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Published by: Ralph Shaw Productions Format: DVD and Booklet Length: 1hr 35mins

  • Take Me Home Country Roads
  • Mister Sun
  • Let Me Call You Sweetheart
  • Kiss Me Once
  • Rolling Down the Hill
  • The Girl From Ipanema
  • Over the Rainbow/Wonderful World
  • The Darktown Strutters Ball
  • A Song To Bring Back Something Which Is Lost
  • I'm Happy
  • Let Me Sing A Country Song

Essential Strums
for the Ukulele!


Review By: Zathras
Last Updated: 8/28/05

Ralph Shaw has finally released the second entry into the Complete Ukulele Course series and it was worth the wait. This is a very polished dvd. Included is a 15 page glossy booklet. It has a few pages outlining the strums covered and the rest of the book is just chords/lyrics for each of the songs. Also included is a very nice chord chart which goes far beyond the basics - covering chords through Dominant Ninth.

The DVD itself opens to the menu which has dedicated video of Ralph demonstrating the strumming techniques covered. The strokes are: Common Strum, March, Waltz, 12-Bar Blues, Triplet Stroke, Bossa Nova, Reggae, Swing, Samba, Bo Diddley Strum, Frailing/Clawhammer, Syncopated (Split Stroke). Several of the strums are covered in the previous DVD but they are presented slower and with more thorough explanation than the previous disc.

Each strum has its own section where it is described and strummed. Then Ralph walks you through the example song with the strum slowly, and then finally the song at full speed (except Somewhere over the Rainbow - which is just walked through).

If you are a very seasoned uke player this might not be the disc for you if you are familiar with most of the strums, but I think most beginner and intermediate players will find it very useful.

I have found myself in a "strum rut" lately - always falling back on the same couple of patterns. So much so it took me a while to get the hang of some of the earlier strums in this DVD, but fortunately this dvd came out at the right time and certainly delivers.

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