|Get Plucky With the Ukulele
Paperback – Octopus Books
176 Pages and Foldout Chart
Audience – Any Player
Ukulele pictured – Custom Talsma Ukulele
Will Grove-White was bitten by the ukulele bug early in life. As a teenager, he became enamored with the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain and was quickly asked to sit in with them. Today he continues to help this amazing group entertain audiences across the globe.
Will has written a book that is a little bit biography with the rest split between history and musical instruction. Easy to read, this is full of stories about the early days of the instrument and its origins. Tales of the beginning of the golden age and the heroes of the ukulele bring the narrative right up to modern times. Short vignettes include Formby, Shimabukuro, Whitcomb, Khuary, The Beatles, Eddie Vedder and even the Ukulele Slayer.
Get Plucky: How to Play the Thing takes up the last half of the book. It starts off with talking about choosing a size and works your way up through materials and where to buy. There’s even a warning about UAS, Ukulele Acquisition Syndrome! Then it gets into tuning and even playing left-handed for the southpaws! Then a few one chord songs, two chord songs and before you know it you are playing three chord songs like a pro.
And as you go from the major chords into the minors you discover that Will has painlessly fed you a bit musical theory. With additional tips on writing music, chord progression and performing, he finishes with some trouble shooting tips. The icing on the cake is a fold out chord sheet with 240 chords shown on it.
For the new player this is probably the one book to get them. The lavish illustrations, nice narrative and compact format provide pretty much everything a beginner needs to become comfortable with their new instrument.
I just hope Will gets back into my area in the not so distant future so that I can get my copy autographed!