Once a year in early February, Morris Brothers offer a free beginner ukulele workshop to anyone who purchased a uke from us over the Christmas period. Many other beginners also come along and the workshop has become a popular way for newcomers to the uke to get started.

December 2019 was a massive month for uke sales with hundreds changing hands. The popularity of ukuleles continues to grow and grow. We have over 100 ukuleles in store in what is the biggest and best range of ukes in Brisbane. Morris Brothers is proud to be actively involved in the ukulele community and a major sponsor of BUMS.

Our beginner night at Ferny Grove Bowls Club on 5 February was a huge success with over 100 people there with many of our regular Ferny Grove jam members providing assistance. The night was run by Linda Gough and Paul Morris in a similar way to other BUMS jams (albeit a bit slower).

Thanks to the superb teaching skills of Linda, we had the whole room playing and singing before the night was out. Most of the group had never played a ukulele (or any other instrument for that matter) before – and by the time they left they could play almost 20 songs.

We used the night to show beginners what BUMS jams are like and encouraged them to come along to the monthly jams at Ferny Grove, Northside, Albany Creek and all the other fabulous BUMS events.

The night was a huge success. Our thanks go to everyone who participated and volunteered to help out.

Thanks to Paul Morris for providing the information for this article.

www.morrisbrothersmusicstore.com

 

What’s it like to play in a ukulele orchestra?

The Willoughby Ukulele Orchestra in an initiative of Ian Porter – a ukulele teacher from Sydney.  Last year, it attracted 55 uke players. This year a similar number attended, including four BUMS members. Together, under Ian’s expert guidance, they learnt, played and recorded three songs.  The workshop was held in Crow’s Nest, just north of the Sydney CBD.

Ian Porter with Outlaws, Willoughby, 2020. Photo courtesy of Lesley Allan.

The aims of the program were to experience being in a structured orchestra, to understand the conductor’s instructions, to learn to fit into a large musical group, and to be exposed to three different musical genres.  Oh, and of course, have fun.

Lesley Allan, Geoff Dancer, Leeanne Horne and Salli Chmura at a pre-Willoughby Orchestra practice. Photo courtesy: Lesley Allan.

The music this year was Mozart’s ‘Symphony #40’, Beach Boys ‘I Get Around’ and a James Hill jazz arrangement of ‘Ja Da’. Six parts were developed for each musical piece including bass and strumming.  There were four picking parts of various levels of difficulty.  Participants selected their ‘skill level’ and appropriate musical parts were sent out two months in advance along with audio files and YouTube videos.

The workshop itself was run by Ian (and three other uke teachers) on 1 February 2020.  There were three rehearsal sessions in the morning focusing on individual parts.  In the afternoon participants played together, and the day culminated with a recording of the whole orchestra.

BUMS members Lesley Allen, Salli Chmura, Leanne Horne and Geoff Dancer chose different musical parts and were thrilled by the musical result – and with what they learnt along the way.  To hear the orchestra,  go to https://youtu.be/b7PrB9K_gcs

Ian expects to run a similar program again later in the year or 2021.

Thanks to Lesley for providing the information for this article.

How to look after your uke in Queensland

Looking after your uke is a mix of common sense combined with cheap and simple care. Here are some tips on coping with hot and humid Queensland, changing strings and keeping your uke looking good.

Kyser Dehumidifier for the sound hole of your uke.

Keeping your use cool and dry

It’s been a hot and humid summer.  Just as we humans are mostly water, your ukulele is mostly timber.  They can suffer terribly if they’re left to the elements.  Store your uke away from direct sunlight and in a temperature regulated environment to avoid cracking, warping and glue dissipation.  You wouldn’t leave your kids or pets in a hot car – same applies to your uke.

The best way to inexpensively prevent moisture in the air getting to your beautiful uke is to keep some silica gel in your case.  Or you can purchase de humidifiers – a great investment particularly in muggy Queensland.

Check out the uke specific Kyser humidifier made for the sound hole.

New strings

To keep your uke sounding good, it needs new strings at least every now and again. They’re cheap, easy to fit and will almost always improve the tone/tuning/playability of your instrument. If your ukes intonation is off, the tuning is going out frequently or the sound is becoming dull, that’s the first place to start.

We recommend trying a few different sets to see what you like the best. Brands like Aquila offer a wide variety of uke strings and are great to test out without breaking the bank. If the thought of doing your own tie on strings at the bridge is daunting, Ernie Ball make a string with ball ends which simply slot in and pull through – no ties needed.

Keep your uke looking good with Dunlop 65 cleaner.Keeping your uke clean

STOP! PUT THE PINE-O-CLEEN DOWN!  Only instrument specific cleaning products should be used on your uke. The best way to clean the wood is to gently rub it down with a soft microfiber cloth and a small amount of Dunlop 65 polish and cleaner.  Use lemon oil to clean and condition your finger board.

Thanks to Sean from Morris Brothers for these tips.  Morris Brothers is a major sponsor of BUMS and stocks a ‘great wall’ of ukuleles as well as all the products mentioned.

East of West Performance and Ukulele Masterclass with Philip Griffin held on Sunday February 16th 2020.

Folk Redlands put on an excellent afternoon which included a Ukulele Masterclass Workshop with Philip Griffin. Prior to the workshop we were treated to some fantastic world folk, Balkan and Middle Eastern music played on oud and double bass with various hand percussion. Philip, Malindi and Goran were all virtuoso musicians and told us a bit of history about the instruments and the tunes. You could hear a pin drop as everyone was enthralled by the performance which was totally acoustic and unplugged.

There was a very good turn out of interested spectators and uke players who stayed for the workshop after the performance. There were quite a few BUMs on seats (pardon the pun) to learn a Venezuelan tune called La Perica (The Parrot) arranged by Philip. There were 3 ukulele parts – strumming, picking and the melody line, also a part for baritones and a part for the U bass. It was surprising how quickly all the parts came together within an hour as an ensemble and how good it sounded.

All in all it was an enjoyable and very educational afternoon.

For more of Philips music check out his website http://www.philipgriffin.com/

Reviewed by Julie (aka Mama Juju

 

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FOLK REDLANDS
Folk Redlands Inc. is a not for profit organisation run by a dedicated committee of volunteers. Established in 2005, Folk Redlands aims to build a music community, supporting local and visiting artists and lovers of Folk, Acoustic, Original, Traditional or Contemporary music in a friendly relaxed environment.

They hold events every 3rd Sunday at Redlands Modern Country Music Club, 226 Cleveland Redland Bay Rd, Thornlands (Pinklands Reserve). Check their website http://folkredlands.org/ for more details and a calendar of events.

 

 

To welcome the new year, and new Brisbane ukulele players, there are BUMS Inc members are offering beginner workshops and lessons in February 2020.
Please note that these are not official BUMS Inc events, so please contact the event organisers directly.

FREE CLASSES FOR BEGINNERS

Julie Sharpe, John & Keryn Henderson

Mini Absolute Beginners Ukulele Bootcamp – Absolutely FREE!
Players who already know C, F & G7, please don’t apply. We start with the very basics. Read more here.
DATE: Wednesday 19 February
TIME: 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Arrive at 6:45 pm for a 7:00 pm sharp start.
VENUE: Bulimba Brisbane City Council Library, Meeting Room 1, Cnr Riding Road & Oxford Street, Bulimba Q 4171.
COST: FREE, but you must register via Trybooking. If you miss out on a place, please add your name to the waiting list. We sometimes get last minute cancellations, or extend the class to accommodate a few extra registrations.
Email Keryn at . Follow Brisbane Ukulele Bootcamp on Facebook to find out about future Bootcamps.

Linda Gough & Paul Morris

FREE Beginners Night – Just bring a uke.
This night is sponsored by Morris Brothers Music Store at Stafford and will be taught by Linda Gough who is one of the leaders of our Ferny Grove Jam.
DATE: Wednesday 5 February
TIME: 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
VENUE: Ferny Grove Bowls Sport & Community Club, 20 Tramway Street,  Ferny Grove. (07) 3851 1889
COST: FREE
Contact Linda on 0431 391 888 or Paul at Morris Brothers on 3356 3299.

Donna Farrell Beginners Class before the BUMS Ferny Grove Jam
Our first event of the year was he ‘Gotta uke for Christmas! Now what?’ workshop. It was run by Donna Farrell for two hours at Zillmere Community Hall on Saturday 8 January. Twenty-five players of all ages attended and by the end were playing three chord songs. Donna, ably assisted by Dianne Davis, hold a beginners lesson before the BUMS Ferny Grove jam starting at 6:00 pm. The next one is on Wednesday 19 February (and then every third Wednesday of the month). Learn how to hold your uke, how to strum, how to read chord charts and how to play some basic chords. This introduction will give absolutely new players a grasp of the basics that helps them to participate in and enjoy the jam. Included in the price of the jam.
VENUE: Ferny Grove Bowls Sport & Community Club, 20 Tramway Street, Ferny Grove QLD 4055.
COST: BUMS members FREE and visitors $5. This includes the Beginners Class.
TIMES: Beginners class at 6:00 pm followed by Jam at 7:00 pm

MORE OPTIONS TO LEARN

Linda Gough

Linda also offers a range of options for new and continuing ukulele players.
2020 Beginners Course – Please ring Linda to book.
DATE: Starts Tuesday 11th February
TIME: 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm
VENUE: Ferny Grove Bowls Sport & Community Club, 20 Tramway Street,  Ferny Grove.
Phone Linda on 0431 391 888.
Find out more about what Linda has to offer for continuing players: https://www.brisbaneukulele.com/portfolio-item/linda-gough/
Follow Ivory Frets Music on Facebook to find out about Linda’s  classes.
Uke ’n’ Sing
DATE: Tuesday 4 February
TIME: Morning 10:00 am – 12:00 noon (Easy Sing and Play class with a little tuition along the way)
VENUE: Ferny Grove Bowls Sport & Community Club, 20 Tramway Street,  Ferny Grove.
Nightriders
DATE: Tuesday 4 February
TIME:Night 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm (Performance Group for all levels)
VENUE: Ferny Grove Bowls Sport & Community Club, 20 Tramway Street,  Ferny Grove.
Daytrippers
DATE: Wednesday 5 February
TIME:Morning 10:00 am – 12:00 noon (Performance Group for all levels)
VENUE: Ferny Grove Bowls Sport & Community Club, 20 Tramway Street,  Ferny Grove.

Erin Harrington

Ukulele Rockers Group Class (RSVP essential)
Learn to play uke in group as an ensemble with fun rocking music!
Including movie themes, classics, rock from the ages and more!
DATE: Monday 3 February
TIME: 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
VENUE: Grange
Book via https://www.elmukulele.com/hire-us
Contact Erin via 0423 378 392 or
Find out more about learning opportunities that Erin has to offer: https://www.brisbaneukulele.com/portfolio-item/erin-harrington/

Dukes of Uke

The Dukes of Uke Club rehearse on the second and fourth Saturday of each month (the first 2020 meeting is on 25th Jan). They also have group classes for both beginners and players who are looking to advance their skills.
VENUE: Binary Music Studio, Shop 11 Cleveland Plaza, 48 Bloomfield Street, Cleveland
COST: $12 per session (1 Hour)
TIME : 9:00 am Beginners. 10:00 am Advancing
All song charts displayed on projector and available by subscription to www.dukesofuke.com. Contact Len Henderson via or (07) 3488 2230

Please check out the Ukulele Teachers page under the Learning Uke tab, if you are looking for a teacher to help you achieve your playing goals. There is a list of BUMS members who are ukulele teachers.

Please also look at the News & Events page where the latest details of all workshops and BUMS jams are updated monthly. There is a list of other groups and jams in the Brisbane area on the Jams About Town page. Please check with individual jams and groups contacts before going along to check the details of the session.

Happy Ukeing!

Are you keen to help victims of Australian bush fires? Would you like a new ukulele?

Get behind the guys at Ukulele Underground with their generous ukulele giveaway to raise money for Australian Red Cross Disaster relief. Aldrine and Aaron loved headlining at SPRUKE 2015, and want to give back when it’s so desperately needed.

Our friend Aldrine and his team, are running a donation incentive competition to assist raising funds for the Australia Red Cross Disaster Fund. All you need to do to be in the draw is to donate at least A$10 ideally via the Ukulele Underground Tiltify fundraiser.

The prizes are a tenor Islander by Kanile’a ukulele and a Kamoa Concert Ukulele.

Competition announcement

The competition was announced at the Ukulele Underground online live jam on Saturday 18 January. Watch Aldrine’s promotion of the fundraiser and instructions for donations at around 10:58 minute mark of his January 2020 Online Jam replay video on YouTube.

Donations

Or go straight to donate at https://tiltify.com/@ukeunderground/uu-australian-red-cross
When you donate, see the $$ immediately click up. Be quick! Campaign Ends: 29 Feb 2020

Dig deep, and give a little — show the ukulele love — Ukulele Underground, Aldrine, Aaron, Kahai and Ryan receive absolutely nothing from this. All of your support goes to the bushfire victims.

East by West are the featured act at Redlands Modern Country Music Club

Folk Redlands are hosting East of West as their feature act at the Redlands Modern Country Music Club in February 2020.

East of West play original music with a focus on improvisation, inspired by the music of the Mediterranean and Balkans. After the performance there will be a ukulele workshop for intermediate to advanced players.

Afternoon kicks off with blackboard performers, followed by East of West performance, and Ukulele Workshop for Advanced Players.
Walk-in Blackboard performers are welcome on a “first-in” basis. 20-minutes slots including change-over. PA provided.
1:00 pm – Blackboard
2:00 pm – East of West performance
3:00 pm – Ukulele Workshop

DATE: 16 February 2020
TIME: 1:00-4:00 pm
VENUE: Redlands Modern Country Music Club, 226 Cleveland Redland Bay Rd, Thornlands (Pinklands Reserve)
COST: Entry fee to cover venue costs: $ 3 members, $5 non-members.
Folk Redlands Membership is just $5 per annum. Join at the door and pay only $3 entry.

This is not a BUMS official event so please direct any inquiries to

 

 

UKULELE MASTERCLASS 

Learn to play in a ukulele ensemble with Philip Griffin.
If you have a good grounding in ukulele, stretch your skills by playing arrangements made especially for ukulele orchestra.
The pieces will work best if there is a good mix of different ukulele types – baritones, low-G tenors, uBass welcome!

EAST OF WEST

East of West is a fresh project from players firmly grounded in professional music performance, offering a captivating new take on the fusion between world music and jazz. We play original music with a focus on improvisation, inspired by the music of the Mediterranean and Balkans. The project was formed in order to explore new compositions that showcase the players’ extensive experience playing at both national and international levels.

The trio consists of Bosnian-born Goran Gajić (double bass), Philip Griffin (oud) and Malindi Morris (hand percussion). All three are active in professional music scenes, including world, jazz, folk, & baroque. Goran Gajić plays with and composes for the Queensland Music Award winning band Mzaza. Philip Griffin works or has worked with internationally renowned musicians such as Linsey Pollak, Tunji Beier, Frankie Armstrong and Ross Daly. Malindi Morris has worked with internationally known guitarists ‘Duo Aritmija’ in Slovenia, composing for and directing the project ‘Lastovka’ and was one of the founding band leaders of the Balkan brass band ‘The Transbalkan Express’.

Website Links:
Folk Redlands
Redlands Modern Country Music Club
East of West

Congratulations long time member Bob Young, who won the Summer Raffle 2020 at our March Coorparoo Jam. Many thanks to all who bought tickets and to Binary Music Cleveland.

We start 2020 with a great prize for our BUMS Inc Summer Raffle.

You could win a Cordoba Protégé Concert Ukulele Model U1, gig bag and a bottle of Yellow Glen. Valued at $180!

Tickets $2 each or 3 for $5.

Tickets on sale at major BUMS jams through January and February, starting at the January Westside Jam.

Raffle drawn at the 4 March 2020 Coorparoo Jam.

Generously supported by Binary Music, Cleveland.

The U1 is one of Cordoba’s most popular ukuleles, perfect for beginners and enthusiasts. Concert sized and built with a mahogany top, back and sides, you’ll enjoy this ukulele’s bright, balanced, and happy tone.

Nice!

Just starting ukulele? Short of time?

Come to a mini Absolute Beginners Ukulele Bootcamp … absolutely FREE.

Julie, John and Keryn will run a free mini Absolute Beginners Ukulele Bootcamp for one week only on Wednesday evening 19 February 2020.

Location: Bulimba Brisbane City Council Library, Meeting Room 1, Cnr Riding Road & Oxford Street, Bulimba Q 4171.
Date: Wednesday 19 February 2020
Time: Arrive at 6:45 pm for a 7:00 pm sharp start. The session runs from 7:00-9:00 pm.

Players who already know C, F & G7, please don’t apply. We start with the very basics. More information about course content is available on the Trybooking site.

Bring your ukulele and tuner. No notetaking required, you’ll be too busy anyway. Detailed notes with supporting resources are emailed to participants after each session.

Register Now! Attendance is specifically for Absolute Beginners. Group size is limited to 15-20 participants.
Registrations are now full, but until Friday 14 February 2020, you can still follow the Trybooking ‘Wait List’ link to add your name to the waiting list in case there are cancellations.

This is not a BUMS official event, please direct any inquiries or questions about the course via email to Keryn at .