• Paul Mansell

My review of Uku Global's new 'Guide to the ukulele'.

Having written a ukulele tutorial myself (Ukulele School) I am always interested to see new ones come onto the market. I was especially interested when I heard that the talented musician and instructor Anne Ku was releasing one.


Just a little about Uku Global first. Uku Global was founded on the belief that ukuleles create community and spread happiness. With those sentiments their guiding principles, they are committed to working with disadvantaged groups. 5 % of their profits are donated to supporting sustainable music education initiatives, trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder programs, and impoverished communities. Now how's that for the ukulele spirit ! I'm feeling cheerful already.

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So let's have a look at the book. It starts right at the beginning, with a little history about the ukulele, which is always nice to see. It then discusses how to hold a ukulele and the correct posture. I really like the way it goes through the different options here - such as sitting, standing, whether to use a ukulele strap etc. It gives great information but ultimately lets you decide what is best for you.



After a brief discussion on the size of Ukulele's it is straight into chords and strumming. I love the way it starts with an Am7 chord and then progresses through simple 1 finger chords. All the time the book is full of handy little hints about correct finger usage.


The book then progresses discussing simple strum patterns, introducing more complex chords and more complex strumming patterns. There is a great bit on the importance of 'Accents' in music - something many books do not cover.


All of the song's in the book are well known 'out of copyright' songs such as Frere Jacques, Happy Birthday etc. The book shows with clear and precise diagrams and pictures everything you need to get you started. I found it beneficial that is showed how many groups lay out songs as when you first start different teachers/groups do things differently, so this was a great resource.


The main reason I like this book so much is that it is very clear and precise, does not miss anything out - and assumes the reader knows nothing at all. It manages to balance doing this without being patronising to the reader, but ensuring they have a really good understanding of the basics. If you get the basic right, and with this book I believe you will, you are onto a winner. The only addition I would like to see with this book is perhaps some downloadable audio to go with it. I think that would be a real benefit for people. Even without that though, it is a great book. Well laid out, well structured, easy to read, good clear and precise pictures this book was clearly written by someone with a great knowledge of ukuleles. More than that though, you get a feeling that the author, Anne Ku, has a real passion for the ukulele. Her enthusiasm just shines throughout the whole book. And the fact that 5 % of the profits from the book go to great causes just echoes that. This book really is full of the 'ukulele spirit'


The book can be purchased from here :


https://ukuglobal.com/store/uku-globals-happy-helpful-guide-to-the-ukulele/


for more information on Anne, who is currently running lots of online, free to attend, strum alongs, please visit :


https://www.anneku.com/



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Tel : 07910 216566
email : pauldcmansell@gmail.com