Request from the newsletter editor.

I started playing ukulele in 2012 at U3A Redcliffe. For a couple of years, I played in my back bedroom, jammed with a friend, and went to a local (but fairly lacklustre) ukulele group. I discovered BUMS jams and joined BUMS in 2014. BUMS opened up a whole new world, and gave me so many wonderful opportunities.

Peter Grace – Newsletter Editor and BUMS Inc Assistant Secretary.


Looking back on those seven years, I’m amazed at the amount of fun and friendship that BUMS has brought me. When I joined, did, I ever think I’d be performing at jams and organising one every month? Did I imagine playing at festivals, markets, fundraisers, and dinners. Arranging a ukulele opera to perform at Newcastle and Sunshine Coast festivals was the last thing I would have envisaged.

BUMS has given me so much. And it keeps on giving to me and the many musical friends I have met.

Giving back

In 2019, I was asked to join the Management Committee, and I could not refuse. BUMS and its members had completely changed my life and it only seemed fair that I should give something back.

But here’s the catch.

BUMS can’t keep giving to its members without some of them being prepared to put in time to make things happen. The Annual General Meeting of BUMS is coming up in October, all committee positions are declared vacant, and a new committee will be elected.

Being on the committee means you can influence the direction BUMS takes. You’ll work as a team to make things happen. You’ll develop your leadership and other personal skills, expand your ukulele community and help others grow. Of course, at times it will be frustrating, but, as with all things ukulele, it will be fun.

My question is….

Are you prepared to put your hand up to keep BUMS moving forward and building a bigger and better ukulele community?

If you would like to know more or register your interest, email your phone number to David Pedler () and he will call you back for a chat.

Check out Gympie Rotary “Ancient Craft, Rare Trades” Expo, October 30 – 31, 2021

Hosted by the Rotary Club of Gympie, the “Ancient Crafts, Rare Trades” Expo is a tribute to the heritage trades of our past and a celebration of the artisans that keep these almost-forgotten trades alive.

Three outstanding artisans/musicians/luthiers who will join over 45 other makers of heritage trades and crafts, demonstrating all weekend in a village-like atmosphere in the stadium and Pavilion, Gympie Showgrounds.

Meet these diverse music makers at the event — be prepared for a song or three, lively jam sessions or even dueling banjos!

The luthiers will come with their handmade, beautifully crafted guitars, ukuleles, harps and more — bespoke instruments, crafted from the best of timbers, and from creative combinations of salvaged materials and innovative combinations of hemp composites, gourds and more.

These characters are not to be missed!

Bruce Walker — Sensory harp maker and guitar maker. A talented artisan, Bruce is renowned for his sensory harps, which have therapeutic benefits for people suffering with debilitating dementia. Research shows that sensory stimulation, the sensation of vibrations, the value of musical therapy help with psychological, and cognitive aspects of dementia, as well as improve the quality of life.

Ziko — Hart’s Harps is a creator of bespoke hand-made specialist instruments, crafted from a combination of traditional and modern durable materials. Check out his display of instruments, including his latest creations – hemp bodied harps.

Stan Ceglinski is the image of the timber-getters of old, the early pioneers. A true-blue mountain of a man, he evokes memories of the romantic outback of Banjo Patterson, the battler outback of Henry Lawson. He is rough and unpolished — Stan Ceglinski is the real deal.

  • Stan’s power-packed Australian Bushcraft Show
  • Jam sessions at Stan’s stall
  • Stan’s Have-a-go Bushcraft activities for kids.


TICKETS $8 per person per day

Meet the Makers: 30 -31 October 2021.  

The Pavilion and surrounds, Gympie Showgrounds, Exhibition Rd, Southside

From 9:30 am

Over 45 makers will gather at this year’s Expo, keen to inspire with their passion and to pass on their knowledge to preserve the longevity of their craft. It will be a weekend filled with non-stop demonstrations, vintage displays, bushcraft shows, artisan markets and lots of good old-fashioned camaraderie.

The event will  be held in conjunction with the Gympie Rotary Quilt & Craft Spectacular, one of Queensland’s largest quilting and crafing events, and the Craft Beer Open Door – the age-old art of brewing, another essential craft!

Check the website for more information including the other crafts represented.

SPRUKE is back for it’s 5th biennial festival!

It’ll be a Big Uke Day Out at Seven Hills Hub, Brisbane’s newest creative  precinct. Enjoy the daytime live performances, workshops and open mic, and Spruketacular concert at night. Free parking, a food truck and coffee van, bring a picnic and chillout in the adjacent park. Tickets available soon.

Saturday 18 September 2021

10 am – 10 pm

Seven Hills Hub — 28 Tallowwood Street, Seven Hills. QLD 4170

Find it on Google maps:

Headline acts for the concert, and workshops are being finalised now and tickets will be available soon through Trybooking. All performers and workshop facilitators are by invitation this year.

To keep up to date with program announcements, please check out our Facebook page Spruke Brisbane’s Ukulele Festival.

Check the SPRUKE website for all the latest news.


Here’s a great opportunity for our senior BUMS who want to perform.

Expressions of Interest are now open for the Lord Mayor’s Seniors Cabaret. Created for seniors who enjoy performing and want an opportunity to further refine and develop their skills through on-stage experience.
The theme for 2021 is A Night at the Oscars.
This is a free program for all participants and no auditions are required. BUMS own Erin Harrington (The Ukulele Rockers) is presenting a masterclass “Ukulele and Voice – Learn new songs as a group” on Wednesday 28 July. See the full Masterclass schedule below.
How to register

If you would like to be involved, please complete the online form. Places are limited and applications close on 19 July 2021.

You will be contacted by the producer from Epiphany Productions to finalise your registration.


For all the details about Lord Mayor’s Seniors Cabaret check their website.…/lord-mayors-seniors…


You can also support the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Trust by attending The Lord Mayor’s Seniors Cabaret Gala: A Night at the Oscars to be held on Sunday 24 October at 3pm at Brisbane City Hall.

The Lord Mayor’s Seniors Cabaret Gala includes spectacular performances by the experts, as well as some participants from the program. Let us know if you are performing! #brisukes

Tickets will go on sale in September and are $5 each. All proceeds will be donated to the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Trust. Further details will be provided by the organisers when available.

For more activities for seniors through the Brisbane City Council see

Masterclass program

Tuesday 20 July Beginners – For anyone new to singing

Seven Hills Hub with Rhonda Davidson-Irwin

Wednesday 21 July Learn what’s happening technically when you sing

Wynnum Municipal Hall with Daniel Robinson

Thursday 22 July The do’s and don’ts of maintaining a healthy voice

Upper Kedron/Cedar Creek Hall with Angela Toohey

Tuesday 27 July Group singing – Learn new songs as a group

Hamilton Town Hall with Jonathan Welch

Wednesday 28 July Ukulele and Voice – Learn new songs as a group

Moorooka Community Centre with Erin Harrington

Thursday 29 July Learn ‘Song and Dance’ routines as a group

SunPAC, Sunnybank Hills with Maureen Bowra

Thursday 29 July Learn ‘Song and Dance’ routines as a group

SunPAC, Sunnybank Hills with Maureen Bowra

Friday 30 July Advice on how to overcome your nerves

Sandgate Town Hall with Simon Gleeson

Tuesday 3 August Less is More – Improve your performance by doing less

Zillmere Hall with Gregory Moore

Wednesday 4 August Techniques to help you achieve those higher notes

Brisbane Jazz Club with Ingrid James

Thursday 5 August What to do on stage when you’re unsure what to do

Old Museum Building with Karen Knowles


Does your uke need a service?

This article was written by Mitch Morris of aPurla Guitars and edited by BUMS.

Just like your car or bicycle, your ukulele may need a bit of TLC once in a while to keep it sounding and playing well.  Here are some tips on how you can keep your uke in the best condition possible, and how to tell when it needs some expert attention.

Set yourself up for success.

First tip is to buy a good quality ukulele from the start. Anything from $200 upwards is likely to be built reasonably well and should sound good. If you look after it, your uke should be your friend for years.

Anything under $50 just isn’t going to be easy to play and won’t sound good. Read aPurlas’s blog post Things to know before you buy a Uke (

As with anything you use regularly, it will deteriorate over time but there are many things you can do to keep it going strong and at its best for longer.

The pros and cons of timber

Ukuleles are usually made of timber. This is quite a sensitive resource which is porous and vibrant and reacts to its environment. This is one of the reasons it is used for musical instruments because it sounds so alive and natural. It sings and has its own uniqueness.

On the other hand, timber reacts to moisture, and over time, moisture or high humidity can cause damage to a timber stringed instrument. Generally, this kind of damage is most severe on poorly made instruments. For example, a uke with poor glue joints which relies too heavily on glue instead of a good timber joint is going to deteriorate faster than a well-made uke.

No instrument is 100% immune to moisture. That is just the nature of wood, especially in the harsh Australian climate with its extremes of wet and dry periods, or periods of high humidity. If an instrument is constantly kept in a house that can be fine most of the time. But if it is in a room that is overly damp that moisture could be causing damage.

Caring for your uke.

One of the attractions of the uke is its portability. If your uke is being moved about a lot for example, taken to gigs, jams, on holidays, to campfires and on aeroplanes, it will be exposed much more to the elements. A good case is vital to protect your baby.


Fluctuations in weather is another variable that needs to be considered. Keeping your uke in a case means you can maintain a microclimate for your instrument. That is easier than trying to control a whole room, car or house. There are humidifiers and dehumidifiers that you can put in a case to reduce the risk.

However, an instrument can deteriorate from lack of use. An instrument left untouched in a case could get mildew, timber splits, weevil damage or moths laying eggs. Getting your uke out and playing it often will help keep it in a playable condition.

Ukes can also get a bit of shock when they are taken out of a microclimate like a case or a climate-controlled room. They may need time to adjust to the new environment such as a humid bar or a festival where conditions are very different.


After humidity, heat is the next highest cause of damage to stringed instruments.  It doesn’t take much heat to start to do damage. At around 40 degrees Celsius, glue starts to soften and at 70 degrees, the glue will liquefy. The tension in the strings at these temperatures can mean the instrument soon starts to break apart.

Our experience shows that heat damage most commonly comes from leaving a uke in a hot car, hot room or hot caravan. Usually this happens when the uke owner wasn’t with their uke. For example, not realising that the sun shone into their music room at some times during the day.

One solution to avoid these risks can be to keep your ‘best’ ukulele in a safe and controlled place and use it for special events, recording or gigs. And then have an ‘everyday’ ukulele for the rough and tumble of normal life.

When might your uke need a service?

Some symptoms such as a crack or split will be immediately noticeable. One place to keep an eye on is where the bridge glues down onto the body of the instrument. This is a common problem, so if the seam doesn’t look like it is joined, it will need professional attention.

The most common symptom is a drop off in playability. Some more experienced musicians might notice a buzzing on some strings or some strings seeming out of key. These symptoms often come back to the action.

The action on a uke is the distance between the strings and the fretboard. A ‘low’ action means the strings are close to the fretboard and a ‘high’ action means the strings are further away from the fretboard.

With a high action, it can be difficult to press the strings particularly as you play down the fretboard. It can make the instrument play sharp – meaning the notes won’t be in tune with each other anymore. Generally, the higher up the neck you go, the worse your instrument sounds.

If the action gets too low, then you will get buzzes or strings that just won’t ring out anymore.

Some players just get a ‘feel’ that their instrument isn’t as good as it used to be. A professional luthier can quickly identify what needs to be done to bring it back to life. Sometimes a problem may be age-related or linked to poor initial manufacturing standards. We can assess whether repairs are economic or if it’s time for a new uke.

Setting up a uke.

When the uke is first made, the action should be set with the strings at an appropriate height above the fretboard. Over time, with the tension of the strings and changes in the timber due to heat, humidity and general wear and tear, the action can often become too high.

A luthier will remove the strings and adjust the saddle and the nut. The saddle is where the strings are fixed onto the bridge. The nut is at the top end of the fretboard.

The saddle and nut are solid pieces of material that need to be delicately removed and sanded to be the right height and level. As a luthier, I guess putting that into words is a lot quicker than the job itself which is quite tedious and requires great precision.

What does it cost to repair a ukulele?

As far as my own prices go, setups are generally around $85* for a uke setup.

More significant damage would be more expensive. Of course, any of this damage would have to be assessed first, but my rough prices for things like bridges coming off is around $100-$150* depending on severity.

Crack repairs are around $75* if the crack needs to be glued and braced.

Necks that have been cracked in half or cracked head stocks would be more expensive at around $300-$400*. At this point, we have to consider whether the repair is economic to you.

When we work on an instrument, we will usually do a string change because it makes the uke easier to work on and you get it back feeling (and sounding) nice and new again. You can supply your own strings, or we can provide them at a cost of around $17*.

The prices quoted (*) are estimates and will change over time.

The bottom line.

We hope this article has helped you understand how to protect and care for your ukulele. Now you know what to look (or listen for) to identify simple problems and what a set up or repair cost might be.

Contact us at:



The BUMS raffle for September 2021 is a hot accessories kit perfect for social nights around a campfire or at a jam.

The Major Draw is a Ammoon Lap Cajon,  Adjustable Drum Stool, and Wire drum brushes with a neat Kadink Library Bag to keep them in (valued $153).

We’ve got an additional two minor draws to share the warmth! You could take home either:

a. Adjustable Foot Rest and BUMS T-shirt   (valued  $40)
b. Headstock Strap and BUMS T-shirt          (valued  $30)

Bring some change to any jam in July and buy your tickets!


Coming to a jam near you soon….

Starting at Northside jam 24 August, drawn on 28 September at Northside. 





It’s been a dream, long in the making, for the inaugural BUMS Inc President, Bruce Uhlhorn, and past BUMS Inc Vice President & Secretary, Milton Scully. (I recall them first mentioning it around 2012.) But this year, Gentlemen of the Limit are making it a reality — an ‘out-n-back’ tour to raise funds for local causes. If you’re on the road in July, please rock up to enjoy one of their performances and contribute to a worthy cause.

The Gentlemen — Bruce and Milton and their mates, Noel Langton and Marty Silec — are taking their live show on the road to perform at outback towns between Miles and Winton in western Queensland between 10 and 24 of July.

Gentlemen of the Limit

Gentlemen of the Limit – Milton Scully, Noel Langton, Marty Silec and Bruce Uhlhorn

The Band

The Gentlemen of the Limit (GOTL) is a superannuated band of blokes — a kind of ‘Musical Men’s Shed”— living out their musical fantasies now that they no longer have to actually make a living.
For the past five years they’ve played their old stuff, new stuff and original stuff at regular gigs at West End’s Bearded Lady and a few other places around the traps.

Band Members
Milton Scully — Guitar, Uke & Vocals
Bruce Uhlhorn — Tenor Guitar, Baritone Uke, Banjo Uke & Vocals
Noel Langton — Bass, Guitar & Vocals
Marty Silec — Harp, Accordion & Vocals

Their  Original Stuff

Listen to some of their original stuff on songtrdr.

A Grand Plan

In early 2019, Gentlemen of the Limit played at a Brewery in Port Campbell along Victoria’s Great Ocean Road. Their “World Tour Of Port Campbell” was so much fun, they decided that a more ambitious tour was called for. In keeping with our humble musical ambitions, they resolved to focus on out-of-the-way places never included in real musical tours. “GOTL’s World Tour of Slovenia” and similar unheralded destinations were enthusiastically planned with the help of much social lubricant.
However, the reality of COVID forced them to keep their touring horizons more locally restrained. So, they’re embarking on a “GOTL Out-n-Back Tour”!

The Out-n-Back Tour

Commencing 9 July 2021, the 16-day tour takes them from Brisbane, head west across the black soils of the Darling Downs, up to Longreach, on to the outback red dust of Winton, then back to
Brisbane. Deliberately avoiding the larger regional centres, they’re focusing meagre musical muscle on smaller rural communities. Along the way they’ll foist their brand of original music and versions (we don’t do covers) to unsuspecting country folk from Drillham to Yaraka.

Brisbane to Winton (and back) Tour Itinerary

5:30 pm — Sat 10 July — Drillham Hall — a little west of Miles
6:00 pm — Sun 11 July — Charleville RSL — Charleville
7:00 pm — Wed 14 July — Yaraka Hotel — Isisford
8:00 pm — Fri 16 July — Union Hotel — Blackall
5:00 pm — Sat 17 July — The Birdcage Hotel — Longreach
4:00 pm — Tue 20 July — Waltzing Maltilda Centre — Winton
7:30 pm — Fri 23 July — Injune Hotel — Injune
7:00 pm — Sat 24 July — The Queensland Hotel — Miles

Charitable Causes

Along the way the Gentlemen will raise money for various charities. The host venues were asked to suggest local ‘good causes’ to be recipients of the concert proceeds. Bruce Uhlhorn explains:
“In our retirement we like to give back, so our motto is ‘music for good’! We’re funding the tour ourselves, not expecting payment for any gigs (well, we will always accept a beer or two). Never ones to waste an audience, we determined that each gig should benefit the local community. Every venue along the tour is invited to use our performance as a fundraiser for their favourite local cause. Our kick-off gig at Drillham (near Miles) will raise much-needed funds for their local school.”

Charitable causes are a way of life for Milton and Bruce. In January 2011, the BUMS committee ran the first BUMS fund-raising concert and jam to support flood relief.

Muster Ukes, 2015

Muster Ukes, 2015 – Geoff Smith, Cesca Lejeune, Bruce Uhlhorn, Milton Scully, Tony & Sue Moore

Then, along with WeBUMS organisers, Geoff Smith and Cesca Lejeune, Bruce and Milton donated all the proceeds of their three Gympie Muster gigs (2013-2015) as Muster Ukes to separate charities chosen by each of the group members. In addition, following his three-year stint as BUMS President, Bruce worked tirelessly for Radio Lollipop, promoting the concept around the globe.

If you’re broadening your horizons this July, and you’re out and about in western Queensland, tailor your trip to take in an Out-n-Back concert or two. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

If you see the Gentlemen of the Limit on tour or closer to home on:

  • Sunday 20 June at The Bearded Lady, 138 Boundary St, West End 4101, or
  • Sunday 27 June at The Chill Cafe, 7 Dickson Street, Wooloowin 4030.

please email photos and a review for the BUMS Inc newsletter to our editor, Peter Grace, via .



BUMS invited to Busk

A Busking and Handmade Market Day is to be held on Saturday 26th June 2021 from 10am to 2pm at The Australian Academy of Music, 302 Southpine Rd, Brendale. This is also the official launch of the second series of aPurla hand made ukuleles, made by local luthier Mitchell Morris. Some of you already have one of his first series, and this is your opportunity to check out his new collection.

BUMS members are invited to attend if they would like to busk, registration can be made at The Australian Academy of Music from 19 June or on the day. The backline will be provided drums, PA, microphone, music stand, AUX lead for backing track if required. BYO ukulele, drum sticks (any other instrument) and backing racks.

If you share your performance on Facebook remember to tag it #BrisUkes!

Mitchell will be there with his ukuleles as well as his hand made Kalimbas; his wife Layne makes instrument straps and jewelry. The market will also feature several other local artists and makers selling everything from baked goods to art work, pottery, candles and other delights.

Download a PDF with all details Busking day

The Australian Academy of Music often have busking days for their students and community. “Its a great opportunity to play in public in a very friendly atmosphere, and once we found out how many talented artisans and makers we had within our community we thought it would be great to support these locals by hosting a market day as well. It also gives the busking event an authentic feel for the musicians and any coins collected by the buskers are donated to local charities.” says Lesley Morris, director.

Bring the family or your own audience if you are busking , coins for the buskers, and some dollars to enjoy all the treats at the market.

WHERE: The Australian Academy of Music, 302 Southpine Rd, Brendale
DATE: Saturday 26th June 2021
TIME: 10am to 2pm


Valla Beach Ukulele Camp & Beach Party

Urunga, NSW on 13, 14 & 15 August 2021

Great workshops and fabulous concerts are the features of the 2021 Valla Beach Uke Camp program. This year’s focus is on songwriting with your ukulele, playing jazz uke and special sessions for Ubass players. What more could you ask for?

AND … three in-depth Friday ukulele institutes with:

  • songwriter-performer, Lucy Wise or
  • jazz-man, Sam Lemann or
  • bass teacher-performer, Stewart Peters

Bookings open on Friday 18 June at 7:00 am.

Special Guests of the 2021 VBUC & Beach Party are:

  • Jack n Jel
  • Mac n Wall
  • The Australian Ukulele Orchestra
  • Ruth Allen
  • Snez & Steward
  • The Wild Women of Anywhere Beach


Bookings open on Friday 18 June at the reasonable time of 7:00 am.

Visit  to register. Be sure to check the options on the workshop schedule before you book.

Places are limited because of COVID restrictions, so get in fast.

By purchasing a ticket you agree to observe all the COVID-safety precautions listed in the conditions of entry posted on our ‘Info‘ web page.


2020-2021 — What an amazing year!

Enjoying our Facebook BUMS Online jams launched in March 2020, and delivering ticketed COVID-safe jams, and publishing Play-Along videos and songsheets in BUMS Online.

All of these activities were made possible by our creative Media Manager, Jo Kunde, and wonderful jam organisers:

  • Max & Karen Borchardt,
  • Peter & Jenny Grace,
  • Linda Gough & Paul Morris,
  • Andrew & Sylvia Hunt, and
  • Sue & Peter Sercombe.

They’ve done a fantastic job under unusual circumstances.  And our roving photographers, Angie McGrath and Jenny Grace made sure we have lasting memories of our ukulele moments.

Our dedicated and energetic Treasurer, Lesley Allan, offset the cost of running smaller jams, by offering ‘club’ t-shirts for sale at jams, and running monthly raffles with magnificent prizes.

The Management Committee would like to thank our members for their loyal support and enduring enthusiasm throughout the pandemic.

We hope you’re ready for an exhilarating ride into 2021-2022. Plans are underway for expanding our activities.

Membership Fee Reminder

Membership fees of $50 are due on 1 July 2021.

Renewing Members

Please remember that to stay eligible to use BUMS Online and take advantage of the Play-Along video-songsheet resources you must be financial.

To ensure you receive the promo-code for COVID-safe jams, and stay on BUMS Online, pay membership as early as possible.

Please note: Promocodes for July jams will be emailed to financial members on about 26 June 2021.

New Member Offer

If you join between now and 1 June you’ll score one month’s free access to jams and BUMS Online.

Information about how to become a BUM, or renew your membership, is available from our Membership web page.

Our Member Benefits page shows what BUMS Inc offers you.

All Jam Bookings are via the BUMS Trybooking Event web page.