Fond farewells, thanks and good things to come! 

Longtime valued BUMS member Tony Richardson announced he was off to begin a dream job in Melbourne. As happy as we are for Tony to follow this opportunity we are sad to lose him from the society. Tony was often found supporting set leaders at Coorparoo, lending Blair a hand with the audio visual and noodling around with other members, and has always been a great ambassador for BUMS. Tony performed and MC’d at SPRUKE Brisbane’s Ukulele Festival and was the leader of the Bumsteaders – Brisbane’s Bluegrass Ukulele Band. Tony also hosted House concerts at his home for touring Uke players.

Most of all, many will know Tony as the leader of the Northside Jam. In 2012, the society identified a need for a jam closer to our members on the other side of the river and Tony established the Northside Jam at the Chermside Bowls Club. That first night we were jamming everything from classic rock and folk to songs from Hawaii. Tony started ‘Build a Band’ which encouraged random audience members to go off, run through a song then come back and lead the rest of the group.  A gentle introduction to public performance and  great way to meet new people! From about 40 people that first night, the Northside Jam grew until it got too big for the bar of the Chermside Bowls Club and the Northside jam moved to the Northern Suburb Bowls Club at Wavell Heights in 2014.

Along with Tony the Northside Jam has had lots of great people pitching in – Cath McCourt backing on the U-bass;  Keryn Henderson, Michelle Paddy, Chrissy Heinrich, Gary Collins and Marg Monaghan teaching the Beginners class before the jam; lots of friendly committee members to welcome jammers at the door, set up the audio visual gear and run the projector. Many members have stepped up to for open mic and to lead sets Peter Ransom, Anything Goes, NUMBBUMS, The Trippy Hippies, Duke Uke’m, Ukulele Saints and many more. It takes a lot of enthusiastic dedicated people to keep the jams humming!

When the news broke that Tony was leaving us for Melbourne, Peter Grace and Andrew Hunt volunteered to step in as Jam leaders for Northside. Regular Northside jammers will recognise Peter and Andrew as they are regulars and have both performed at open mics.  They are also members of BUMS community band NUMB BUMS. Peter plays in the Ukulele Saints quartet and the Spare Parts band.

Peter Grace and Andrew Hunt take over from Tony Richardson as leaders at BUMS Northside Jam.

Peter Grace( Center) and Andrew Hunt (L) take over from Tony Richardson (R) as leaders at BUMS Northside Jam.

Peter, Andrew and friends are fired up for the first Northside jam of the year on Tuesday 23 January. The beginner’s class will be lead by uke teacher and performer Erin Harrington before the jam starting at 6.30pm.

Peter and Andrew are introducing a re-energised format to the jam with more variety, more leaders and some new features to get you more involved. Come and join the fun and let them know what you think of the new format.

Peter Grace (0411 543 296) and Andrew Hunt (0410 529 591).

You can find all the BUMS Inc ukulele jams around Brisbane, festivals and other BUMS events here on our News & Events.

Check out BUMS Inc performances on YouTube/BrisbaneUkulele and join us on Facebook @BrisbaneUkulele for all the latest news and pics.

Morris Brothers Music Store are having a HUGE Ukulele Expo.


Saturday 2 December – Sunday 10 December

See and try a huge selection of ukuleles from Hawaii, over the USA, Australia, and all over the world, from $35 to $2,000.

Just in time for all your Christmas shopping is the big Market Sale, with heaps of music and gift ideas from $2.

Enter prize draws and giveaways.

Bring a friend and introduce them to what must be the perfect Christmas gift – a ukulele! The friendly and talented staff will get anyone playing in 5 minutes!


Congratulations to the members of the 2017-2018 BUMS Inc Management Committee on their recent appointments.

Max Borchardt (President)
Amanda Allwood (Vice President)
Judy Matthews (Secretary)
Vacant (Assistant Secretary)
Colin Grant (Treasurer)
Liz Crunkhorn (Assistant Treasurer)
Rob Carlyle (IT Officer)
John Henderson (Gigmeister)
Blair Marks (Properties Manager)
Joann Kunde (Media Manager)
Garry Collins (Events Manager)

Management Committee

Rob, Col, Garry, Liz, 2017-18 Committee – Blair, Amanda, Max, Judy, Jo & John (at front).

New President, Max, and Vice President, Amanda, will be well supported by returning committee members, Judy, Col, Liz, Jo, Garry, John and Blair.

A big thank you to Rob Carlyle for taking on the role of IT Officer, and to past Treasurer, Garry, for returning to the brand new role of Events Manager.

If you’re keen to contribute, please contact Max. You haven’t missed out. We’re still looking for a Festival Director for 2019, and an Assistant Secretary.

COME to the AGM and find out what's been happening in the last 12 months.

Find out what our club has achieved with you, and for you, in the last 12 months.

You are invited to attend the Annual General Meeting of the Brisbane Ukulele Musicians Society Inc. Here is your chance to shape the future of our society. Take part and have your say in the direction of our society – fresh ideas are welcome!
Date: Tuesday 31 October 2017
Time: Nibbles from 6:30 pm. Meeting starts 7:00 pm 
Venue: Coorparoo RSL Club- 45 Holdsworth St, Coorparoo QLD 4151
Bring your ukulele as we open and close the meeting with a song.

To attend the meeting, you must be a financial member of BUMS Inc. Join here.

All positions are declared vacant and nominations are always welcome. Positions declared vacant before each Annual General Meeting include President, Vice President, Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, Media Manager, Properties Manager, IT Officer, Event Manager, Gigmeister & Festival Director.

The existing executive committee has added a new position, Event Manager. If you want to give back to your society, have fun and make new friends, and are a good organiser this could be you!

Download a description of all positions  BUMSInc_RolesandResponsibilities v2

Download the minutes of the last BUMS Inc committee meeting

Nominees, nominators and seconders must be financial members of BUMS Inc for the 2017–2018 financial year. To nominate, second a nomination, or be nominated for a position, please download a nomination form and return to the Secretary by Sunday 15 October.

For more information contact Judy at

1. Download the nomination form for committee positions. Download Nomination Form
2. Nominate or Second someone for a position. The nominee must sign the nomination paper accepting the nomination. A nominee does not have to be present at the AGM to be considered /elected if the nomination is submitted correctly.
3. Send in your position nomination by Sunday 15 October to
4. RSVP to by Sunday 15 October so we can cater for you and send you the AGM agenda and minutes.
5. Come along (with your uke) at 6:30 pm on Tuesday 31 October, for refreshments and a song before the meeting fun begins!

Hope to see as many of you as possible at the AGM to bring fresh ideas to our society.

UPDATE: Great news! Our lost uke is on its way home!

Putting out an ‘all ukes alert’ for a much-loved ukulele accidentally left behind at the Wednesday 7 June Coorparoo jam.

Jennifer’s husband playing the missing concert ukulele.

It’s a concert ukulele in a ‘tweed’ hard case (covered with gold and brown pin-striped fabric). Please contact Jennifer by emailing if you have taken it home by mistake or for safe keeping.

The case looks something like this:




Teaching ukulele or leading a uke group? Looking for guidance or inspiration? Excited to share your experiences with others?

Looking for exciting, affordable professional development to top off your school holiday experience?

Come to the annual AUTLA workshop day being offered from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm on Friday 29 September at the South Bank TAFE campus as part of SPRUKE 2017. Ukulele teachers, classroom teachers with an interest in ukulele, music teachers offering ukulele, and ukulele group, band or club leaders will benefit from the wealth of talent and experience that contributes to the workshop day’s fun and frivolity.

Ukulele Leader Group Therapy – ‘It happened to me!’

AUTLA Ukulele Teachers & Leaders Sharing & Support Day

The Australian Ukulele Teachers and Leaders Association Incorporated supports and promotes the teaching of ukulele in the community, and as a part of school music programs. Check out the aims of AUTLA on the website at  At SPRUKE 2017, AUTLA will provide a forum for ukulele teachers and leaders to discuss and share information about community and school ukulele groups, to play music together, and to have some serious fun! The day’s activities culminate in the 2017 AUTLA Inc Annual General Meeting at 4:10 pm.

Download the program for Ukulele Leader Group Therapy – ‘It happened to me!’ (PDF 475 KB)

Registration: $50 ($40 for members) Register for the day-long workshop with PayPal from the link on the AUTLA webpage at

Queensland teachers who would like a PD certificate for the workshop day, please contact Keryn Henderson, SPRUKE 2017 Festival Secretary, via

Email:     Website:    Facebook:

Proudly supported by BUMS Inc and SPRUKE 2017.

The end of financial year is fast approaching … and membership fees will be due.


Annual membership fees of $50 are due on 1 July 2017 for the 2017-2018 financial year.

Please note that as incorporated body, our management committee has a legislated responsibility to keep accurate up-to-date membership records. Help us get it right.

Please complete a BUMS Membership Renewal Form (2017) to confirm your contact details, and send it to with your transaction record, or fill in a form at the members’ sign-in desk if you renew on a jam night.


For new members … the bargain of the year is pay now and get June free!

What’s in it for you?

Membership fees help us to maintain our performance and audio visual equipment, hire venues for jams, offer concerts and workshops, and run our biennial ukulele festival, SPRUKE. And you get …

  • Free entry to all of our large monthly jams
  • Discounts at a range of workshops and concerts
  • Discounts at certain retail outlets on presentation of membership card
  • The right to vote at general meetings
  • The right to nominate positions on the society’s committees

Cheeky BUMS celebrate 10 years of hitting the high notes!

Media Manager Jo Kunde and Duke Uke’m hit the airwaves at ABC Brisbane as part of BUMS Inc 10th Birthday celebrations. Thank you to the charming Craig Zonca for having them on his Breakfast Show.

The interviews and performance can be heard via this link:






UPDATE: The Build The Blues Workshop is on! 

Zillmere Hall- 52 Murphy Road, Zillmere, Brisbane, Queensland 4034
Saturday 15 July 2017
Workshop 9:30 am-11:30 am (Door Opens 9:15 am)

There are only 24 places in this workshop.
Please book to secure your place and any payment due will be taken at the door on the day of the workshop. When the workshop is full there is a waiting list, and we will notify you if a place becomes available.


BUMS Inc members 2017- 2018 are FREE.
Non-members are $25
Please note ALL BUMS Inc membership renewal is due on 1 July. Renew or join before the workshop and it’s FREE! More details to renew or join Brisbane Ukulele Musicians Society Inc (BUMS)

The workshop focuses on how to construct the different parts of a slow blues song, and covers the following techniques:

  • background soft strumming
  • background fingerstyle fill
  • fingerstyle intro
  • fingerstyle/instrumental outro
  • lead instrumental

You’ll need a good knowledge of basic chords (Major, Minor, Seventh), an ability to change chords confidently and some basic skills in fingerstyle.

Please contact Derek at if you have any questions.




Peter McMeel and Brendan Williams are bringing a bit of the Irish to Toowong Bowls Club

Peter McMeel and Brendan Williams bringing a bit of the Irish to Wooloongabba

NOTE this post has been updated for 2019 with a name and a venue change.
McCarthys Celtic Music Session, check it out if you are looking for a new challenge and want to advance your skills in a new, highly addictive direction.
• The Brat Cave, 47 Balaclava St, Wooloongabba.
• Every Thursday night.
• 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm. The session extends into “All Instruments” at around 6:30 pm and continues till around 8 pm.
• Ukes tuned in D for Celtic. See notes on tuning below.

“Ukuleles are very versatile string instruments and can be tuned to many pitches. To play Irish you will tune up one whole step from C to D. Instead of the usual GCEA the strings are now tuned to ADF#B. Now your uke handles the Irish repertoire with much greater ease. As well, believe it or not, ukuleles will sound even more fantastic when they are tuned to D! Try it and let me know!

Irish Traditional Music, ITM, is based around the Keys of D, G, Em and Am. These keys can be easily played if your ukulele is tuned to D. The scale pattern of C becomes a D scale. The F scale becomes a G scale and so on. Most of you will know a C scale if you have tried to play melody on your C tuned ukulele. It will be the first scale you learnt. That C pattern now becomes a D scale on your D tuned instrument. You are now prepared to easily play many Irish tunes. There are hundreds of catchy easy songs and tunes in D. You play in D by playing the patterns you learned on your C tuned uke.

The chords are easy too. The C chord shape becomes a chord that sounds a D, F becomes G, and the G chord shape becomes an A chord. It’s that simple! The appropriate change in your head occurs very quickly if you keep one uke always tuned to D. When you pick that uke up you start to think D tuning! I kid you not!
Because ITM repertoire is so attractive to the ear you can quickly join in with lots of the music played in the ITM sessions around the world. Brendan Williams, mentor of 30 years, and I will be delighted to show you how to learn it. We taught ourselves to do it. Having played string instruments before, it came readily to us. We do understand it will be a bit harder for some other players, but we will guide you every step of the way if you wish. We know you already have plenty of great musical skills if you are a regular BUMSter.

This is why we have designed our sessions with a slow quiet ukulele based segment at 5:30 PM. Slow and quiet so you can hear yourself and us play easily. The material will be available as lyric sheets, chord progression charts and music notation on Dropbox. We can help you learn music notation too as we know that is the fastest way to learn music in any context. Music used to be learnt just by ear but now people learn best by ear and by reading at around the same time. When I now see the structure of the music I can learn it much faster! It’s amazing how little this is appreciated even today.

ITM sessions are without charts in front of players, although you can have some music charts at the slow sessions at first. All the music is very gradually learned by memory, usually songs first.

You can do this by focusing on the easiest and catchiest music you hear, the music that you love the most. This is probably how you first learned to play the ukulele anyway. Then if you have a chart at home you can study a complete tune in your own time. It speeds things up too if you record the first piece you want to learn on your phone at the session or at another time for study purposes. The easiest pieces to learn are songs. Songs are lots of fun but if a piece doesn’t turn you then don’t do it! Make it a rule to only do the fun bits.

You can use your C tuned ukulele but it will work much better if you keep one uke especially tuned to D, like I do. Of course you will also have much more fun if you get some specific lessons on techniques and repertoire.
It’s going to be fun. It’s going to work. It’s going to work for you.”

This will be something different for any of our players. Please contact Peter at or just turn up on Thursdays, grab a beer and some great food. Brendan and Peter will answer all the questions you have but please bear in mind it’s a live session, not a workshop.
Why not have a craic?

FACEBOOK PAGE: McCarthys Celtic Music Session


Check the News & Events Page for all the latest info on  jams and performances.

Points on Tuning
The ukulele will be tuned up one whole step from C to D. GCEA becomes ADF#B.
D tuning can be high or low on string 4, in the same way as C. High tuning produces a wonderfully sweet and addictive harp like sound. Low tuning will extend the melodic range of the instrument a very handy amount, because ukuleles otherwise have quite a limited range. Watch out! God forbid, you may eventually wish to have a ukulele specially preserved in each tuning!