Ukulele & Languages

Different countries,
Different cultures
one common language... the ukulele.

Ukulele : Fingerstyle Uke by Rob MacKillop

29 2009

Rob MacKillop has opened an online store for Fingerstyle Ukulele Arrangements.

He has written a series of e-books on fingerstyle uke :
– 10 Progressive Fingerstyle Studies for Uke
– 20 Spanish Baroque Pieces by Gaspar Sanz arranged for Uke
– 20 Celtic Fingerstyle Uke Tunes
– 20 Pieces from Briggs’ Banjo Instructor [Boston, 1855]

I’ve just bought the 20 Celtic Fingerstyle Uke Tunes (cost : £5) and it consists of 20 Scots and Irish tunes arranged for the ukulele.
The first part of the book shows neatly layed-out tabs for the different tunes while the second part contains tabs and scores for fans of standard music notation.

On this page, you can find all the mp3’s for the different tunes which helps you figure out how they should be played by someone who can play (I’m a beginner so this really helps). Talking about levels, there are tunes for all kind of ukulele levels.

Right now I’ve started to work on the tune Drowsy Maggie.

Update: after reading this post, Rob has kindly added the slow version of Drowsy Maggie to his website. Many thanks Rob !

Rob MacKillop is in the process of adding new things to his website so you will also find videos for certain tunes as well as mp3’s of slowed-down versions with commentaries (example), splitting the tunes up in phrases with explanations on how to play them. This is really helpful but not yet available for all the e-books.

Here is an example of a video : Briggs’Breakdown Jig Reel (from the e-book :20 Pieces from Briggs’ Banjo Instructor)


  1. Ukulele Perspective on the 10th of September 2009 @ 01:32

    This is great. I love the fingerpicking approach to uke and have been looking for pieces that are challenging but not overwhelming to learn to play. I just bought 3 of the ukebooks from Rob and can’t wait to start playing. Thanks for posting this link. I don’t know if I would have found it otherwise.

  2. Armelle Europe on the 10th of September 2009 @ 08:34

    Ukulele Perspective : Thanks for the feedback. Rob’s arrangements are great. On his Celtic ebook, you can try to work on Drowsy Maggie or Bank of Ireland which are accessible and fun to play.
    If you are interested in fingerpicking style ukulele, you may also want to check the tips given by Ken Middleton in this interview :

  3. Brad on the 10th of February 2010 @ 22:27

    Where did you purchase the books? I don’t see them available on his website.

  4. Armelle Europe on the 10th of February 2010 @ 22:35

    Brad : The links seem to have changed since I last bought a book from Rob. There used to be Add to Cart icons before.
    I will try to contact him and get back to you when I find out more.

  5. Brad on the 10th of February 2010 @ 23:23


  6. Armelle Europe on the 11th of February 2010 @ 12:13

    Brad : Looks like you’ll have to be patient. Here is Rob’s answer :
    “The ukulele books will be published later this year or early next year by Mel Bay, so I can’t really sell them at all. The good news is that they will be printed well and come with a CD. Four new Mel Bay ukulele books…I have had quite a few requests for them, but people will just have to wait, I’m afraid, but I think they will be worth waiting for. My book of fingerstyle studies has increased from ten to twenty. I tried to make these new ones easier, but still effective. One in particular, ‘How About A Little Blues?’, has, I’m pleased to say, become an instant favourite with my students.”

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