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Blukegrass Picker
01-13-2013, 03:10 PM
Hello... this is my first post and I need some help. I am trying to find some TAB books, but honestly - I don't know what my skill level is.

I have been playing 5-string bluegrass banjo (3 finger) for about 6 years, and I would say I am an intermediate. I recently got into ukulele, because my mother-in-law bought me a Lanakai Concert uke. I latched onto the uke quickly, and I find playing ukulele much easier than 5-string banjo. My background in banjo has really helped me in fingerpicking (in fact, I started fingerpicking and had to learn to strum, as picking is what I was used to). I am now working on the flamenco-type stuff like the 5-finger and 10-finger rolls, triple strums and all that. But, I must admit that playing with the back of my nails in a new and uncomfortable task (but, I have no problems with up-picking banjo style)

So... here is my question: What level should I consider myself? Why does it matter???? - I will tell you; Because I am trying to figure out what TAB books to buy (I do not read shape notes). I have read reviews that say "good if you are an intermediate" or "not for beginners" ... does this mean I should not waste my money? On the flip side, TABS of songs that are geared toward a person who has never finger picked an instrument before.

What to you seasoned uke pickers think I should do?:confused:

Thanks in advance.

Blukegrass Picker

Newportlocal
01-13-2013, 03:13 PM
Look through these, and try ones you like.
http://www.scorpexuke.com/songs.html

Lots of good stuff on the web.

Blukegrass Picker
01-13-2013, 03:38 PM
Thanks a lot. I will be sure to look into this site in depth. This looks like it has a bunch of songs. Do you know if it has the melody, too? As far as I could see, it was all chords. But, I will have to look deeper into the site to be sure.

Also, I was thinking about getting the Jake S book (Peace, love and Ukulele) so I could learn the While Guitar Gently Weeps and the Bohemian Rhapsody... do you think this would be too ambitious? I am going to ask for a few fingerpicking melody TAB books for my birthday, and that one came to mind. But, I know Jake is a master... I have nothing against Hawaiian music, but I would prefer popular music (Beatles, Led Zepplin, John Prine...etc). The issue is... I don't know what's good, what's bad, what's too juvenile, and what's way too advanced....I saw a book on fingerpicking, but it appeared that they were all Hawaiian songs (so I would not be familiar with the melodies).

Thanks for your feedback and the resource,

Blukegrass Picker

Newportlocal
01-13-2013, 08:37 PM
Thanks a lot. I will be sure to look into this site in depth. This looks like it has a bunch of songs. Do you know if it has the melody, too? As far as I could see, it was all chords. But, I will have to look deeper into the site to be sure.

Also, I was thinking about getting the Jake S book (Peace, love and Ukulele) so I could learn the While Guitar Gently Weeps and the Bohemian Rhapsody... do you think this would be too ambitious? I am going to ask for a few fingerpicking melody TAB books for my birthday, and that one came to mind. But, I know Jake is a master... I have nothing against Hawaiian music, but I would prefer popular music (Beatles, Led Zepplin, John Prine...etc). The issue is... I don't know what's good, what's bad, what's too juvenile, and what's way too advanced....I saw a book on fingerpicking, but it appeared that they were all Hawaiian songs (so I would not be familiar with the melodies).

Thanks for your feedback and the resource,

Blukegrass Picker

To each their own with whether you can handle the Jake book. Their are some fingerpicking tabs on the web. Might want to start with something simpler like Happy birthday or wipeout. As far as the website I gave you the link to. Most have videos for the melody, and you tube is your friend. Lots of great help if you browse you tube. Perhaps you should start your journey by watching all the Aldrine Uke Minutes videos. They are very good. I think it would be a great starting point. Look in the video library.
http://ukuleleunderground.com/

Mercury
01-13-2013, 09:27 PM
Hello... this is my first post and I need some help. I am trying to find some TAB books, but honestly - I don't know what my skill level is.

<snip>

What to you seasoned uke pickers think I should do?:confused:

Thanks in advance.

Blukegrass Picker
Why not try the Self-Examination Tool for Ukulele Proficiency (http://files.meetup.com/2868152/Self%20Examination%20Tool%20for%20Ukulele%20Profic iency.pdf) from Uncle Rod, a well respected forum member, which will reveal whether you're still at beginner stage, or not.

phil hague
01-14-2013, 12:31 AM
Have a look at Ken Middletons web page. He has some good tabs of bluegrass.

hmgberg
01-14-2013, 12:45 AM
If I were you, given your musical interests, I'd look up Aaron Keim. He is a member here. He is a fantastic player in general, and especially adept at claw hammer. He is also a luthier and makes banjo ukes. Here is a link to his Etsy site:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/LazarusBooks

and his Youtube channel

http://www.youtube.com/user/ackeim

garyg
01-14-2013, 01:05 AM
Hi if you can pick bluegrass songs on a banjo you probably can handle most tab books but with all due respect to the folks who compile the books and are on this board, if you're interested in traditional music there is quite a bit on the web and at least one active thread here based on Aaron's two chord songbood (which does have traditional songs). If your music style is bluegrass as in everyone starts together and then solos at some point during the song, these may not be the songs for you because they frequently have just a few chords. cheers, g2

missameeames
01-14-2013, 08:07 AM
For popular music, have a look at Dominator's tabs (http://dominator.ukeland.com/index2.shtml), which I thought were really challenging as a beginner. You can also look at the Uke Hunt tabs (http://ukulelehunt.com/tab-chords/) arranged by difficulty to get an idea of what kind of skill level you're at.

Youkalaylee
01-14-2013, 08:46 AM
For popular music, have a look at Dominator's tabs (http://dominator.ukeland.com/index2.shtml), which I thought were really challenging as a beginner. You can also look at the Uke Hunt tabs (http://ukulelehunt.com/tab-chords/) arranged by difficulty to get an idea of what kind of skill level you're at.

I've had a look and there isn't a lot of what I would describe as popular music there, most of it looks like American folk music and there's very little that I recognise. Quite a lot of the content has been removed after Jake called copyright.

hoosierhiver
01-14-2013, 08:49 AM
Ken Middleton has some great sheet music for picking ukulele, including bluegrass and other old tunes.

KamakOzzie
01-14-2013, 03:35 PM
Hi, welcome to UU. What part of Virginia are you from?

As far as finger dexterity, I would say you would be intermediate, as on the banjo. Try an intermediate level tab book first to see if it is to your liking.

If you have not already thought of this, tune your A string down to G and you essentially have banjo tuning capoed at the fifth fret. (minus the 5th string) That should put you in familiar territory for some tunes you already know.

Bill

katysax
01-14-2013, 04:34 PM
The problem with the designations is that some books labelled as beginner are fairly advanced and some books labelled as intermediate are extremely easy. I came to uke from guitar and lots of fingerpicking so like you in the beginning I was sort of flummoxed about which level I was at. My guess is that you are pretty advanced. Some of the tabs in the tab books require that I spend time working on them, but none are so hard they can't be played with practice. As others have said there are tons of free resources on the net if you look around and there are quite a few people selling materials.

Mark Nelson's Fingerstyle book is very good and will get you up to speed fast. I like Lyle Ritz's "Lyle Lite" book because of the chords it uses and the movement around the neck. I don't find the songs all that much easier than the other Lyle Ritz books, but they aren't as long which I like. It's chord melody and not finger picking. Most of the online stuff is hit and miss - some things are good others not so much. Same with a lot of the books you can buy. Once you get the hang of it you can start making your own arrangements. I have adapted a lot of my fingerstyle playing from stuff I played on the guitar - you can probably carry over with modification a lot of what you've done on the banjo. I like how easy it is to stretch more frets on the uke, how easy it is to barre and how many chord voicings are possible without needing to mute or skip strings.

foxisaac
01-14-2013, 04:55 PM
I think to try and determine your level of playing you should check out some free Tab sites, http://www.muffin.net.nz/muffin/Uke_Tab.html has lots of songs with the melody line Tabbed out, http://pdfminstrel.wordpress.com has classical pieces,
and http://dominator.ukeland.com/index2.shtml has a multitude of songs tabbed out in a style similar to Jake S.

Blukegrass Picker
01-23-2013, 02:56 PM
Thanks to everyone that replied. I appreciate all the feedback and resources.

Blukegrass Picker

Blukegrass Picker
01-23-2013, 03:07 PM
Hi, welcome to UU. What part of Virginia are you from?

As far as finger dexterity, I would say you would be intermediate, as on the banjo. Try an intermediate level tab book first to see if it is to your liking.

If you have not already thought of this, tune your A string down to G and you essentially have banjo tuning capoed at the fifth fret. (minus the 5th string) That should put you in familiar territory for some tunes you already know.

Bill

Bill - I actually live right outside Richmond. I just tuned one of my ukes down from A to G, and I am tearing-up some bluegrass standards (with a few adjustments here and there). Thanks for the tip.

tigersister
01-23-2013, 06:05 PM
Bluegrass Picker, since you can already read tabs and have experience finger picking, I don't think the Jake book would be over your head.