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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.

Learn ukulele Bluegrass style with Brisbane Ukulele 15 June 2019

BUMS Beaut Bluegrass Workshop

Back from Melbourne, longtime performing BUM, Tony Richardson, offers a you-beaut bluegrass workshop.

DATE: Saturday 15 June 2019
TIME: 10:00 am start and finish 11:30
VENUE: Zillmere Community Hall, 52 Murphy Rd, Zillmere QLD 4034
TICKETS $25 : Available from Trybooking https://www.trybooking.com/BCJMV.

BUMS financial members tickets $5 with promo code. Check your email 27 April Subject: Members Promo Code for June 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, and I invite you to join me in a workshop to explore the style and experiment a little with your ukulele. You’ll be part of a participative experience that will add to your repertoire, and expand on your ukulele skills. 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.

Who is this workshop for (skill level)?

This workshop is aimed at intermediate players. All levels are welcome to join in, but we won’t be teaching chords in this workshop. If you know your basic chords, and can match a strum pattern then you’ll get by, but be aware, there will be some of the quickest strumming you’ve attempted. You won’t know if you don’t go.

What makes me qualified to teach the workshop?

I’m one of only a handful of BUMS to play at bluegrass festivals on stage.
Oh, and in the Bumsteaders bluegrass ukulele band.

 

 

What will you learn?
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 a number 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 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.

What is supplied?

A venue with a roof and walls, chairs, a sound rig, a presenter and a small song book.

What will you take home to help you practise?

A song book of the songs played in the workshop.

Other things to see and do 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 Bluegrass show on 98.9fm on Tuesday nights 6.00pm to 7.00pm
4. Listen to the radio show Three Chords and The Truth on 98.9fm Wed 6.00pm to 7.00pm
5. Purchase a “Parking Lot Picker’s Songbook” for most of the bluegrass standards.

Zillmere hall. Soak up the ambience from this classic structure with is hardwood floors, the acoustics are really something else!About the venue

It’s happening in sunny downtown Zillmere hall. Soak up the ambience from this classic structure with is hardwood floor and ornate ceiling. The acoustics are really something else. The stage setup and expansive open dance floor really make the scene. Take a trip back to the 1960’s as you grace the front of the building and bask in the glory of its decorative Palfrey stone feature wall. Nothing says bluegrass more than this building!

Dress warm, flano shirts and lumberjack coats welcome, but don’t come dressed like the homeless.

Transportation

Well, there is a train station up the road a little if that’s your thing. But if your 1952 Ford F100, or your 1957 Plymouth Belvedere, decides that today is the day they’ll actually start for you, then that would be better.