View Full Version : Curt Sheller site/strum ebook

11-22-2008, 02:40 PM
So i think i mentioned in another thread that i'm a lover of uke books. Physical books or ebooks i own a bunch of them and don't really have much negative to say about any of them. They're all cool in their own way.

So recently i took the advice from 4thpeg.com and went to the CurtSheller.com site to check out the books there. Like i said i don't have negative things to say about any books i've bought...until now. So to begin with what is up with how half-assed the curtsheller site is? I get 404 errors on nearly half the links i try because the link i misspelled in the page. Is this 1985 or something? 8 year old kids today could make better sites than this.

So putting aside the crappiness of the page itself i went ahead and bought the strum ebook that 4thpeg mentioned as well as 3 other ebooks. The site made it easy enough to take my money and then gave me a note that i should expect an email with a link to the ebooks within 24 hours. Why they couldn't give me the link as soon as they took my money i don't know. As it turns out i actually work in ecommerce so i know for a fact it's not difficult and it has nothing to do with approving my payment.

So again not a huge deal i wait till the next morning and get an email with one link in it to the strum book. No mention of the three others i bought. Luckily the security on downloading the ebooks is as half-assed as the rest of the site so i'm able to figure out how to get the others i paid for. I still have gotten no emails mentioning the other books. I could easily download every ebook the site sells using the same method except for two things. 1 i don't steal from people. 2 i can't think of any reason i'd want any of the other books even if they were free.

So i go ahead and check out the strum book. It's not a long book (28 pages) and it doesn't mention the first strum until page 13. The first strum that isn't down up down up isn't mentioned until 15. So if you've owned your uke for more than a week over half the book will be worthless to you. Then there is the book itself. Now granted strums are not the easiest thing to denote in print...but it's like they hired a master of cryptography to come up with the method of this book. To show a down up down up strum there are like 10 different symbols you need to understand.

Even if you can find some way to understand the strums in the book you will find there is nothing of any use to you unless you are very new to uke. If you are relatively experienced with the uke and are just looking for some pearls of wisdom to improve your strums DO NOT GET THIS BOOK. There are so many resources online for free that are better thought out and contain more information than this book. There's no instruction on any more advanced syncopated strums or things like triplets or fan stroke or anything like that.

I really don't like giving bad reviews. That may seem hard to believe since every bit of this review has been bad but i was really annoyed that the only part of dealing with curtsheller.com that went smoothly was the part where they took my money. I wouldn't recommend using the site and i certainly would say DO NOT SPEND MONEY ON THE STRUM BOOK. I haven't checked out the other books i bought yet but it's not high on my list to do so. Selling a crappy book is one thing. It wasn't particularly expensive as an ebook so i wouldn't have really minded that. But combined with the rest of the experience i really wanted to warn people. Especially since 4thpeg.com gives such full throated support to the book.

This (http://www.ukemaker.com/ukeclub/media/StrumPatterns.pdf) free doc gives more info than the curtsheller book many times over. Not to mention all the great advice you can find from people on this forum.

Sorry for the vitriol,


11-22-2008, 03:14 PM
I've been to Curt's site and found his information helpful, especially the information on string options and uke makers. I haven't tried purchasing so I can't comment on that. I appreciate your honest review on the problems you had, which is a warning for those considering purchasing the downloads. As for strumming techniques, I've found Aldrines FREE lessons to be extremely helpful and simple to understand. I've paid for uke lessons in the past therefore appreciate UU's contribution to the uke community.