View Full Version : Ohta San ukulele school and instructional books

08-06-2011, 07:34 AM
I just reread the foreword of the "Sophisticated Ukulele" songbook (jumping jims's ukulele masters series featuring Ohta San). There's mentioned that Ohta founded an ukulele school and published some instructional books. But I can't find anythibg about it in the web. Does anybody know about it?

08-06-2011, 07:40 AM
Ohta San cowrote Ukulele O Hawaii: Instructions for Beginning and Advanced Students of the Ukulele with Jan Friedson; it was published by Kamaka in the early seventies.

08-06-2011, 08:05 AM
Ohta San? Kamaka? Enough arguments to buy it. 30$ for the used book at amazon. 9$ for the new book at elderly. Strange... Anyway big THANX for the hint!

08-17-2011, 05:51 AM
Today my copy of Ukulele O Hawaii arrived. Such a great book. I was afraid it would just be another chord chart with some songs and a few words about technique.

There is in fact a large chord section, but also a good explanation on how to create 13th, 6/9 and other fancy chords. I didn't know that the 13th doesn't contain the 11, and that for the 11th and 13th you omit the 1 and 5, I always thaught you omit the 1 and 3. The chord charts are well organized. For each chord mode 4 forms are presented, and you can easily see that the same form can be used for different roots, e.g. Am7 = C6 = Fmaj9.

Before the chord charts there's an introduction to music theroy. Nothing you won't find on Wikipedia, but well done.

For all the Kamaka lovers there are plenty of photos I've never seen before, like a cut-away tenor and a cigar box with a violin headstock.

There are also 3 songs at the end: Hawaii Ponoi, Sakura and Aloha Oe, written in the usual form with single note melody and chords above.

But the best about the book is the description of Ohta-San's right hand technique. Very simple, all explained on 2 pages, but it assures me that it makes sense to play solos on a soprano ukulele using only the thumb :) Not evident in times where fast-strumming on tenors becomes more and more the standard. And for all the Herb Ohta fans the book includes the only (as far as I know) close-up photo of his thumbnail!

Well-invested 9$ :) If I were an ukulele teacher, I would use this book as a method.