Good at what is shared - covers what others miss,
This review is from: First Lessons Ukulele (Paperback)
A bit a background to explain my review viewpoint:
I have dabbled in various music - piano, guitar, recorder, flute, lap harp, and finally Uke. Introduced by my mother, I got hooked the first time I tried. 3 weeks later, we finalised realised why - its the first instrument we can play together - because we have always had enough for one each! Huzzah!
On to the book review:
Bought for £6, we originally decided to get it for the fabulous end pages (info we hadn't found anywhere else).
= The last 6 pages have 3 sets of useful information.
*(pg 34) Chord chart major (with B&w photos of hand positon) (p35) as 34 but for minot chords, (p36) as 34 but for dominant seventh (or the 7th chords)
*(p37) The key chart (shows each major key and the three main chords for each of the 12 keys shown = A, Bb, B, C, Db, D, Eb, E, F, Gb, G, Ab)
*(p38-40) are layout out in the order of p34-36, but eaach chord has 3 versions, each one in a different location on the fretboard. Al with fingering number suggestions (eg put finger 2 on x string at x fret). MARVELLOUS!
I have just worked through the book. What this book does for me is it has opened opened the difference between harmony and melody (pg 17) and the different between. It is worth this measly £6 because of these pages mentioned above, alone, having found nothing anywhere else that explains this.
This is not a true beginner book like the ones by Mike Jackson or Tim Lewis (a great player - I've seen him support local people learning ukes and teaching children), as well as the type of books like the wise publications 'great songs for ukulele (usually has 17 songs in each book). These are the chord is this, now strum and huzzah music sounding great - simple to get started.
This book is for the next stages, and really helps to learn music theory and some of the slightly more advanced skills (and helpful 'tips' (cheats) for getting better e.g. helps to understand why if you can't play an Ab then you might get away with trying an A/Am or Eb7 as an alternative - which happens as my fingers just haven't adjusted to do some of these 'higher' level chord finger placements - so better alternatives till I'm able to put my fingers in these harder locations and make my uke sounds good - are really helpful!
ROUNDING UP - in my humble opinion
This is a great next steps book, or for the musically adapt (in an aother area) entry book. It does has great good points, like the 5 versions of some songs, with the variations of chords, harmony and strumming patterns to give you an understanding of the differences and how you could play them. This book is great for that, especially if your musical theory needs every bit of help - like mine does.
It is not a quick how to play 17 songs with 2-7 starter chords. But great as part of a multi-purchase to get people started, as it helps them to see what they like. It also does not cover TAB or Tabulature (when the numbers = a location on the board - Uke for dummies is a great book to start with that, or look at others places.
Any questions, queries about book or my phrasing, please ask using comments. I do try to check my review regularly.