You should have no trouble locating Hawaiian ukulele music books. The ukulele is the instrument most associated with Hawaiian music, and if that's where your interest in the ukulele lies, then it will be easy. If, however, you want something more popular, you will have to look at particular song books associated with celebrities like Jumpin' Jim Beloff. On the other hand, if you just want a basic beginner's book, then the style of music is not as important.
Hawaiian music tends to be centered around cultural stories, romantic love, and the experience of the islands. Much of the music written for the ukulele comes from the Hawaiian people and the aristocracy in Hawaii. The rhythms tend to be slow and very melodic, somewhat dreamy. "Aloha Oe" is an example of an anthem composed by Queen Lili'uokalani for the ukulele that features two lovers saying farewell to each other. It's also featured at the end of parties, meetings, and sadly funerals. There are many music books devoted to songs created by the Hawaiian aristocracy.
Jumpin' Jim Beloff and his Flea Market Music is quite contemporary. He has written a number of music books for all levels of ukulele artists. He has CDs and DVDs, too, for people who want to follow along. Many of his music books have his trademark name on them, "Jumpin' Jim," or indicate it is his with the Flea Market Music motif.
If you are just starting out, you can opt for beginner's books. These will include only songs that aren't too difficult to learn. You want to try to stick to uke music books that are at your level of mastery. If you get books that have songs that are too challenging, it will discourage you from continuing to play this fun and intriguing instrument.
Start off slowly and make sure that the books that you get are ones that you can use. They should include ukulele chord charts
and be easy enough for you to read. Within these books, it is likely
you will find some Hawaiian themes and some more popular songs. This way
you can get a sampling of both styles and figure out which appeal to
you more. Have fun!
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