Populele - Smart Ukulele

#BacktoSchool Reading List - Ukulele Edition

#BacktoSchool Reading List - Ukulele Edition

Fall is in the air, thus it’s the season to retire to the living room with a good book.

While school is in session again for kiddos, learning is not just for them. You too can get your learning on. As you continue your music classes with the Populele, we wanted to share seven books that will keep you growing in your understanding of the ukulele.

1. “Good Clean Fun: Misadventures in Sawdust at Offerman Woodshop” by Nick Offerman

“Nestled among the glitz and glitter of Tinseltown is a testament to American elbow grease and an honest-to-god hard day’s work: Offerman Woodshop. Captained by hirsute woodworker, actor, comedian, and writer Nick Offerman, the shop produces not only fine handcrafted furniture, but also fun stuff—kazoos, baseball bats, ukuleles, even mustache combs.” - Goodreads

Who doesn't love seeing Nick on video? Here's a conversion he had with Harry Connick Jr. about his DIY ukulele.


2. “The Ukulele: A History” by Jim Tranquada and John King

“Since its introduction to Hawai‘i in 1879, the ‘ukulele has been many things: a symbol of an island paradise; a tool of political protest; an instrument central to a rich musical culture; a musical joke; a highly sought-after collectible; a cheap airport souvenir; a lucrative industry; and the product of a remarkable synthesis of western and Pacific cultures. The ‘Ukulele: A History explores all of these facets, placing the instrument for the first time in a broad historical, cultural, and musical context.” - Goodreads

Watch an interview with IdeateTV and Jim at the Ukulele Expo 2016.


3. "Sensing the Rhythm: Finding My Voice in a World Without Sound" by Mandy Harvey and Mark Atteberry 

“The inspiring true story of Mandy Harvey—a young woman who became deaf at age nineteen while pursuing a degree in music—and how she overcame adversity and found the courage to live out her dreams. … Full of inspiring wisdom and honest advice, Sensing the Rhythm is a deeply moving story about Mandy’s journey through profound loss, how she found hope and meaning in the face of adversity, and how she discovered a new sense of passion and joy.” - Goodreads

Here is Mandy playing on “America’s Got Talent.”


4. “The Metaphysical Ukulele” by Sean Carswell

“We all know Herman Melville, Jack Kerouac, Thomas Pynchon, Flannery O'Connor, Raymond Chandler, Chester Himes, and Pam Houston. Now meet their metaphysical ukuleles.” - Goodreads

Here is an interview with author Pam Houston and Sean Carswell.


5. “The Uke of Wallington" by Mark Wallington

“When the only gig Mark Wallington's R&B band can get is in a nursing home they decide it's time to call it a day. But then Mark discovers an instrument he might just have enough talent for—the ukulele. Realizing his dream of a nationwide tour, the newly crowned Uke of Wallington sets off on a 42-night road trip, playing open mic sessions from Brighton to Cape Wrath. Probably the first rock and roll tour ever undertaken on public transport, he works his way through the British summer, taking his music to the Great British people, and testing to the limit the theory that you can't hear a ukulele without smiling.” - Goodreads


6. “Ukulele Crazy!: Everything You Need to Know About the Ukulele and How to Play It” by Mike Evans

“A quirky, fun, and practical guide to learning all that you need to learn about one of music's most beloved instruments, from its history to songs to learn. … It provides a fascinating overview of the instrument's history, its key makers, manufacturers, and world famous players as well as covering the more practical, and vital, elements such as what ukulele to buy, what chords to learn, how to strum along to songs, and what festivals to attend if you if you want to jam along with others.” - Goodreads


7. “Roy Smeck: The Wizard of the Strings in His Life and Times" by Vincent Cortese

“ ‘Roy Smeck-The Life And Times Of The Wizard Of The Strings’ is the first book ever written that is devoted solely to the life and history of this musical legend and pioneering force in the popularity of fretted instruments. This intimate portrait chronicles the life of the great Roy Smeck through exclusive interviews with author, friend and student Vincent Cortese, scrapbooks, newspapers and the first hand recollections and anecdotes of the author through his 14-year friendship with Roy Smeck.” - Goodreads


Will you be reading any books about music this fall? Leave a comment below!