About nine months ago, I embarked on a grand adventure in the world of teaching the ukulele. It’s ended up being one of the most amazing projects I’ve ever had the opportunity of being apart of, and now, after much hard work and many long days, I finally get to tell you about it! With more excitement than I can contain, in less than 12 days (April 15th, 2013, to be exact), I am releasing my brand new ukulele lesson book titled Ukulele Exercises For Dummies.
This book is a practice-based book created for ukulele players who want to take their technique and skills to the next level. Ukulele Exercises For Dummies focuses on many different aspects of playing the ukulele like strumming, fingerpicking, learning the ukulele fretboard, soloing in different styles and much more. The book contains hundreds of different exercises and a broad selection of practical songs in various styles that get you making beautiful-sounding music on the ukulele.
Right now, pre-order the book for a special discounted price on Amazon:
For my Australian, New Zealand, or worldwide friends, pre-order the book from BookDepository.co.uk, since they are stocking the book and offering free worldwide shipping.
Note: After the book officially releases, the price will go up, so be sure to take advantage of the special pre-order price these online bookstores are offering.
To write this book, I teamed up with Wiley Publishing (the For Dummies people). Alistair Wood, author of Ukulele For Dummies and founder of Ukulele Hunt, was so kind to recommend me to author this book. Even more so, I was absolutely honored to have him as a contributing editor for the book. Al’s role and expertise was pivotal in writing Ukulele Exercises For Dummies. I am very thankful for his and the rest of the team at Wiley’s hard work.
How This Book Will Help You
I wrote Ukulele Exercises For Dummies to be a book for ukulele players who want to take the next step and push their ukulele playing to a higher level. Still though, I wrote the book in a way that allows even entry-level ukulele players to jump right in and start improving their skills. In a whoppin’ 240 pages, I cover things like:
- Creating rock-steady strumming patterns and rhythms using a variety of ukulele chords
- Practicing advanced strumming techniques like the chnk strum, muted strums and rolling finger strums
- Becoming a better fingerpicker with patterns, arpeggio exercises and solo fingerpicking pieces
- Expanding your fretboard knowledge and crafting your own rock, blues and jazz riffs and solos
- Applying techniques to play actual songs on the ukulele – everything from the classic ukulele tunes to the 12 bar blues
- Downloadable audio files of the exercises found in the book (256 total audio tracks, to be exact!)
Ukulele Exercises For Dummies is a little different than most books in that the book is more of a reference book rather than one you would read from cover to cover. I wrote it in a way so you can skip around and focus on practicing the things that interest you most.
Inside the Cover (Table of Contents)
Ukulele Exercises For Dummies is organized in a way where you can jump around to the parts of playing ukulele that interest you most. As you use this book, don’t hesitate to select exercises and songs to practice from different chapters.
The following gives you a bird’s-eye view of what you’ll find in the book. Throughout the chapters, there are many practical songs that give you an opportunity to apply your skills and technique. To see the songs and specific techniques you learn in the book, download and see a more in-depth table of contents here.
Part I: Getting Started with Ukulele Exercises
- Chapter 1: Preparing to Practice
- Chapter 2: Warming Up for Practice
Part II: Becoming a Better Strummer
- Chapter 3: Foundations For Strumming
- Chapter 4: Building a Repertoire of Strumming Patterns
- Chapter 5: Taking Strumming Patterns to a Higher Level
- Chapter 6: Refining Advanced Strumming Techniques
Part III: Becoming a Better Fingerpicker
- Chapter 7: Examining Fingerpicking Technique
- Chapter 8: Developing Rhythmic Fingerpicking Patterns
- Chapter 9: Improving Your Solo Fingerpicking Skills
- Chapter 10: Taking a Deeper Look at Single-Note Fingerpicking Techniques
Part IV: Mastering the Ukulele Fretboard
- Chapter 11: Learning the Fretboard with Major Scales
- Chapter 12: Taking On Three Minor Scales
- Chapter 13: Commanding the Fretboard with Chords
- Chapter 14: Using Scales to Solo and Improvise
Part V: The Part of Tens
- Chapter 15: Ten Ways to Improve Your Practice Times
- Chapter 16: Ten Tips for Every Performing Ukulele Player
Grab the Table of Contents and Sample Chapter
As a way to say thank you for all of your support and patience while I was writing this book, please download, preview and enjoy the full Chapter 8 ‘Developing Rhythmic Fingerpicking Patterns’ from Ukulele Exercises For Dummies.
Chapter 8 explores various rhythmic fingerpicking patterns that can be used to fingerpick the chord progression of a song. In this chapter, you use your fingerpicking skills to fingerpick two different songs: The Water Is Wide and I Am a Poor Wayfaring Stranger, made popular by Johnny Cash and Emmylou Harris. Rhythmic fingerpicking patterns provide a steady rhythmic foundation to a song, so you can sing out the melody of a song, or accompany other instrumentalists.
When you get your copy of Ukulele Exercises For Dummies, you will be able to download and listen to the audio demonstrations to hear exactly how the patterns and songs are played.
Pre-order the Book and Win a Free Ukulele
To celebrate the book’s release, I am giving away a free, brand new Kala Archtop Tenor Ukulele KA-JTE!
This ukulele is quite special and one-of-a-kind in its appearance: it’s an archtop ukulele. You’ll notice there isn’t a round soundhole directly beneath the strings; instead, there are two F-holes. The ukulele comes equipped with a spruce top, mahogany back and neck, rosewood fingerboard, and electronics (that is, a pickup), so you can easily connect and plug in the ukulele to an amplifier.
To enter to win a Kala Archtop Ukulele KA-JTE ($300 value), follow these three easy steps:
- Pre-order two or more copies of Ukulele Exercises For Dummies (one for you and one to give to a friend) by April 15, 2013 (the book’s US release date).
- Forward me a copy of your receipt that confirms you purchased two or more copies of the book to: book [at] ukuleletricks.com
- On April 15th, when the book officially releases, I will randomly draw a winner and announce who it is right here on UkuleleTricks.com.
Update: We have a winner! The giveaway is closed for entry. Check out my video announcement of the winner here.
Again, you must pre-order two or more copies of the book to enter and email me your receipt. Ukulele Exercises For Dummies is available for pre-order for a special discounted price at any of the following online bookstores:
If you live in a country not listed here, post a comment, and I will try to help you find a way to pre-order the book.
My Sincere Thanks to You
I can’t overstate how thankful I am for your support. I’ve played music my entire life, and it’s truly a blessing and honor to be able to be supported by you, so I can help others learn how to play the ukulele. It’s unbelievable to me and I’m so thankful! To my students in the Ukulele Strumming Tricks course, thank you, and to those of you who will pre-order the book, I can’t thank you enough. I hope you enjoy.
Your Questions and Comments
Do you have a question about the book that I haven’t addressed here? Post a comment below and I can help you out!