Category Archives: Classes

Free jump-start for ukulele beginners Jan 23 2016


Grab your ukulele!

Bozeman Ukulele Cabaret will offer a free community ukulele class for first-time beginners 2pm Saturday, Jan. 23 at the Bozeman Public Library.

If you just bought a ukulele, got one as a gift or have one gathering dust, this quick-start lesson is designed to get you up and running.

The 2-hour class focuses on holding, strumming, pressing down strings, making chords and playing fun, easy songs. Participants will also get a chance to practice tuning.

No experience is needed as this class is especially for beginners (adults and youth ages 10-up).

Bring your own ukulele or contact us to reserve a loaner.

(Instruction is geared to soprano ukuleles. If yours is a baritone, please email for additional info.)

For more information or to reserve a loaner, find Bozeman Ukulele Cabaret via facebook, or via the form on our about page.


Free ukulele starter classes Sept 26 2015 at Story Mansion in Bozeman


On Saturday, Sept. 26 2015 we’ll be teaching beginner ukulele starter classes for kids and adults at the Story Mansion (811 S. Willson) in collaboration with Bozeman Parks and Recreation’s Pickin in the Park community music program.

There are two workshops:
Session 1 (1:00pm-1:45pm) is a 45-minute starter class for youth ages 7-11*
   *Children in session 1 should be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Session 2 (2:00pm-4pm) is a 2-hour starter workshop for adults and youth ages 12-up

Both classes are for players who have never touched a ukulele before!
They begin at the very beginning and are not intended for experienced players.
Ukuleles are provided, or you may bring a soprano, concert or tenor ukulele.
(We will be playing in a GCEA tuning and will not cover baritone chord shapes).


To register, contact City of Bozeman Parks and Recreation at 582-2910, stop by Beall Park (8:30-4:30M-F) or Bozeman Swim Center, or access their Fall Recreation Guide online for more info.

If you register online through Bozeman Parks and Recreation, be aware that the ukulele classes are hidden several levels deep in their registration system. Begin here. Then click Online Registration> Register for Activities> RecreationPrograms> Recreation Fall & Winter 15/16> and then scroll to find and click Pickin in the Park, then click Beginning Ukulele workshop. Select Session 1 for children 7-11. Select Session 2 for Adults & Youth 12-up. 

Holiday Ukulele Singalong Dec. 7 2014

Holiday-851x315The next First Sunday Ukulele session is Sunday Dec. 7, 2014.
This will be a two-part session. We’ll start at the Bozeman Public Library small meeting room with our monthly free beginner crash course (1:00-1:30pm) and a Holiday Song Practice Session (1:30-2:30pm). Afterward, we will travel to Highgate Senior Living for a Holiday Singalong with the residents there (Meet at 2:45, start at 3pm).

If you don’t need any practice, feel free to show up at Highgate with your ukulele (and a music stand if you have one) at 2:45 pm. Song sheets are provided and also downloadable here, for your practicing convenience: Holiday Songs

1pm-1:30pm: BEGINNER CLASS
30-minute crash course at Bozeman Library (This is always the same beginning introduction for people who have NEVER played before. It does not build from previous months, so no need to attend if you’ve played before.)

A chance to tune up and run through our holiday songs at the Library before we head to Highgate.

2:30-2:45 pm – Travel to Highgate Senior Living 2219 W Oak St (MAP) and meet in the front entry near the piano. (Wear something cheery and bring music stand if you have one.)

Uke players of all experience levels are invited to bring a ukulele and join the fun. Song sheets with chord charts are provided.

Subsequent First Sunday Ukulele times and locations will be announced as we go, so check back. (They may not ALL be at the library, depending on room availability, so join the First Sunday Session FACEBOOK EVENT or check our CALENDAR for updates.)

For more information, to get on the email list, to reserve a loaner ukulele, ($5 donation optional) or drop a comment, please submit the form below.

Ukulele Workshop: Songs of 1920s and 30s Sunday, Nov. 2 2014

  Join Bozeman Ukulele Cabaret for a a free ukulele lesson and workshop Sunday, Nov 2 at the Bozeman Public Library from 1-3:00 pm

1pm-1:30pm: Beginner Crash Course

A 30-minute crash course for first-time beginners. (NOTE: This will be the EXACT SAME crash course as last time, so if you came last time, you may not want to attend again. It is for first-time-ever players to learn basic strumming and fingering for a few easy chords.)

1:30-2:00: WORKSHOP: Songs of the 1920s and 30s with Geoff Gamble

Guest presenter Geoff Gamble will lead a workshop for more experienced players featuring songs from the 1920s and 30s. He will demonstrate some barre chords and focus on the ukulele sound that was wildly popular throughout the jazz age. If you have mastered C, G, F etc., want to learn a few new chords, and are ready for something new, this is for you!
For those who like to get a jump on the chords, attached are PDFs of two songs that Geoff plans to teach.
And here are some videos to help you learn the tune!
–Lillian Roth sings “Ain’t She Sweet” circa 1933:
–The classic Mama Cass rendition of the 1935 song “Dream a Little Dream of Me”
2:00-3:00 Play-Along Time
As time allows, after the workshop, players of all levels can join in a casual ukulele play-along.
We will focus mostly on oldies. Most will feature pretty easy chords!

A few last notes:
Song sheets with chord charts will be provided! All are welcome!
Those who don’t have a ukulele can reserve a loaner for a suggested donation of $5. (Submit the contact form below to reserve)
Future First Sunday Ukulele session times and locations will be announced soon! We’re working on a holiday caroling event in early December. Details to come!


First Sunday Ukulele group starts in October

Ukulele-artFirst Sunday ukulele group to meet at library starting Oct. 5 2014

This year, the Bozeman Ukulele Cabaret will host a free “First Sunday” ukulele lesson and play-along series.

Each month, we’ll offer a 30 minute crash course, introduce a few new intermediate level songs, and have a fun play-along with familiar songs all can join in on.

The series starts Sunday, Oct. 5 from 1-3pm at the Bozeman Public Library.

Here’s how we envision it going:

1pm-1:30pm: Quickie 30-minute crash course for beginners.

1:30pm-2ish: All levels will work on a few new songs together as a group.

2ish-3pm: We’ll all play some familiar and fun songs together!

As always, Ukulele players of all experience levels are invited to bring a ukulele and join the fun. Song sheets with chord charts will be provided.

If you don’t have a ukulele, you can reserve a loaner. (Our suggested donation of $5 to borrow a ukulele is optional!)

Subsequent First Sunday Ukulele times and locations will be announced on Facebook, via the Bozeman Ukulele Cabaret email list, and on our online calendar.

For more information, to get on the email list, or to reserve a loaner ukulele, please submit the contact form below.

March Ukulele Blues Madness — March 16, 2014

March-Ukulele-blues-Jam-2014 If you got the Montana Midwinter blues, here’s your chance to get out your ukulele and play ’em.

Mark Grenier (that bearded guy who you see riffing all over the place while the rest of us are just strumming) is our host for this month’s ukulele fun.

Mark will be the host of our first ever UKULELE PIZZA JAM!
(In this case, a UKULELE PIZZA BLUES JAM!)
Mark will have a mic and amp set up so bring a BLUES song to lead or perform, or just come strum or riff along. This is going to be our first time uke-jamming at Colombo’s, and we are looking forward to a fun time! Everyone is welcome, but seating is limited, so come early if you want to grab some grub and a good spot.

WHERE: Colombo’s Pizza & Pasta (back room)
WHEN: Sunday March 16

If you’re a beginner and you’d like to practice up a bit before the jam, here’s a little cheat sheet for a 12-bar blues song in 4 different keys, and some blues scales. Once you get the hang of this, you will be ready to play along with most any blues song!  Beginner Blues

(Big thanks to for the scale graphics that I used in the PDF)

B.Y.O. UKE! — See you there!

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Free ukulele lesson/ practices planned Jan 26 and Feb 2

Mark Sinclair will host practice sessions at the library Jan 26 and Feb 2, 2014 at 1pm

Mark Sinclair will host practice sessions at the library Jan 26 and Feb 2, 2014 at 1pm

Here’s your chance to dust off the ukulele and practice up for the open mic night!

Before the Valentine open mic night (Friday Feb 14 at Wild Joes), we have two open ukulele lesson/practice sessions planned.

Mark Sinclair (of Sinclair’s Bakery in Belgrade) will be hosting these two sessions. He will provide some songs to work on, but feel free to bring an open mic song you want some help with. This will be a casual pace, learn-as-you-play coaching session, where you can ask questions and get help as needed.

WHERE: Bozeman Public Library’s small meeting room
WHEN: Sunday Jan 26 —and— Sunday Feb. 2
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October ukulele fun in Bozeman

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Yippee-yi-yo! Thanks, all who came out for our fall 2013 uke-in, “Cowboys, Werewolves, Aliens and Other Supernatural Things!” Special thanks to Ron Gompertz for welcoming us to Wild Joe’s once again, and to our sound angel Mark Grenier for lending (and tirelessly lugging) the additional mics, cords, and other equipment necessary to put on another ukulele open mic night.

October Play-alongs for Uke Beginners: Don’t forget that we are hosting beginner/intermediate ukulele play-alongs at Eckroth Music in Bozeman, Saturday mornings from 10:30 to 11:30 throughout October (This is on an ad hoc basis — if nobody shows up by 11, it is cancelled.) Bring a uke if you have one, or you can demo one of Eckroth’s ukuleles, if you’d just like to just get your feet wet!

uke-flash-mobUke Flash Mob Sat. Oct 12: All are invited to join Mark and Marla at a special ukulele flash mob play-along at the Bozeman WaterFest at Bogert Park at 2pm on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013. We’ll provide music sheets – just bring your uke and find us under the pavilion!

Yes Uke Can Crash Course

Yes Uke Can Lesson 1We offer the free Yes You Can ukulele crash course a few times a year, or you can try the course yourself by downloading the PDF:


In this all ages class, we look at our ukuleles and identify the head, neck, body, sound hole, tuning pegs, frets, bridge, and nut

We talk about what you need to do to play a song.

  • Hold your ukulele
  • Press down between certain frets
  • Strum a rhythm
  • Change chords at the right time

First we try strumming with no chord, covering the strings with our left hand.

  • Strumming down and strumming up

We learn the names of the strings, GCEA “Goats Can Eat Anything”
We learn to press the first string on the third fret to play a C chord.
We play “Frere Jacques” with C

We learn to play “My Dog Has Fleas” using Am7, C7, and C

That’s the end of the kids’ course. Older youth and adults can continue on to learn the F chord and practice 2 chord songs using F and C7.

In the longer (2 hour) version of the course, we go on to learn the G7 and G chords, and play some 3-chord songs.

I designed this course to introduce several basic concepts:

  • Learn to place your fingers on the strings to create easy chords
  • Learn to get ready to change chords
  • Learn to stop the strings to strum chk-chk
  • Try three strumming rhythms:
    • Bump Bump Bump Bump
    • Ditty Ditty Ditty Ditty
    • Bump Ditty Bump Ditty

After you have gone through this stage, the booklet introduces other chords and familiar songs.