Free Music!!

Need a diversion? Now you can download my long-playing short-selling album “Uke-a-Rama” for free on Bandcamp. Here’s your chance to hear all of your favorites from the Ukulele Happy Hour. Or check out some of my other recordings on Bandcamp, like “Waves of Light,” and the original LP version of “Southern Light,” and the immortal (?) “You Covered My Clam” by the legendary Tex Pistols.

Stay tuned!

I’ve Got Two New Books!!

Cover Image Hawaian and Polynesian Music for Appalachian Dulcimer

Hawaiian and Polynesian Music for Appalchian Dulcimer
Ke Kukima Polinahe

Put some aloha into your playing with Hawaiian & Polynesian Music for Appalachian Dulcimer!

Written in standard notation and tablature for the 3-course dulcimer with the 6+ or 6½ fret, these fingerstyle arrangements are for intermediate to advanced mountain dulcimer players who are looking for a challenge and want to try something new. These arrangements sound best played fingerstyle, and make use of polyphony, harmonics, hammer-ons and pull-offs, and the sweet chords beloved by Island musicians.

Includes access to online audio of all 22 examples and melodies in DAD, CGC and DGD tunings. To help the student master these arrangements, the author provides detailed performance notes for each tune. Includes access to online audio.

For this is a new edition I have added more songs and examples, corrected some errors, and recorded everything. 72 pages, softbound, also available as an e-book.

Available everywhere, or order direct from Mel Bay.

Cover imagae of Old Time Hawaiian Slack Key guitar book.

Old Time Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar

Written in tablature and standard musical notation, Old-Time Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar features 24 of the essential instrumentals every aspiring slack key player should know. These are the classic melodies–with a couple originals–played just as you’d hear them in a backyard party kani kapila–full of interesting twists and turns, sometimes richly complex, but always nahenahe–as natural and refreshing as an ocean breeze.

Includes: • Tablature and standard notation • Notes on tunings, reading music and tablature • Newly revised and correction transcriptions

Learn to play: Pua Lena/Kealoha/E Huli Ho’i Mai/Hula O Makee, Mauna Loa/Pauoa Liko Ka Lehua, Kowali, Paniolo Slack Key, Ku’u Lei Awapuhi Melemele (My Yellow Ginger Lei), Ahe Lau Makani, Nanea Kou Maka i ka Le’ale’a, Moloka’i Waltz, Moana Chimes, Old Timer’s Hula/Slack Key Hula, Hula Blues, Taro Patch Blues, Tiare Tahiti, Kaulana Na Pua, Playful Popoki, ‘Ulupalakua, Kanaka Waiwai, Kimo’s Slack Key, Papakolea

Suitable for intermediate guitarists. 80 pages, soft bound or e-book. Includes access to online audio.

Available everywhere, or purchase direct from Mel Bay.

“Learn to Play Slack Key Style Ukulele”

The newly-revised edition is now available!

No matter if you are a dedicated beginner wanting to expand your playing or an advanced uke-a-banger looking for a new challenge, you will find music to delight your fingers and stimulate your ear. Here is a collection of classic Hawaiian melodies arranged for solo `ukulele, “slack key” style. What’s that? Slack key is a melodic, finger picked musical style created by Hawaiian paniolo in the mid-19th Century. They call it “Hawaiian Soul Music.”

“Learn to Play Slack Key Ukulele” is both a course of study and a collection of great solo arrangements that start out easy and increase in difficulty. Ideal for advancing beginners and intermediate players who already know some chords and strums and are looking to expand their musical horizons. Sixteen classic songs, lessons, exercises, tips on tunings and more.

New Mel Bay edition features more instruction & new arrangements. New audio files with solo ukulele arrangements for all of the exercises and songs are available for download.

Purchase from
Mel Bay
Amazon Kindle
Click here to buy the original “Slack Key Ukulele” CD, with extended performances of many of the songs in the book. Enchanting!

“It Sounds So Sweet: Jug Band Music for Ukulele” — books & CDs now available on Amazon!

Click here to buy the book on Amazon.

Click here to buy the CD on Amazon.

Cover illustration for "It Sounds So Sweet: Jug Band Music for Ukuelel"

“It Sounds So Sweet: Jug Band Music For Ukulele” serves up twenty classic songs from the early years of recording. You’ll get songs from the classic bands like the Memphis Jug Band, Earl McDonald’s Original Louisville Jug Band, The Hokum Boys, and the  Mississippi Sheiks among many others.

In the spirit of jug bands everywhere, I have not limited this collection solely to transcriptions of early jug band recordings – although you’ll find plenty of those. Instead, I have tried to track down the sources for songs that have became part of the jug band revival. Some come from early jazz and hokum bands, others from the repertoire of blues singers or the musical hall stage. There are even a couple songs from old time Appalachian and early country artists. And you’ll find rarities like the complete 1919 version of “Blues My Naughty Sweetie Give to Me,” and the long lost introduction to “Coney Island Roundelay.”

If you like to have fun with your ukulele, you will love this book.

• All arrangements in easy to read tablature and standard notation.
• Alternate and original lyrics for many songs.
• Many arrangements include intros, instrumental solos and bridges transcribed from the original recordings.
• Detailed playing notes to help guide you through the tricky bits.
• Written for standard “My Dog Has Fleas” tuning, playable on any ‘ukulele.

Learn to play these classic songs:

  • Adam and Eve In The Garden of Eden
  • Beedle Um Bum
  • The Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives to Me
  • Coney Island Washboard Roundelay
  • Crazy Words, Crazy Tune
  • Dallas Rag
  • Eli Green’s Cakewalk
  • Evolution Mama
  • Hesitation Blues
  • I’ve Got The Mourning Blues
  • Jug Band Quartette (Jug Band Music)
  • Lazy Lazy River
  • Left All Alone Again Blues
  • Papa’s on The House Top
  • The Sheik of Araby
  • Sitting on Top of the World
  • Stealin’ Stealin’
  • Truckin’ My Blues Away
  • Under The Chicken Tree
  • You May Leave, But This Will Bring You Back




From the author of Mel Bay’s best selling Learn to Play Fingerstyle Solos for Ukulele and Favorite Fingerstyle Solos for Ukulele, we are proud to present Fingerstyle Duets for Ukulele.

This book and accompanying audio offer 21 great songs arranged in 18 duets for fingerstyle ukulele.The songs come from around the world: European waltzes, classic Hawaiian songs, folksongs, Victorian parlor pieces and classical guitar and piano transcriptions.

Nothing in this book will be out of reach of the advancing beginner or intermediate player. Even advanced players will find something to tickle their fancy.The book includes tips on technique and fingerpicking exercises. Many of the songs include lyrics, adding to the flexibility of the arrangements. Included are four etudes – basic duets featuring scaled down melodic parts for the lead ukulele and simple pattern picking for the accompaniment. More advanced duets feature modulations, chord inversions up the neck, and different rhythmic approaches for the right hand in both parts. The book concludes with an arrangement of Erik Satie’s haunting piano piece Gymnopedie #1.

• 18 duet arrangements for fingerstyle ukulele, featuring 21 songs from around the world.
• For advancing beginner, intermediate and advanced ukulele players.
• Written in tablature and standard notation with chord symbols and lyrics.
• Use the book as written, or use the parts to create new vocal arrangements.
• Includes 8 basic fingerpicking exercises and 4 etudes.
• Arrangements are graded in difficulty so students acquire new techniques as they move through the book.
• A CD with all of the music is included to facilitate learning.

Pick up a copy or download the e-Book today from the Mel Bay website!

Mastering Chord Inversions for Ukulele cover.Pick up a copy or download the e-Book today at the mighty Mel Bay Website!

With over 1,000 chord diagrams and 37 full-sized fingerboard charts, Mastering Ukulele Chord Inversions is the most comprehensive and useful ukulele chord book ever published. It includes all the chords you will need for fingerstyle and chord melody arrangements, complex styles like jazz and bossa nova, or simply for tickling your fingers and exercising your brain.

This book can help you find any chord, but will also greatly enhance your understanding of how chords work, enabling you to become a better musician.

Included are three full-sized fingerboard diagrams showing all of the practical chord intervals for major, dominant and minor chords in every key. These will help you visualize how intervals relate to each other. They will also help you play scales and arpeggios and find alternate fingerings for common chords.

Rather than list all the chords of a given type in 12 keys on one page, chords are grouped together by how they are used in a particular key. If you are looking for a G7 chord, you’ll find it alongside other dominant chords like G9, G7b9 and G7#5. Chords which serve similar musical roles are grouped together. Likewise, all the various flavors of major chords (6, 6/9, M7, add 2) and minor chords appear together in one convenient place.

The chord diagrams have the familiar fretboard grid, with the lowest fret clearly marked. In addition, each note in the chord is labeled to aid you in your study.

Each chord appears in several forms that move up the neck. The ukulele’s re-entrant tuning requires either doubling or leaving out certain chord notes to accommodate the instrument’s four strings. This means chord shapes are not inversions, strictly speaking, but the word is as good as any. Practicing inversions as they move up and down the neck is essential to mastering your ukulele.