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VINE VOICEon 27 October 2015
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Good book covering the basics of ukulele playing very well, recommended for beginners definitely and maybe more intermediate players may learn something too - I had the earlier version of this book and was pleased to be able to review the updated version. Excellent - get a ukulele and have some fun!
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on 17 July 2017
Great book, some very interesting information and a great learning help.
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VINE VOICEon 30 November 2015
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This book is strangely paced. I got it to review for my daughter who is learning the ukelele at school. I thought it would be useful to get as I have been playing guitar for 30 odd years and would give me a bit extra to support her. The first three chapters deal with buying, holding, tuning, where to fret, how to strum etc as well as a small eulogy to this little instrument. In chapter four we are in to the music and with a bang. There are eight chords to learn right off in one chapter, taking through 4 or 5 songs. I really do support the notion that you can play a song right off the bat and there are links to videos so you can hear what it should sound like as it is good for motivation. However, it is quite a ramp I think to go from how to hold it to playing so many different songs at once. The first song is a two chorder in C and F and the first few tunes are country so less well known in the UK. The chapter finishes with house of the rising sun which has I think 5 chords in it, and I think it is too steep a transition for a beginner and it is why I think it is strangely paced. And there in lies the problem I think, chapter 4 isn't for dummies, it's a chapter for a competent musician who wants to learn to play a few songs on the uke quickly.

I wonder if the author had thought a chapter a week, put the niceties about holding tuning, buying etc in an appendix at the back and introduced the songs a bit more slowly and one at a time it would have been a better tutor.

The book is thorough and contains strum patterns, chords charts and finger picking lines that will let you solo the melody so actually you could perform something quite well by the time you get to about chapter 8. In later chapters it goes through blues and jazz and has some nice stuff in there. I think I will use it, but I doubt strongly whether my daughter will.

I did waver in my ratings between 3 and 4 stars but settled on 3 because I think it will put beginners off.
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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 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 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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VINE VOICEon 1 December 2015
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I bought a uke a few years ago but after several attempts to learn to play it I put it to one side. I can strum very basic acoustic guitar tunes such as Me And Bobby McGhee and You Ain't Going Nowhere and some Carter Family stuff, but I found the ukulele a bit too small for my clumsy fingers. I thought this book might help me overcome my clumsiness and to some extent it has. The first 40 odd pages deal with how to tune, hold and strum a ukulele and I found that very helpful. Chapter 4 onwards introduces songs that you can play, the first few pretty much immediately as they are very easy with only 2 or 3 chords. There are links to online versions so that you can hear whether you're doing it right, which is obviously very helpful, and the book itself is pretty straightforward and relatively easy to understand, although so far I haven't got much further than about page 80. I think another reviewer mentions that one of the tunes is House Of The Rising Sun, which often crops up in guitar tutorial books, but I've never been able to manage the chords on guitar and I was no more successful with the ukulele. Curiously, it is followed by The Banana Boat Song, which is 2 chords and somewhat easier to learn. For me the layout is the biggest problem with this book as I found it was trying to teach me a bit too much a bit too soon and it's very easy to get distracted by the frequent technical interjections and various asides. I found myself yearning for just a simple chart of the basic chords that I could refer to easily, but I found the chord charts in Appendix A, which list 96 chords, far too much for me. Perhaps I'm a too much of a dummy, but I'm already finding this is all a bit too advanced for me. I shall persevere, but I would say that this book is probably not the best tutorial for anyone who wants to just learn 6 to 10 chords so they can strum along to a few favourite tunes. However, I'm sure it's very good for anyone who wants to really learn how to play the instrument.
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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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VINE VOICEon 6 November 2015
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Comprehensive book which covers many aspects of playing the ukulele.
There are photographs and diagrams and the text is well laid out so it is easy to follow.
I used to play the piano but have never played any sort of string instrument.
My daughter has been learning to play the ukulele so I thought I would have a go myself with this book.
As a beginner I found it a bit hard at first as there is so much to take in - how to hold the instrument, how to hold the frets for the chords with your fingers - using the left hand (oh so different than a piano!) - how to use your right hand fingers to strum at first - then later to pick at the strings.
I need to take it slowly and not to try and rush ahead.
One problem for me was that the easy tunes that are used in this book I do not know - so do not know how they should sound.
The book my daughter used was aimed at young children with nursery rhymes - I would have been better off with these.
The book has sparked my interest and I have now looked at some introductions on YOU-TUBE and think that these along with the book will get me going easily.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is the second edition of this book. I've not seen the first one, apart from on the Amazon site so am not sure of the changes, but one thing I know has been updated is that there is no longer a CD with the book. Instead there is a link to downloadable audio files, along with videos that you can practice along with, which is brilliant.
As for the book itself - I am enthralled. I have wanted to get a ukulele for a long time and had no idea what to get or what to do next. This book is the business - it teaches you everything you need to know, from before you even buy your instrument, in typical, comprehensive, supportive, user-friendly Dummies style.
The book is divided up into 7 sections: Getting started, Starting out with Chords and Strumming, Picking and single-note playing, Discovering genres and styles, Buying and looking after your ukulele, The part of tens (there are lots of them - chords, players, tips - and more) and, finally, the Appendices. (Or appendixes as they call them..)
It is a phenomenal resource for a nervous beginner like me. Some of what is in the book looks amazingly impossible right now, because I've never played an instrument before. But now I have begun to read, I am feeling confident enough to finally purchase my first ukulele and start on my learning journey. I can't wait!
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