Customer Reviews


24 Reviews
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly organised and sequenced tutorial course for the serious student
I deliberately used the words 'serious student' in my review caption because that's the impression I get from this brilliant book. This is most definitely NOT a book to dip into nor look at now and then, nor is it a book if you just want something that will quickly give you a few basics and a few songs to sing along with as you strum. But, if you are serious about wanting...
Published 10 months ago by A. J. Sturgess

versus
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It is good book, but it is not progressive
It is good book, but it is not progressive. It stars easy but it becomes difficult soon with the chords (chords that in jazz we do not use very much).. I can apply by myself the first exercise to every chord, of course, but I would have rather preferred to be guided by the book. Thank you
Published 8 months ago by Francesca Biagi


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly organised and sequenced tutorial course for the serious student, 8 Sept. 2014
By 
A. J. Sturgess "Alan Sturgess" (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Johnson Chad Ukulele Aerobics For All Levels Uke Bk/Cd (Paperback)
I deliberately used the words 'serious student' in my review caption because that's the impression I get from this brilliant book. This is most definitely NOT a book to dip into nor look at now and then, nor is it a book if you just want something that will quickly give you a few basics and a few songs to sing along with as you strum. But, if you are serious about wanting to learn to play the ukulele then you will already know that just as with any musical instrument, you will need to invest time, energy, effort, thought and lots of practise into the process of learning. That is the basis upon which this book is built. If that doesn't frighten you off, then this book is probably one for you - either as your main teaching aid or as a major strand in your journey towards mastering this surprisingly versatile little instrument. (Not that baritone ukeleles are tiny - but that's another story and is not relevant here as this book is for GCEA tuned ukes).

The subtitle of the book lays it on the line ..... "... A 40 week, one- lick-per-day workout program for developing, improving and maintaining ukulele technique...". Whether or not you actually do work on a day-to-day timetable will depend upon your rate of progress and, of course, what time you have available. Note the use of 'workout' in the title. It was well chosen, as you will see.

I suggest and believe that it's more useful and accurate to think of this book as providing you with a task for each successive or subsequent day that you devote to the ukulele. You may need to stay on a task for longer, or other pressures of life may mean you have to have a break. It won't matter. Just work through the book in sequence. That's the crucial key. KEEP TO THE SEQUENCE.

The learning process is greatly helped by the fact that each of the 40 sets of tasks are always organised in the same order: As far as the book is concerned, these stretch from Monday through to Sunday, but that's just an arbitrary labelling. It's easier to think in terms of Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 etc.

In those terms, all 40 weeks are organised like this ---

Day 1 --- Chord vocabulary. (Chords for that week. Learn how to make & play them.)
Day 2 --- Strumming (Patterns and styles are evolved throughout the 40 weeks)
Day 3 --- Fingerstyle (Complexity evolves throughout the 40 weeks)
Day 4 --- Scale exercise (You get the idea by now --- a 40 week evolution)
Day 5 --- Legato (Developing smoothness and fluency using hammer-ons and pull-offs etc.)
Day 6 --- Licks & Riffs (Build your own 'library' of useful licks from a wide range of genres.)
Day 7 --- Miscellaneous (All sorts, such as tweaks, jazz, tremolo, muting, vibrato, vamping etc).

Each task is accompanied by appropriate explanations in text form (thankfully not as verbose as those found in the 'Dummies' series of books) and each week has its own track on the CD. Each of the 7 tasks-per-week is demonstrated and each task has the timing for its track to help you find it more quickly. All tasks are shown in both tab and notation.

You'll notice that this book avoids specialising in just strumming or just fingerstyle. You develop both skills simultaneously. This can be quite demanding upon concentration, motivation and time .... which is another reason why I used that phrase "...for the serious student...". But - and it's a big BUT, this approach means that you will develop a much wider range of skills, techniques and styles. You should also find it increasingly interesting and inspirational as you work through the book. You could, of course, just focus on the strumming or the fingerstyle tasks each week, but that would effectively devalue the key feature and strength of this book.

Unlike many other book tutors, there is only a cursory introduction at the outset. If you need that level of support, you will easily find it on Youtube or in the vast archive of freely downloadable pdf documents on the internet. Also unlike most other tutor books, this one never leads you towards complete pieces to practise or perform. Once established, the weekly pattern of tasks is maintained throughout. If and when you want songs to practise, there is an unbelievable wealth of freely downloadable songs and songbooks on the internet. Many ukulele clubs have created their own collections and songbooks and a great many of these can be downloaded in their entirity. A website that I always recommend is PDF-MINSTREL. Everything is free and ukulele music is well covered for all ability ranges.

So, to summarise --- The sole aim of this book is to make you into a much more complete musician and to help you develop a much more comprehensive understanding of the ukulele.

----------------------------- A PERSONAL NIGGLE -----------------------------

I'll end with one serious niggle - but as this relates to my own particular interest and won't apply to most people reading this review, I'll not be petty and deduct a star - and that's the fact that there is no version of this book written for players of the baritone ukulele. Most players of that instrument use the tuning DGBE and as all uke players know, the chord shapes stay the same, but the keys for those chord are different. Thus chord C on a smaller uke plays as chord G on a baritone and son on. In the book, the first section of each new lesson focuses on expanding your knowledge of chords. If you're a baritone player and you want to stick with DGBE, then your only alternative is to use a good chord dictionary in place of the chord diagrams used in 'Aerobics'. For that, I strongly recommend 'The baritone ukulele chord bible'

The Baritone Ukulele Chord Bible: DGBE Standard Tuning 2, 160 Chords (Fretted Friends Series)

This takes you from the simplest chords right through to the most exotic, and in most cases, makes it easier to identify the baritone shapes that you need for the lessons. Thereafter, of course, you're on your own and need to adapt the other sections accordingly. (Strumming - Fingerstyle - Scale exercises - Legato - Licks and riffs - Miscellaneous).

An alternative baritone ukulele chord dictionary is 'Hal Leonard Baritone Ukulele Chord Finder: Over 1000 Ukulele Chords'. I can't comment on this book as I haven't seen it, but it might be something to check out:

Hal Leonard Baritone Ukulele Chord Finder: Over 1000 Ukulele Chords

Another alternative is to search online for baritone ukulele chords. One website that I can highly recommend is "Baritone Ukulele Chords - ezFolk[dot][com]". When you find the chord(s) you want, you can right click and copy that set of chords for printing or for archiving.

A third alternative if you want a truly DIY method is to look at each of the GCEA chord shapes and to use those shapes to work out what notes are being played. Eg: the chord shape of A9 can be used to identify the notes A - C# - G - B. Those are the notes you then need to find on the baritone fretboard. When you use the chord dictionary, the shape shown has the notes in this order: G - B - C# - A if you stick to the nut-end of the fretboard. If you want the same notes in the same order, you need to move down to the 6th and 7th frets. Having a fretboard diagram to hand, appropriately labelled for DGBE, really does help. The system, although laborious at first, does work and, as ever, practise makes things easier and faster.

On the plus side, AND IF YOU''RE THE 'SERIOUS STUDENT' I REFERENCES IN MY HEADING FOR THIS REVIEW, then the process of making chord adjustments and transpositions is itself an experience that deepens your understanding of the ukulele.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wish I had found this book sooner!, 31 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Johnson Chad Ukulele Aerobics For All Levels Uke Bk/Cd (Paperback)
This book presents me regularly with phrases of music that take me off on a half hour journey of experiment and enjoyment, and that is not what the structure of the book is about exactly. I like the way there is a regular 'dose' of some musical aspect and you get another dose of something else (that is also a vital part of the journey) the next day. I don't always keep up with the weeks, which slightly disappointed me to start with, but better to work on a bit if something is sticking. I found it slightly peculiar that there are some rather obscure chords appearing in the early weeks, only disappointed because I fear I won't just remember them, but no doubt there is a reason and they are part of the building blocks approach. I love this book, it is the core of my learning journey at the moment, though I have several other practise modes for variety and enjoyment. Yes, I would definitely recommend this, and keep a notebook alongside it to record progress, write down new chords etc. Thanks Chad Johnson!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast progress!, 28 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Johnson Chad Ukulele Aerobics For All Levels Uke Bk/Cd (Paperback)
I've been teaching myself uke for a couple of years by trying to memorise chords and following the tabs for songs. But after a week of following this book I'm also now finger-picking, playing scales and becoming way more comfortable with just playing freely. The book is designed to give you one small thing to practise every day for 20 minutes (with enough exercises to last 40 weeks, but I tend to move through a couple of them a day) and is brilliant in the way that each exercise builds on the next, so you don't forget what you have learnt. With having played for a while I though I might end up skipping through lots of the exercises, but that's not the case, they are all useful.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars and my playing is no where good enough to let any one else hear it, 10 Aug. 2014
This review is from: Johnson Chad Ukulele Aerobics For All Levels Uke Bk/Cd (Paperback)
Having read reviews carefully I decided to buy this book, as although I have a number of beginners book am a bit stuck with just learning chords, and my playing is no where good enough to let any one else hear it! I have found other books a bit tedious as don't like practicing to boring songs
This book is easy to follow once you have concentrated on the daily explanations for one week and understand the diagrams
I am not a musician at all although enjoy music, and I am feeling motivated to follow the lessons.Glad I bought it, and am keeping it and my uke out and on hand to encourage me to have a go every day.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For the serious learner, an excellent resource., 1 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Johnson Chad Ukulele Aerobics For All Levels Uke Bk/Cd (Paperback)
First things first - this is a book for the serious learner. Each Monday you'll get a bunch of chords to learn - every week - and new techniques and licks and strumming patterns. It's organised over 40 weeks but I don't see myself getting through it that fast, even though I play a bunch of other instruments, read music, etc. There's also an inbuilt assumption that you can read regular notation and/or tab before you start: you won't be handheld through the basics like that.

That said, I think this is a really well put together book. Even if you choose to supplement it with other music (which I am doing), for guidance through a core of ukulele technique and chords, progressing logically and building on previous lessons, I think this is excellent.

The progression is steep - I personally know I'm not going to finish each week's exercises to a good standard in just one week - but it is logical and helpful. If you want a good structure as you start out on the uke, this is a realy excellent place to start to give you a good framework and excellent grounding. You won't learn lots of tunes, but you will learn a lot to enable you to play the kind of tunes you want to play.

If you just want to dabble, or you want to be spoonfed, it might seem overwhelming, but if you want to get a good grounding on the instrument, I think this is truly an excellent resource.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not for the non-serious, 21 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Johnson Chad Ukulele Aerobics For All Levels Uke Bk/Cd (Paperback)
This is a classic to be. But, if you are a beginner, or a young player, or just playing for fun in a group, then don't expect an easy ride. Certainly, the first few "weeks" can seem a doddle. But then it gets more serious. You must be absolutely committed to get the best from this and, sad but true, you must have some musical ability and ear. This is not a teach yourself well known tunes on the uke book. Get those free off the internet. You must be prepared to learn some (in fact, quite a lot) of musical theory. You must devote hours and weeks of practice. You must stretch yourself to the limits. You must be a serious musician who really wants to play this instrument. Work hard, work constantly, take notes, study, practice! and you may get it. An excellent course for the serious musician who does not think that a real ukulele can be bought for pocket money. I've spent over £8,000 on instruments and still fell like an amateur. Good luck if you can stick the course (REALLY).
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent. Well structured exercises and even if you class ..., 7 Oct. 2014
By 
This review is from: Johnson Chad Ukulele Aerobics For All Levels Uke Bk/Cd (Paperback)
Excellent. Well structured exercises and even if you class yourself as an intermediate player it's worth starting at the beginning. Some tricky chords as early as the 3rd week though eg Fmaj7
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply works as advertised, 29 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Johnson Chad Ukulele Aerobics For All Levels Uke Bk/Cd (Paperback)
If all you want to do is strum a few songs, you don't need this book, it's not for casual learners. It starts with bare basics, but very quickly progresses into fancy techniques most beginners wouldn't touch for years.

Remember - there're no songs there, just exercises (though the tricks learned here and there are ready to be used in your own arrangements). It's also not really for beginners, as the usual introductory information is missing. You're expected to already know, how to hold the uke, read the tablature etc. Some additional background in music theory might be helpful to understand, what exactly are you practicing and why (i'd highly recommend getting "Understanding ukulele chords" or "Freatboard roadmaps" with it).

All in all, when followed closely and patiently, the book simply works as advertised - methodically improves all aspects of ukulele playing, giving a well-thought, structured and balanced approach to your learning. And this alone makes it brilliant.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended by my ukulele teacher, 28 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Johnson Chad Ukulele Aerobics For All Levels Uke Bk/Cd (Paperback)
Recommended by my ukulele teacher. Book is well organized into small daily / weekly instructions ( approx. 1/2 hour daily recommended ) which is great as it gives you 'targets' to reach and keeps you focussed. I'm a complete beginner with no previous musical experience and do focus ( doing at least 1 hour a day ); I found weeks one and two were ok, but week 3 appears to have leapt a level and I'm struggling a bit now. All-in-all , in my opinion, it's a good book, but I've used others as well to assist in my learning. Was worth purchasing.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!, 16 April 2015
By 
P. Rollason (Cornwall) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Johnson Chad Ukulele Aerobics For All Levels Uke Bk/Cd (Paperback)
This was exactly what I was looking for in a Ukulele book. Structured, gradual learning to help improvers
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Johnson Chad Ukulele Aerobics For All Levels Uke Bk/Cd
Johnson Chad Ukulele Aerobics For All Levels Uke Bk/Cd by Various (Paperback - 17 Mar. 2014)
£12.95
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews