One thing that you will always find at a ukulele festival are players workshops. Its something of a peculiarity that goes with the instrument I guess, but they are always hugely popular with those attending. The most common sort of workshops are the 'learn how to play' type, where you can often learn along with some of the headline acts from the show. This year though, the team at the Grand Northern Ukulele Festival have decided to offer some extra workshops with a difference which certainly look exciting!In fact, GNUF this year are promising that EVERY playing workshop is brand new - they have never been done at other UK festivals, ever! Their workshops cover three distinct types this year - playing, performing and making. Check out the full listing on the grid below.
|Click to enlarge|
On the playing side you can learn tips and tricks from the likes of Phil Doleman (who has created brand new classes for this festival covering unlocking the fingerboard and blues) and Chonkinfeckle's Les Hilton looking at open tunings, this year based around the Van Morrison classic, Brown Eyed Girl. Ken Middleton also makes a return to the workshop section.
GNUF also have new workshop additions from the likes of Del Ray (one of the festival headliners, with a Jug Band Blues party), Andy Eastwood (one of the most technically gifted players I have seen on stage) who is teaching Formby styles, and the magnificent Ukulelezaza teaching the 12th Street Rag. Also recently added is a workshop from Peter Moss - a hugely talented player and well respected tutor who is teaching chord sequences, minor chords and timing. Like your jazz? Adam Franklin will be on hand to teach 20's and 30's hot jazz rhythm picking styles.
|The Mother Ukers|
And finally, what a delight it would be to appear on the main festival stage with Tricity Vogue and her All Girl Swing Band! Yes, you can do that too.
|Tricity Vogue and her All Girl Swing Band|
And then on to 'making', GNUF returns with two great hands on workshops from last year which were HUGELY popular last year. Making a wash tub bass or making a Diddly Bow with master UK Luthier Rob Collins. At both you get to keep the instrument you made!
|Rob Collins with Diddly Bow|
So why am I telling you all this? Well places on these are going really FAST, with some I didn't mention sold out now, so not long to go. The festival takes place on 13-14 September in Huddersfield. If you want to attend a workshop, DON'T leave it until you get there as you may be disappointed.
All details on the workshops can be found at http://www.northernuke.com/2014-festival/workshops/
I will be at the festival too if you want to come and say hello! Roll on September!