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Ukulele For Dummies Paperback – 16 Oct 2015

4.4 out of 5 stars 327 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 2nd Revised edition edition (16 Oct. 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1119135974
  • ISBN-13: 978-1119135975
  • Product Dimensions: 18.5 x 2 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (327 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,330 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From the Back Cover

Learn to:

  • Fully understand ukulele basics
  • Play the key ukulele chords and strumming patterns
  • Tackle guidance on fingerpicking instruction
  • Develop your skills by downloading the accompanying tracks from Dummies.com

Pick up a uke and start playing – fast

Do you want to learn to play the ukulele? This friendly guide covers everything from chords and strumming patterns to finger picking and style variations. With clear instructions and musical inspiration on every page, it will have you making a big splash with this tiny instrument in no time.

  • First things first – weigh your buying options, grab the essentials, check out the accessories, and master maintenance
  • Start strumming – get to know the ukulele chords and their families, play your first songs and create more strumming patterns for great results
  • Play your heart out – rock or jazz, Hawaiian or classical, find the groove that fits your mood
  • Pick a winner – discover fingerpicking patterns, get to grips with tabs and notation, plus solo techniques with melody/chord combos

Open the book and find:

  • How to hold a ukulele and position yourself to play
  • Guidance on developing your strumming
  • The ′three–chord trick′ that′ll help your playing
  • What to do if things don′t sound right
  • How to diagnose and solve uke problems
  • Unbeatable tips for improving your playing
  • Ten ways to get involved in the ukulele scene
  • Chord charts and guidance on reading standard musical notation

About the Author

Alistair Wood is a ukulele player, transcriber and arranger who owns the most popular ukulele site on the Internet, ukulelehunt.com. His expertise and the continuing ukulele boom has led to media hits that include The New York Times, The Guardian and BBC News.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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!
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By Glenn Cook HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 28 Oct. 2015
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
There 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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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