On the front of this utterly charming little book it says ‘Everything you need to know about the ukulele and how to play it’ and that’s pretty much what it does. Beautifully written and presented, it’s a gentle meander through the ukulele’s humble beginnings in Portugal, to King David Kalakaua of Hawaii’s epic all-night hula parties in the 1870s, to the global revival we are enjoying today.
The 20th century pages tell the story of legends such as May Singhi Breen (‘The Ukulele Lady’), ‘Wizard of the Strings’ Roy Smeck and that cheeky chappie George Formby – some of whose songs were banned by the BBC for his saucy lyrics. And there, in the ‘Modern Revolution’ section, right next to Amanda Palmer, and I kid you not, a mere 12 pages away from the Beatles are The pUKEs!
Good for beginners and certifiable uke obsessives alike, the book is packed with trivia, photographs, song sheets, chord diagrams, tuning advice, strumming techniques and tips on what to look for when buying your first instrument. There’s information on festivals, clubs, workshops, and well, most things you can think of from the amazing world of the ukulele.
At just eight inches square, it won’t quite fit into your soprano case, but Ukulele Crazy will look lovely on your bedside table and will make a delightful stocking filler for the uke fan in your life.
Buy here from Amazon priced £6.99