I just started playing my instrument. Can I still enroll?
Yes, of course you can enrol. You should have some basic knowledge of your instrument. The more prepared you are, the more you will learn at the Old School Bluegrass Camp. If needed, go out and take some extra lessons before your first day at camp. Our instructors are professional musicians and teachers. They will teach to your level. The best thing to do is practice, practice, practice.
Beginners should have some experience on their instrument and be able to do the basics at a slow tempo:
Bluegrass banjo: should be comfortable with finger picks and know some basic Scruggs rolls in G major tuning.
Fiddle: should have a good bow hold, know some scales, and be able to play simple melodies in a few keys.
Clawhammer: should have some experience with the basic “bum-ditty” clawhammer technique. Some experience with a few tunings (G, G modal, double C) would be helpful.
How will my Instructor teach a group of mixed level students?
A word about class sizes: generally since our class sizes are so small, 10 students to one teacher, there will be ample opportunity for your instructor to teach material that beginning, intermediate, and advanced students will enjoy. In a mixed-level class, you can expect that each topic will be introduced at a pace beginners will understand, and from there, more advanced ideas will be introduced. Whereas most camps focus on just playing solos to tunes and songs, our camp will also have a heavy focus on playing in a band. This means you’ll spend time working on different approaches to rhythm, backup, chords, and dynamics – all of which work well as topics in a mixed-level class.
Since our camp is months away, we don’t expect our instructors to have complete teaching plans prepared at this time. As time approaches, more information will become available. However, you can reasonably expect that each class will include demonstration, hands-on instruction, practice time to learn new concepts, and Q&A. Handouts will be provided, though most of your teachers will probably teach by ear and give you handouts as reminders and practice tools. Depending on the needs of the class, your instructor may occasionally break your class into smaller groups of 2 or 3 and focus on a particular skill or exercise for a period of time. If you’re curious what teachers generally cover in their workshops, you’re welcome to contact them directly and ask!
Your band lab classes will be devoted to getting you working well in a band setting. Topics will include beginnings and endings, rhythm playing, dynamics, providing appropriate backup to vocalists and other instruments, arranging songs, and plenty more.
What evening activities are planned, if any?
Each evening will be filled with fun and music. We don’t want to give it all away just yet, but some of the activities planned are concerts (both instructor and student), games nights with prizes, open mic night, bluegrass trivia, and jammin’ and pickin’ by the bonfire. It will be so much fun you won’t want to leave.
Can I bring my spouse/companion?
Yes you can. There is an $550 + HST extra charge for a spouse or companion (camp companion) to stay with you and partake in meals and evening social activities. They are not allowed to participate in workshops, labs, or classes.
Is my sleeping bag and tent included?
No it is not. You must provide your own camping gear.
What do I need to bring for camping gear?
You need to bring a tent, sleeping bag, pillow, towel, and bed roll.
Can I bring my pets or kids?
What is your Cancellation Policy?
Cancellation prior to and including May 1st, 2017 will receive a full refund, minus a $30 plus HST administration fee. Cancellation after that date will not be eligible for a refund.