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sillyrib
03-10-2016, 07:26 AM
Just wondering what some of your favorite Ukulele books are. advanced, beginner, songbooks, lessons.

Thanks

actadh
03-10-2016, 07:51 AM
Here are two from UU people (there are many more good ones)
Uncle Rod's Bootcamp http://ukulelebootcamp.weebly.com/
Brimmers Celtic https://www.dropbox.com/s/bobj3dxr731q63e/Celtic%20Music%20for%20Ukulele%202.0.pdf?dl=0

Amazonbooks (I know Tony is on UU)
Rob MacKillop 20 Easy Fingerstyle, Tony Mizen ukulele books

Mivo
03-10-2016, 07:52 AM
My two favorite books are "Ukulele Aerobics" (for everyone) and Aaron Keim's "Fingerstyle" e-book. Among the general beginner books that I've read/bought, I felt that "The Idiot's Guide to Playing the Ukulele" and "Ukulele for Dummies" were the most comprehensive. But there are very many of them out there. I also really like Al Wood's "Ukulele Strums" e-book, which comes with over a hundred audio files and fifty+ videos.

Croaky Keith
03-10-2016, 07:54 AM
There is a discussion on here somewhere, but just as a guide,
Ukulele for Dummies
Ukulele Exercises for Dummies
Ukulele Aerobics
The Daily Ukulele - 365 Songs for Better Living
The Daily Ukulele: Leap Year Edition: 366 More Great Songs for Better Living
Get Plucky with the Ukulele: A Quick and Easy Guide to All Things Uke

Brad Bordessa
03-10-2016, 08:27 AM
All the 'ukulele books in print I've seen are "meh," at best. They are getting better, but still... Guitar books have evolved much further, IMO, and a clever 'ukulele player can use them for their benefit easily. These are my favs: http://liveukulele.com/reviews/guitar-books/.

Those, along with The Music Lesson by Victor Wooten will keep anybody busy for a lifetime.

BB11
03-10-2016, 08:36 AM
If you have trouble finding some of these try Abebooks.com, they have a bunch of them

Rllink
03-10-2016, 08:56 AM
Just wait until the end of April, I'm going to sell, cheap, most of the books that I've bought. I might keep one or two, but then again, I might not.

WoodGlue
03-10-2016, 09:18 AM
One of my favorite books is the small (but thick) Ukulele Fake Book by Hal Leonard Publishing. Over 400 songs with cord grids for soprano, concert & tenor ukes.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1476812934/

I like the smallness since I like to camp.

jollyboy
03-10-2016, 06:26 PM
I sort-of-agree with the 'meh' sentiment - maybe I wouldn't quite go that far. I bought a dozen or so beginner books when I first got a uke and most have ended up at the local charity shop. None of them were out-and-out bad but then none of them really impressed me either. One personal bugbear for me is the often predictable and boring song selection - Li'l Liza Jane, Camptown Races, When the Saints Go Marching In, Go Tell Aunt Rhody and for a first taste of fingerstyle... Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star every bloody time. Whilst I appreciate that these 'standards' often use very simple chord progressions, making them good for learners, I have a sneaking suspicion that their public domain status is a significant factor in their ubiquity also.

I do like Ukulele Exercises For Dummies, despite the fact that it mostly has a similarly uninspired selection of tunes. It redeems itself by including lots of useful exercises and plenty of solid practical advice.

Mivo
03-10-2016, 06:55 PM
One personal bugbear for me is the often predictable and boring song selection - Li'l Liza Jane, Camptown Races, When the Saints Go Marching In, Go Tell Aunt Rhody and for a first taste of fingerstyle... Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star every bloody time. Whilst I appreciate that these 'standards' often use very simple chord progressions, making them good for learners, I have a sneaking suspicion that their public domain status is a significant factor in their ubiquity also.

Definitely, yes. It is cheaper to use public domain songs, and it also (perhaps more importantly) removes the entire legal aspect, which makes publishing more straight-forward. Those songs are also well-known, though I think that doesn't universally apply and depends on where you live. Even with German beginner books (I haven't checked out many), there are frequently tunes in there that I don't know. It must be even worse for younger folks who are in their teens, twenties or thirties.

My main issue with beginner books is the lack of consistency. The coverage is frequently spotty and the structure is lacking. I think it sometimes shows that they are written by musicians and enthusiasts, not by pedagogues. As a self-learner, you typically have to put together your own lesson plan, or, more likely, just bumble around and inefficiently pick up bits and pieces. Outside of getting a good teacher (which aren't that common for ukulele), I haven't really found a good approach to a complete learning package yet.

There are subscription-based offers, but I shy away from making the financial commitment before I really know what I'll get and how it'll work for me.

UkingViking
03-10-2016, 08:25 PM
Perhaps I should get some ukulele books.

I only had the patience to learn a few songs for their easynes when I started playing last year, then I skipped to deciding which songs I wanted to play and finding the chords online.

I searched amazon for ukulele song books, but with all of them it was only a fraction of the songs in them I wanted to learn. It seemed to me to just take up space.

I have a huge fake book "for C instruments" with 1200 songs that I can go to for inspiration. I bought it once for guitar purposes, but i guess chords are chords. It is not handy to carry around.

janeray1940
03-10-2016, 09:29 PM
I pretty much agree with the "meh" statement as well with a few exceptions:

John King's and Tony Mizen's classical books
Aaron Keim's beginner fingerstyle book
Fred Sokolow's Fretboard Roadmaps
Ukulelezaza's two books (although I think these have become hard to find)
Roy Sakuma's Treasury of Ukulele Chords

Mivo
03-11-2016, 03:43 AM
Ukulele Exercises for Dummies

This reminded me that I had bought this a couple years back and it was sitting unread in my iBooks library. Just looked it over and it's actually pretty good. A lot of material in there for a different skill levels. Looks suitable as a first book, too.

Rllink
03-11-2016, 03:59 AM
All the 'ukulele books in print I've seen are "meh," at best. They are getting better, but still... Guitar books have evolved much further, IMO, and a clever 'ukulele player can use them for their benefit easily. These are my favs: http://liveukulele.com/reviews/guitar-books/.

Those, along with The Music Lesson by Victor Wooten will keep anybody busy for a lifetime.The hardware store down the hill from me has a book exchange. Last year there was two guitar books, and one was on scales. That book has been very helpful. Scales are scales, regardless of what you play them on. I've learned a lot about scales, and the exercises were easy to adapt to the ukulele. In fact, adapting them to the ukulele is something that has been very helpful in itself.

Rllink
03-11-2016, 04:11 AM
I sort-of-agree with the 'meh' sentiment - maybe I wouldn't quite go that far. I bought a dozen or so beginner books when I first got a uke and most have ended up at the local charity shop. None of them were out-and-out bad but then none of them really impressed me either. One personal bugbear for me is the often predictable and boring song selection - Li'l Liza Jane, Camptown Races, When the Saints Go Marching In, Go Tell Aunt Rhody and for a first taste of fingerstyle... Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star every bloody time. Whilst I appreciate that these 'standards' often use very simple chord progressions, making them good for learners, I have a sneaking suspicion that their public domain status is a significant factor in their ubiquity also.
I agree with you there. I'm sixty-five years old, and most of the songs in the ukulele books I sang in grade school, and they were old then. I think you are right about the public domain. But I've taken to looking at what songs are used in a book, before I buy it, and I haven't bought a book since I started doing that.

actadh
03-11-2016, 04:16 AM
IOne personal bugbear for me is the often predictable and boring song selection - Li'l Liza Jane, Camptown Races, When the Saints Go Marching In, Go Tell Aunt Rhody and for a first taste of fingerstyle... Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star every bloody time. Whilst I appreciate that these 'standards' often use very simple chord progressions, making them good for learners, I have a sneaking suspicion that their public domain status is a significant factor in their ubiquity also.

I do like Ukulele Exercises For Dummies, despite the fact that it mostly has a similarly uninspired selection of tunes. It redeems itself by including lots of useful exercises and plenty of solid practical advice.

That is why I like the Rob MacKillop 20 Easy Fingerstyle book. They are his compositions and they teach some good foundations of fingerstyle playing. The Celtic songs are not new, but many are new to me. Same with the Welti arrangements of German songs, which I meant to include, but are found here on UU. I do like the Mizen books because I know those classical music songs and think it is cool that I can play songs I have been listening to on public radio for years.

Rllink
03-11-2016, 04:25 AM
My main issue with beginner books is the lack of consistency. The coverage is frequently spotty and the structure is lacking. I think it sometimes shows that they are written by musicians and enthusiasts, not by pedagogues. As a self-learner, you typically have to put together your own lesson plan, or, more likely, just bumble around and inefficiently pick up bits and pieces. Outside of getting a good teacher (which aren't that common for ukulele), I haven't really found a good approach to a complete learning package yet.

I agree with you, again. That pretty much describes me. But really, that method has worked well. I have played with some people who have been playing much longer than I have, and have a much more regimented approach to their learning, who haven't been at a very high level, from my observations.

Down Up Dick
03-11-2016, 05:57 AM
I'm satisfied with the Dummies and Idiots books (sometimes very fitting titles), but, from now on, I'm gonna try to buy books with real music in addition to tabs. I have some, and I like them much, much better. I'm also working on reading music and playing by ear. I'm trying to rise above tabs . . .

I really like the Wayne Erbsen books a lot, but some don't have music--only tabs. :old:

Tonya
03-11-2016, 06:15 AM
It is *tough* to decide which (if any?) learning resources and song books might fit your needs. That's why I started a free ukulele library for our club--and I'm surprised more groups don't do the same.

Here's how it works: The church we meet at charges $25/meeting. We collect (done informally, there's a Tupperware container to put your money in and I just pass it around the room) $5 per person (after you've attended a first "free" meeting--we know it's not going to be everyone's cup of tea so we don't want them to feel obligated). I stuff $25 of the cash that night under the church secretary's door. The rest of the funds are collected and we purchase materials which members are interested in to add to the library.

We now have 91 items in the library--ranging from very beginner materials to more advanced, some Hawaiian culture items and theory. We have books, DVDs and ukulele music CDs by "professional" players. After borrowing a resource, I include a time in the next month's meeting where folks can give a brief "review" of it (whether good or bad, helpful or not).

I can't tell you how many times someone has borrowed an ukulele book from the club library and gone on to decide that's a resource they want for themselves so they buy a copy of it for their own library. It's also helped some folks save money because they've "tried" it and realized it wasn't what they were looking for.

I think all of the books mentioned in this thread (so far) are in our Ukuleles of Paradise library. You can see the 91 items in our library here: http://ukuleletonya.com/uke_library/

If you need any tips for setting up a club library, give me a holler and I'll help!

Croaky Keith
03-11-2016, 06:37 AM
I've decided to give this one a go, http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1423453395/ref=pe_385721_37986871_TE_item - The Ultimate Rock Pop Fake Book (for instruments in C).

It's meant to have the melody, lyrics & chords for over 500 songs, with a bias toward the 50's & 60's, (maybe 70's), which is the kind of music I like. So I should be able to write uke (fingerstyle) tabs from the melody lines, that's the plan anyway. :)

whistleman123
03-11-2016, 08:58 AM
I just ordered "50 Easy Uke Chord Solos" by Gerry Long. I'll post my impressions after I get it.

plank
03-11-2016, 09:44 AM
Ukulele for dummies is a great beginner book. However once my playing improves where do I go from there?

Mivo
03-11-2016, 06:35 PM
Ukulele for dummies is a great beginner book. However once my playing improves where do I go from there?

The last two thirds of Ukulele Aerobics, specialized songbooks (Mizen, King, etc) depending on your style, advanced YouTube videos. There is a Mastering series by Alfred Publishing, but I haven't seen it. Perhaps the UU University here could be a good course, but I've also not tried it yet. There is a two-week trial.

Croaky Keith
03-11-2016, 11:36 PM
Ukulele for dummies ..... where do I go from there?

Ukulele Exercises for Dummies
Ukulele Aerobics
The Daily Ukulele - 365 Songs for Better Living
The Daily Ukulele: Leap Year Edition: 366 More Great Songs for Better Living
:cool:

jollyboy
03-12-2016, 12:57 AM
+1 Ukulele Exercises For Dummies. Easily the best not-quite-a-beginner-anymore uke book I have found (apparently we are known as 'improvers' :))

bnolsen
03-12-2016, 03:04 AM
i'll have to check out the exercises for dummies.

The daily ukulele is a good starter for chord strumming. then just grab sheets from doctoruke.com

I really like the tony mizen books, good variety of material. the beginning of the first book has good starter pieces. These can easily be adapted to linear tuning.

the mel bay learn to play fingerstyle might be good for getting more into hammerons, pullofs, slides, etc (pls suggest a better)

i do like the gaspar sanz 20 spanish baroque pieces as a supplement. this one seems more aggressive about using the reentant A & G strings together.

i got the john king book and think its a total waste, most everything is single string melody stuff you should be picking up on your own by ear.

plank
03-12-2016, 03:37 AM
+1 Ukulele Exercises For Dummies. Easily the best not-quite-a-beginner-anymore uke book I have found (apparently we are known as 'improvers' :))

Cheers I have found it on Amazon for 6. I cannot wait.

Snargle
03-12-2016, 03:39 AM
The books that have helped me the most are Aaron Keim's Fingerstyle Ukulele and Wilfried Welti's Solo Ukulele e-books. Like many others, I've got a small stack of other books which turned out to be endless rehashes of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and other simplistic two-or-three-chord strumming melodies. They'll probably be passed on to an interested beginner, along with my cheap Oscar Schmidt uke.

Mivo
03-12-2016, 10:09 PM
The books that have helped me the most are Aaron Keim's Fingerstyle Ukulele ...

One thing about Aaron's book is that I wouldn't recommend it to a complete beginner. The second or third exercise already includes D to A changes, and the first song includes the 7th or 8th fret. The fingerpicking/-style parts of Ukulele Exercises for Dummies start a bit more gently and come with more instructions. I'd go with that and then get Aaron's book next.

jollyboy
03-13-2016, 12:30 PM
The books that have helped me the most are Aaron Keim's Fingerstyle Ukulele

Yeah I have the ebook of this and I would say it's pretty good. In reference to a comment Mivo made above about how ukulele books are typically not written by pedagogues, Aaron I believe is a notable exception - being a highly qualified and experienced teacher of music. This comes through in the fingerstyle book where information is well presented and the overall structure and pacing of the material is good. I'm even willing to overlook the inclusion of Go Tell Aunt Rhody :p

FYI: I just noticed that Aaron is having a sale. (http://quietamericanmusic.com/storestore/)

Snargle
03-13-2016, 02:43 PM
One thing about Aaron's book is that I wouldn't recommend it to a complete beginner. The second or third exercise already includes D to A changes, and the first song includes the 7th or 8th fret. The fingerpicking/-style parts of Ukulele Exercises for Dummies start a bit more gently and come with more instructions. I'd go with that and then get Aaron's book next.I do agree that it's not a book for a complete beginner. I learned fingerpicking on a guitar, so the transition to ukulele wasn't that difficult.

cml
03-17-2016, 06:32 AM
Great thread!

I might pick up Ukulele Aerobics, it seems like a good book.
Ukulele excercises for dummies is also on my radar for later, I am taking the author's online course atm...

cml
03-17-2016, 10:09 AM
Actually just ordered Ukulele Aerobics :), will be here in a week or so.

sillyrib
03-17-2016, 12:52 PM
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0634078615?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00

I ordered this. opened it and 1 minute later sent it back. So basic you can learn more from a pamphlet some cheap ukuleles come with.

Twibbly
03-17-2016, 12:55 PM
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0634078615?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00

I ordered this. opened it and 1 minute later sent it back. So basic you can learn more from a pamphlet some cheap ukuleles come with.

I have the Hal Leonard Ukulele Method Books 1 and 2 for my starters. I'm about 3/4 of the way through Book 1, and it seems pretty decent to me for learning basics so far, but it is a book for complete beginners.

sillyrib
03-17-2016, 12:58 PM
thanks
I used hal leonard and mel bay books for guitar many years ago and still remember them.

wildfire070
03-19-2016, 04:06 AM
Pekelos books 1 & 2 are great. They're getting hard to find now, I believe. But he's also working on book 3.

cml
03-24-2016, 07:45 AM
Got the Ukulele Aerobics today, will use it for a while before I "review" it but at a preliminary glance it looks really good :)!

Choirguy
04-09-2016, 01:20 PM
I just wanted to add that a number of ukulele books are available in the iBook Store and on Amazon Kindle, usually at a discount from music store (or even normal paper Amazon) pricing. This includes many Hal Leonard Books, the Daily Ukulele and more.

If you have an iPad Pro (I don't yet) this would be an incredible way to travel with the books. This method can really help an independent publisher; I am not sure how it impacts an author when it is a major publisher's book, and it certainly cuts out the local music store (not a good thing).

Incidentally, I recommend forScore for PDF resources on the iPad, MobileSheets on Android.

A GigEasy tablet mount, AirTurn foot pedal, and stylus (especially the Samsung Note and Apple Pencil) can really change how you interact with music in practice or at a performance.

I just wanted to make sure that angle was mentioned in this thread as well.

JessicaM
04-09-2016, 03:51 PM
Thanks for this thread! I reserved about 15 uke books from my library. About half were crap, but the other half (many mentioned here) came home with me. I might even buy a few of them when they're due back!

jelow1966
04-09-2016, 05:06 PM
I'm satisfied with the Dummies and Idiots books (sometimes very fitting titles), but, from now on, I'm gonna try to buy books with real music in addition to tabs. I have some, and I like them much, much better. I'm also working on reading music and playing by ear. I'm trying to rise above tabs . . .

I really like the Wayne Erbsen books a lot, but some don't have music--only tabs. :old:

I started taking lessons about a month ago and one of the first things I told my teacher was that I didn't want to use any tabs, only sight reading. It is harder but the more you do it the easier it gets and it helps me to see the song musically, how the note progression and chords work together much more than tab does. To that end if I print out a song from online I cut it apart and glue just the staff part onto a separate paper though I often keep a second copy with the tabs just to see how it was meant to be played. I don't want to be cutting up my books however so I have found that the safe release painters tape from 3M (the light blue stuff) works well to cover the tab while being able to remove it if needed without harming the page.

As for the topic, I do like the ukulele aerobics book. Other than that one I've gotten rid of all of mine. Guitar books can be quite useful. I still regret selling my copy of Classical Guitar Pedagogy and one of these days may have to buy it again.

John

jelow1966
04-09-2016, 06:57 PM
This got me thinking, are there any sight reading books for the uke? There are many for the guitar and are of course apps for it but I don't recall ever seeing such a thing for the uke. Maybe I'm just weird in not wanting to have tabs for everything.

John

Croaky Keith
04-09-2016, 08:53 PM
Maybe the Fake Book series would suit.

Soundbored
04-09-2016, 09:19 PM
This got me thinking, are there any sight reading books for the uke? There are many for the guitar and are of course apps for it but I don't recall ever seeing such a thing for the uke. Maybe I'm just weird in not wanting to have tabs for everything.
John

The most useful sheet music for guitar/ukulele/banjo, etc, has standard notation above tablature. You get all the timing and rhythm, plus the exact fretting and idiomatic instructions.

I haven't found any ukulele-specific song books that are worth the money I spent on them, yet. The "Jumpin' Jim's" books in particular seem to be just the vocal melody notation from old piano sheet music. They're not ukulele-specific transcriptions optimized for the instrument, as far as I can tell.

Down Up Dick
04-10-2016, 07:54 AM
Hi, jelow1966. If you like folk music. "American Roots Music For Ukulele" is good. It has real music and tabs and different styles of music such as Clawhammer. My only criticism with it is that many of the pieces are in the key of F. I don't like F too much, but I just deal 'wid it.

I have another book with standard notation and tabs. I just ignore the tabs. The SN is coming along well. :old:

jelow1966
04-13-2016, 06:45 PM
Hi, jelow1966. If you like folk music. "American Roots Music For Ukulele" is good. It has real music and tabs and different styles of music such as Clawhammer. My only criticism with it is that many of the pieces are in the key of F. I don't like F too much, but I just deal 'wid it.

I have another book with standard notation and tabs. I just ignore the tabs. The SN is coming along well. :old:

Thanks for the tip. Right now I'm mostly learning scales and modes mixed in with some easy classical pieces. Hope to add flamenco too, but clawhammer sounds fun too. I'll check it out, songs with words are good to learn to play so I can hear my friend with a beautiful voice sing.

John

Nibby
04-14-2016, 03:16 PM
The Complete What Ukulele Players Really Want To Know by Barry Maz
http://www.amazon.com/Complete-What-Ukulele-Players-Really-ebook/dp/B008EWOATS/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1460682570&sr=8-1

I am about halfway through this book and I can't recommend it enough. As someone brand new to music and the ukulele I have been reading several books and have learned more from this book than any other.