I have yet to find an ‘ukulele book that comes close to imparting the amount of knowledge a guitar book can – hence this list. Keep in mind that these books are written for guitar. Some level of transposing or backwards thinking will be necessary to convert the examples to ‘ukulele.
By Mick Goodrick – 115 pages.
This one tops the list for the sheer amount and quality of information presented. All examples are in standard notation. Mick covers everything in three sections – the approach, materials, and commentaries – with a unique perspective that turns over many interesting stones. Keep in mind that this is not for the faint at heart. The more experienced player will gain more out of this than a beginner. I highly recommend this book and will be using it for years (and years and years…).
By Jon Damian – 168 pages.
This is a do-it-yourself book. You can gain a lot by just reading all of the insights and info about chords, but there are also instructions on how to build your own chord dictionary. The best part is that Jon doesn’t give you a chart in the book and say “copy this”. It’s more like: “a major 6/9 chord is made with a root, 3rd, 5th, 6th, and 9th. I found [this many] fingerings – here is the first one. Use a fingerboard chart and figure out the rest.” The whole book is really based around intervals and how they fit into each chord. Beyond showing you how to build 7(#9,b13, b9) chords, there are also 4-5 chapters about using the chords, stretches, chord soloing, new ideas, and much more. This book will probably take the most mind bending to adapt to ‘ukulele, but the info is top-notch.
By Joe Satriani – 39 pages.
Containing 41 articles from Satriani’s days as a Guitar magazine columnist, this is a book that you can open up and instantly find something interesting in. The lessons cover everything from scales to chords to ear training and improvisation. It’s not very big, but there are plenty of tidbits to be gained.
By Joe Pass – 60 pages.
This book covers chords and scales from a jazz perspective. All examples are in very-easy-to-read standard notation. Joe covers chord construction, substitution and embellishment, diminished chords, back-cycling, and more. On the scale side: chord scales, ear training, improvising, chord resolutions, altered scales, etc…