BUMS Bluegrass Jam & Workshop

Join Tony Richardson and Marg Monaghan at a Jam exploring the Bluegrass style. Dabble a bit with your uke, workshopping songs along the way. Add to your repertoire and expand on your playing skills. Aimed at intermediate players, ALL levels are welcome but you need to know your basic chords and be able to match a strum pattern to get by!

Warning: Ain’t no part of nothin’ if you think we’ll stop to teach you chords…NO chords taught in this workshop, and it could be the quickest strumming you’ve ever attempted!

Bar is open. BYO Food.

This is a BUMS Covid Safe event. Check out the latest directives here.

DATE: Friday Night 5 November 2021
TIME: 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
VENUE: Northern Suburbs Bowls Club Hall 175 Edinburgh Castle Road Wavell Heights, Qld, 4012
TICKETS $20 : Available from Trybooking 

BUMS financial members tickets 50% off with promo code.

Check your email 25 October 2021, subject: Members Promo Code for November Ukulele Workshops.
Please Note: Trybooking has an addition booking fee $0.50 TIPS for using Trybooking here

What is the workshop about?

“What the hell is bluegrass?” you ask. Well it’s a blend of traditional Americana styles that became prevalent around the 1940’s. It’s a unique style of acoustic instruments overlaid with vocal harmonies. It’s not gospel, it’s not blues, it’s not country, it’s not jazz and it’s not Trad (traditional), but it has elements of all of these styles… It’s bluegrass. If you get a bit uneasy with gospel music or murder ballads then this isn’t for you, but if you can see through that, and enjoy it for what it is, you’ll gain plenty.

What will you learn while you jam?
1. The basics of traditional bluegrass
2. How to best play it on your Ukulele
3. How to fit in at a bluegrass jam
4. A little of the circle of fifths
5. How to form a bluegrass band that emulates the sound of a traditional bluegrass band
6. We’ll play lots of bluegrass songs
7. We’ll explore the songs a little along the way

What to bring?

A sense of humor, any ukulele you desire, as many ukuleles as you desire, a notepad if you want to take notes, a tuner, water to drink, a snack to eat during the breaks, a questioning mind because there are lots of people who don’t understand the same thing as you and they are never game to ask so no one finds out. Patience and plenty of it.
This workshop can cater for Ubass, Baritone, Tenor, Concert, Soprano and Banjo ukes so please bring them along. Hell you can bring your devils box (fiddle)! If its stringed just bring it along, I’m not going to exclude other instruments, except bagpipes…. don’t bring bagpipes along.
That being said you need to be proficient enough to play basic songs in basic chords, and if you bring a lead instrument be prepared to play the melody.

All participants will receive a copy of the songs played in the workshop to take home to help you practise.

Want to get your Bluegrass on now? Check these out to help you understand the style …
1. Watch the movie Oh Brother Where For Art Thou staring George Clooney
2. Listen to the following bands on Spotify or YouTube

  • The Davidson Brothers
  • Bluegrass Parkway
  • Honey and Knives
  • The Steel Drivers
  • Bill Monroe
  • Earl Scruggs
  • The Soggy Bottom Boys

3. Listen to the radio show Three Chords and The Truth on 98.9fm Thursdays 6.00pm to 7.00pm
4. Purchase a “Parking Lot Picker’s Songbook” for most of the bluegrass standards.
5. Google e.g. Jo found this great list of songs https://www.idahobluegrassassociation.org/jasons-beginner-jam-blog-2017—2018

Presenter: Tony Richardson

Tony reprises this very popular workshop first shared in 2019. Apart from being instigator and jam leader of the Northside Jam for many years, he is one of only a handful of BUMS to play at bluegrass festivals on stage, in the Bumsteaders bluegrass ukulele band.



Finally …. One to get you in the mood

A traditional Mama Don’t Allow played by just about everyone… check out Flatt & Scruggs or this version by the Jive Aces which features uke.

For the Bluegrass aficionados, here’s one from the “Father of Bluegrass Music”, Bill Monroe, together with his band, with the classic instrument ensemble of fiddle, mandolin, guitar, 5-string banjo, and bass. The clip also demonstrates Bluegrass singing at its purest, solo and harmonised, in the style that has been described as “High and Lonesome”. Thank you Chris Bird for the link.


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