View Full Version : Best Ukulele Method Book

10-12-2010, 04:01 PM
I'm going to be doing some community ed classes on ukulele and am thinking about which book I want to use to teach it. Beginning level. Is it a no-brainer to use Jim Beloff's "Tips and Tunes" or is there any other book you might suggest. I'm figuring Jim's would be perfect for the purpose. Mike

10-12-2010, 04:19 PM
Have you looked into the Ukulele in the Classroom (http://www.ukuleleintheclassroom.com/student_edition_C6.htm) series by James Hill and J. Chalmers Doane?

Hippie Dribble
10-12-2010, 04:19 PM
Hi Lambchop

I agree that Tips & Tunes is a great beginner book.

Hard to say which is the best because there are so many on the market.

To some extent, it also depends what you are teaching them...are they going to get into theory...or just basic strum patterns and the learning of fun songs?

Another you could look at is called "Uke'N Play Ukulele" by Mike Jackson - fairly cheap, covers the entry level territory with some strum patterns, simple chords and lots of fun songs primarily in the key of "C". It also has a fun accompanying CD with lyrics and chord diagrams in the book.

I have used this myself in teaching people who've never picked up a ukulele before and found it works pretty well.

Also, never underestimate the power of your own demonstration. People tend to learn real quick with you up front as a model for new chord shapes and strum technique.

I got my students to get a folder with plastic pockets and on the first meeting, gave them a couple of hand-out sheets filled with the basic chords: major, minors and 7ths so they could take home and get familiar with them. I introduced one or two songs a week for the first few meetings - 2 and 3 chord songs in "C" from the Mike Jackson book...just to get them comfortable with playing and build up their confidence. I then encouraged them each to pick a favorite song they'd like to learn and we took turns learning their songs together.

Best tip I could give: keep it lighthearted, above all, FUN, and inclusive

I wish you all the best with your classes mate.

cheers! eugene

Ukulele JJ
10-13-2010, 05:22 AM
Have you looked at the Lil Rev book (http://www.halleonard.com/product/viewproduct.do?itemid=695832)?


(You can get it in a version that doesn't come with the CD in the back, but is almost half the price. This might be better for a classroom-type situation.)


10-13-2010, 07:07 AM
I've checked out most of the books out there but I always come back to Jumpin' Jim's Ukulele Tips n' Tunes. I have six ukulele students at Sam Ash and I have them all working out of this book along with some supplimental material depending on their goals and musical preferences.

- Steve

10-13-2010, 08:32 AM
I've taught well over a hundred how to play ukulele and about the ukulele with:







It's a fun website to read, also:


10-13-2010, 05:23 PM
Thanks for the great feedback and ideas. I am so looking forward to this. I'm thinking more strum and fun type of class, as these are beginners in a community ed class, but if the students want theory, that'd be okay, too. I may even pull out my how to learn the ukulele fretboard lesson, but I'm thinking more chords and patterns than theory. I am also really big into finding ones own style and not getting too locked into strum patterns and such, but there is going to be an expecation for chords and strums and I will deliver on that, for sure. I've been playing guitar so long that strums are so easy I don't even think about them, but I've got to put myself back in their place and remember things like how hard it is to strum and sing at the same time. I'm an educator for my day-job, though, and have a reputation for being sensitive to newcomers, so this should work out fine.

10-15-2010, 12:49 AM
Here's a link to easy songs I use in my club and with my music classes. The purpose was to show how much you can do with just 3 chords. Granted, some of the songs need to be transposed to a better community key for singing, but that can become a lesson in transposing. Have fun! http://www.box.net/shared/a29st5694x

PS: The Lil Rev Ukulele Method Books 1 & 2 would be an excellent choice to go along with lots of easy 3 chord songs, especially if people are wanting to learn some musical notation.