3 Reasons to Buy Ukulele Excercises for Dummies



Hey there, Ben here filling in for the Vintage Mom!

Lauryn asked me to check out a book she was sent to review and let everyone know what I thought of it. My first thought was, “I must be in 4th grade. Get out your Trapper Keeper, it’s book report time!” But then I found out I wasn’t writing 4 pages, double-spaced on To Kill a Mockingbird, but rather I was reviewing a book on ukulele exercises – woo hoo!

I’ve been playing the ukulele since 2008 when all the cool kids started doing it and posting videos on YouTube. (Search Ben Blakesley on YouTube and you’ll come up with way too many videos of me teaching or playing ukulele…and maybe a beard video or two…) As a guitar player, it was super easy to pick up and start playing uke. The problem is, I never learned how to do it correctly. :-/

Ukulele Exercises for Dummies to the rescue!

I dove right in, found some techniques that I definitely need to improve, loaded up my iPhone’s metronome app (Pro Metronome), and got down to business. After spending some time working on my finger picking, advanced strumming, and melody lines, I was feeling accomplished and reminded of how much musical exercises can really help your playing. Thanks, Ukulele Exercises for Dummies!


So here are 3 reasons you should buy this book, whether you’ve been playing ukulele for years, or you’ve never picked up a uke in your life:

1. It can teach you everything, or just one thing. My absolute favorite part of this book is how it’s organized. It’s written in a way that the sections are not dependent on one another, so you can literally look at the table of contents (or the Contents at a Glance), find the uke exercise that interests you, and just head right to it to begin practicing and improving. No need to slog through strumming patterns if all you want is to be a better finger picker. Brilliant!

2. The exercises are easy to understand and try out. Brett McQueen, the author of this floppy yellow book, gives you the tools to be successful with these lessons, whether you’ve got musical notation knowledge or not. You can read the notes or listen to the audio examples and follow along. Whatever suits your learning style.

3. It’s got something for everyone. Having played for years, I was kind of expecting to be bored by a “dummies” book on playing ukulele, but that wasn’t the case at all. I definitely found exercises that will make me a better player, but at the same time, I could have given this book to anyone with a desire to play and it would have worked for them. Experienced or not.

4. [BONUS] It’s floppy and fits right on your thigh so you can see it easily while playing. :-)

So, thanks, Lauryn, for making me do this book report. I don’t know any other time when writing a book report actually meant playing the ukulele (and getting better at it too).

Disclosure: The Wiley Brand provided the book Ukulele Exercises for Dummies for free in exchange for this post. As always, the opinions contained here are my own.

About Ben Blakesley

Ben gets the inside scoop and reaps the benefits of all the Vintage Mom posts - one of the many perks of filling the role of the Vintage Dad. Outside of editing Lauryn's blog posts and offering many unheeded opinions, Ben is a musician, writer, social media advocate, and connector of people. But only when he's not playing with the kids. :-)

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