Although ukulele is quite easy to learn, you will definitely need some inspiring books to get started.
Youtube tutorial videos are amazing, but maybe they are not detailed enough for those who learn from scratch.
- Reading more: 7 Reasons you should be playing Ukulele
If you want to find a ukulele book for beginners, refer to the following 5 best recommendations:
1/ The Ukulele Handbook by Tom Hodgkinson and Gavin Pretor-Pinney:
This book has received a lot of compliments from ukulele amateurs all over the world. It was even called “the Ukulele Bible”, which provides you with all information regarding the history of ukulele, how to play, and even a fantastic songbook.
The Ukulele Handbook is structured in 3 main parts. In the first part, the authors introduce an overview of ukulele history, where it came from, how it became popular, and also some general information about ukulele celebrities like George Formby, Hawaiian legend Israel Kamakawiwo’ole and YouTube ukulele superstar Jake Shimabukuro.
In the second part, you will go deeper in learning practicalities, including the anatomy of a ukulele, types of ukulele, how to tune and pluck the strings, how to read and pick chord charts, etc.
After having learned all the skills needed, you can start playing the songbook. It has a wide option of songs from traditional music to children music and even rock ‘n roll. The illustration is colorful and easy to understand, so it can be considered a must-have for all beginners.
2/ The Magic Ukulele by Dr. Carolan and Auntie Kealoha:
This songbook is very famous among a wide range of musical study materials for children or ukulele beginners. It includes 32 pages and is enclosed with a CD for learners to listen. You will get inspiration to play the instrument at the first time reading it.
In fact, The Magic Ukulele is written for children, but adult beginners can also give it a try. A lot of things are described with colorful drawings to keep readers interested. The author’s unique writing style will create more motivation, prevent you from getting frustrated and giving up early.
All the chord charts are colored – coded to the fretboard and fingers. The songs are also extremely easy to follow. At the end of the book, there is an appendix which provides a simple background and history of the ukulele. You will have an overview about this instrument while learning how to cover beautiful songs at the same time.
3/Get Plucky With The Ukulele: A Quick And Easy Guide To All Things Uke by Will Grove-White:
If you have some free time, this book would be the best choice to read while enjoying a cup of coffee at your favourite place. It was written by Will Grove-White, a very popular ukulele musician and also a member of the world-renowned Ukulele Orchestra in Great Britain.
Similar to “The Ukulele Handbook” mentioned above, Get Plucky also gives you enough information about the history, types of ukulele, and teach you how to play the instrument in detailed directions.
You will feel a strong love and passion for ukulele that the author got across through this book. He has had more than 25 years of experience in the field, so every feeling is real and motivational.
Overall, the learning section really stands out. The author has his own teaching style that you won’t see anywhere else. He always simplifies everything and presents them in a concise way. There are also about 15 songs covered in the book that will inspire you to strum all the time. Try looking through and you will see how it feels!
4/ Ukulele Primer Book for Beginners by Bert Casey:
This is exactly one of the best ukulele books for beginners. It can be used for those who have already got their own instruments but don’t know where to start and also for those who had no experience and want to start from scratch.
The book includes 50 pages discussing 3 types: soprano, tenor and concert ukuleles, with useful tips, chord charts, musical notation, and picture guides. There is even a 86-minute DVD covering all the instructions and important techniques that a beginner should know.
Every lesson is played in different speed so you can choose your own pace before you get to the normal speed. That is also a convenient point for beginners!
5/ Ukulele Aerobics: For All Levels from Beginner to Advanced by Chad Johnson:
As written on the cover, Ukulele Aerobics aimed at readers of all levels, from beginner to advanced. It gives you a lot of different exercises to practice everyday. As you know, practice makes perfect. You can’t stay at one place just studying theory. And this guide can help you improve day-by-day.
The exercises range from the most basic to advanced techniques like strumming, fingerstyle, staccato, and tremolo. They are designed in a 40-week workout program to help you improve your speed, get better accuracy, heightened coordination and more while playing.
You will also be provided with an online audio access code for all the workouts. The song options are wide, including pop, rock, folk, old-time, blues, jazz, etc. You will also learn more advanced skills like hammer-ons and pull-offs, slides, bening, damping, vibrato, and so on.
If you need something to teach yourself the background knowledge of ukulele, just refer to the above 5 best recommended books for beginners. You will enjoy your instrument in every single minute of practicing.