A rare ukulele book recommendation for anyone intrested in learning movable chords and chord-melody style on uke.

A Rare Ukulele Book Recommendation

Movable Chords — Our Lovable Friends

One of my course-takers wrote yesterday to ask about book recommendation on the subject of movable chords, and I didn't hesitate one jot to recommend one particular book (that's a link to Amazon):

“Ukulele Breakthrough” by Calvin Chin. Horrible cover art and ridiculous subtitle (“from lonely strummer to life of the party”!), but, wow, what a solid book!

What makes it so good?

Once you have got the basic of uke in hand — some solid strums and a big handful of chords, the very best next step is to start understanding chord inversions — or movable chords.

And the good news is — there are no new PHYSICAL skills to learn. You already know the chord shapes! — But you've got to understand HOW the shapes can logically be moved around to get new sounds.


Movable chords are the building block of chord melody style playing — the very antithesis of basic, round-the-campfire strumming. Suddenly your uke is playing EVERYTHING — chords, harmony, melody, rhythm.

It took me about three go's through this book for the concept to hit me. But it's very logical and methodical, with the same songs used as examples at each level as you advance. 

And after some serious study and work, I felt like the book had lived up to it's title, and I'd truly had a “Ukulele Breakthrough.”

(Not sure about the subtitle, though — I'm still not the “life of the party.”)

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