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Youtube videos, in person ukulele lessons and courses are all great. But sometimes you just want to pick up a book and learn like that.
Well we’ve got you! This article is a list of the best ukulele books out there, so you can choose the one that’s right for your skill level.
Ukulele Aerobics – Best Overall
Ukulele Aerobics (compare price Amazon, Guitar Center) is a 40-week program that helps you build your ukulele skills by practicing one exercise daily. This book includes practice materials for each day and a downloadable audio access code for all the exercises in the book.
This program improves many aspects of your playing, including speed, agility, accuracy, and coordination. Many musical genres are covered, including pop, rock, folk, blues, jazz, and more.
This is the best overall ukulele book because it is helpful for players at any skill level. The exercises gradually get more complex, so you can always find a challenge. By only working on one exercise daily, you won’t get overwhelmed and will see significant improvement in your playing.
The Daily Ukulele: 365 Songs for Better Living – Premium Option
If you don’t mind spending more, this spiral-bound book features technique lessons, chord charts, and photos of the ukulele being played over the years. Melody and chords are explicitly transcribed for the ukulele.
Some songs included in the book:
- Amazing Grace
- Bad, Bad Leroy Brown
- Bye Bye Love
- Can’t Buy Me Love
- Hound Dog
- I Walk The Line
- Midnight Special
The Ukulele Songbook: 50 All-Time Classics – Best Budget Option
The Ukulele Songbook (Check price Amazon) features 50 popular songs arranged for Ukulele.
This book is less comprehensive than the first two on the list, but it provides what you need to learn some classic songs. Chord symbols, tablature, and lyrics are included in every piece.
This is a basic-level book, so it’s perfect if you’re just starting. The arrangements are simple to learn, and the songs are recognizable. You won’t find any fancy techniques or chord shapes in this book, but it’s a great way to start playing the ukulele.
Some featured songs include:
- House Of The Rising Sun
- Scarborough Fair
- Home On The Range
- Ode To Joy
- The Yellow Rose Of Texas
Ukelele For Dummies
Ukulele For Dummies (compare price Amazon, Guitar Center) is a popular, hands-on guide that teaches you all you need to know about purchasing a ukulele and learning how to play music in various genres.
This book is a superb introduction to the ukulele, covering details like chord shapes and fingerpicking. Audio tracks are available to download, and a list of recommended learning apps is included.
Ukulele for Dummies provides a wide range of musical instruction, including fingerpicking techniques and the chords and patterns you’ll need to play. You’ll also find tips on how to tune your instrument and extend its lifespan.
If you’re a beginner, this is the best ukulele book. The clear instructions and helpful illustrations make learning easy and fun.
Ukulele Primer Book for Beginners
Ukulele Primer Book for Beginners (check price Amazon) is intended to assist beginning ukulele players in learning how to play the instrument. This book can help those with a soprano, concert, or tenor ukulele get started.
These lessons introduce you to the ukulele’s parts, left-hand and right-hand positions for playing chords, and how to strum. You will learn chords and strumming patterns needed to play accessible versions of some popular songs.
The book includes instructions, music notation, practical advice, chord charts, and detailed photographs. Besides the book, you will have access to an 86-minute video providing step-by-step instructions for all songs and techniques covered.
This book will discuss all you need to know about playing the ukulele. This book is perfect if you want to learn at your own pace.
Make Your Own Ukulele: The Essential Guide to Building, Tuning, and Learning to Play the Uke
Make Your Own Ukulele (compare prices Amazon) will teach you how to:
- Make a unique ukulele that’s all your own
- Choose the appropriate wood for building
- Make a simple soprano ukulele in only a few steps
- Make a high-quality ukulele from the ground up
- Set up and play your new instrument
A handmade ukulele that is high quality has a beautiful tone, making it enjoyable to play. However, these instruments can be costly. With the help of Bill Plant, a skillful Australian ukulele player and woodworker, you, too, can learn how to make your own.
Each project has different difficulty levels, so you can make a ukulele that’s as simple or as complex as you want.
With this book, you can see how to build a ukulele that’s genuinely yours. You’ll also get tips on tuning and playing your new instrument. If you’re looking for a creative project, this book is for you.
The Story of Your `Ukulele
The Story of Your `Ukulele (check price Amazon) is a fascinating and accurate account of how the instrument was developed, from its creation to its adoption into Hawaiian culture.
This short story follows Augusto Dias, Manuel Nunes, and Jose de Espirito Santo on a journey across the sea and through the instrument’s invention as told by a descendant of its inventor.
This book is perfect for kids or anyone who wants to know more about the history of the ukulele. It is a quick and easy read with beautiful illustrations.
Music Theory for Ukulele
Music Theory for Ukulele (check price Amazon) is a simple, step-by-step guide to music theory that includes free online video examples.
You don’t need to know how to read music, just follow the clear diagrams and step-by-step examples in this book to put theory into practice.
This step-by-step guide is for you if you recently started playing the ukulele and want more detailed knowledge about how music works.
This book lets you understand the fundamental concepts of music so that you can learn and recall songs more effectively, collaborate with other musicians, and perhaps even create your own.
Universal musical concepts like the circle of fifths, the major and minor scales, and the triads are clearly explained with helpful diagrams. You’ll also learn about more ukulele-specific topics like strumming patterns, chords, and tablature.
With this book, you can finally understand the theory behind the music you love to play on your ukulele.
Ukulele Crazy!: Everything You Need to Know About the Ukulele and How to Play It
Ukulele Crazy! (check price Amazon) is a history of the ukulele, which may be traced back to Portugal, and is currently experiencing a new wave of popularity.
This guide is a fantastic repository of information. From a fascinating look at the instrument’s history, key makers, and famous players to more practical and essential subjects such as what ukulele to purchase, what chords to learn, how to strum along to songs, and where you may perform with others.
Ukulele Crazy! provides a solid overview of everything you need to know about playing the ukulele. If you’re new to the instrument or just looking for a detailed guide, this book is for you.
With Ukulele Crazy!, you’ll have everything you need to start playing the ukulele or take your playing to the next level.
What To Look For In a Ukulele Book
When you invest the time and money into learning a new instrument, it’s essential to ensure you are getting your money’s worth. Here are a few things to keep in mind before you purchase a ukulele.
Start With the Basics
One of the best things about learning to play the ukulele is that it’s relatively easy to pick up. Even if you’ve never played an instrument, you should be able to learn the basics of ukulele playing reasonably quickly.
However, even if you’re a beginner, reading one of the best ukulele books can still be a great way to improve your skills. These books can teach everything from holding and tuning the instrument to more advanced concepts like proper strumming techniques and how to read ukulele music.
Most importantly, make sure the book is tailored to your learning style. If you are a visual learner, find a book with clear illustrations and photos. If you are more of an auditory learner, choose a book with accompanying audio or video. And if you prefer to learn by doing, look for a book with lots of exercises and songs to practice.
The best ukulele books will also teach you about the different styles of music you can play on the instrument. You may be interested to learn that the ukulele is not just for playing Hawaiian songs. The ukulele is versatile and can play various genres, from country to jazz to pop. Books that focus on specific genres can be helpful if you have your heart set on learning to play a specific style of music.
The book should also offer a good selection of songs to play, ranging from simple melodies to more complex pieces. And it should be enjoyable to read, with a light and fun tone that will keep you coming back for more.
A songbook should contain songs you know and love and new songs to keep you motivated. A good book will also have accompanying audio or video, so you can hear how the music should sound and see the proper technique in action. Learning songs you have listened to will help train your ear and make you comfortable with the ukulele’s sound.
A ukulele book should be able to satisfy different levels of students, from complete beginners to those who have been playing for a bit longer. It should be easy to read and understand, with clear illustrations and step-by-step instructions.
Find books that delve into different ideas like modes, improvisation, and songwriting as you get more advanced. These concepts can be challenging to grasp, but a good book will make them easy to understand. You’ll also find that once you start incorporating these ideas into your playing, your creativity will soar, and you’ll be able to create your own songs.
Look for comprehensive books that teach everything from the basics of holding and tuning your ukulele to more advanced concepts such as chords and strumming patterns. These books will give you the foundation you need to become a competent and confident player.
Try to find a book with various exercises at various skill levels. You want to feel challenged but not frustrated. A good book will have you eagerly anticipating your next practice session.
Learn How a Ukulele Is Made
If you want to learn everything about the ukulele, find a book on how to make your own. These books will instruct you on the different parts of the ukulele, how to put it together and how to customize it to your own taste. You’ll also learn about other woods and building techniques. This knowledge can be helpful even if you never make your own ukulele, as it will help you understand how the instrument is made and how to best take care of it.
Many books have helpful add-ons like downloads of extra content, access to online video lessons, or even printed music. Some books are tied to a related app that can be used as a companion to the book. A new generation of apps will listen to you play through your phone’s microphone and offer corrections. This technology is still fairly new but shows great promise in helping people learn to play instruments.
A good book features technical information on caring for your instrument, how to change the strings, and how to tune it by ear without any electronic devices. This is valuable information to have as a ukulele player. For instance, performing a setup on your ukulele to correct the string height can significantly affect how comfortable it is to play and how good it sounds.
Learn the History of the Ukulele
The history of the ukulele is a long and interesting one. This small, four-stringed instrument originated in Portugal but didn’t become popular in Hawaii until the late 1800s.
Not only will you learn about the origins of the ukulele and how it became popular in Hawaii, but you’ll also read about some of the most famous ukulele players in history. These books are the best way to learn more about this unique and exciting instrument.
Since then, the ukulele has been embraced by people worldwide as a fun and easy-to-learn instrument. If you’re wondering about the history of the ukulele, then picking up one of the best ukulele books is a great way to learn more.
Top Ukulele Books, Final Thoughts
No matter your level of experience, one of these books will help you take your ukulele playing to the next level. These are some of the best ukulele books on the market, so you can’t go wrong with them. Consider your interests and needs so you can choose a book and get started on your ukulele journey today.