It is about time, with Halloween nearing, for me to wake from the dead…
Rest assured, dead I have not been, I have merely chosen for a while to remain unseen!
Ryan Taylor, a composer, conductor, baritone vocalist and ukulele player from the US recently sent me an ebook for review, entitled The Haunted Ukulele, which consists of “a monster collection of 59 spooky songs”.
Buy on Amazon.com (paperback format)
Buy on Sellfy (PDF version)
So Trick or Treat ?
General presentation :
The book definitely falls into the treat category. Besides being a vocalist, Ryan Taylor leads the UFO HUM (Ukes for Others : Happy Ukulele Movement). Over the years he has collected over hundred songs on the theme of Halloween from which he has selected the 59 he found most compelling. Drawings by Ryan pleasantly illustrate the book and emphasize the humorous side he is taking on the macabre theme.
The Haunted Ukulele has been written by a musician and it shows : you will find scores that are professionally laid out for each song. The songs selection covers several musical styles, from traditional, ragtime, to classical. All arrangements are very neat with a good mix between strumming and fingerpicking. A diagram of the chords used is displayed for each song which come in quite useful as there are many songs with numerous chords. Where the songs are strummed, rhythm patterns are indicated. When the songs use fingerpicking, Ryan gives guidelines using different types of notation according to the complexity of the song.