Ukulele

Best Ukulele Books

September 13, 2018
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Best Ukulele Books

Beginner ukulele players will always find ukulele books to be very helpful as they go along their musical journey. Good ukulele books include all sorts of topics that will guide beginners through their favorite songs.

There are things to consider before you decide to buy a ukulele book, such as its content, price, and its intended target audience. We will discuss these things in order for you to find the best book match for your skill level.

Our Top Recommended Books & DVDs

Ukulele Aerobics

  • Concepts are easy to digest
  • Excellent methodology
  • Lessons become interesting over time
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First 50 Songs You Should Play on Ukulele

  • Contains great variety of songs
  • Great for beginners
  • Songs are easy to learn
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Ukulele Primer Book for Beginners with DVD

  • Very informative book
  • Book includes location numbers for minutes of the DVD instruction lesson
  • Ideal for non-musically inclined beginner players
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The Daily Ukulele

  • Chords are easy to play
  • Vast variety of song choices
  • Chord placement is accurate
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Alfred’s Ukulele Chord Chart

  • Good reference when playing songs
  • Main chart matrix folds open and reads easily
  • Legend is beginner-friendly
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Good ukulele books can be hard to find because there are many people who write their own opinions to. However, the ones that will appear on this list are not only affordable but they are also loaded with information. These books can be for beginners and professional players alike. This makes them versatile. Therefore, here are some examples of these books to teach you a thing or two about the ukulele.

Ukulele Aerobics: For All Levels, from Beginner to Advanced

Ukulele Aerobics: For All Levels, from Beginner to Advanced is available in Kindle and as a paperback book. There are several techniques that are discussed in here such as tremolo, strumming, and others that can be learned by players of all levels. You should play this within 40 weeks and it includes a One-lick-per-day workout program to improve your ukulele skills. Moreover, iIt has musical styles that you can work on including pop, rock, folk, old-time, and jazz for you to find your specialty.

Pros:

  • Concepts are easy to digest
  • Excellent methodology
  • Lessons become interesting over time

Cons:

  • Digital version lacks audio/video track for most devices
  • Audio part is not in the CD
  • Audio file is not user friendly

This book is mostly for advanced beginners, but it can still be used by anyone. It is better if you purchase a paper book as the Kindle version has problems with compatibility.

First 50 Songs You Should Play on Ukulele

First 50 Songs You Should Play on Ukulele makes transitioning to songbooks beginner-friendly to do. It contains an assortment of songs such as We Are the World, This Land is Your Land and Hey Soul Sister. The song features melodies, lyrics, and chord diagrams so that you can play while you sing along. It is also available in Kindle, as well as a paperback book that contains 136 pages.

Pros:

  • Contains great variety of songs
  • Great for beginners
  • Songs are easy to learn

Cons:

  • Many songs require low G tuning
  • iPad Kindle formatting needs improvement
  • Scale is not great for four string ukuleles

This is a great book if you are a guitar player who is transitioning to a ukulele using a guitalele. Additionally, try other devices if you are planning to buy this on Kindle as the iPad formatting needs work.

Ukulele Primer Book for Beginners with DVD

Ukulele Primer Book for Beginners with DVD also has an online video lesson that you can access anytime upon purchase. Additionally, you can use this book for Soprano, Concert, or Tenor ukulele players who are beginners. Lessons include tuning up to strumming to basic chords. Furthermore, the DVD it comes with is 86 minutes long that provides instructions that are covered inside the 50-page book.

Pros:

  • Very informative book
  • Book includes location numbers for minutes of the DVD instruction lesson
  • Ideal for non-musically inclined beginner players

Cons:

  • Choice of songs need improvement
  • Songs need to be slowed down
  • DVD has no menu option

This is a great choice for beginners who are really starting out from ukuleles. Additionally, this is especially best for those who have no musical background. However, the song selections are not for children as they involve inappropriate lyrics and dark themes. The DVD does not have a menu option.

The Daily Ukulele: 365 Songs for Better Living (Jumpin’ Jim’s Ukulele Songbooks)

The Daily Ukulele: 365 songs for Better Living (Jumpin’ Jim’s Ukulele Songbooks) has a wide array of songs to choose for your everyday strumming. Additionally, this songbook features lyrics, melody, and chord grids that you can play by one to multiple players. It comes in a spiral plastic comb binding for easy page flipping. Furthermore, the physical book’s size is only 9×12 inches and weighs only 2.4 pounds for easy storage and use.

Pros:

  • Chords are easy to play
  • Vast variety of song choices
  • Chord placement is accurate

Cons:

  • Kindle version is too small to read
  • Spiral binding not secure enough
  • Chord diagrams are seen only at the top of the page

There are many classic and unconventional songs that you can discover with this book as you go along. Additionally, the only drawback to the physical book is that it is spiral-bound. Thus, this makes it a little fragile to use.

Alfred’s Ukulele Chord Chart: A Chart of All the Basic Chords in Every Key, Chart

Alfred’s Ukulele Chord Chart covers 96 different chords that you can use to master as a beginner and brush up on as a professional. This book has a chord accompaniment guide that shows the three principal chords that you should know if you are using a ukulele. Furthermore, this is the shortest one on the list as it only has 4 pages in total but is very informative if you lack chord knowledge. It is an exercise guidebook meant to expand your horizons so you can play more chords from different songbooks of various levels.

Pros:

  • Good reference when playing songs
  • Main chart matrix folds open and reads easily
  • Legend is beginner-friendly

Cons:

  • Does not list chords in order
  • Can be overwhelming for new players
  • Chart pictures are small to read

This book is a great guide for every ukulele player who wishes to learn about chords in a song they are playing. However, the only issue here that you may encounter is its information is so compact, it can be overwhelming for you at first glance.

Key Considerations When Buying a Ukulele Book

Buying musical lesson books can be very refreshing if you are starting out. Ukulele books can be deceiving if you do not read its content summary before you buy them. Whether you are shopping for a book for yourself or as a gift to give, there are some things you should know first. By looking at the key considerations below, you can get the most out of the product.

  • Target Audience – Ukulele books have a label that says the skill level that it is for. Some ukulele books are for children who are starting out, and some are for professionals. Just like any songbook, you should look at the songs that are in the book that interests you. Do not buy a book where you are not interested as it will only waste your time and money.
  • Content – Some ukulele books are primarily songbooks, which you may be able to learn from if you know how to read a songbook. Furthermore, if you are still starting out, look for books that can teach you how to play the ukulele, its parts, and other related topics. There are also ukulele books that will teach you how to play a certain style for a certain kind of a ukulele. If you own more than one ukulele, you should own books that relate to them so you can get the most out of them.
  • Price – Books may or may not have the same price for similar content, depending on who wrote them. Sometimes, a book may be more expensive because it is more up to date. We recommend that you buy a newer version because you may learn more from it. Not only that, buying older books may lead to outdated information if you do not know what you are reading at all. 
  • Reviews – A good ukulele book should have good reviews. A bad book that is not well written will be poorly received by its audience. Instructional books should also have good reviews. Read the reviews of a book before you buy it. It will really help you out in picking the right one for you. 
  • Author Credibility – Choosing a book based on the author is sometimes just like choosing a movie based on the actor who stars in it. This kind of thinking is up to you. However, you should buy a book that has a good author. A ukulele book should be written by an expert in the music field. If you buy a book that is not by someone who knows what they are talking about, then you won’t be sure what you are reading.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, finding the right book will be hard if you are not sure what to look for. There are numerous ukulele books that you can run into today that have many good reviews. Some of these include the ones above. However, everyone is different and some of the suggestions may not fit you. Therefore, if you find that some of the items aren’t the best for you, keep your mind open.

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