Things I learned in Quarantine: Japanese Music Tab Books and Translation

ghostrdr

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A few years ago, we visited Japan and I've always felt that there were more Japanese ukulele resources for finger style playing or chord melody playing. I dragged my family to a Japanese bookstore and two full bookshelves were ukulele books with lots of music, standards, movie themes, etc. with tabs for finger picking and chord melody style playing.

The challenging thing is I do not read or write Japanese.

I bought two books based on the degree of difficulty in browsing some of the music, I thought I could play.

In the years since, I have played like one song out of each book. There's lots of Japanese writing, which I was sure were instructions or pointers to make some of the songs easier.

Well, here I am with a little extra time on my hands and I picked up one of the books. it was a little easier to play some of the songs, (probably because I've gotten better), but I was annoyed that there were probably some secret tips to make it easier.

Then it dawned on me. GOOGLE TRANSLATE. I picked up my phone and there is a camera function where it uses your camera and then translates all the text into English!

Wow! I'm truly amazed! The good news is that it has re-opened my interest in these books and I'm having a lot of fun. The bad news, is that the secret pointer tips are actually not that helpful. Ah well.

If you have any Japanese Music Tab books, try Google Translate. My mind was and is blown.

Stay safe everyone!
 

man0a

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Anyone know why Americans are not interested in these kinds of tutorial tablature books? At least not interested enough to encourage American publishers to release similar books in English?
 

snowdenn

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Anyone know why Americans are not interested in these kinds of tutorial tablature books? At least not interested enough to encourage American publishers to release similar books in English?

Are there no books like that in English? I can't speak for books in the States or UK, but apparently, the ukulele is very popular in Japan, maybe even more so than in the West, with the exception of Hawaii. In fact, I think Japan's connection to Hawaii is a large contributing factor to its popularity. And in places like Japan and Korea (ukes are a lot less popular there), often when people take up a hobby, the mindset is to get the best equipment to show you're serious about it. I could see that leading to the creation of lots of resources around whatever hobbies are popular. Here in the States, niche hobbies are much more grassroots and cottage industry-like before they hit a tipping point and become really commercialized.
 

glennerd

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I was looking for Kiyoshi Koboyashi's book on ukulele Jazz and the one site in Japan I can find says it's sold out and no indication of restocking. There's definitely some great stuff coming out of Japan.
 

PeteyHoudini

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The bad news, is that the secret pointer tips are actually not that helpful. Ah well.

If you have any Japanese Music Tab books, try Google Translate. My mind was and is blown.

Stay safe everyone!

Funny story about not being helpful! hehe Great idea to use Google Translate. I might do that with some of my German books. Thanks.

Pete
 

Kimosabe

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For anyone seriously interested I have two Kiyoshi Kobayashi books, Bossa Nova and Jazz, that are in pristine condition and each comes with an unplayed CD.

At one time I wished to follow in the direction of these books and read about how good they are.

However, I never followed through. Since then I have moved on to playing jazz Ubass and have been very successful. I wish to sell these books in order to purchase a good drum machine to use with my Ubass and also buy a good bass book or two.

These books are highly sought after, if you Google them and see the prices that come up on Amazon. I would follow those prices. I am a long established member of UU. I see that it would cost $175 to purchase them over the Internet and that that price would include shipping. I will sell them together for $150 and pay a $15 medium box flat rate USPS priority shipping myself.

They were expensive for me in the first place.

Also, I wish to sell the Pekelo Hawaiian ‘Ukulele Method Level one and two books which are equally rare.
 
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PeteyHoudini

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Also, I wish to sell the Pekelo Hawaiian ‘Ukulele Method Level one and two books which are equally rare.

I might be interested in those two books. PM with price and if you accept payment by PayPal.

Pete
 

glennerd

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Hmm, with the Amazon prices being $120 used, I guess there's no hope CDJapan will restock at $23. Good to know to lower my expectations. That's more than many of the ukuleles I've bought.
 

man0a

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If you don't mind waiting for shipping from Japan, these books are much cheaper on EBay than on Amazon.
 

Kimosabe

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I just rechecked Ebay prices for shipping from Japan.

$37.55 for the Bossa Nova including shipping
106.37 for the Jazz book including shipping.

That totals: $143.92

I’ll lower my total price including shipping using USPS Priority medium size box to $125. Save over $19 or wait to receive from Japan.

They were expensive for me in the first place.
 
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pekelo

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P_20200603_153153~2.jpg
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Yes I agree - some of those Japanese uke player publish great uke tab!
On one of my trips there, I bought a couple, by Hidehiko Ohashi this comes with a CD & for hi-G
This is not an instructional book -more like at least at an intermediate level.
Sometime later, I'll probably sell these...
Btw - I still have a small # of copies of my uke books available -www.pekelosbooks.com
to help chase away these covid19 blues:)
pekelo
 

snowdenn

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FYI, for anyone looking to pick up Japanese books, Japan Post has canceled all international outbound shipping until further notice. If you're ordering anything from Japan, check to see if they'll deliver with other carriers.

Also:

I want to improve my writing skills, and finally, in quarantine, I started to do this! I began to study information and read books on this subject. I'm currently reading "100 ways to improve your writing" by Gary Provost.

I like spam, but in musubi, not UU.