What level players come to camp?
Instrument classes are all levels–we have students who started recently and others who have played for decades (and we all have a great time playing music together!). To get the most out of camp, students should be at the minimum “strong beginners” i.e. have some basic skills. Instructors will cover the basics and will take time to ensure that more-advanced students are challenged as well. Each student will get a short private lesson, which is a great opportunity to cover anything that doesn’t come up in class.
I just started playing my instrument. Can I still enroll?
Yes! You should have some basic knowledge of your instrument when you come to camp. If needed, take some lessons beforehand. We may be able to help find you a teacher in your local area–just ask!
Here are the basic skills students should have:
Guitar and mandolin: know how to make common major and minor chords in a few keys and be comfortable strumming (or chopping for mandolin) with a flatpick.
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?
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. Old School Bluegrass Camp has 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.
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?
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), organized jams including a slow jam every night, and plenty of pickin’ by the bonfire.
Can I bring my spouse/companion?
Yes you can! There is an $475 + HST charge for a camp companion to stay with you–they can partake in all meals, electives, jams, and evening social activities. They can also attend all the concerts! Please note that at the camp companion rate, they won’t be able to take a morning instrument class, participate in the band labs, or perform in the student concert.
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. Please also bring a reusable water bottle.
Can I bring my pets or kids?
As much as we love kids and animals, we do not allow them at The Old School Bluegrass Camp. There are many family friendly activities available locally nearby.
What is your Cancellation Policy?
Cancellation prior to and including May 1st, 2020 will receive a full refund, minus a $30 plus HST administration fee. Cancellation after that date will not be eligible for a refund.