How To Play Ukulele (Book Review of Dan Scanlan's New release)  



Let me begin with this disclaimer, I never say anything negative about my pal Dan Scanlan. To do so would be Fake news. Dan is one of a kind and we as ukulele players, would do well to know our instruments history as lovingly as Dan, start a ukulele club and manage it for eons like Dan, Travel the world in search of our GCEA history and give, of ourselves so freely to those looking to learn. Dan is a role model in the ukulele universe and we are all better because of this...To boot, he has put his vast wellspring of knowledge into a book, so that others might seek what he has spent the last 60 plus years unraveling. 

But first, do yourself a favor and read a blog post I wrote about Dan's work on my Fountain of Uke Blog back on May 23rd 2013.  

Here it is:

And now onto his new book. 

While Dan Scanlan's new 176 page primer on How To Play The Ukulele published by Simon & Schuster, isn't the first publication to serve as a guide for the budding ukulele player, it is unique in many ways and goes where others feared to tread.

To be clear, How To Play Ukulele, is a nuts and bolts primer for beginners. What this book has that others lack, is a real maturity in its breadth. For starters, Dan has been playing Ukulele for over 60 years and that's something most guitar-picking-let-me-write-a-uke-book, posers can only dream of. Dan explains chords,melody, harmony, scales, strumming, history, tricks, and more; along with a great variety of original and time-honored traditional tunes. 

Essentially, this manual has everything an aspiring ukulele player might hope for in a starters guide. 

Throughout, Dan speaks in a very user-friendly way that feels like he's standing patiently beside you, pointing the way towards your first C chord. 

In essence, you can feel the love that this man has for the instrument and that he really wants you to learn. 

The book includes side-bars for ukulele tips which are helpful in moving beyond the basics, as well as ukulele heroes, which point the uninitiated in the right direction, whence we're seeking some inspiration. Dan is a humble dude, so let me be the one to say it, the real ukulele hero amongst his list is...well...Dan "Cool Hand Uke" Scanlan! 

As of this post, all of the Amazon Reviews are positive and I would highly recommend this book. I am hoping that Dan and/or his publisher will supplement this fine publication with online audio or video access so the beginning student can hear as well as see what his lessons are suppose to sound like. As a author of over 12 instructional manuals, I consider this an absolute must and I am sure that this is in the works as we speak! 

How To Purchase The New Book from Amazon:

How To Find Dan Online:

Until Next Time,


Lil Rev / 8-24-18


Hi there! Thanks for stopping by my little spot on the Internet! For those of you who don’t know me already, I am a musician, educator, and storyteller of American roots music and culture with a particular love for all things ukulele and harmonica.

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