Sunday, August 2, 2015

Harvey Reid || New Baritone Ukulele Chord Books

I periodically do a baritone ukulele book search on Amazon and found a couple of new books by Harvey Reid. Although I couldn't find a video of him playing a bari, I discovered that he's a folk singer and multi-instrumentalist. Below is a fun video that shows off Harvey's effervescent personality at Steve Kaufman's Acoustic Kamp in 2012. This E-Chord song packs a lot of life into the lyric.

I already have both the Hal Leonard Baritone Ukulele Chord Finder and the Fretted Friend's Baritone Ukulele Chord Bible but it is a personal goal to keep up with the latest in Baritone Ukulele books as my music budget allows. Harvey calls our attention to the fact that his books show the full fretboard and his book has a full 19 frets shown. He notes all are hand-tested and writes, "Since the bari uke is often used as a solo instrument and not often used in jazz ensembles, I have chosen to include only chords that sound good on their own..."

I would like to know what his inspiration was to creating two baritone ukulele books. Does he have a bari, is he teaching others about the bari uke, or does it follow a sequence of other books he's written for other instruments? Curiously he writes about the respectability of ukulele, mandolin & banjo. He speaks about the ukukele with total respect saying that they're here to stay, not a passing trend, and an instrument worthy of lifelong study. 

This book goes beyond, giving a bit of scholarly attention as Mr. Reid describes. The serious baritone player would likely feel that this is a worthy addition to their study materials and a worthwhile purchase.

He mentions that ukulele players are mostly self-taught, although we may attend clubs or musical workshops. He writes that, "... The internet is now the village square where we learn from ... anyone willing to share. The point of his book is to give an in-depth and somewhat scholarly contribution ... something that you cannot find in a YouTube video."

The BIG BOOK of Baritone Ukulele Chords: An In-Depth Exploration of D-G-B-E Tuning.  You can purchase this book directly from Harvey here, or via Amazon dot com. His site gives a direct link to ADC if that works best for you.

One of his specialties is playing with a partial capos. In the BIG BOOK above he sets the table and whets the palate to learn more of his special tunings. Harvey has a Liberty "Flip Capo Model 43" that will capo 3 strings that he uses this to play in what he calls "Liberty" tuning, F#BEE. 

Harvey writes that Liberty tuning "...offers new possibilities to advanced players, but it's greatest value is probably in the very exciting opportunities it offers for simplified chording." I have purchased this book as well and will need to obtain a tuner so that I can properly explore the Liberty tuning before commenting at this tme.

Baritone Ukulele Simplified: Play Great Music Instantly With New Tunings & Partial Capos.
One can also purchase this book directly from Harvey here, or via Amazon dot com. His site gives a direct link to ADC if that works best for you.

The Scotland Suite...

Hope you find this review helpful. (I put non-bari-uke videos in different shapes as a matter of habit.) Harvey also has some autoharp videos that are worth watching. 

Jeff / Humble Uker / Humble Baritonics

1 comment:

  1. Harvey -- If you should happen to read this review, I would like to thank you for adding two books to the baritone ukulele community. Thanks for adding interesting content to a chord book for in-depth study. Also thank you for adding another tuning for future exploration. I would also love to see a video of you playing the baritone ukulele using Liberty tuning to share on the blog and to "display" what you have shared in book form. Thanks, Jeff West / Humble Baritonics.