View Full Version : The Beatles For Fingerstyle Ukulele - Fred Sokolow (Hal Leonard) - impressions?

04-12-2016, 03:06 AM
hi! I was looking at a book to practice fingerstyle and chord/melody playing with songs I know and like, and I saw this one about The Beatles.

watching the video teaser, it seems good: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7nCluzqPOE

chord/melody playing, in order of complexity, of well known Beatles song.

reviews seem mostly positive about it, and the negatives just point out that it's not for low G (I play re-entrant, so it's good) and that it's not for "fingerstyle playing", because it's arranged with a chord-melody structure...
but I like the chord/melody style, is one of the reasons I like the ukulele, it plays wonderfully in this style due to it's restricted range.

so, excluding these "cons" (which aren't cons to me), is it a good book?

I'm not a beginner, but also not an experienced ukulele player, even if I play guitar and bass (I'm studying with the book "Ukulele Aerobics", great book for musicians with a harmony/theory background and some skills already developed).

how's that book, so? :D

04-12-2016, 05:39 AM
I've had it a couple of months and like it. It has chord/melody arrangements as well as lyrics and chords. My only small warning is that the introduction states that the songs go from easier to harder. I haven't gone through the whole book, but that ordering does not seem to be exactly accurate to me though.

I don't regret getting it, for sure.

04-12-2016, 05:47 AM
I am happy with the book. I have only just a couple weeks ago started to work on In My Life. Being very new to chord melody playing I have just the first page of it memorized so I don't have to deal with page flips. The music sounds great. My only con is that some of the songs appear to be in different keys than my other songbooks for the Beatles so I don't know which one is proper if played with others. There is a basic songsheet after each arrangement so others can play the rhythm with you in the same key.

Croaky Keith
04-12-2016, 07:36 AM
I bought it - it has a reasonably good selection of their songs. :)

Ukulele Eddie
04-12-2016, 07:41 AM
I really enjoy the book and and am working on two songs from it currently (Yesterday and I Love Her). Personally, I really benefit from having the accompanying CD (you can buy them as downloads, too). Once I've memorized a song, I then use the sound sample in Amazing Slow Downer and play along with it, working my way up to speed.

I also enjoy the trivia about each song that is on every page.

In short, highly recommended.

04-12-2016, 01:10 PM
good. by far, only positive comments :D I like that

04-12-2016, 03:10 PM
Just ordered it, I'm a major Beatles fan, love that it has tabs. With playing the bass uke almost exclusive the last year or so, I'm going to use this to get back into playing my tenor ukes.

Ukulele Eddie
04-12-2016, 05:31 PM
I've had some inquiries about whether the CD is included. It is optional. You can order the CD directly from Fred via his website: https://www.sokolowmusic.com. The "CD" can be ordered as a physical copy or a download.


04-13-2016, 06:30 AM
I've had some inquiries about whether the CD is included. It is optional. You can order the CD directly from Fred via his website: https://www.sokolowmusic.com. The "CD" can be ordered as a physical copy or a download.


strange. with Ukulele Aerobics the tracks were available for downloading only by the serial number inside the book. being an Hal Leonard book, I thought that with this one would have been the same.

so if I want the tracks, I have to buy (so, pay) directly from the author?

04-13-2016, 08:00 AM
You can buy the album of tracks from CD Baby for less than 10 bucks. I'm an admirer of Fred. I was a little skeptical of not having a cd with the book but think about it. How much do lessons cost? A lot. I doubt Fred makes much off of his individual books. We're lucky he goes to the effort. He doesn't get to use or play the songs for nothing. He pays.

Go to CD Baby and sample the songs. If you like Fred's arrangements buy the book and cd and spend hours practicing and memorizing. You'll get more than your money's worth.

Joyful Uke
04-13-2016, 08:01 AM
Can you give a hint on where to find the CD or download on his website? I'm having lots of techology fail today, so maye that's why I can't find it, but so far, it's hidden from me.

ETA: Found it on CD Baby as someone suggested. Thanks.

04-13-2016, 08:14 AM
Here is the link, if anyone else has any problems finding the preview and CD: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/fredsokolow3

The instructional book is a very well done group of Beatles songs. I enjoy playing Mr. Sokolow's arrangements.

Ukulele Eddie
04-13-2016, 09:02 AM
I confirmed with Fred. You can buy them from Fred directly (he makes more that way, so as a fan of his I'd suggest that!), from iTunes or from CD baby.

To buy from Fred, go here and you'll see the CD or downloads is $10. It's second from bottom on left side of page:


04-13-2016, 09:22 AM
It's also available on iTunes, just bought it too.

Joyful Uke
04-13-2016, 09:27 AM
Good to know. I'd rather have him get more money while I pay the same. I hadn't bought it yet.

04-13-2016, 04:07 PM
I have the book as I'm a BIG Beatles fan. Nice to have the option of playing rhythm or doing the chord melody arrangements,and it's a good selection of songs!

04-13-2016, 07:32 PM
This thread helped me because I didn't know there was a cd for the book. Now I'll buy it and I too enjoy using the Amazing Slower Downer to learn a piece. What I like about Fred's cd is that it's just him playing the part from the book which makes it easy to hear. Thanks.