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Selections from Abba Gold: Strumalong Ukulele (Book & CD)
Selections from Abba Gold: Strumalong Ukulele (Book & CD)
by Music Sales Ltd
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Fun, 7 Jan. 2012
I hadn't had the urge to attempt Abba on the Uke before I bought this book, and now I'm glad I've given it a try. It's well presented, comes with a playalong CD and is in a useful A5 size.

Amazon often lack track listings. Why? Here's what you get -

Chiquitita
Dancing Queen
Fernando
I Have A Dream
Knowing me, Knowing You (AHA!)
Money, Money, Money
The Name of the Game
S.O.S.
Super Trouper
Take a Chance on Me
Thank You For The Music
Voulez-Vous
Waterloo
The Winner Takes It All

As you can see, there's no 'Does Your Mother Know'. A terrible, but forgivable oversight.

I'm always a little cynical when I receive chord books like this. A ten minute browse of your favourite chord/lyric site will give you the same results for free. Why don't publishers include the TAB for the melody line, or even include some chord/melody arrangements? This book just lists the chords above the lyrics, without even suggesting any strumming rhythms. However, don't let this put you off. Included with the book is a CD full of high quality backing tracks with backing vocals sang with an appropriate Swedish twang. It's great fun playing and singing along.

The arrangements are faithful to the originals which means that they share the same key. This is good but can be a real pain. For example, 'The Winner Takes It All' is in Gbm, which is a really tricky key to play on the Uke. It'd be useful if it were transposed to F and suggested that a capo is used. But perhaps I'm just taking things a little too seriously?! Also, there's a mistake. Voulez-vous is transcribed in Em but the backing is Fm. Remember that if you're playing along and you think you sound terrible.

So, there is room for improvements (TAB/Notation for vocal line please), but apart from that, buy it!


Ukulele From The Beginning Uke
Ukulele From The Beginning Uke
by Various
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.59

14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Great, 4 Jun. 2011
This book is a good start for a child, in that they may learn the chords and sing along but but doesn't take it any further. I have used it in lessons to assist with music reading but some of the arrangements go below middle C, which is not possible on a soprano. I understand that this is a common occurrence in Uke books but as a child's book, I'd expect it to be a little more accessible. To get the child playing the melody I have sometimes had to resort to transcribing the pieces myself. With a little more though this could be an essential purchase but until that happens, look elsewhere.


Ukulele Breakthrough: Helping you go from lonely strummer to life-of-the-party!
Ukulele Breakthrough: Helping you go from lonely strummer to life-of-the-party!
by Calvin Chin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.95

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Flawed, 4 Jun. 2011
This book annoyed me within 2 minutes. He states 'Up refers to the nut end of the fretboard, down refers to the higher end'. This is just plain wrong. Wrong. WRONG.

I persevered and still felt a little unimpressed. He places an emphasis on learning the notes on the fretboard, which is great, but simply shows how you might play a chord and then throws a lead sheet at you. The progression is not well balanced.

I cannot recommend this book.


Famous Solos and Duets for the Ukulele (Mel Bay Presents)
Famous Solos and Duets for the Ukulele (Mel Bay Presents)
by John King
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential. Buy it., 4 Jun. 2011
I don't like to exaggerate but I dare say this is the greatest Ukulele book of all. It features a generous amount of pieces and the important point is that they are all of Hawaiian origin. Playing pop songs on the Uke is great fun but this is where the music comes alive. Prior to purchasing this, I didn't know any of the pieces but now I know them all by heart. John King has chosen a wonderful selection of pieces and each is arranged to perfection. My favourites include 'Hene', 'El Recuerdo' and every single other piece! There are many different strumming techniques to attempt, and although I think they could be explained more clearly, they still offer a great challenge. The included CD is very good but the pieces simply loop when they've finished. However, it's up to you to put your personal slant on them. It does have some flaws. The strums are not explained well enough and the musical notation features some mistakes. These don't detract from teh overall impact though.

It also includes a very interesting Ukulele history which you can memorise and bore your friends with for years.

Buy this book. Buy it.


Fred Sokolow: Blues Ukulele
Fred Sokolow: Blues Ukulele
by Fred Sokolow
Edition: Paperback
Price: £17.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Book, 4 Jun. 2011
As with other Sokolow books, this is let down only by his hammy, out of tune singing. Apart from that, the included pieces are great fun. Some are difficult, some are easy to master and all are a good addition to you repertoire.


Learn to Play Fingerstyle Solos for Ukulele
Learn to Play Fingerstyle Solos for Ukulele
by Mark Kailana Nelson
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good, 4 Jun. 2011
I like this book. It has a lot of content for both the standard and baritone uke and sails through many different styles. There's nothing in here that is too difficult but there are some pieces that will challenge you. Each piece comes with a little blurb and they are also included on the CD. Give it a try.


Hal Leonard Ukulele Method: Book 1
Hal Leonard Ukulele Method: Book 1
by Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.95

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good First Step, 4 Jun. 2011
This is a good introduction to the Uke, especially for the younger player but it will also come in handy if you're advancing in years. It is well designed with a good clear layout and it's progression is well paced. The first half of the book trawls through the old 'Mary had a Little Lamb', 'Frere Jacques' standards which can become pretty tiresome but I suppose will help the beginner. The second half really comes into it's own with some blues tunes and some tricky chords.

Give it a try.


JOHN KING THE CLASSICAL UKULELE UKE BOOK/CD (Jumpin' Jim's Ukulele Masters)
JOHN KING THE CLASSICAL UKULELE UKE BOOK/CD (Jumpin' Jim's Ukulele Masters)
by Various
Edition: Paperback
Price: £17.95

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Book. An Essential Purchase., 4 Jun. 2011
John King was something special. He had a true connection with the Ukulele; his playing and understanding is something to be admired. The CD that comes with the book is worth the price alone. There are 19 pieces included on the book and CD. The first handful of tunes are actually quite easy but then the difficulty ramps up. There are some great challenges and some fun, recognisable pieces. I especially like 'Tarantella', Bach's 'Prelude' and a beautiful version of 'Les Barricades Mysterieuses'.

I always have this book at hand and would recommend it to Ukulele players of any level.


Jumpin Jim Ukulele Songbook Bluegrass Ukulele Fred Sokolow Book (Jumpin' Jim's Ukulele Songbooks)
Jumpin Jim Ukulele Songbook Bluegrass Ukulele Fred Sokolow Book (Jumpin' Jim's Ukulele Songbooks)
by VARIOUS
Edition: Paperback
Price: £17.95

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Bluegrass Education, 4 Jun. 2011
Fred Sokolow always produces good books. The stand out feature here is the sheer amount of content he's managed to squeeze in. Altogether there are 21 pieces, each arranged in three different styles; melody line, strumming and rolling. These are also included on the CD. The pieces range from easy to very difficult so there really is something for every Ukulele player. My only gripe is with Fred's voice. Although it is very helpful that he sings along, he phrases the songs in a 'crazy disney uncle' style which soon grates. However, don't let this put you off. This is an excellent book which every Uke player should consider.


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