I’m back with Part 2 of my Hawaiian/Island-themed and I have a lovely collection of two books for your consideration: Hawaiian Favorites and Hawaiian Classics. Both books feature 8 songs each, standard notation and chord boxes (no TAB), and probably the best thing that can be offered for songs like these:
One of the biggest complaints I’ve run into when it comes to Hawaiian music for ukulele is the lack of audio because a lot of players don’t read standard notation and Hawaiian music can get a little tricky rhythm-wise.
On one hand, it makes for tricky playing, but on the other hand, it makes for music that’s very interesting to listen to and has the added benefit of making you a better player.
In short, it’s worth it.
But learning notation is such a bear so the included audio (Hawaiian Classics includes a CD and Hawaiian Favorites includes audio access to online offerings) is more than beneficial.
Hawaiian Favorites includes… well… favorites like “Aloha Oe,” (otherwise known as “That Song From Lilo & Stitch”) “Blue Hawaii,” “Mele Kalikimaka,” and “Tiny Bubbles,” (and more). They’re chill songs that lighten the mood and have a good chance of getting people to sing along with you.
And if you’re in the mood to reduce the chances of your audience singing along but still want to play pretty music for them, you can shift your focus to Hawaiian Classics. It’s got great songs like “One Paddle, Two Paddle,” “Sweet Leilani,” and “Lovely Hula Hands.”
I really like the balance of these two books. You can lean on crowd-pleasers from Hawaiian Favorites that get people’s feet tapping and the nostalgia flowing as they sing along to the likes of Elvis and Don Ho, but then you can pay homage to the lovely island chain with songs like “Pearly Shells (Pupu ‘O ‘Ewa),” where people can still tap their feet, but sit back and really take in the beauty of the music.
It’s a nice balance, right? Present some favorite and expand some horizons!