This workshop is designed for complete beginners who have just got a ukulele and do not know where to begin, or for those who know a little but would like to go over the basics again. Donna will teach you the absolute basics of how to hold, tune and strum your uke and how to read chord diagrams and make the chord shapes.
By the end of the workshop you will have played several 1, 2, 3 and even 4 chord songs. The hand-out will allow you to take your new uke away and start practising. This workshop will give you the basic skills and confidence to join in the local ukulele jam or just enjoy playing at home more.
During this one-hour course you will;
• Learn how to tune your uke.
• Learn how to hold your uke.
• Learn how to read chord charts and play the chords.
• Learn some basic strums.
• Learn to play some songs.
Saturday 14 August 2021
Workshop 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm. 

Zillmere Community Hall, 52 Murphy Road, Zillmere, Brisbane, QLD 4034

Financial BUMS $10 use promo-code received Mon 26 July via email. Tickets at Trybooking from Wed 28 July. 
A ticketed COVID-Safe event.
Please bring a Soprano/Concert/Tenor ukulele. High-G or Low-G is fine.
There will be a projector in use, and handouts will be given at the start of the workshop. If you prefer to look at the handouts instead of the screen, then please bring a music stand.
Donna has played ukulele for around nine years. She leads the CHUMS seniors’ band at Compton Gardens retirement village and often teaches beginners at the Ferny Grove jam. Donna and her husband Derek play as the duo Totally Insane and also as the three or four piece Totally Eclectic.
This workshop is for people wishing to enhance their strumming techniques.
Whilst learning and practising chords is, of course, very important , many people don’t pay much attention to their strumming hand. Most players learn two or maybe three basic strums patterns and simply leave it at that. The ukulele however is not just a stringed instrument, it is also a percussive instrument, providing the beat and the emphasis for songs, which adds colour and interest to the music.
At this workshop, you will learn several different strumming patterns and see how different patterns can change the way songs sound.  We will look at strums for songs in both common time (4/4) and waltz time (3/4). Please note: This workshop is NOT about triple strums, fan strums or split strums.
For this workshop you will need to know the basic chords (major, minor, sevenths) and be able to change between them freely and easily.
Saturday 14 August 2021
Workshop 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm. 

Zillmere Community Hall 52 Murphy Road, Zillmere, Brisbane, QLD 4034

Financial BUMS $10 use promo-code received Mon 26 July via email. Tickets at Trybooking from Wed 28 July. 
A ticketed COVID-Safe event.
A Soprano/Concert/Tenor ukulele. High-G or Low-G is fine. You can bring a Baritone uke, but any chord diagrams will be for “GCEA” tuning.
There will be a projector in use and handouts will be given at the start of the workshop. If you prefer to look at the handouts instead of the screen, then please bring a music stand.
Derek has played guitar and keyboards all his life and ukulele for the last 9 years. With his wife Donna they play as Totally Insane and with others as Totally Eclectic. Passionate about helping others improve their playing Derek has designed several different workshops. He also loves playing bass uke.

These Big Uke Training sessions, which were originally scheduled for a single weekend, have now been split across two Sundays, for reasons of practicality (and COVID). Five sessions will be held on Sunday August 22, and another five on 26 September. The workshopS cater to a range of abilities and interests, including some for absolute beginners and others for seasoned performers.

Book early. Details at

Presenters are from Australian, New Zealand, Singapore and the United States.

Sessions include:

Sunday 22 August Melbourne time
10:00 am – Amie Brulee (Arranging Songs to Make Them More Interesting)
11:30 am –  Kath Bee (Build Your Confidence and Learn a New Children’s Song)
1:00 pm – Duplicity (Brendan Canty & Sue Kidd) (Spice Up Your Strumming)
2:30 pm – Richard Snow (Chords, Scales and Changing Keys)
4:00 pm – Daniel Purnomo (Island Strum and Beyond)

Sunday 26 September Melbourne time
10:00 am – Jim D’Ville (Barre Chords: The Easiest Barre Chord Song You’ll Ever Learn)
11:30 am – Duplicity (Brendan Canty & Sue Kidd) (Introduction to the Blues)
1:00 pm – Bernard de la Couer (Songwriting)
2:30 pm – Gaelle Horsley (Working with Other Musicians: Why some Groups/Bands Fail … and how to avoid this!)
4:00 pm – Daniel Purnomo (Aloha from Singapore: Ukulele concert with singalong and jam at the end)

Visit the Big Uke Training website to find out workshop fees, and how to register and join the online sessions.

A 2-hour workshop for absolute beginners!

Ukulele in a Nutshell is designed specifically for absolute beginners. In classic ‘bootcamp’ style, you’ll cover a lot of territory in a relatively short amount of time.

You’ll learn the parts of the ukulele, tips for practice, finger dexterity, ear training, clues from sheet music, interpreting ukulele chord diagrams and songsheets, basic strumming and picking patterns, chord shapes for Am, Am7, C, C6, F, G, and G7, chord placement drills, common chord changes and progressions, 12 bar blues … and jam survival techniques.

The course is also designed to help you structure your own practice sessions.


DATE: Friday 30 July 2021

VENUE: Coorparoo Bowls Club, 32 Riddings Street, Coorparoo, 4151
TIME: 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm


Get your tickets at

BUMS Financial Members save 50% with a promo-code. Check your email Wednesday 14 July.

Everyone else – tickets go on sale Saturday 17 July

Not a member? Join BUMS Inc now Membership Benefits


Bring your ukulele and tuner. No note taking required! You’ll be too busy anyway. Detailed notes with supporting resources are emailed to participants after the session.


Julie Sharpe, John & Keryn Henderson began running Ukulele Bootcamp sessions in 2015. This year’s condensed session, Ukulele in a Nutshell, offers absolute beginners all they need to know to get started.

The weekend was a wonderful experience. If you ever get the chance, and you are looking for something extra, I recommend you go to a concert or workshop by the Wild Women from Anywhere Beach.


This review is biased because I am an unabashed fan of the Wild Women from Anywhere Beach. Cathy Welsford and Angie Smith are the wild women. They hale from Valla Beach near Bellingen in NSW (south of Coffs Harbour).

I attended one of their workshops in Blaxland (at the foot of the Blue Mountains) in 2019. I was immediately won over by their ukulele competency, their preparation work, and their friendly, happy style. They have a gift for teaching.

Some BUMS members had previously purchased tickets to go to their workshops at the Bellingen Arts Week 11-14 January 2021. Some of us even had our bags packed! It wasn’t to be. The Covid19 curse struck and we had to cancel. This is why we were blessed with a visit from Cathy and Angie. They hit the road and including us in a tour that also took in Yamba, Southport, Sandgate, Gympie, Toowoomba and Armidale.

Thanks to Salli Chmura for hosting the concert and workshops.

House concert

Salli offered the large, covered patio at her home in Albany Creek for Cathy and Angie to perform on Friday 30 April. It was an intimate and fun night in front of ten spectators suitably socially distanced. BUMS favourite Cath McCourt joined them on bass on many of the songs.

Angie and Cathy perform

Cathy played a range of ukes including a harp ukulele. Their repertoire included many well-known covers from Fats Waller, The Waifs, Dave Brubeck, Randy Newman, Tom Paxton and the Ventures. Their own compositions were quirky and thought provoking – the real Matilda (a song about the place of women in building Australia), and songs about domestic violence and how Australia got its name.

Angie and Cathy made a great team backing each other up, harmonising, having fun together when playing and introducing the songs.


Cathy and Angie ran four workshops over the weekend of 1-2 May.

1. Playing Fingerstyle Ukulele

This featured:

  • right-hand techniques including arpeggios, patterns rhythmic and solo finger picking, picking and plucking together, more advanced strumming, and percussive techniques.
  • left-hand techniques including melody playing, chord melodies and chord enhancements like sus4 chords.
  • exercises using these techniques before putting them to practice with songs: “All of Me”, “My Island Home” and “Aloha Oe”.

2. Playing Up the Dusty End

This was about playing up the fretboard towards the sound hole (where it gets dusty, of course!).  It included:

  • chord inversions, chord shapes up the fretboard, and useful theory including triads and chord types e.g. Major, Minor, Diminished and Augmented chords.
  • practice with the Duke Ellington song “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” and “Autumn Leaves”

Cath McCourt, Angie and Cathy

3. Playing Jazz Standards

We adventured into:

  • Jazz articulation and phrasing including dynamics, rhythm (swung or straight), strumming to complement the soloist, substituting jazz chords and common jazz progressions.
  • expressive techniques, including hammer on/pull offs, bending, vibrato, silence, muting and harmonics.
  • using these techniques in a song – the Fats Waller’s “Ain’t Misbehavin”.

4. Fun workshop

The last workshop was much more informal. We just had fun. Some joined Cathy and Angie for “Moliendo Café”. Some of us from Ukulelia (aka Ukulele Orchestra of Greater Brisbane) played “La Paloma”, or at least half of it before it met a premature ending.

We worked through a medley of Queen songs, which gave me greater appreciation of Queen’s musicality. Cathy and Angie broke out into a song whenever one took their fancy. There was even some impromptu dancing (shock horror), lots of laughter and singing.


The Wild Women cater for the intermediate to advanced players. They do a LOT of preparation work, and it shows. Angie apparently spent many hours playing and listening to Queen to make sure they had the music subtleties just right. In front of an audience, they are generous, warm-hearted and lots of fun. Could you ask for anything more appropriate with a ukulele group?


Beginner’s start-up workshop

Join us for a workshop demonstrating all the exciting things that the ukulele has to offer.  It will be hosted by Miss Elm – a ukulele expert and endorsed Lanikai Artist.

SUNDAY 11th APRIL, 1:00PM (Brisbane Time AEST)

Topics covered:

Learning Basic Ukulele Chords
Making your Uke into a percussive instrument


Miss Elm is a professional touring and recording artist. She will give a performance demonstrating of lots of cool things you can do with the ukulele!

Signing up

Join us online, become a Ukulele Rocker and tune in anywhere around the world for this free workshop!

Booking through Eventbrite



Introduction to Ukulele

If you’ve just bought your first ukulele, join Linda Gough and Paul Morris for this incredible 2-hour free session to kickstart your ukulele skills.

They’ll teach you basic chords and show you how to strum and sing along to songs that you know and love.

You must get a ticket so we can manage the numbers to meet the COVID-19 requirements. Click on the Trybooking link below to do that.

Date: Wednesday 3 February 2021

Time: 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Venue: The Grove Sports and Community Club, 20 Tramway St, Ferny Grove


Bring your ukulele and be ready to have fun!

Brought to you by Morris Brothers Music Store and Linda’s Uke’n Sing.


Looking for more?

Follow up with Linda’s Uke’n’Sing six-week Beginner Course.

Date:  Starts Tuesday 9 February 2021

Times: 1:00 – 2:00 pm or 5:45 – 6:45pm

Venue: Church of Christ Arana Hills, 2 Bringelly Street, Arana Hills

Cost: $120 for 6 weeks

Bookings: Ring Linda on 0431 391 888


Kick start 2021 with the VIP Ukulele Rockers Group!

Do you want to take your playing to a new level? The February Ukulele Rockers program is a fun and transforming journey for anyone wanting to build up their musical practice, feel inspired and experience what is truly possible. 

In this 3 month intensive online program, the ukulele is used as a gateway for finding your own unique path. You may experience healing, creative confidence, fun, joy, performance and so much more in the program. The program is tailored to the goals of each participant within the group.

Commencing February 2021. 

Limited spots available!  Inquire by emailing

Some of the Areas Covered

  • Strumming from beginner to advanced techniques (straight and swing styles, hand percussion, triplet and rhythm creation)
  • Reading tab and fingerpick scales from beginner to intermediate levels
  • Understanding the basics behind the music
  • Unlocking the keys to creating on the ukulele
  • Creative collaboration with group members
  • Learning how to riff
  • How to play along to your favourite songs
  • Singing and Playing
  • Chord knowledge, games and theory


You’ll walk away with more confidence to share and express yourself.  Expect a boost in your creativity.  Be prepared to be inspired, find a new perspective and new musicianship skills.  Make connections to like-minded individuals and gain a better understanding of your own authentic style. 


Erin Harrington is running three Ukulele Rockers workshops in early December.

Free Online Beginner Workshop

Sunday 6th December, 10:00 am AEST
This is for complete beginners.  It’s a great opportunity to jump back in to uke playing or bring along a friend to convert to our friendly instrument!
For more details and to register click here.

Free Online Intermediate Workshop

Sunday 6th December 1:00 pm, AEST
This is for those rockers who have attended a beginner class before and would like to build up their skills!
For more details and to register click.

The “Pour and Play” Xmas Ukulele Rocker Workshop

Thursday, 3rd December, 6:30 pm at Jumping Goats Bar, (Margate).

This is for beginners but with a Christmas theme.  This event was SOLD out very quickly last time. So if you are in Brisbane this will be a really fun one to attend.

Ticket includes:
– Drink on arrival (choose from craft beer, boutique wine, or soft drink)
– Cheese platter
– Workshop book complete with Christmas tunes to take home!
**UKULELE not supplied (there will be a few you can borrow)
Amazing deal! To book click here:

Always wanted to know more about music?

Experienced ukulele teacher and Australian Ukulele Teachers and Leaders Association (AUTLA) member, Cathy Welsford, issued this October Uke Challenge!

James Hill Ukulele Course Level 1: Units 1, 2 & 3 (ONLINE via ZOOM)

Dates: Five week course – 3, 10, 17, 24 & 31 October 2020
Time: 10:30 am -12:30 pm
Cost: $125

In Cathy’s ZOOM course you will:

  • learn to read music
  • play simple melodies on your ukulele
  • play music in parts
  • find out about note values, rhythm, timing in music
  • identify intervals and learn how to use them to play by ear
  • play basic scales including the blues scale
  • develop improvisation skills.

The course is based on the James Hill ‘Ukulele in the Classroom’ resource. You will also receive comprehensive additional material including music theory worksheets, new repertoire, picking and strumming exercises, audio resources and self-assessments.

For more information go to OR contact Cathy by emailing .