Two-Chord Christmas Songbook by M Ryan Taylor | Play Ukulele Now : an online course by Dan Scanlan

Ukulele Songbooks

Review: The Daily Ukulele

I spent a few days playing through most every song out of Liz and Jim Beloff’s The Daily Ukulele : 365 Songs for Better Living. This songbook includes a year’s worth of tunes (chords/melody/lyrics) : many standards as well a many lesser-known bits, a lot of great songs and some really cheesy ones, from every era and style. Really, with the breadth covered in this book there is something for everyone.

The only drawback to this ukulele songbook is that maybe a third of the selections are keyed too low to be really useful to an experienced singer like myself. However, add a capo to your arsenal (or learn to transpose), and that issue becomes moot.

Some of my favorites that are covered:

  • Ain’t Misbehavin’
  • All My Lovin’
  • The Battle Hymn of the Republic
  • Blue Skies
  • California Dreamin’
  • Close to You
  • Don’t Get Around Much Anymore
  • Dream a Little Dream of Me
  • Don’t Worry, Be Happy
  • Downtown
  • Edelweiss
  • Fields of Gold
  • Good Day Sunshine
  • Goodnight
  • Groovy Kind of Love
  • The 59th Street Bridge Song
  • Happy Together
  • Hard Times Come Again No More
  • Heart and Soul
  • Help
  • Hey Jude
  • How Can I Keep from Singing?
  • I Ain’t Got Nobody
  • I Can’t Give You Anything but Love
  • I’ll Follow the Sun
  • I’m a Believer
  • I’m Henry the Eighth I Am
  • I Saw Her Standing There
  • I Want to Hold Your Hand
  • Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho
  • Keep on the Sunny Side
  • Let it Be
  • Love Potion Number 9
  • Mister Sandman
  • My Favorite Things
  • Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
  • Oh What a Beautiful Morning
  • Peace Like a River
  • Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head
  • Rock Around the Clock
  • Rocky Top
  • Shenandoah
  • Sixteen Tons
  • Sloop John B.
  • Stand By Me
  • Surfin’ USA
  • 26 Miles
  • The Times They are A-Changin’
  • Under the Boardwalk
  • Turn Turn Turn
  • Unchained Melody
  • Up on the Roof
  • Waltzing Matilda
  • What a Wonderful World
  • When I’m Sixty-Four
  • When You Wish Upon a Star
  • With a Little Help From My Friends
  • Wouldn’t it Be Nice
  • Yellow Submarine

That isn’t half of the ones I marked. As you can see, I’ve got plenty to work on. Also, a lot of Beatles tunes in this book (some I’ve never heard of before).

Do I recommend it? Absolutely. Great book and you’ll learn a lot of chords, even if you only play a third of songs in there. At the price it is offered for on Amazon, this book is a real bargain, considering how many copyrighted songs are included. Grab one and start chunking out the tunes.

M Ryan Taylor

Ukulele Beginner Links

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Other Important Ukulele Sites

Things that will make your life easier

Things from Amazon (usually better prices than local stores for these small items):

  • Snark SN-1 Clip On Tuner ($10.26) : Tune quickly and accurately (though don’t forget to use your ears as well).
  • Dunlop Banjo Capo ($14.99) : Raise the pitch of your Ukulele. Sing in a higher key without changing the chords.
  • Manhasset Music Stand ($33.08) : I’ve used all kinds of music stands over the years and this classic is still my favorite.
  • Aquilla Premium Ukulele Strings ($6) : Considered by many the best ukulele strings available. If you have a Lanikai, these are already on your ukulele.

Items you’ll want to go to a music store to get:

  • Metronome : It is best to try out a metronome before you buy it. Some of them have very annoying beeps or clicks that will drive you insane. You’ll want to buy one that you can listen to for a very long time and the only way to know that is to listen to them at the store. Ask one of the music store staff to help you. Prices range from $10 to $50 for electronic models or more for a traditional wind-up metronome.

The Best Songbook

I’ll only be posting ‘public domain’ songs on the site (those written before 1922). So, if you’d like to get a good selection of more modern songs (legally), this is the best book to start with:

Actually, Jim Beloff is the editor for the popular Jumpin’ Jim’s Ukulele books. I have several of these, but the above is the largest.