This year at the Geoff Hohwald North Georgia retreats we have had a lot of beginners or people who just started playing less than a year ago.Sometimes they’re reluctant to come because they feel that they need to prepare more and learn to play more. This seems to be a logical way to approach this. However what we have discovered by accident is that after a student has played for two or three months it’s a good time to come to one of our camps to make sure that they are learning the fundamentals properly. We’re talking mostly about timing and basic techniques.
Waiting to come is not necessarily bad however a student operating in a vacuum many times thinks that they are an intermediate player when in fact they do need a lot of work on the fundamentals of timing. This is not a problem as far as what to do. It is a problem psychologically because the student feels after playing for a year or year and a half that they have certain abilities and they either go to a jam session or go to play with someone they have met and find out that they have a lot of trouble playing time with other people because of timing. They have focused on memorizing songs but haven’t spent much time on timing or on technique drills. So the idea of starting over and reviewing the basics many times is disappointing to them. So long story short if you start early practicing timing and techniques you will progress much faster in your journey to play with others.
So long story short our ratio of two students to each instructor and our experience working with beginners, advanced beginners and early intermediates is ideal for understanding and cementing in the principles of timing and technique. We have done over 60 of these clinics or retreats in the last 17 years.If you want to see some of our students playing go to GeoffHohwald.com. There is a short video and what you’ll see some of the teachers playing and students of various levels able to play in the same jam. We have had two students come to the retreats who have played for three or four months. In one case a student purchased a banjo, had never played and at the time of purchase signed up for the camp and came four months later. This worked out very well for him. If you have any questions or are interested in a retreat please let me know Sincerely, Geoff
Thought I might jump in on this thread and make a few comments.
I started working with Geoff a couple of years ago. At the time I thought I was an intermediate player. However, as I worked with Geoff I realized my rhythm and timing needed improving. I attended a banjo retreat last May and my experience there prompted me to be more focused on rhythm and timing. Geoff suggested various tools, techniques, and drills to improve. I took his advice seriously, and over time started seeing results. I went back to another camp in August, and while there shared some of my experiences and lessons learned with some of the other students. I'm now teaching Geoff's techniques at the retreats. Much of what I do is show students one-on-one and one-on-two how they can use the tools and techniques Geoff taught me when they get back home.
If you're interested in attending a camp, and would like to hear more about my journey, send me a private message and I'll be glad to share what you'll experience at a retreat and how attending can help you move forward, especially if you're a fairly new player who wants to establish a firm foundation for your playing.
By the way - Geoff, Curtis Jones and David Ellis are the main instructors at the retreat. All three are phenomenal multi-instrumentalists and gifted instructors. I'm honored to share the tools and techniques that Geoff taught me to improve my rhythm and drive. This is in addition to what they normally teach at the retreats and has added a new dimension to the learning experience.
If you're interested in a flyer, send me a PM and I'll be glad to email one to you.
Thanks for your interest. Sorry you couldn’t make it this year. We will be having more Retreats this fall and also next year. If you’ll send me your email I’ll put you on the list to let you know of future events.