I’m taking a break from my blog slumber to give anyone wishing to improve his/her fingerstyle ukulele technique enough to work on until I release a new post.
There has been quite a lot happening on the classical ukulele front lately.First piece of news, Wilfried Welti from Switzerland has created his own website where you can purchase three ukulele ebooks of his arrangements for a very moderate price. If like me, you do learn by ear more than by studying music sheet, you should consider buying the series of recordings (MP3 format) Wilfried has made along with the ebooks.
All three ebooks are available on his site :
– Alte Musik mit der Ukulele (Early music on the ukulele, mostly Renaissance and Baroque)
– Keltische Musik mit der Ukulele (Celtic music on the ukulele)
– Klassische Musik mit der Ukulele (Classical music on the ukulele)
Wilfried has kindly sent me a sample of his work and I can say that it is very neatly laid out, with great attention to detail, in fact with much more information than I am able to read as far as music theory is concerned. His work is as neat as his playing and listening to this video will give you an idea just how neat that means.
The Frog Galliard by John Dowland, arranged and performed by Wilfried.
More videos are available on his YouTube channel.
Second piece of news is a brand new website for classical ukulele player Jamie Holding from the United-Kingdom. Jamie has also published a series of ebooks with ukulele arrangements of classical pieces initially written for the lute or classical guitar, instruments which he both plays.
I have purchased a few of Jamie‘s arrangements, and I can recommend the Dowland and Sor ebooks.
You can download a sample arrangement for free on his website here : Robert de Visée suite nr 9 in Dm.
Next, if you suffer from UAS (Ukulele Acquisition Syndrome) and now have a collection of different ukes at home, some in re-entrant tuning, other with low G or even DGBE tuning, you might want to try Roger Ruthen’s universal tabs. Roger has written many arrangements which he calls Ukiversal tabs that can be played on all ukulele tunings. Which means you can use the same tab whether you are playing on a baritone uke or a soprano tuned GCEA. So basically you only have to learn one tab to play on your different ukes but that tab will produce different sounds depending on which uke you play it on.
There is quite a large number of tabs to choose from, all available for free, so you’re sure to find something you’d like to try out.
If classical music is not your cup of tea, you might want to try a different kind of fingerstyle uke, with some Bluegrass. Aaron Keim has created a series of tutorials to help you master the basics. You can send a mail here to receive the tabs to go through the tutorials.
Here is the first video in the series, you can find the other videos here.
Although I haven’t checked any of the books myself, Ondrej Sarek from Czechoslovakia has sent me a mail to inform me of the publication of four ebooks of ukulele sheet music, which you can purchase from Amazon.com:
– Antonín D voák: Biblical Songs
– Comprehensive Slide Ukulele: Guidance for Slide Ukulele Playing
– Irish tunes for all ukulele: For C, D and G (Bariton) tuning
– Gospel Ukulele Solos: For C tuning
If you have tried any of these books, please let us know in a comment.
If I have missed on any interesting fingerstyle ukulele links, do let me know and I’ll update the post.