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Back from Australian Banjo Camp

Posted by Gareth Banjoland on Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Well I've just returned from the First Inaugural (is that a tautology?) Australian Banjo Camp, and although it was nice to be around thirty or so banjo pickers of all shapes and sizes, I have to say I was a little disappointed. "WHAT!!??" -I hear you cry "What could possibly be disappointing about being around more banjo players that you ever have seen in one room together before in your life!!" WELL......because they were all pretty much beginners- Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I was expecting there to be at least a few hot pickers to rub up against, but sadly and flatteringly at the same time (weird feeling that one) I was easily the most advanced student there. The three instructors, Ross Nickerson ( , Gary Vann (Great Brisbane based multi-instrumentalist), and Peter Nayhusen (camp organiser and maker of the beautiful "Bellbird Banjos) were all well equipped to teach beginner to intermediate but didn't really have lot to offer past that, I picked up (no pun intended) a few little tips on tone and that was about it. The instructors actually learnt a few licks from me at times! Maybe if there had been a higher level of playing amongst the students then the teachers would have had to accommodate that but sadly that was not the case. All that said though, I still had a great time, picking all day can never be a bad thing and it was lovely to hear the instructors play together in the evening concert, especially Ross Nickersons more progressive playing which was tasteful and spectacular. The location and venue were gorgeous and the food was good as well. I performed a little act which included my unusual ability to play the banjo standing on my head and that was very well received, although folk did seem a little wary of me after that! Maybe next year I could get a job as an instructor- " Playing in Unorthodox Positons" or something like that.

7 comments on “Back from Australian Banjo Camp”

bradlad123 Says:
Tuesday, December 9, 2008 @3:43:39 PM

i agree with you there

When they had the 3 groups (Advanced, intermediate and begginer)
They should chosen those groups accordingly to the skill level of player

As our advanced group had somewhat begginer players in it
which makes it hard when teaching.

Hopefully they will improve it next year

Grum Says:
Wednesday, December 10, 2008 @4:00:14 AM

Yes you're probbly right. But since I was the "beginner" in the advanced group it didn't cause me any heartache! I guess with a small sample (30 people) you're not really likely to get exactly 10 beginners, 10 intermediates and 10 purty goods. I think I got plonked into the purty goods because the beginners were all filled up! Hopefully I'll deserve to be in the advanced group next year! Grahame PS I visited The Pitts site. Is that guy your father? He looks so much like you. Funny stuff.

jphulme Says:
Wednesday, December 10, 2008 @5:01:58 AM

Yes I was wondering what you might have got from the camp seeing your skill level is so high. I had no idea what I was going to get out of it but I wanted to go anyway just for the chance to meet other players and pick up some good pointers, which I did. And your show was great fun too.

bradlad123 Says:
Wednesday, December 10, 2008 @7:21:14 AM

Well yeh

Im not saying there is anything bad with that
you gotta start somewhere

but it just does make it somewhat difficult when trying to teach


Gluggy Says:
Wednesday, December 10, 2008 @9:57:46 AM

where abouts was the camp held? I did'nt see it advertised anywhere. Missed again:(

Koala_in_pjs Says:
Wednesday, December 10, 2008 @6:27:48 PM

Hey that was just up the road from me.  I woulda fit right in being the extremely experienced player that I am... A whole 2 months experience that is ;)

I've found that most events have a few hiccups the very first time they happen and usually the next time they happen they're bigger and better than the first one.   

I've got the calendar marked for next year.


bradlad123 Says:
Wednesday, December 10, 2008 @10:51:47 PM

The camp was at Glasshouse Mountains in QLD

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