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FairyGodmartyr
02-01-2013, 06:39 AM
I am going to be finishing up the second Hal Leonard ukulele methods book soon and am looking for something to suggest to my teacher for my next book (while he plays ukulele well and is a great teacher, he primarily teaches guitar and has never had one of his other uke students even get to the second Hal Leonard book, much less finish it). I'm hoping some of you have experience with some of the books I'm looking at and can give opinions. I should probably say that I only use standard notation and I am interested in playing more finger style than just strummed accompaniment. The books I'm considering:

One of the Daily Ukulele books (leaning towards the Leap Year edition, but don't know if either is geared more for Fingerstyle or strumming)
Mel Bay Learn to Play Fingerstyle Solos for Ukulele
Easy Classical Ukulele Solos
The Peace, Love, Ukulele score (although I'm afraid it would be well beyond my current ability)

Thoughts? Advice? Other books you would recommend? Thanks!

ShawnMilo
02-01-2013, 08:34 AM
I highly recommend the Mel Bay and "Easy Classical" books, along with "From Lute to Uke."

I've bought about 15 ukulele books since starting with the instrument. The Mel Bay and lute book are the ones that I feel are the best for me right now. Some of the others are a bit advanced for me, and some are just collections of songs of a certain style (Celtic, Baroque, Classical) that I want to pick & choose from. The classical solos book is fun because it has some songs that are really easy for beginners, and definitely recognizable to most people.

itsme
02-01-2013, 11:05 AM
1) One of the Daily Ukulele books (leaning towards the Leap Year edition, but don't know if either is geared more for Fingerstyle or strumming)
2) Mel Bay Learn to Play Fingerstyle Solos for Ukulele
3)Easy Classical Ukulele Solos
4) The Peace, Love, Ukulele score (although I'm afraid it would be well beyond my current ability)
1) The Daily books are totally geared toward strumming/singing. Great collections to have, but aren't instructional for fingerpicking. (Of course, you can always fingerpick the chords however you like.)
2) Not familiar with this one, but seem to recall some good recommendations for it here.
3) The Javier Marco book? A weak mish-mash of mostly awkward arrangements. I'd go with Mizen's "Lute to Uke" instead. Nice arrangements, and many aren't too hard. John King's "Classical Uke" is also excellent, although some pieces are quite challenging.
4) Don't feel bad, this book is well beyond the ability of many of us mere mortals. :p

Not fingerpicking per se, but Fred Sokolow's "Fretboard Roadmaps" delves a bit more into theory.

There's actually quite a lot more (free) fingerstyle tabs out there than when I started. Find pieces you'd like to work on, print them out and put together your own custom book.

http://pdfminstrel.wordpress.com/

http://ukulelehunt.com/2008/11/12/wilfried-weltis-ukulele-tabs/

http://dominator.ukeland.com/index2.shtml

beautifulsoup
02-01-2013, 11:10 AM
I love the Mel Bay Twenty Easy Fingerstyle Studies for Ukulele by Rob McKillop. That book is a primer; the next in the series is Twenty Progressive Fingerstyle Studies.

missameeames
02-01-2013, 11:14 AM
The Daily Ukulele books are definitely geared more towards strumming and singing.

One of my favorites for standard notation is John King's "Famous Solos and Duets for Ukulele", as well as his "Classical Ukulele" book. I really like that he gives left hand fingering suggestions, and notes barres and which position on the fretboard you're playing in, etc. The Mel Bay Learn to Play Fingersyle Solos book is really good (I'm really curious to see the second "Favorite Fingerstyle Solos" book, too). From Lute to Uke and the Sanz Spanish Baroque book are great, too.

Plainsong
02-01-2013, 11:51 AM
Don't the DU books have standard notation and then chords on top? If that's so, then sure it's probably geared to singing, but the OP reads music, so the melody is there, making it workable. I don't yet have the book, but music written in C concert is music written in C concert, isn't it?

ukeofcarl
02-01-2013, 11:50 PM
In my teaching, I use the DU books as a music reading tool. Out of your suggestions, I prefer the Mel Bay book. However, just buy the John King books anyway. They are excellent. Also are the Rob McKillop ones, although his Fingerstyle study books stand out.

Gwynedd
02-02-2013, 12:14 AM
I tell everyone that the Nelson Fingerstyle Book (http://amzn.to/GFiOJf) is one of the best. It isn't easy to write out progressive exercises but Nelson accomplishes it in this book. I moved faster in progress using Nelson's book than with any other. The CD accompaniment is good, and the songs are varied and fun to play, especially the Hawaiian ones, but there are just about every genre. This book is far and away my favorite.

guitharsis
02-02-2013, 12:18 AM
The Daily Ukulele books are definitely geared more towards strumming and singing.

One of my favorites for standard notation is John King's "Famous Solos and Duets for Ukulele", as well as his "Classical Ukulele" book. I really like that he gives left hand fingering suggestions, and notes barres and which position on the fretboard you're playing in, etc. The Mel Bay Learn to Play Fingersyle Solos book is really good (I'm really curious to see the second "Favorite Fingerstyle Solos" book, too). From Lute to Uke and the Sanz Spanish Baroque book are great, too.

+1 on the John King and Mel Bay books.

FairyGodmartyr
02-02-2013, 08:22 AM
Thanks for the awesome suggestions! Of course, now I have even more books to consider (a great problem to have, if you ask me). It is looking like the Mel Bay book is almost universally recommended, so I'll definitely try that one. The only question now is which other(s) to get now, and which to wait on. I didn't even think to ask, but are there any that stand out as having arrangements that take advantage of a low G setup?

Plainsong
02-02-2013, 12:06 PM
Well, the good news is that this book (https://www.ukulele.de/shop4/en-50-Easy-Chord-Solos) is so geared to low G, that it comes with the string. The bad news? 50 EASY chord solos. It sounds like you've progressed past easy.. :(

Ukulele Dude
02-02-2013, 01:27 PM
The new book from Craig Brandau has some good arrangements for low g. You can order it from his website here:
http://www.ukulelecraig.com/store.html#sheet

itsme
02-03-2013, 06:05 PM
I didn't even think to ask, but are there any that stand out as having arrangements that take advantage of a low G setup?
I missed the point in your original post about only using standard notation.

You won't find many (if any) uke books without tab. Most, though, do include standard notation.

I do read SN for guitar, but mostly use tabs for uke.

Mizen's "Lute to Uke" book was written for high G, but most of the tunes work well in low G as well. In fact, a lot of stuff for high G will work with low. Sometimes there's a passage where a high G is essential to the melody line, so I'll just mark my score to play it on the second string/third fret instead of as an open fourth.

BlueLatitude
02-04-2013, 06:21 AM
Pekolo's 2 books are written for Low G; the first one might be too easy for you but there are some nice tunes in it. Both come with CDs.
http://www.amazon.com/Pekelos-Hawaiian-Ukulele-Method-Volume/dp/B004HXIWSI

It's not a method book and it doesn't say so in the description but Daniel Ho's Polani is for Low G as well:
http://www.amazon.com/Polani-Pure-Fingerstyle-Ukulele-matching/dp/0984292837/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1359998361&sr=8-12&keywords=daniel+ho
There's a great CD but you have to buy it separately, kind of like Jake's Peace, Love and Ukulele.

wwelti
02-04-2013, 06:47 AM
I once made a "notation only" version of my classical e-book by request, however it's *really* very hard to play without tabs since it's all re-entrant (high G), so it's truly a challenge to figure out good fingering "on the fly". Whoever is interested in it please PM me, I'll give it away just for curiosity if anybody finds it usable at all.

(I personally think re-entrant tuning is a big thing and makes many things possible which would be very hard or impossible to do otherwise... Well, I have to admit there are some players who make low G work (like James Hill), but I have always the feeling it's a compromise to make people happier who are coming from the guitar... ;) )

I personally use books for recorder to practice reading notation. For low G I'd try music for violin. There's plenty of free violin sheet music available at IMSLP, for example.

Best Regards
Wilfried