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This is the second book in the series that I've read and worked my way through.
The authors teach you to strum and to play individual notes as well as chords. It really does take you from the basics to a level of competence if you follow the exercises. I also liked that the audio is easily accessible on the website so you can play the audio tracks to get a feel of what each exercise should sound like and then play along with the track. That's particularly helpful to get a feel for the timings of each piece - playing along with an expert keeps you from speeding up or slowing down the song as you practise and that's useful.
My only issue with the book is that it said that there are video examples of the strumming patterns on the website but there's no link and when I went to the website I couldn't find these lessons. As I'm having a bit of trouble with some of the harder strum patterns I would have liked to see the video to see how it's done.
I also really liked the ebook version of the book. A lot of music books that are also available in print are done in a lazy manner as 'print replicas' and that makes them more like a PDF than an ebook and a pain to use on a tablet. This book has been done as a beautiful native ebook from scratch and the scrolling is effortless and the words and music flow across to the next page without awkward breaks.
A must have in any beginners Ukulele library. "How To Play the UKULELE for the Complete IGNORAMUS" should be the foundation of your Uku understanding and play. As a 77 year old with No, Zero, Nada music background/experience I decided to pluck (pun intended) Uku playing out of my Bucket List and run with it. Needing all the help I can muster, I've purchase six of the best known books for beginners. This book is absolutely heads and shoulders above all the rest. While most other books give brief "how to play" instructions and then songs, songs, songs, UKULELE IGNORAMUS comes with a CD, Details Uke History, Choosing a Uke, Holding, Tuning, Chording, Strumming, Playing Melody, Fingerpicking, plus A Chord Chart and a Strum Chart. 104 pages in a spiral binding easy lay flat book with large type. Another recommended companion book to get detail instructions with a different slant is "Play UKULELE Today". Enjoy!
By far the best introductory Ukulele Songbook I have purchased. It is the whole package! First, it has a very wide variety of songs, each song is has a brief history and context, has a tablature, and all verses. The only thing I wish that it had the music sheet as well. But you can't have it all I guess.
In addition, the book has MP3 recording for every song, it has cord practice and other training materials.
I recommend the spiral bound version! It folds flat and neatly unlike basically every other traditionally bound material.
I take it with me on trips and it is the best investment (basically the only book that I did not regret purchasing)
EDITED 1 year later: I have since purchased many other songbooks, took online courses, studied various resources. This book keeps on giving! It is still my favorite book by far, and now being more advanced I can still find a lot of value in it. I am revisiting the book all the time, integrate newer skills into the songs, mark up my pages with various finger picking and other flourishes. Then tragedy struck, the cat peed on the book. Oh no. Fear not I bought a new version, and painstakingly copied over my notes to the new book! This is how good this book is. Best ukulele book ever!
I purchased a couple of books promising to teach me in a week or whatever......(they didn't). I guess I AM the Ignoramus this book is addressing as this book worked for me! This senior citizen was actually able to play a song within minutes of picking up the book!
This book seems OK, unfortunately the CD didn't work. I didn't think it was a big deal because there is a note that says the CD material is available for download on their website, and it provides the password. Simple enough. Well, password doesn't work either so now I'm annoyed. Hopefully the email is still good, we'll see.
Update - the email worked and I got a very quick reply and resolution. The mp3s are a good addition to the book, I liked the mix of strumming and fingerpicking practice songs.
I love how this book is written. It really helps someone who doesn't know much about playing music break through the barrier and start playing songs right away. I've picked up a few books and they are more geared towards someone who has a basic knowledge of playing, this book is for a Complete Ignoramus (like me!) and it assumes you don't know anything! It has really helped my enjoyment of my ukulele.