Guitar "camp" - worth it?

Grendel2000

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,299
I'm 50 and only started playing a year and a half ago. While I'm extremely enthusiastic and passionate about improving my weekly lesson and limited time to play (as a dad and working professional) means my progress is pretty slow. Definitely slower than I'd like... What's more, I live in a fairly rural area with limited options for "jamming".

Based on all of this I got to thinking about workshops or guitar camps under the assumption that a more intensive period of immersion might jump start things for me. Anyone have experience with something like this, preferably on the east coast that they can recommend? or are these a bad idea?

Thanks!
 

Brian N

Member
Messages
2,097
I've never done something like that, so I'm just going to give my opinion. I can't see it being a bad idea, worst case scenario is you wasted some time and money. One on one lessons would be better suited for improving since they are tailored to fit, but it sounds like you need motivation, and a workshop or camp is likely to provide that if you can find one.
 

willyboy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,353
I've been to a few and taught at a few. For the hobbyist musician I think they can be a fantastic experience. An opportunity for a few days to immerse yourself in music, workshops, playing with and meeting new people. My experience has been that the good camps have a real great almost family like atmosphere with a lot of people who return year after year - Very positive, supportive, encouraging and motivating. I would highly recommend it
 

Grendel2000

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,299
I've been to a few and taught at a few. For the hobbyist musician I think they can be a fantastic experience. An opportunity for a few days to immerse yourself in music, workshops, playing with and meeting new people. My experience has been that the good camps have a real great almost family like atmosphere with a lot of people who return year after year - Very positive, supportive, encouraging and motivating. I would highly recommend it
I guess that's part B of the question now that you mention it - any recommendations on "good" camps?
 

PBGas

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,784
I think you would have a great time and probably learn an awful lot!

After I retire this coming year, I have always wanted to go the John Petrucci Universe thingy for 4 days. So many amazing players to learn from and add to my style of playing.

I am going to hopefully do that as long as things get a bit better.
 

edro

Member
Messages
933
Not a bad idea at all if you are in a class of appropriate level... A workshop/clinic/seminar is like a popsicle though. When it's over it's over...

A structured lesson schedule would be preferable. Constant evaluation/observation by instructor is part of the dance...

We ourselves ALWAYS evaluate ourselves about as accurately as somebody evaluating a new truck while only looking at a Moon Pie painted Yugo... We think we are better than we are and at the same time think we suck worse than we do.. A good instructor constantly evaluates your progress and if really good, will light you up when you don't practice as you are wasting his/her time because Call of Duty last two nights didn't help your finger control on a guitar neck at all...and pat you on the back for making progress by actually wrapping hands on neck and practicing.... Motivation....
 

Jazzandmore

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
11,822
@Grendel2000

I did the National Guitar Workshop back in the day. Flew out to Connecticut and everything. Had a great time. I've also done the multi day type of thing with Robben Ford when he was in Ojai. He even let us tape the whole thing and gave handouts.

Big takeaway was:
1) They are really fun
2) There is a lot you can learn
3) Will you really knuckle down and practice the material?

That last point is a big one. Most of us here own more than one book on playing and we often "intend" to really learn what's in there. But.....how many times do people really hold their own feet to the fire and truly learn and master what's in the book? Did I ever go back and listen to all the stuff I taped at Robben's clinic? Did I ever really deeply practice what he taught? Uh....

So yep they are fun, but will they provide you some info or spark that will make you really learn the material you already have, plus the material they are showing you? Only each of us as players really knows if we will follow through.
 

BigDoug1053

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,854
If the idea appeals to you, I say go for it. I do think that, long term, it would help to form a daily practice habit. I started off doing major and Dorian scales and arpeggios on bass. Then I figured out the same exercises on 6 string guitars, and then 7 string. Just 30 minutes a day will build some skills and skill with the Amp settings and efx. Just a suggestion - I know your time is grabbed with family, work, and such.
 

Paleolith54

Member
Messages
3,431
I'm 50 and only started playing a year and a half ago. While I'm extremely enthusiastic and passionate about improving my weekly lesson and limited time to play (as a dad and working professional) means my progress is pretty slow. Definitely slower than I'd like... What's more, I live in a fairly rural area with limited options for "jamming".

Based on all of this I got to thinking about workshops or guitar camps under the assumption that a more intensive period of immersion might jump start things for me. Anyone have experience with something like this, preferably on the east coast that they can recommend? or are these a bad idea?

Thanks!
I was in a similar situation. I wouldn't say it's a bad idea, and it's certainly possible to get some value from it. If it's pretty easy for you to do financially I'd say give it a shot, but you need to enter with an open mind, maybe even a blank one.

You might go to one session and it's just killer (Matt Smith was fantastic in every way) and you learn a lot, the next one may be over your head or just not taught very well. Big names brought in for demos might be fantastic (Chris Cain) or a serious snooze (I won't use names but one blues icon droned on about his life, or something, with an untethered meandering that makes Carlos Santana sound like an accountant.) Most of the people around you will look like your grandchildren, which I thought was kind of cool actually.

I did it twice. The first was worth it by just a hair, the second really wasn't.
 

FineMess

Member
Messages
20
We are gearing up for jazz camp and guitar camp where I work starting this weekend. They seem to have a great time. Family like.
 

willyboy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,353
I guess that's part B of the question now that you mention it - any recommendations on "good" camps?
It depends on where you live, but where I am in British Columbia, Canada the two really great ones are the Guitar Workshop Plus and the Georgia Straight Guitar Workshop (this one being an actual camp experience)
 

Krausewitz

Member
Messages
3,224
I'm 50 and only started playing a year and a half ago. While I'm extremely enthusiastic and passionate about improving my weekly lesson and limited time to play (as a dad and working professional) means my progress is pretty slow. Definitely slower than I'd like... What's more, I live in a fairly rural area with limited options for "jamming".

Based on all of this I got to thinking about workshops or guitar camps under the assumption that a more intensive period of immersion might jump start things for me. Anyone have experience with something like this, preferably on the east coast that they can recommend? or are these a bad idea?

Thanks!
How much annual leave do you get?
 

Krausewitz

Member
Messages
3,224
My gut says this: it can't hurt, but is unlikely to help much. You have a good amount of annual leave, but I'm still not sure I'd sacrifice it on a guitar camp, especially so early on in your playing life.

Learning guitar is like lifting weights. There is no fast way to improve. It is a brutally long, tediously slow process. There's no two ways about it.

Try doing practice away from the guitar. Work on your theory. Build chords, scales, and progressions in your head. Absolutely nothing will help you more than that.
 






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