All duets were originally written for keyboards and have been transcribed for two ukuleles. I chose to write for both High G and Low G ukulele to provide the added depth of the low G. If a Low G is used on the High G part, fingering in the TAB will need to be adjusted as I make extensive use of the re-entrant tuning in the TAB. You could play the Low G part on High G, but it would definitely sound unexpected in places, and lose much of the fullness.
The structure of this book is based around the complexity and difficulty of the pieces, with each piece graded from Beginner (not absolute beginners), then Intermediate and through to advanced. The grading is based around the skill required, the difficulty playing high up on the fret-board, and also some of the more demanding Low G parts. Each piece is presented as a notated page (or the case of the last piece, 2 pages) which combines both parts, as well as a notated and TABed set of pages combining both parts.
Whilst I have included TAB, and occasionally shown a preferred left-hand finger to use, these are only a guide and you should experiment with fingering that works for you. I have not included any more details about Tablature, or fingering, but standard terminology and fret numbering is used throughout.
The pieces are in their original keys except for The Italian Song, by Tchaikovsky which has been transposed to make it more suited to the re-entrant C6 tuning of the ukulele.
Video recording of each piece are available on my YouTube page: (https://www.youtube.com/user/willoughbyuke)where I have created a playlist for this book. Please subscribe.
The book starts with a couple of simple and short Baroque pieces from Bach and Purcell, both of which are in minor keys. Play delicately and accurately. The trills in the Bach can be omitted if you choose.
I included one Classical-period composer, Beethoven. His Sonatina in G should be familiar and is a fun piece to play. Extensive use of running scales in G Major high up on the neck is a challenge for the fat-fingered amongst us.
Schumann’s Album for the young (Album für die Jugend), Op. 68,was composed by Robert Schumann in 1848 for his three daughters. The album consists of a collection of 43 short works. The first half of the album is suitable for children or beginners of piano, with the second half for more advanced players. I have chosen several pieces from each section. Humming Song is the easiest, then Melody, Little Piece, and Poor Orphan is more demanding. The Wild Rider the most advanced.
Interestingly, the The Children’s Album (Детский альбом), Op. 39 by Peter Tchaikovsky(1840-1893) is subtitled “24 simple pieces à la Schumann”. It too is a cycle of 24 piano pieces composed between May and July 1878. I have chosen just two from this series, and they are both quite demanding, but lovely and lyrical.