About

April 22, 2014

Introduction

imageimageimage

My Name is Peter Moss and I have been involved with the ukulele on and off for the past 45 years. I say on and off due to a break from the little instrument for close on 20 years, whilst I explored new territories such as the guitar, keyboards and wind instruments. I was the arranger with three guitar based groups covering cabaret to rock. Since it was so hard to keep the personnel together, and keep each other’s egos in check, I took the plunge and went solo. Since I played a number of instruments, I purchased some recording equipment and along with a sequencer, I recorded all the backing tracks. Also, I have always been a fan of harmony so I set to, recording backing instruments and vocals. The one man show covered 7 decades of music and could be tailored to a specific venue.

What has all this got to do with the Ukulele?? Well… in February 2013, my wife bought me a new wooden ukulele for my birthday. It was an inspired gift, as upon picking up this new instrument, an old flame was instantly rekindled in my heart – a passion for the wooden ukulele. I started a YouTube channel and made some videos of the wooden Uke, which then inspired me to try something new and so the cycle continues. Through Facebook, I posted my efforts to ukulele groups and clubs around the world and the response has been nothing short of staggering. From being virtually unknown 18 months ago, to being in regular contact not only from the UK, but across Europe, the Far East, Canada, USA, New Zealand, Australia to name a few countries.

Where did it all start? It began with another birthday ukulele. 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.

What is my ambition going forward? To continue to develop musically. To demonstrate my unique styles on both the ukulele and Banjolele worldwide. Also to provide workshops at all levels and share the passion and pleasure I’ve encountered thus far.

26 comments

  1. Andy Eastwood - May 2, 2014 2:03 am

    Great to see this new site, Peter! When I started playing uke around 1989, the scene was very different from today. Nowadays you can meet uke players in any town – but back then they were few and far between. Peter was the first person I ever saw playing ‘melody’ style on a uke, and he was out on a limb with his talents. He was an inspirational figure in the ukulele world then, and still is now.

    Reply
    • Peter - May 2, 2014 12:33 pm

      Thank you for your kind comments Andy. If I may return the compliment by saying, of all the Uke friends I made from back in the 70’s to the present date, no one has contributed more in both style and live performance than yourself. You are also an inspiration to me and perhaps more importantly to keep this thing alive, the next generation of players.

      Reply
  2. Bill Whiston - May 10, 2014 4:17 pm

    In his book “Teach Yourself Ukulele” Steven Sproat lists Peter Moss under “Uke Heroes and Ambassadors”. He describes him as “Possibly the UK’s finest uke player-awesome”. How true.
    Just over two years ago I was fortunate to meet with Pete. At that time I had hit a wall with my ukulele playing and was becoming what I call just a strummer, not that there’s anything wrong with strumming, but I wanted more from this lovely little instrument.
    Pete offered to help me to progress as a player and performer and with his help I have been able to smash through the wall I had hit.
    With his expert knowledge, patience and generosity to share his skills, I have and continued to reach levels on the uke I never thought possible.
    I would say that Pete is amongst the worlds finest uke players. To me he his the complete player, as he is highly skilled on both the wooden and Banjo uke.
    He is also willing and able to pass on his skills in a way that mere mortals like me can understand.

    Bill Whiston

    Reply
  3. Peter - May 10, 2014 6:28 pm

    Thanks for your kind words Bill. I am a mere mortal also but have 45 years of ukulele graft and experience under my belt.

    You are an excellent pupil who is never defeated no matter what I throw your way. You are living proof that if you knuckle down and practise, you will become a winner !

    I am proud when you tell me about the various performances you have done, even to join in with an acoustic jam night that maybe you wouldn’t have attempted a couple of years ago. Also the fact you are wanting to increase your repertoire to enable you to do solo concerts of up to an hour. Fantastic! Keep going……

    Peter

    Reply
  4. Roy T. Cone - May 11, 2014 1:06 am

    Hello Peter….

    I must be doing something wrong…. was trying to stop the rotating samples on the top right of this page…. hoping for a a sample video or so. Now, I am an ole coot and hasten to say I am not the smartest bear-in-the-forest.

    Reply
    • Peter - May 11, 2014 1:07 pm

      Hi Roy. If you go to the BLOG category, click on it and there is a drop down menu containing Ukulele and Banjolele performance videos. Thanks for your interest my friend. Enjoy !!

      Reply
  5. Mel Collie - May 11, 2014 4:45 am

    I first saw this little kid’s awesome performance at the BMG competition in Manchester, the event he
    describes. His proud MUM, DAD & sister Wendy were watching a BBC interviewer who had a Microphone
    in hand trying to get this shy kid to speak. I brazenly joined this small group watching with great interest.
    Little did I know that Peter and I were to become close friends as the years went by.
    When I first met Peter I was taking lessons on the Tenor Banjo, but my first instrument was a Bacon Banjo Uke I picked up in a pawn shop here in Toronto, soon after leaving London and emigrating to Canada in 1966. Peter and his lovely wife have visited us a few times and I always buttoned holed Peter to teach me the Formby style of playing. Last year he paid me a surprise visit for my 80th Birthday backyard Bar-B-Q. party along with other Nova Scotia musician friends. I have lost count of the Peter Moss knock out Concerts he has done in Nova Scotia. He has also performed extensively in the USA
    Banjo Conventions, bringing people to their feet with applause.
    I have been a professional Comedian/Banjoist for over 20 years now. Peter Moss has been kind enough
    to give me a spot in his shows, and I have reciprocated. He is a consumate musician in every sense of the word. The best is yet to come from this modest happy-go-lucky Ol’sport!!

    Mel Collie

    Reply
    • Peter - May 11, 2014 10:18 pm

      Mel Collie, what can I say ? Well for starters he is like family to me and we are to meet again in Halifax Nova Scotia for the 9th time, staying with Stephen Penny in Halifax Nova Scotia. For those who don’t know Mel he is a born entertainer who can have you in stitches one moment then play the banjo with such dexterity that you would not believe someone of his modest years. I am privalidged to know you Mel.

      Reply
  6. Ukulelegeek - May 12, 2014 1:05 am

    Hi Peter, it was great reading this, so I know a little bit more about you. You have quite a history with the ukulele, and music! I’ve only been playing (at) the uke for almost 4 years….I still consider myself very novice…the more I learn, the better I like it!

    Reply
    • Peter - May 16, 2014 3:56 pm

      Thanks Nickie. Its a pleasure to know you, mainly as a friend on Facebook, but happy to be on your list of recipients of your humorous emails. Hopefully we can meet in November 2014 when I will be visiting Florida for a few days as part of a whistle stop US tour.
      Take care !
      Peter x

      Reply
  7. John Croft - May 15, 2014 10:50 am

    Hi Peter;

    Great website for a great player! Well done, Peter. You now have an invaluable medium through which you will be able to reach out to the World in order to display your many musical skills and talents, which over the years I have been fortunate enough to enjoy on many occasions – and not least through your kind support of my ‘UK UKULELE FESTIVALS’, two great clips from which we can all enjoy on this website (‘Five Foot Two & Rockin the Uke’ and ‘Peter Plays William Tell’). What great fun we all had.

    Peter is a multi-talented musician and is able to play many different instruments to an incredibly high standard, so the next time that you contact him or meet him, ask him just how many he can play……. . He’s also a really nice bloke into the bargain and good company to be with. If you’ve never heard him play live, then I strongly urge you do so at the earliest opportunity. The clips are great, but his live performances are something else! A great player, a great performer and a great entertainer as well.

    Reply
    • Peter - May 16, 2014 3:36 pm

      Hi John

      Great to hear from you and thank you for your kind comments. You know, it’s one thing being able to play an instrument, but that’s not the end of the story. I need friends such as yourself, who are willing to gamble and give me platforms whereby I can share my passion. I therefore thank you for your continued support over the years and look forward to meeting up again in the near future.
      Regards
      Peter

      Reply
  8. Marney - May 15, 2014 6:31 pm

    Hey Peter, nice website! Hoping to hear some of that amazing talent during your visit in Nova Scotia..Loved your performance at 1313 Hollis Street…lost count on the standing ovationsI Hear Mel is coming to town… same time…another inspiration for sure. 🙂 Until then, all the best…
    Marney

    Reply
    • Peter - May 16, 2014 3:44 pm

      Marney, you are a real delight to know as a friend. You are full of enthusiasm and energy and not forgetting a good Heart. I look forward to visiting Nova Scotia for the 8th time ! – Can you believe it? I will call you when I arrive in Halifax and to quote song lyric by Pink, let’s “Get the party started”
      Regards
      Peter

      Reply
  9. Teresa Adcock - June 30, 2014 10:17 pm

    Hi Peter,
    I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your two day workshop at The Gleanings Study Centre this weekend. The course was set at just the right standard and even though the class varied in ability from beginners to experienced players I’m sure that everyone gained something from the content.
    Your method of teaching is clear and concise and your gentle manner made us all at ease.
    Nothing was too much trouble for you and you always made sure that we all understood each section before you moved on to the next.
    A fabulous course which has given me lots to work on and the confidence to believe I can
    do it.
    I would say that if anyone is considering attending a workshop to improve their ukulele playing then Peter Moss is your man!
    Thank you Peter 🙂
    Teresa

    Reply
  10. Cath Allwood - July 1, 2014 7:32 am

    I was at Gleanings weekend course too and agree with Teresa. Peter was inspirational – I was in the doldrums with my uke and he has given me so many new ideas and techniques. It was also a lot of fun with a lively group and lovely cake… So thanks again Peter and hope to see you in a few months there. I’ll keep practising and hope to learn those pesky inversions!
    Cath

    Reply
  11. Andy Crook - July 2, 2014 9:45 pm

    Peter, What a brilliant weekend at your workshop in the delightful venue of the Gleanings. I was a little worried that my ability would not be up to a level needed but I should not have been concerned. Your teaching methods, and patients were spot on I progressed more in 2 days than I have in the last 18 months. you also brought together lovely like minded people of whom are all new friends. Thank you so much for the workshop. Can I also say that your evening concert, in the form of an audience with, was fantastic. my jaw was on the floor for most of it. For anyone reading this feedback who is considering a ukulele workshop you will find none better than Peter Moss – inspirational and a teaching style that suits ever level of player. Thank you so much Peter, and looking forward to seeing you again in October

    Reply
  12. Matt Warnes - November 3, 2014 4:28 pm

    Hi Peter

    Just a note to say how good the website is looking. Glad that between ourselves at Omega Music and the distributor Stones Music, we were able to fix you up with your Uluru Pukana La IIC concert uke – which I’m naming the ‘Peter Moss’ in honour of your fantastic playing!

    Matt

    Reply
  13. Rich Thomas - October 29, 2015 11:19 pm

    Hi Peter.

    Thanks for agreeing to perform at the Ukulele Festival Of Wales @Gower Heritage Centre, Parkmill, Swansea sa3 2eh Date Saturday 25th-Sunday 26th June 2016.

    It’ll be our !st ukulele festival here in Swansea and it’s fantastic news to have you perform for us!

    Great website Peter

    Rich

    Reply
    • Peter - December 16, 2015 10:49 am

      Richard – I am honored to be asked to appear at your first festival. Looking forward to it. Peter

      Reply
  14. Vic Harrell - December 9, 2015 7:18 pm

    Peter,
    Just a note of thanks. Thanks you for an incredible workshop for the Ukulele Club of Gainesville. You are among the top professionals in the world and rightly so. You have earned the highest praise from all of the members present at the workshop. My wife,Martha said,” He is just amazing and charming too”. Your personality brought out our best.
    You asked me if we would like to have you again next year, my answer is
    a LOUD YES! You will have the first choice next year for any workshops
    in December, January,or any other time. Warm regards, Vic Harrell UCG

    Reply
    • Peter - December 16, 2015 10:39 am

      Thank you so much Vic for your kind comments. It was my pleasure to both present my workshop followed with my Ukulele concert. I have since watched a few videos of the event and very happy to have this as a souvenir. I will be in contact in 2016 about a possible return late 2016. However I am travelling to Australia and possibly Taiwan for the first time next year. I would like to appear at the TBUG event and could maybe tie something in with that. For now, thank you again for your friendship and the opportunity to perform for the Gainesville ukulele group.

      Reply
  15. Pam & Brian - April 18, 2016 11:36 am

    G’day Pete,
    Hope you have recouperated from Kenilworth Queensland Ukulele Festival.
    WHAT A SUPER WEEKEND YOU GAVE US !

    Thank you for taking the time to explain some of your professional techniques to us at HUMPS CENTRAL Camp at Kenilworth and the biggest THANK YOU for accompanying the ‘Three Formbys Plus One’ spot. We now have to knuckle down and practice your split stroke technique and hopefully next year there will be an improvement in us.
    When you are short of the Vegemite let us know and we can bring some over to you along with the smoked mullet.

    Thanks for a great time with plenty of laughs. Love and best regards to your family.
    Cheers from your Aussie family,
    Pam, Brian, Rick and Wynne.

    Reply
    • Peter - April 22, 2016 11:36 am

      G’day Pam & Brian

      Well I’m back home with many happy memories that are helping to combat the post Sunshine Coast Festival Blues. Thank you so much for taking me under your wing and making the whole experience a thoroughly memorable one. Let’s do it again soon. 😀😀😀
      Pete

      Reply
  16. Frank O'Mara - April 20, 2016 10:47 am

    Saw Peter Moss at the sunshine coast he’s the best and a great person
    to know should be called the ukulele KING hope to meet up again soon
    Peter
    All the best
    Frank

    Reply
    • Peter - April 22, 2016 11:41 am

      Hey Frank. It was great to meet you at the festival. If it wasn’t for meeting you and you then introducing me to the HUMPS Uke group, I would certainly missed out on making 15-20 new friends who I regard now as family. Hopefully we can get together in your neibourhood in the near future.
      Regards
      Pete

      Reply

Have your say