Monday, December 22, 2008

Uke 'An Play Rock

I used to think that there was no uke book that I couldn't recommend. But here's one. I just flipped through Uke 'An Play Rock at my local music store. I suppose that the contents of this book may lure some teen into playing the uke. (That's great.) There's some Green Day (American Idiot) and Plain White Ts (Hey There Delilah). But honestly, mostly 2- or 3-chord stuff that is super easy to find on the web already. (Meh.)

What's really missing is a CD. I think pairing music books with CDs is about the most important step forward for music education in the last 50 years. I know how to read tabs, but sometimes I play through them and just can't find the groove. A good example is the tab arrangement of Misirlou in Jumpin Jim's Beach Party. I've worked on it for hours. Left it and came back to it agin. And I'm still clueless. A few years ago when the book came out, I mentioned to Jim Beloff that it would be great to have a recording to learn from. Jim agreed, but told me that the costs to buy the rights were really prohibitive.

Anyway, I think that young players would find this particular book to have charts that interest them, but would be totally frustrated in trying to hear them, especially since any uke transcription of a guitar lick is going to sound wrong at first.

I'll admit that I was halfway tempted to buy it anyway. It has a uke arrangement of Randy Newman's You Can Leave Your Hat On (I'd love an entire Randy Newman ukulele songbook!) and Mason Williams's Classical Gas. Still...

If you have a copy and like it, drop a note in the comments, below.


1 comment: said...

Interesting... I haven't really thought about playing rock with the uke.

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