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View Full Version : Advanced musician, ukulele beginner. Looking for better learning tools



Cbearicus
05-25-2018, 12:09 PM
So I've been into music since I was a child. I started on piano, then switched over to brass instruments. My main instrument is euphonium. I've recently decided to pick up ukulele for a more travel- and group-friendly instrument. I had tried guitar in the past, but it was too big and unwieldy. So I really like the size of my concert uke and love the sound.

However, I'm running into the problem of finding materials to learn this instrument in the way that I'd like to learn it. Every beginner uke book I've encountered I find myself flipping to the very end of it to get to a place where I'm challenged in the way I want to be so I'm not just learning what whole notes are and what a rest is. And everything is in tab. Yes, I know learning tab is important. However, I really would like to have a staff. And notes. And play scales, arpeggios, and etudes in addition to learning chords just by seeing the chord name. I want to learn actual complex songs without words, not just pop music. And I want to learn every note of those songs, not just the chords. I'm fine with learning chords and singing, and there are so many resources for that so I'm fine there.

The only book I've found that comes remotely close to what I want is Ukulele Aerobics (https://www.amazon.com/Ukulele-Aerobics-Levels-Beginner-Advanced/dp/147681306X), but it doesn't have much more than licks and single lines of notation, so it's more of an additive rather than a stand-alone resource.

So, where do I find a resource that helps me with what I want?

Gary52
05-25-2018, 02:16 PM
Look into James Hill's Ukulele Way.
https://www.theukuleleway.com/

Choirguy
05-25-2018, 02:54 PM
I have really enjoyed Ukulele Mike Lynch’s chord melody books as a nice jump from chords and melody—but people have been having issues getting materials from his website (Mike passed away in January and his family has been filing orders since).

ripock
05-25-2018, 03:38 PM
Cbearicus,

I came from the same background as you and had (still have) the same issues as you. There is no solution. There are plenty of musicians on this forum as well as the world-at-large who could provide the resources we want, but they're not putting together any materials. Unfortunately the ukulele is marketed as an easy instrument and most of the instructional materials play up to that low-brow angle. So, you're on your own. You're going to have to just hunt and peck, and find that occasional resource.

I like
https://iloveclassicalukulele.com/

however it is not intended to be the kind of resource you need. My best suggestion is to frequent jazz guitar websites and then adapt the info therein to the ukulele. Those sites are great; they don't patronize you--they assume you're an adequate musician--they offer undiluted musical tips. And do stick around here. There are many great musicians about; they just don't have books.

Croaky Keith
05-25-2018, 11:42 PM
The Daily Ukulele, & the Leap Year edition have notes, chords, & lyrics. Along with a chord book, & a fret board map, should see you well on your way. :)

Then look for 'finger style' books.

Martinlover
05-26-2018, 01:28 AM
The Daily Ukulele, & the Leap Year edition have notes, chords, & lyrics. Along with a chord book, & a fret board map, should see you well on your way. :)

Then look for 'finger style' books.
I agree these books are a great place to start because of the range of old time music to newer pop tunes and a lot of Beatles thrown in. Lots of songs everyone knows and can sing along with and jam with you. Here a used one for less of the “Yellow Book” https://m.barnesandnoble.com/p/daily-ukulele-jim-beloff/1100041856/2680779615117?st=PLA&sid=BNB_DRS_Core+Catch-All,+Low_00000000&2sid=Google_&sourceId=PLGoP79700&gclid=EAIaIQobChMItu-QkKGj2wIVwkOGCh3TWQ8nEAQYASABEgJ0J_D_BwE and the “Blue Book” https://m.barnesandnoble.com/p/the-daily-ukulele-leap-year-edition-jim-beloff/1128124379/2687488321377?st=PLA&sid=BNB_DRS_Core+Catch-All,+Low_00000000&2sid=Google_&sourceId=PLGoP79700&gclid=EAIaIQobChMItu-QkKGj2wIVwkOGCh3TWQ8nEAQYBCABEgIhPPD_BwE. The Beloffs did a great job compiling and arranging the music in these classic song books.

TobyDog
05-26-2018, 07:08 AM
I would recommend that you check out Samantha Muir's website. iloveclassicalukulele.com.
Maybe start with https://www.productionsdoz.com/en/catalog/sheet-music-for-other-instruments-en/ukulele-en/12-progressive-studies-for-ukulele/

Cbearicus
05-26-2018, 04:22 PM
Wow! Thanks for the resources, everyone. I'm going to have to sit down tomorrow and go through all these suggestions. :-)

kypfer
05-26-2018, 09:12 PM
Rob MacKillop https://robmackillop.net/ukulele/ has a lot of interesting stuff as did Jamie Holding http://www.classicalukulele.co.uk/ who's site is unfortunately long gone, but it can be found on the Internet Archive http://archive.org/web/ ... when it's behaving itself (it's not responding at the moment!)

mmn
05-27-2018, 12:01 AM
Experienced guitar player just getting started with the Ukulele myself. An approach that's sort of working for me is picking a song or arrangement I've heard that I've liked and search YouTube videos or others sites for the song title + ukulele.

One particularly helpful site for me is:

http://www.doctoruke.com/songs.html

There is audio plus lyrics with chord charts on something like a 2200 songs.

emelep
08-27-2018, 04:40 AM
Hi! My background is a million years in piano with hard-core theory lessons. I have ZERO other instrument experience. My kids (13,17) and I (40+) are learning the ukulele and I ordered 3 or 4 of the "method" books from Amazon. I found that the ones everyone LOVED felt like hot garbage to me.

My kids tried all the books along with me and we decided that the ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS UKULELE BOOK 1 gave us what we wanted. Staffs!! Chords!! And they break it up... strumming practice, notes, chords... and it follows a very clear road.

Yes, I understand the theory. And I love that it combines real music along with the chords and tabs. :) We practice each numbered exercise until we are happy with it (on our own, self led) and then move on to the next bit. The instructions are USEFUL and the words make sense. :) This put it head and shoulders above the others.

Here's the link: http://a.co/d/7LZ88oz.

I would never have picked this book up but 13 plays clarinet in school band and the teacher swears by Essential Elements for Band... so I just threw this one in with my pile of other books.

This one made sense for a person with a lifetime of piano lessons behind me. :)

And I can now play the HECKIN' HECK out of "Skip to My Lou."

:)

E

Rllink
08-27-2018, 06:30 AM
Ukulele Aerobics might be a good one for someone with an extensive musical background. It is often times recommended as a beginner/intermediate book, but it goes beyond beginner real quickly.

sculptor
08-31-2018, 08:51 PM
So I've been into music since I was a child. I started on piano, then switched over to brass instruments. My main instrument is euphonium. I've recently decided to pick up ukulele for a more travel- and group-friendly instrument. I had tried guitar in the past, but it was too big and unwieldy. So I really like the size of my concert uke and love the sound.

However, I'm running into the problem of finding materials to learn this instrument in the way that I'd like to learn it. Every beginner uke book I've encountered I find myself flipping to the very end of it to get to a place where I'm challenged in the way I want to be so I'm not just learning what whole notes are and what a rest is. And everything is in tab. Yes, I know learning tab is important. However, I really would like to have a staff. And notes. And play scales, arpeggios, and etudes in addition to learning chords just by seeing the chord name. I want to learn actual complex songs without words, not just pop music. And I want to learn every note of those songs, not just the chords. I'm fine with learning chords and singing, and there are so many resources for that so I'm fine there.

The only book I've found that comes remotely close to what I want is Ukulele Aerobics (https://www.amazon.com/Ukulele-Aerobics-Levels-Beginner-Advanced/dp/147681306X), but it doesn't have much more than licks and single lines of notation, so it's more of an additive rather than a stand-alone resource.

So, where do I find a resource that helps me with what I want?

Then write such a book. I have a background in another instrument and all the ukulele
methods I've seen are pale in comparison to a proper method book.

-- Gary