Workshops To Be Announced

Peter Moss

My Name is Peter Moss and I have been involved with the ukulele on and off for the past 45 years. My late father Dennis Moss, who played Spanish guitar, bought me a wooden Uke for my eighth birthday, and taught me the basics.  I took to it like a duck to water. By the time I was ten and a half, I was a fairly competent strummer and had already won a local talent competition hosted by the Manchester Evening News. I also had a little show set with my sister Wendy. In those early days the Formby songs were considered too risqué for children to sing, so my Dad taught us some old Tin Pan Alley songs like Baby Face, Five Foot Two, Who’s Sorry Now etc. My father had taught me all he knew, and wisely introduced me to other skilled players. One very influential person was Ray Bernard, a founder member of the George Formby Society. Ray played melody … Lady of Spain, Rubinstein’s Melody in F…. and I was fascinated. From that moment I became committed to this style of playing. Then George Graham, the banjo repair man for Shep’s Banjo Boys lent me a recording by Roy Smeck. And by ear, from that very record and at the age of 12, I learned to play similar to his style.  From playing around the chords and picking out melody finger-style, I taught myself chord melody playing and improvisation. In 1973, there came a significant milestone in my musical journey. I had been working on a banjo-ukulele version on the William Tell Overture, with galloping triples, finger-picking and a big crescendo… I played it in the annual competition of the Northern Branch of the BMG – British Banjo, Mandolin and Guitar Federation, in Wythenshawe – it went down a storm – and won it. Later that year, I played it at the Southern Branch competition, and won that, too. It’s official that I was the first person to work out the William Tell Overture on banjo-Uke, whilst a few over the years have tried to claim it as their own.

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