Aloha! To close off this series of uke books for music from the 1990s, I’ll admit that not ALL great music comes from the 90s and we should never limit ourselves to just one decade. Even if it IS the greatest decade of music, it in no way discounts great music that came before or after it.
So, with this being said, we can expand our view a bit to something the 1990s had a lot of and incorporate music from other decades to fit the theme.
I’m speaking of acoustic rock.
Acoustic Rock (an Ukulele Chord Songbook) comes with 60 songs, written in my favorite fake-book style with chord boxes at the beginning of the song and then just chord names on top of the words where changes happen. To me, this is the least distracting way to learn music, even if you’re just focusing solely on strumming along (all the other books in this review series also feature musical notation so you can transcribe the melodies if you wanted). I LIKE strumming along to music. I like singing along as I strum. Because of this, I really like books like this.
It’s also not a giant book. 60 songs is a lot, but because it’s not the size as a standard music book (not to mention the saved space by not including musical notation), the book is more than manageable, able to be thrown in a gig bag and brought along with you wherever you go to play.
Those 60 songs cover way more than just the 1990s, too. In addition to 90s offerings (“3 AM,” “Iris,” “Wonderwall,” “Torn,” “Tears in Heaven,” etc) there are songs from before (“American Pie,” “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “Wake Up Little Susie,” and more) and after (“21 Guns”). The real meat of the book is from 1999 and before, though, with all sorts of classics at your fingertips.
The reason I find this book so compelling is that acoustic rock is usually anthemic in some regard. When most people think anthemic songs, they think about the songs that are loud and electric – the ones that have tons of oomph behind the choruses. But I think there’s a very strong case for quieter songs because these are the ones that we sing along with in the car and feel more of a connection to (which makes singing it all the more meaningful).
Overall, this is a super valuable addition to your collection of music books because you can keep pulling from it for different moods, eras, and purposes. It’s got a lot to offer an ukulele player, so check it out and see what you think!
Until next time!