumps around a lot and does not give a good representation of the book . It looks difficult but by the time you get to the later pages, you understand what's going on.

https://books.google.com/books?id=szsXAs5yr6cC&pg=PA1&lpg=PA1&dq=mel+bay+understanding+ukulele+chords&source=bl&ots=_mP49gLxYR&sig=9-HXlYRJ8klSu64Azq1BWZW2OIA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj_zoTqyNzJAhWGbSYKHWYCC74Q6AEIVDAJ#v=on epage&q=mel%20bay%20understanding%20ukulele%20chords&f=false

Kimosabe
12-14-2015, 07:08 PM
I copied a review of Calvin Chin's book:Ukulele Breakthrough

I learned from this book.o

As someone fairly new to the ukulele, a mere 11 months, and I've come across about 300 ukulele players and searched over the internet and purchased books. I also have a small e-mail list of about 25 ukulele friends. I devoted one of my e-mails to the praise and recommendation of this book for presenting the different chord shapes as they are determined by the string where the root note is located.

Calvin Chin has a simple clear style. He presents the chord shapes for the A string in chapter 1 and has songs that practice the chords. The instructions and diagrams are very clear an are just two pages long. Then he uses the same format for the E string, C string and G string in the next three chapters. These first 4 lessons are worth the price of the book. He moves into diminished, augmented, minor 7th's, 6th's, minor 6th's, etc. It is not complex. But does require one to work on muscle memory. This book is full of wonderful stuff. A definite buy for a person that wants to become a better ukulele player. I highly recommend this book.

johnson430
12-15-2015, 02:44 AM
+1 for Understanding Ukulele Chords.
I love this book.

actadh
12-15-2015, 03:12 AM
Hopefully, it will be helpful.

For those who want to see inside the book, it's here . This preview jumps around a lot and does not give a good representation of the book . It looks difficult but by the time you get to the later pages, you understand what's going on.

https://books.google.com/books?id=szsXAs5yr6cC&pg=PA1&lpg=PA1&dq=mel+bay+understanding+ukulele+chords&source=bl&ots=_mP49gLxYR&sig=9-HXlYRJ8klSu64Azq1BWZW2OIA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj_zoTqyNzJAhWGbSYKHWYCC74Q6AEIVDAJ#v=on epage&q=mel%20bay%20understanding%20ukulele%20chords&f=false

I admire anyone who plays the ukulele while riding a unicycle.

Another book to consider is Tony Mizen's Learn Fingerstyle book. You learn the reasons for what you do, rather than just being a songbook, although there are songs in there to illustrate the concepts. http://www.amazon.com/Learn-Finger-Style-Ukulele-Music-Theory/dp/150068144X/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

photoshooter
12-15-2015, 04:20 AM
For the past few months I've dedicated my time to Understanding Ukulele Chords (thanks Justin). I'm really liking this book.
I'm the type of person who likes to cover things from various angles so I have a few other similar books I like as well.

One is Brad Bordessa's Ukulele Chord Shapes (http://liveukulele.com/chords/ukulele-chord-shapes-e-book/) eBook.



I copied a review of Calvin Chin's book:Ukulele Breakthrough


Calvin Chin's book doesn't get mentioned too often. I like the way this book is set up in that it takes a string-by-string approach to chord shapes focusing on the root notes. The entire title of this book is: Ukulele Breakthrough: Helping you go from lonely strummer to life-of-the-party!. I found the title a little off-putting and never gave the book a thought until I read a review of it. (Yes I'm guilty of judging a book by it's cover!).

These three are my go-to books for learning and understanding chord shapes with Understanding Ukulele Chords at the top of the list.

JustinJ
12-16-2015, 04:32 AM
Book for learning music notation and notes up the 5th fret:

Modern Ukulele Method Grade 1

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0786690607/ref=rdr_ext_tmb

This book will teach you how to read music notation and the notes on the first five frets. There are no modern songs in it but you will be able to read music and know the notes on the first five frets. Also, it's good for teaching rhythms. The exercises are not too difficult and progress at a nice pace.

There are two songs in this book that have tab. The rest of the book has no tab.

johnson430
12-16-2015, 06:46 AM
Book for learning music notation and notes up the 5th fret:

Modern Ukulele Method Grade 1

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0786690607/ref=rdr_ext_tmb

This book will teach you how to read music notation and the notes on the first five frets. There are no modern songs in it but you will be able to read music and know the notes on the first five frets. Also, it's good for teaching rhythms. The exercises are not too difficult and progress at a nice pace.

There are two songs in this book that have tab. The rest of the book has no tab.


Seems like you and I have similar tastes in books.
I also have this book and am using it along with my Pekelo Book 1 to improve my sight reading of music.
I am covering up the tabs in my Pekelo with bits of blue painter's tape, as it can be removed easily without damage to the book.
Unfortunately, I used regular tape on one song and took some book page along with it when I removed the tape.
Oh well, live and learn.

Kimosabe
12-16-2015, 07:45 AM
Glen Rose's Jazzy Ukulele books are outstanding for understanding jazz and jazz blues patterns. His Advanced jazz chord video takes it one step further by teaching cool substitutions for the dominant chords in ii-V-I patterns. He teaches four voicings depending on where the root note falls and also on what is possible on a four string instrument.

You end up understanding chord runs based on what is possible with dominant chord substitutions. Not as complicated as it sounds. Jazz chord fingerings are surprisingly easy on a ukulele.

blodzoom
12-16-2015, 01:56 PM
Glen Rose's Jazzy Ukulele books are outstanding for understanding jazz and jazz blues patterns. His Advanced jazz chord video takes it one step further by teaching cool substitutions for the dominant chords in ii-V-I patterns. He teaches four voicings depending on where the root note falls and also on what is possible on a four string instrument.

You end up understanding chord runs based on what is possible with dominant chord substitutions. Not as complicated as it sounds. Jazz chord fingerings are surprisingly easy on a ukulele.

This sounds awesome, but intimidating.

Kimosabe
12-17-2015, 06:26 AM
This sounds awesome, but intimidating.
Might sound intimidating but really it's not. And not that expensive. Great for giving you new colors to work with of you're a songwriter.