Books for a not-so beginner

Erwitt

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Hi,

I know this has been answered thousands of times, but I’d like to get some book recommendations for my specific case.

I consider myself a not-so beginner player (maybe “advanced beginner” is too much). I started playing ten months ago and after watching a bunch of beginner lessons on Youtube, I got 'Ukulele for Dummies' and subscribed to James Hill’s 'Ukulele Way', where I’m going through Book 2 right now (for those who don’t know it, Books 1-2 are beginning level, 3-4 intermediate and 5-6 advanced).

Both are great resources, but I have the feeling that they move a bit fast and cover too much range of skill, so I would like to work more at this level to reinforce the basics before entering into intermediate.

I don’t sing, so I want something focused on chord-melody or fingerstyle, instead of just strumming and singing.

Online or video resources are also welcome, but I prefer books because I spend many hours in front of the computer during my work and I like keeping my eyes off the screen in my uke time.

Does anything come to your mind? Thanks in advance.

*Edit: I forgot to mention that I'm looking more for instruction books, but I'm also open to get some song books.
 
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LukuleleStrings

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Here’s what I did: I got Hal Leonard’s 3-Chord Songbook and picked a song I knew. I went through with a pencil and wrote the note names from the standard notation (which isn’t tough). Then I would transpose it to tab (an F, for instance, would usually be 2nd string, 1st fret).

I’d get through the whole melody and then go back through and add where the chords would first pop up in the piece.

Then I’d marry the chords and the melody so at minimum, I’d strum the chord and then pick the melody until the next chord was used, but usually you can add the chord more often.

That’s what I do when I arrange stuff.

I hope this helps somehow!
 

rainbow21

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I play chord melody on my ukulele most of the time. I started with James Hill's "The Ukulele Way" course which is outstanding.

A few suggestions from looking at my bookshelf and playlist:

Ukulele Chord Melody Solos by Eric Cutshall... 16 songs that are tabbed for beginning to beginning/intermediate. Excellent choice of songs.

Disney Songs for Fingerstyle Ukulele by Fred Sokolow... like or love Disney? This is great for advanced beginners.

Duets for One by James Hill... more for intermediate, but some great arrangements. Buy it now and start playing bits and pieces as you progress.

The Beatles for Fingerstyle Ukulele by Fred Sokolow... again intermediate but such outstanding arrangements. Again, I would buy this right away and start on some of the songs.

My focus now is to go to Patreon and become a "Patron" of a few of my favorite instructors/performers that provide pdfs of the songs that they go over on video sessions.
 

ripock

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"I don’t sing, so I want something focused on chord-melody or fingerstyle, instead of just strumming and singing."

Maybe it is time to stop playing what people tell you play, and play what is in your head. To that end, get a Mel Bay or Hal Leonard book of scales. You'll learn the four or five patterns that combine into all the scales, and then you can play a melody from a song that you've heard or you can make songs at will. My favorite thing is ukulele-mockery. I'll be having some whisky and playing my uke and my wife will come and start complaining about me or the government or whatever. I can match the lilt of her voice using the minor scale and turn her grousing into a song. She hates that. It amuses me to no end. Regardless, get a scale book, gain some finger independence, learn your fret board, and absorb some theory by osmosis.
 

Booksniffer

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Lots of great fingerstyle arrangements in Ukulelezaza's books; they are getting more difficult to find though!

Book 3 is still available here: https://ukeforall.com/en/product-en/sku-ukezaza3/
(They don't go up in difficulty, all are pretty similar)

Also echoing the recommendation for Patreon; Charlotte Pelgen (from the Bad Mouse Orchestra) and Christopher Davis-Shannon are favourites of mine.
 

bilbo56

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If you're ok with playing single-note melodies (usually a more appropriate and less frustrating challenge for an advanced-beginner than solo arrangements), my ebook might be worth a look: https://liveukulele.com/store/step-by-step-picking/.
I can recommend this, as well as Brad's book for Left hand technique. I haven't got the one for Right hand technique yet (that's probably where I need the most help right now).
 

Erwitt

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Thanks for all your recommendations! There is much to explore here.

op, are you looking for instruction or song books?
My fault, I didn't specify. I was thinking of instruction books, ideally with songs to practice what has been learned (I guess most include them). But maybe it would be useful to get some song books also.

"I don’t sing, so I want something focused on chord-melody or fingerstyle, instead of just strumming and singing."

Maybe it is time to stop playing what people tell you play, and play what is in your head. To that end, get a Mel Bay or Hal Leonard book of scales. You'll learn the four or five patterns that combine into all the scales, and then you can play a melody from a song that you've heard or you can make songs at will. My favorite thing is ukulele-mockery. I'll be having some whisky and playing my uke and my wife will come and start complaining about me or the government or whatever. I can match the lilt of her voice using the minor scale and turn her grousing into a song. She hates that. It amuses me to no end. Regardless, get a scale book, gain some finger independence, learn your fret board, and absorb some theory by osmosis.
Sounds great, but intimidating. Except for the whisky part.
 

kypfer

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If you've learnt to read musical notation and aren't stuck with "tab" there are enormous resources for C/D melody instruments available that aren't specifically aimed at the ukulele player … many recorder, penny whistle and harmonica arrangements will translate directly to the ukulele fretboard.
I'm a great fan of folk/traditional music and enjoy many of the tunes in Jack Campin's "Nine Note Tunebook" available here http://www.campin.me.uk/ … several other similar freeware publications are available from various sources :)
Aaron Keim has some interesting stuff here https://www.quietamericanmusic.com/ukuleletabsandvideos if you like the style.
Jamie Holding published some enjoyable tunes some years back … his site seems to have disappeared but you might "Google around" and find some links if you're lucky.
Enjoy :)
 
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tm3

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Maybe it is time to stop playing what people tell you play, and play what is in your head. To that end, get a Mel Bay or Hal Leonard book of scales. You'll learn the four or five patterns that combine into all the scales, and then you can play a melody from a song that you've heard or you can make songs at will. My favorite thing is ukulele-mockery. I'll be having some whisky and playing my uke and my wife will come and start complaining about me or the government or whatever. I can match the lilt of her voice using the minor scale and turn her grousing into a song. She hates that. It amuses me to no end. Regardless, get a scale book, gain some finger independence, learn your fret board, and absorb some theory by osmosis.
A second thumbs up for what I consider one of the best posts I have ever read here, both for entertainment value and for highlighting how to move towards what seems to be an ultimate goal of any musician, that is, being able to figure out one's own arrangements or so-called "play by ear."