Bob Brozman Ukulele DVDs:
Your Comprehensive Guides for Mastering the Uke
Bob has been playing and teaching ukulele since 1974, and really understands that ukulele may be, for some people, a first entry into the joys of music. The new Ukulele Toolbox lessons are packed with simple yet powerful ideas to quickly advance your playing, your song accompaniment, your improvising - and your understanding of how thousands of songs typically work.
Bob Brozman now offers 3 different Ukulele DVDs to choose from:
How to decide which DVD is right for you?
History, Sizing, and Tuning of Ukuleles
The Ukulele Toolbox - Volume #1
Music and Tab file on DVD to view or print.
This DVD is jam-packed with invaluable musical information, from the most basic chords and strums for beginners to a myriad of musical ideas and techniques for those with some uke experience.
You'll learn to play in a variety of keys and American roots music styles including blues, early jazz, ragtime, and basic Hawaiian. Bob provides exercises, music theory, strumming and fingerpicking techniques, rhythmic variations, scales, harmony lines, major and minor chords and progressions, and much more.
If you are a beginner, this lesson will get you off to a great start. More experienced strummers will soon learn new and exciting ways to make music on this unique instrument, adding spice and excitement to your songs.
The Ukulele Toolbox - Volume #2
Music and Tab file on DVD to view or print.
Bob brings it up a notch as he starts off with a catchy 8-bar Ukulele Rag, then explores diminished chords, vamps, chord substitutions, advanced strumming and fingerpicking variations, rhumba rhythms, chord melodies and lots more.
He continues his exploration into American roots music styles - blues, ragtime, early popular songs, and '20s jazz - plus Bob's 2-finger system for Hawaiian, African, and Mexican sounds. He discusses music theory, chord voicings, harmonies and many other topics that will add to your overall musicianship. It's hard to overemphasize how much Bob packs into this lesson!
The Ukulele Toolbox will help players at all levels master this versatile little instrument. You'll be amazed at all you can do on the ukulele!
Ukulele Tunes & Techniques
with Special Guest, Ledward Kaapana
55 min. Tab Enclosed.
Bob jumps right into this fascinating lesson with a potpourri of strums, rolls, triplets and syncopated fingerpicking patterns for the ukulele. You'll combine all these techniques on the traditional Hawaiian piece Hi'ilawe, and segue into a medley of other traditional songs, Tomi Tomi and Meleana'E. The Beach at Waikiki and My Own Iona will add to your repertoire of chord shapes, progressions and parallel harmony lines.
The blues is not normally associated with the uke, however, the instrument can play funky chord progressions, turnarounds and down-and-dirty blues licks. Bob shows how chord inversions and extensions can create a full-blown blues instrumental. The lesson moves on to arrangements of early jazz standards Sweet Georgia Brown and I'll See You In My Dreams, with hot chord solos and fingerpicking melody.
As a special feature, Bob introduces the Hawaiian ukulele master Ledward Kaapana, one of the world's greatest players, as his special guest. This video will give you an excellent overview of the ukulele's potential for a variety of musical styles.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THESE DVDs?
THE UKULELE TOOLBOX series is in C tuning (G-C-E-A), and is suitable for Soprano, Concert and Tenor ukuleles (please see below for a thorough explanation of these different uke sizes). These DVDs are designed to build on easy-entry fundamentals, providing a huge toolbox of useful techniques, sounds, and concepts. For beginner and intermediate/advanced players alike, these lessons are packed with ideas which can be applied to many types of music, from vintage popular uke songs to blues, jazz, swing, Caribbean, and Hawaiian sounds. This series is a great starting place for beginners, but will also offer intermediate and advanced players powerful tools and shortcuts for improvising and arranging.
UKULELE TUNES & TECHNIQUES is for Soprano ukuleles, tuned in the traditional D tuning (A-D-F#-B ; one step higher than C). The chord shapes are the same, but the chord names will be a step higher than in C tuning. Many similar ideas and right-hand techniques are covered, at a slightly more advanced level, including blues and jazz hot chord and melodic fingerpicking solos involving left-hand ideas.
UKULELE HISTORY, SIZING, AND TUNINGS:
1880-1930: Portuguese instruments similar to the Ukulele were brought to Hawaii by sailors, and Hawaiians adapted these instruments for their unique music. By 1890, Portuguese-Hawaiian makers began building Soprano ukes (today’s smallest size body, tuned in D tuning: A-D-F#-B). After the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco, Hawaiian music swept the country in performances and recordings, the first nationwide world-music craze. In 1917, the C.F. Martin Guitar Company began building Soprano ukes and larger bodied 8-string “taro patch” ukes (the latter was typically tuned in C tuning: G-C-E-A). During the Jazz Age of the 1920s, Martin built far more ukuleles than guitars, and the first popular wave of the uke was at its peak in the late 1920s. As it does today, the ukulele brought music to millions of people who had never played an instrument before.
1930-1970s: Ukulele activity began to subside, with a brief small wave of popularity in the early ‘50s, thanks to Arthur Godfrey and the invention of the plastic ukulele. The Soprano uke continued to be built and tuned in D (A-D-F#-B), though a few larger-bodied Concert ukes (tuned in C: G-C-E-A) were also built by Martin and a few other companies. In the 1930s and ‘40s, Martin also began to build Tenor ukuleles which were also tuned in C (G-C-E-A), but with the 4th (G) string an octave lower than the 4th (G) string of a Concert uke (this 4th string is usually a wound, heavier string on a Tenor uke).
1980s-1990s: In Hawaii, the revival of Slack Key Guitar and Hawaiian roots music in general began to encourage the building and playing of more Concert and Tenor size ukuleles, both tuned in C (G-C-E-A). Many people who own Soprano ukes today do tune to C tuning, however the smaller bodies of Soprano ukes really “sing” better in the higher D tuning.
1990s-Present: We are now in a second, even larger golden age of ukulele building, playing, and activity. Good sounding, playable instruments can be found for $75-200, and there are beautiful instruments being made and sold up to thousands of dollars. Many modern ukes are more like the traditional Concert Size, which is to say slightly larger bodies and longer neck lengths, which accommodate C tuning beautifully.
Soprano ukes typically are built with a 13-1/2” scale length (distance from nut to bridge).
Concert ukes typically have a scale length of around 15”.
On Tenor ukes, the scale length is slightly longer, and the body is slightly larger than a Concert uke.