In this two-part workshop I will examine several the different ways of playing bluegrass music on a ukulele. This will include finger-style, strumming and flat-picking (without a pick).  Many of the main techniques used in bluegrass playing like hammer-ons, pull-offs, bends and slides will be carefully demonstrated and you will all using them in no time. We will also be looking at the similarities between the skills needed for performing bluegrass and Celtic music e.g. playing using campanella voicing. You will get the chance to develop new skills through playing actual pieces of music that I has specially arranged for this workshop. If time permits, there may be opportunity to perform a four-part piece together as a group. For this class will need to have an understanding of how to read either tab or conventional notation. Please bring along a ukulele (soprano, concert, or tenor) with standard gCEA re-entrant (high G) tuning. It will be challenging, but a lot of fun.

Level 3-4 (Intermediate to Advanced)
PLEASE NOTE This class can also be taught as a one-session workshop.


In this workshop, I aim to cover how to bring out a melody whilst finger-picking the accompaniment. You will be learning new techniques and trying them out on a number of well-known, popular songs, focusing in detail on just one tune. In order to really benefit from this class, you will need to have some experience at basic finger-picking, at reading simple tablature and an understanding of which chords might be used in the common keys (C, F and G) . Come with a soprano, concert or tenor, tuned to high G re-entrant tuning if possible. 

Level 2-3 (Intermediate)


In this workshop we will be taking a very popular simple 4 chord song and finding new, exciting ways to play it. We will discover how to inject variety and contrast into what we play. We will learn several new techniques, both for the left and for the right hand. Hopefully, we will learn how to escape from the rut of playing strumming patterns.
Level 2 or 3 (Beginner or Intermediate)

This two-part workshop begins by looking at the basic skills of good finger-picking.  You will then move on to cover timing, fingering and campanella voicing in considerable detail. In addition, you will learn techniques like hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides, acciaccaturas and other ornaments. We will also briefly explore the characteristics of the different dance forms. The skills learned in part one of this workshop will be build on in part two and it would certainly be an advantage to take both sessions in order to benefit fully from what is on offer. In these sessions we will work on actual pieces that I has specially arranged for the purpose. You will need to understand how to read tab. Please bring along a ukulele (soprano, concert, or tenor) with standard G C E A re-entrant (high G) tuning.
Level 3-4 (Intermediate to Advanced)
PLEASE NOTE This class can also be taught as a one-session workshop.

Most ukulele players want to be able to do the triplet strum, but everyone seems to teach it differently. That's because there are lots of different ways of doing triplets. In this class we will be exploring several different ways of doing three-note strumming effects. We will be finding out that the finger we use in our right hand has a major effect on the strum. We will also delve into the mysteries of syncopation. 
Level 2 or 3 (Advanced Beginner or Intermediate)

A lot of players believe that all the left hand has to do is hold down a chord and change to the next chord at the correct place. In this workshop you will look at how to add lots of interest to your playing just by adding a few extra techniques and effects with your left hand. Amongst other things we will look at hammer-ons, runs, accents, muting and ornaments to our basic chords. In other words, you will learn to decorate your music. 
Level 2-3 (Intermediate)

This aim of this workshop is to learn the techniques of playing in a claw-hammer style. It can be taught at several levels, from the absolute basics to the use of much more complex skills including slides, pull-offs, hammer-ons, chromatic runs and blues notes. We will be using a number of typical tunes that work well with this way of playing. At the more advanced levels we will be learning how to turn more or less any tune into an authentic-sounding claw-hammer piece. A high G, re-entrant instrument will work best with this class.

Level 1, 2 or 3 (Beginner or Intermediate)

Have you ever wondered why you are playing a song just the same way everyone else is? Have you ever thought about playing a song a radically different way? Have you ever considered why you aren't making as much progress as you would like? If the answer to any of these questions is 'yes', then this may be the workshops for you. We will explore ways of making your music more interesting, exciting and different. It won't always be by making things more complicated either. We will look at unusual fingerpicking techniques, the value of silence and simplicity in music, how many fingers to use when strumming, how to get a better tone, when to turn down the volume and many more things.
Level 3 (Intermediate)

In this exciting new workshop we will learn to play a specially composed jig. The jig is very much in the style of traditional Celtic music and is written in parts that will fit together to make a complete ensemble performance. During the workshop we will be exploring all the main techniques used in performing Celtic music on the ukulele. These will include hammer-ons and pull-offs, ornaments like acciaccaturas, and learning to fingerpick using campanella voicing. To benefit fully from this workshop, it is essential to be able to read basic tab, be competent at finger-picking, as well as having some experience in using the three main chords (I, IV & V) to work out what to play in order to create a simple accompaniment. It would also be valuable know something about the feel and style of a jig (6/8 time). Come to the class with a re-entrant tuned ukulele (high G).
Level 4 (Advanced)

The aim of this workshop is to teach the skills that will allow you to play songs without having to constantly look at chord sheets.  A lot of new players don't feel comfortable unless they have the chords in front of them. Wouldn't it be great if you could just play along with others and work out what to play without having to ask for "tabs"? In this workshop that is exactly what you will start to learn. You will learn to "feel" where the chords change and, when they do, what chord you should play next. And you actually will be playing with your eyes shut for some of the time. To get the most out of this class you will need to be able to play confidently the main chords in the keys of C, F and G. You will also need to be able to strum simply, but with confidence.
Level 1-2 (Advanced Beginner)

In this workshop you will find out why it is often better to play fewer notes and simpler strums on the ukulele. You will discover how to play songs more simply, but much more musically. You will learn how to put contrasts into your playing by changing volume, tone, and complexity within the song. You will practise simple techniques that you may not have tried yet. We will explore ways of performing with others where everyone plays something different. During this workshop we will be playing a number of well-known songs, all in the key of F. To benefit fully from this class you will need to already be able to strum at least the chords of F, Gm, Am, Bb, C and Dm. Come to the class with any wooden ukulele in C tuning. NEW for 2014.
Level 1-2 (Advanced Beginner)