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I play a wind instrument so while I’m not a novice musician I don’t play stringed instruments and I found this book hard to follow. Of the approximately 15 songs, I (at age 60) only knew about 5 of them so you don’t get much for your money in the way of playing songs that anybody around the campfire can sing along with. Save your money and search for ‘beginning ukelele’ on YouTube; there are lots of great instructional videos there and I went much farther and faster than I did with the book
For the absolute beginner or someone wanting review (like me), the DVD is so easy to follow along. Everything is clearly explained. It's really like learning over the Internet, except I can stop and rewind (and i can afford these lessons). I think all beginners should start out with a good teacher. If you are doing that, this is a great book for getting acquainted with your instrument and getting comfortable before the first lesson. These are good songs that work at campfires or just casual meets. I have had so many instructional books over time. I'm really delighted with this one.
The book has good basic instruction. I have found other books to be more comprehensive for just a few dollars more. I have already been well served with lots of other instructional books from the library as well as lots of great online video instruction, which is now quite prolific due to the popularity of the ukulele. The Kindle version for $5 would have been a better option for me. I agree with some of the reviewers that the choice of "popular" songs leaves a lot to be desired, both due to the inappropriate lyrics of some and questionable popularity. But I suppose copyright issues preclude the inclusion of a better song selection.
I got a ukulele for my birthday (I'm 48), and began self teaching. I've spotted lessons near me, but I want to try it myself for a bit. I have a guy I follow on YouTube, and then I ordered this lesson book for beginners as a supplement. It comes with internet access to lessons as well, which is great... except the lessons are one long video.... Like there aren't Lessons 1-however man listed separately. It's a hour and a half video. So I have to remember where I was from one week to the next. Tip: I started noting where in the video certain pages are, so I can more easily find my spot. But it would be even better if they were listed as separate videos.
Pros: The book is for the absolute beginner...someone who has never played any instrument. The chord chart in the back is excellent, and it allows you to make up your own song. Different strumming patterns and exercises are easy to follow. The video is very helpful.
Things I would like to see added: A finger chart showing you which notes are on which frets. A more advanced section on picking or picking patterns. More songs...15 songs is not a wide selection, and the first songs are very simple. It would be nice to have MORE "Island" songs rather than the typical folk songs. When I think of the ukulele, I think of "Aloha 'Oe", not "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot".
In general, this book is written for the absolute beginner; not someone who has ever played any other musical instrument. It does not progress far and is only meant as a starter. It would be nice to see some more advanced material added. After one day, I've gone through more than half of the book, and I don't think that it will take much time to get through the second half.
Finished the book now. I've upgraded the rating to 3 because the end of the book was more challenging. It could still use a more substance, though. Even a bit of music theory would help.
I bought this for my kids, as we got them ukuleles for Christmas, but both my wife and I have also jumped on the bandwagon, as it is fun to play and this book makes it easy to dive into songs you know. Good start for someone with no knowledge of playing an instrument or if you have played something else before. Simple songs that don't take long to master and then progress in a nice manner to build your skill. Both our 5 and 8-year-old have been able to use this without too much help from us, so happy with this purchase.
Videos are great but the actual songs need to be slowed down or a way for us to slow them down when you are trying to learn these cords.. Learning the different strumming patterns is great but not a strumming pattern that includes releasing the notes on and of which is not easy to do especially as a beginner. It is hard enough to get your fingers to play the cords fast enough. He does make mention that repetition is key to success and I would agree to that. I guess this can be one source for learning to play the Uke but not sure it is the best.
This book and online program isn't for me. The online guy isn't my cup of tea and the books approach - for me - wasn't nearly as effective as the Hal Leonard Ukulele Method 1. This book, for me, spent too much time on things I found boring and uses songs I didn't particularly want to learn (and didn't like hearing with this guy). I found with the Hal Leonard book that I not only could almost immediately pick out tunes I knew using notes, but I also learned the notes in first position, which set a much more solid foundation. I recommend the Hal Leonard Ukulele Method 1 along with some Cynthia Lin youtube beginner videos as a great way to start learning the Uke to both start learning songs right away, and build a solid foundation in a way that is actually fun.
Wow! You get video lessons with this book. I have started playing from scratch and have found the book and lessons to be an excellent tool! I saw some reviews saying the songs are old and some unrecognizable. If your goal is to learn how to play, it doesn’t matter if these are ultimately the exact songs you will choose to play. The teacher has selected songs with beginning cords and strum patterns and uses a metronome to build speed. This book teaches techniques to use while building one’s repertoire. I for one, am grateful for having found such a useful tool for my early uke journey!
I selected this book because of the dvd included. I have used it for a little more than a week. (I played woodwinds through elementary and secondary school so, I have some basic knowledge of music.) The instructor demonstrates tuning the instrument, holding the uke for maximum playing ease, and how to practice the exercises in the book. He takes time to play the songs slowly at first so, the learner can get comfortable with the chord changes and gauge his/her progress.The book's songs are not likely to wow a younger audience but they do teach chords, making chord changes and strumming techniques. I think beginners will appreciate the opportunity to see, hear, pause for practice, and then, play!