A great book for anyone interested in learning Clawhammer Ukulele. Clawhammer is a banjo style that also works on the ukulele. It is from the Appalachian mountains of the US and is part of the old time string band tradition of music. It takes the complicated technique and with beautiful tabs and helpful videos you’ll soon be sounding like a pro. This book is currently only available in kindle format (see lowest price). If you don’t have a kindle you might be interested to know that Amazon provide free apps for PC, Mac and Android and IOS users to read kindle books on their devices so everyone can enjoy them 🙂
Ukulele for Dummies (For Dummies, 2011)
If you’re like me then you probably check out the “For Dummies” series when you want to learn a new skill. They are written by experts, are easy to understand and cover a lot of material. Ukulele for Dummies is no exception to this pattern. It is written by Alistair Wood who runs the great site Ukulele Hunt and knows a thing or two about clearly explaining how to play the ukulele. Unlike some teach yourself ukulele books, it won’t run out quickly. It will really take you up to intermediate at least.
This book is so good that my mum leant it the headmaster of my old primary school, he taught himself ukulele with it, and then started teaching the ukulele to pupils there. I can think of no higher praise for a book that it can make you want to (and be able) to teach the skill you set out to learn.
It’s also a great book to keep around as a reference book, so if you come across a technique, style or musical phrase that you don’t know or can’t really do then just look it up in the book and you’ll be on your way, especially as it is priced at around $20 (see lowest price). Perhaps one of the most useful parts of the book is the section on buying and taking care of your ukulele. It’s great to have advice from someone who you know isn’t just trying to get you to buy their product but is offering impartial advice.
I know that with all the resources available online for learning an instrument, it can seem silly to buy an old fashioned book to work through. However, there is something useful about having a paper book (they’ve been shown to be more memorable than reading information from a webpage) which you can work your way through.
I’ve bought a couple of copies over time (as they often get given away) and I can think of no better book for someone who wants to learn how to play the ukulele.
Buy Ukulele for Dummies
The Daily Ukulele (Hal Leonard, 2014)
The Daily Ukulele is the number one best selling book on Amazon for Ukulele’s and for good reason. In the book are the chords for 365 songs on the Ukulele (see lowest price). Some of these are traditional folk songs, some are kids songs, some are from classic groups like The Beatles and of course you have a selection of classic Hawaiian songs such as Mele Kalikimaka. The book is also strong and resilient and with the plastic comb edge it is very easy to flick to your page and keep that page open! Honestly, if you buy one song book for the ukulele, buy this one.
Buy The Daily Ukulele