View Full Version : Recommendation: Mark Nelson's Uke Buke

01-15-2011, 08:59 AM
I hadn't been to Mark Nelson's website in a while and yesterday found a link to a new book he has put together: "The Uke Buke...Learn to Play Slack Key Style Ukulele".

It is available at Amazon for $20, but you can also download a PDF of it for $15 from his website. I've only had a day to look it over and to noodle a bit, but it is every bit as good as his earlier "Learn to Play Fingerstyle Solos for the Ukulele".

"Uke Buke" is divided into three basic sections. The first is four standard re-entrant tuning selections and covers some of the basics of fingering. These are simple arrangements that even beginners will easily learn and enjoy. The second and third sections are progressively more complex and demanding, but like his other book they are all very well done, clear to understand (he adds notes about tunings, chords and particular fingering/technique tips at end of each selection). The four selections in the first part are repeated, but with more advanced slack key stylings. Note: you need a low-g uke to play the songs in the second and third sections, the bulk of the book.

The book contains over 30 selections, including basic/advanced arrangements. It also has a number of excellent "teaching moments" where Mark goes over how to interpret notation, play a phrase most efficiently, or incorporate hammer-ons (for examples). The book is extremely well laid out, takes you step by step, and is very encouraging in getting you to try your own variations and application of techniques to a song. Like a good teacher, he wants you to build on what he offers and not just play his versions.

I recommend this book without reservation. The PDF I downloaded is clear and pleasant to read, easy to work through.

Note: also on his Uke Buke page on the website, there is a link to a zip file you can download with musical examples of all the songs in the book.

01-15-2011, 01:33 PM
I agree, this book is well worth having. The songs sound really nice.

Take care,

01-15-2011, 11:19 PM
Just ordered it, I'll let you guys know how it is.

01-16-2011, 05:06 AM
Just got the download. Some really great stuff. Highly recommended.

01-30-2011, 11:29 PM
I don't understand the title, Uke Buke. Is 'buke' a Hawaiian word?

Perhaps its a play on words; this book 'rebukes' the notion that Slack Key can't be played on a uke... ?

01-30-2011, 11:54 PM
I think it's just a cute way of making uke rhyme with book.

01-31-2011, 12:13 AM
Saw this mentioned in the Friday links at Ukulelehunt and downloaded it right away. Outstanding collection of pieces and perfect for a project I'm working on for my 15 month old nephew. I'm recording a cd of slack key guitar and instrumental ukulele pieces for him.

01-31-2011, 07:19 AM
Heads up, don't you need a uke with a low G string for this book?

01-31-2011, 07:33 AM
Heads up, don't you need a uke with a low G string for this book?

Yes you do. CTurner mentioned that in the first post as well as the fact that there are a few standard/re-entrant/high G tuning pieces and altered tunings as well. Get yourself a low G and have some fun.