Forget all the rules of fight club because we want to talk about this! Who even knew that ukulele fight club was a real thing? A lot of people, evidently! It’s not just here in Columbia, or Missouri, or even just the USA. No, this is a global thing. And why not? Ukuleles are the perfect instrument: small and portable, not too expensive or complicated, and you can sing and play at the same time. Ukuleles have shown up all over the place in popular music from Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow/It’s A Wonderful World” to anything by NeverShoutNever.
The library is a great place to learn this new skill. Check out some of these great books to help you get started:
“Mel Bay’s Ukulele Method for Chord and Melody Playing” by Roy Smeck teaches chords, melody playing, rhythm accompaniment, strumming strokes and techniques and movable chord forms.
“Absolute Beginners Ukulele” by Steven Sproat features step-by-step picture to help you begin playing chords and work up to playing along with a backing track on an accompanying CD.
“Learn to Play Fingerstyle Solos for Ukulele” by Mark Kailana Nelson offers a sampling of finger style solo arrangements of classic Hawaiian songs, folk songs, standards and classical guitar and also comes with a play-along CD.
“The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Playing the Ukulele” by David Hodge “covers all the basics” for a beginner, and it comes with a CD containing music samples and exercises.
Once you’ve gained a little bit of experience you can try “Understanding Ukulele Chords” by Robbert Van Renesse to increase your skills.
Don’t want to learn to play but just want to listen? Check out one of these CDs from our music collection:
“Peace, Love, Ukulele” by Jake Shimabukuro
“Ukulele Songs” by Eddie Vedder
“An Evening with Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer” by Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer. And as a special bonus on this one, not only do you get to hear Amanda Palmer play the ukulele, you also get to hear Neil Gaiman sing!
Come out and join us as the Columbia Public Library hosts a Ukulele Fight Club Concert and Sing Along on July 30 in the Friend’s Room (no registration required). From 6:30 p.m.-7 p.m. you can visit with club members to learn how to play the ukulele and get some tips if you already play. The concert and sing along will be from 7 p.m.-8 p.m. So come on out and fight, fight, fight! Or sing, sing sing! Or you could just tap a toe.