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4.4 out of 5 stars261
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on 20 September 2011
I've been learning ukulele (first instrument) for around 6 months, but failed to pick up many of the basic principals which make learning the ukulele truly fun and creative. This book has given me a great insight into the diversity of the instrument, and has given me the confidence to experiment more. Definitely a good buy.
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on 22 July 2013
I brought my Ukulele 4 weeks ago and three different guides to help me learn - two on my Kindle an this one in proper book form with CD.

I don't even bother looking at the two e-books, as this one is so good! Inside a month, I've managed to pin down quite a lot of chords and nailed the strumming patterns. Some of you might think this is slow, but for a 50 year old with fat fingers, who has never played any sort of musical instrument before, I'm very proud of my achievement!

The book is very well laid out and easy to follow.

I would highly recommend this to Ukulele virgins like me
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on 3 February 2012
I was given Ukulele for Dummies for Christmas. I'm so glad I was.

I consider myself an intermediate player, but I'd got into a rut and didn't know how to move my skills on. Most ukulele books out there are either for beginners, or for advanced "finger pickers". If you're beyond beginner but still need to learn a lot more, there's never been a lot out there for you.

Not a problem any more!

This books covers everything! If you're a beginner it starts you out with everything you need to know to get playing. For intermediates it takes you on to more complicated strum patterns, and other effects such as chunking, as well as introducing you to reading music notation. If you're more advanced yet it takes you through some more advanced picking techniques and will give you some unusual exercises to really test your skills on (how about "Greensleeves" on the uke?).

There's even a section on ukulele maintenance, such as changing strings and basic troubleshooting, and introductions to famous uke players - so you know who all those people are that get mentioned on uke forums!

And for me, what I liked the most is that the songs you play in the exercises are ones you might have stood a chance of hearing at some point! Most beginners ukulele books seem to expect an intimate knowledge of American folk songs. If you're a Brit or under the age of 70, there's a liklihood that you've never heard of the song, which makes learning doubly difficult. Although there are still some of these songs (hence the dropping of a star), there are audio tracks of all of the tunes, so you can hear what it sounds like. And let's fact it, who can argue with learning how to play 3/4 time using "House Of The Rising Sun"!
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on 2 July 2011
Let me make it clear right from the start that I am a big fan of Mr Wood and his excellent ukulelehunt website. I have used his downloadable resources in the past, which have been both informative and helpful. Truth is though that you can't beat a book. When I heard that Al Wood was putting out a 'dummies' book I pre-ordered it straight away. It arrived today and I am not disappointed! This is 338 pages choc full of useful information AND includes a CD to demonstrate all of the key points. It is not just a 'how to play' book. It is also a good introduction to other aspects of the ukulele community, such as what to look for when you buy a ukulele, ukulele players of note, how to get more involved, zen and the art of ukulele maintenance etc all delivered in an easy to digest and often humorous way. I have been playing for 3 years but there will be much to keep me coming back to this book for years to come. Highly recommended!
33 comments|57 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
here are two versions of this book.

This is the second edition.
I also have the first edition.

It is an excellent book.
If you are a complete learner, as I am, then you could do no better than get this book.

It explains everything and informs how to play cords and so on.

It has that happy knack of educating, informing and amusing as do most of the books in the 'For Dummies' series.

I would also encouarge you to get a large print book showing you the finger positions for chords.

The book in its second edition has about 3 and a half chapters changed.
Not for the better but just different.
The book has increased in price from the fitrst edition by £2.
(2GBP) BUT

The original came complete with a really useful CD.
The second 'improved edition; lacks the CD and in its place has a link to download and listen to audio files, watch the videos and practice the songs.

My advice would be to get the earlier first edition if it comes with the CD and at a really low low price.
Otherwise you could do a lot worse than buy this book.

An even bigger tip is to join one the really friendly Ukulele groups that thrive and abound around the UK.

Each one is different BUT each will give you a warm welcome- tons of free advice and lots of laughs.
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on 3 July 2011
I am also a regular visitor to the ukulelehunt web-site where I first saw this excellent book advertised. It covers just about everything you would need to know about getting started with a uke, and takes you well up into at least intermediate stage. I have been playing for about 18 months, having had no musical training and this book has helped to fill in a few gaps, explain things more fully and give me some good tips. I especially appreciated the advice on strumming styles and on "finger-picking" technique. The style is very readable, and can be dipped into just about anywhere and you will find something useful. Highly reccommended for young and old, beginner or those further on. I have bought several starter books before, but this is the best.... I should have waited ! And did I mention there is a cd to take you through as well ?
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on 28 September 2012
As a ukulele beginner, I wanted a comprehensive book that was simple enough to understand and get me started, but had enough content to keep me going and challenged for a while! I've got to say I am so glad I decided on this book. It's the best '...For Dummies' book I've come across, written by someone who clearly knows their stuff and is top in their field.
It includes all the basics, taking you from how to hold a ukulele, to simple chords, to finger picking and playing melodies. It includes a cd which, to be honest, I hadn't bothered with until today but find it really helpful actually! It's a great addition to the book and works really well to show the learner how things 'should' sound!
It includes information such as tips on buying a ukulele, and a great chord reference chart/section at the back.
It's an excellent buy and if you're only able to buy one ukulele book, I would highly recommend this one.
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on 14 August 2011
Have used 'Dummies' books for years and this one lives up the the high standards set by the authors. Dip in as you will or start at the front and work your way through, either will provide just what you need in easily understood English. Thoroughly recommended
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on 19 September 2011
I ordered my copy of Ukulele for Dummies in part to support the writer. I'm a frequent visitor to his website, and wanted to support him in this also. I received it and was delighted to find it was flawless, not one mark or ding on the cover. I seriously doubt that if I had bought it in real life from a bookshop that it would have been in such good condition when I got it home.

On opening the book I was delighted by how simple to follow everything in it is. It all makes sense. As someone who last attempted to play music over 20 years ago I was stunned by how much more quickly I picked up new skills by following the lessons and suggestions contained inside. I literally doubled, perhaps even tripled my skill level within a fortnite, thanks to this book.

I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone who has picked up their first ukuelele, and now wants to stop messing about and actually play it well. My compliments to its author, he's done a magnificent job.
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on 16 November 2011
This is the first time I've bought a Dummies book and I'm very satisfied. The book is a good tool (if I were a native speaker of English I'm sure it'd be great even) and I've learned a lot from using it for just a few weeks already. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn how to play the ukulele.

For the Dummies books in general, I think they are are great concept. For a book like this, where you are trying to use it, while doing something else, such as playing a musical instrument, it would be awesome if it could be left often, on the table or in your lap, and that's difficult with this large paperback.
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