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Dec 7, 2017 - 11:20:15 AM
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8578 posts
Joined Jun 2, 2008

Blue Ridge Banjo Camp

Aug 15-19, Brevard Music Center, North Carolina.

Teachers: Bela Fleck, Tony Trischka, Kristin Scott Benson, Mike Munford.

Audition video required!

Dec 7, 2017 - 11:29:54 AM
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Mooooo

USA

1103 posts
Joined Aug 20, 2016

I would love to attend this. I would hate to pay for this, not that the price is too high, but that it's too high for me.

Dec 7, 2017 - 12:46:52 PM

kjcole

USA

1069 posts
Joined Apr 21, 2003

And you have to submit an audition video. Wonder what they are looking for?

Dec 7, 2017 - 1:14:53 PM
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1780 posts
Joined Nov 15, 2003

I'm not pointing any fingers(really i'm not!)

But there are many a banjo enthusiast that would be far better off spending that kind of money for lessons, from that presteigous list of pickers, than they are wasting it on pricey banjos that they don't have the first clue of how to play it!

What do you think they are looking for? Not wasting there time, and your money.

I have first hand knowledge of a man back in the late 80's that got a lesson from one of those listed. I knew the man, and he was a novice at best.

He gave one of the Banjoist listed a goodly sume of money for what was susposed to be an hour lesson, with the lesson being focused on learing some of the instructors "advanced stylings and licks"

Upon seeing the level of the student's ability(after just a few short minutes), the instructor gave the man his money back, and told him he could not help him with learning his style and licks, until he first learned Earl Scruggs!

This took place at Winfield Ks, back in the mid 80's!

Warp!

Edited by - warpdrive on 12/07/2017 13:24:21

Dec 7, 2017 - 1:22:23 PM
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8578 posts
Joined Jun 2, 2008

quote:
Originally posted by kjcole

And you have to submit an audition video. Wonder what they are looking for?

Based on the stated curriculum of Scruggs, melodic and single string, and the goal of advancing players' abilities, I'm guessing they're looking for proof that players are at least at an intermediate level and are ready for melodics and single string.  Or maybe they want to assess abilities so they can assign students to groups appropriate to their level.

Since I'm thinking of attending, I'm going to ask about that.  I make no apologies for how this may sound, but I don't want to travel hundreds of miles and spend over a thousand dollars to attend three days of all-levels banjo classes.  I can get all of the mixed level playing I want for free at my local jam.  I fully understand there may well be players more advanced than I am who might not want me in their class for fear I'd hold the group back.

It's borderline expensive for me. Especially since I'm probably earning nothing next year.  But I can treat it as a retirement present to myself.  Plus, my wife wants to send me to a luthier camp for my birthday, but the only one we can find has students assembling banjos from a kit.  I can already do that.  So I might go to this banjo camp instead. 

Edited by - Old Hickory on 12/07/2017 13:23:16

Dec 7, 2017 - 1:42:21 PM

4875 posts
Joined Mar 6, 2006

It looks great. Not sure I would pass the audition, but would love to go. Western NC is a beautiful place to visit too.

Dec 7, 2017 - 1:45:10 PM
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1780 posts
Joined Nov 15, 2003

Larry,
you have nothing to worry about!
warp!

Dec 7, 2017 - 1:52:54 PM

4232 posts
Joined Jun 3, 2011

It would seem that they only want the cream of the crop that also have deep pockets. That lets me out on two counts.

Dec 7, 2017 - 2:53:57 PM

Boadicea Players Union Member

Australia

124 posts
Joined Jun 28, 2014

I am years off knowing enough to go to a camp like this! I am a total newbie. I have been having lessons for 5-6 months now.

But it would be exciting to hear how someone experienced such a camp!

Dec 7, 2017 - 3:14:08 PM
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13349 posts
Joined Mar 6, 2006

This is the way to actually run a three day workshop. For each participant to receive instruction that they are ready and able to absorb, it's crucial for the teachers to be able to asses where the person is, skill set wise.

I don't know how many times I've seen camps that are self 'regulated', which means they leave it up to each participant to decide what level they are..bad idea. You either get the usual participants who ink their skill level is higher than it is, or folks who too dismissive of their abilities. This results in classes full of deer in the headlights looks or bored to death. Either scenario is a waste of everyone's time and money.

Knowing these players and their playing abilities, and more importantly teaching abilities, I think three days, with room and board, and intensive instruction is a good deal. How often can you get hands on instruction like this from this caliber of pickers? That's my view and not everyone will agree obviously. In th end it's the participants business and no one else's since it's their time and their money.

Dec 7, 2017 - 3:35:13 PM

1780 posts
Joined Nov 15, 2003

John
You have just said (in a way nicer way) what i have thought for years, not just about this or other banjo camps, but banjodom and learning the banjo itself!

When the pop show "American Idol" came out 18 or so years ago, people thought that Simon Cowell was the cruelest most rude and heartless (judge, critic, host call him what you will), and the masses were aghast. But yet he served a purpose, and that was to let people know where there abilities were, when family and friends and self, just were not getting it.

I've often wondered if there was an american idol for banjo pickers, how many would and could handle the decision of the judges?
I think it would be very interesting.
Warp!

Dec 7, 2017 - 3:48:06 PM

1043 posts
Joined Dec 31, 2005

It would be nice if they gave you some idea of who would qualify. The site strongly suggests that there is a level of skill required, which is fine, but it would probably lead to less hurt feelings if they gave you an idea up front.

I hope it works out well for them. It is important to keep classes well grouped by skill so people are not bored or lost, especially if they are paying tuition. But for this to work they are going to have to have a fair number of people that have three things: (1) Time; (2) money; and (3) skill. Many of us have one or two of these. But power to the folks making a living playing the banjo. This would be really fun to attend.

Dec 7, 2017 - 4:12:41 PM

Mooooo

USA

1103 posts
Joined Aug 20, 2016

My first thought about the audition was that it was for placement with others of similar skills. But this was based on nothing at all, just an assumption that no matter the caliber of instructors that they #1 would be able to teach just about anyone something worthwhile, and #2 that they like more money instead of less money.

*I guess what I really mean is that they aren't only looking for the cream of the crop, but also they probably won't take in people who can't play a tune either...

Edited by - Mooooo on 12/07/2017 16:17:28

Dec 7, 2017 - 5:35:32 PM
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1043 posts
Joined Dec 31, 2005

I think the fact you read this differently (perhaps correctly) is good proof that the site should be more clear. Last thing you want in business is people upset because there was a misunderstanding as to expectations.

Dec 7, 2017 - 9:08:44 PM

4232 posts
Joined Jun 3, 2011

As I thought about this more, I think that what may happen is that they take as many of players as spaces for players. As in most auditions some may be at professional quality, and some might be some what lesser skilled players. Would I like to go? Yes but my level of skill is such that I believe that I would not make the cut.

Edited by - Dave1climber on 12/07/2017 21:09:27

Dec 8, 2017 - 6:30:36 AM

n1wr

USA

627 posts
Joined Dec 27, 2010

I couldn't come close to being ready for this. I struggle with 'real time' instruction - I can pick a lick up quickly by rote repetition, but five minutes later its gone - have to relearn it all over again. I would be a horrible student, and I recognize this is not for me. That said, I would give anything to be at a point where my memory skills were such that I could handle it. Being 70 years old doesn't help! Message here for you younger players - learn what you can now, and build your skills while you're able.

Dec 8, 2017 - 1:50:52 PM
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8578 posts
Joined Jun 2, 2008

quote:
Originally posted by Laurence Diehl

It looks great. Not sure I would pass the audition, but would love to go. Western NC is a beautiful place to visit too.


Pass the audition?

With performances like Our Love is Here to Stay, Here There and Everywhere, and so many more, you could be teaching. 

Dec 8, 2017 - 2:38:10 PM

4875 posts
Joined Mar 6, 2006

quote:
Originally posted by Old Hickory
quote:
Originally posted by Laurence Diehl

It looks great. Not sure I would pass the audition, but would love to go. Western NC is a beautiful place to visit too.


Pass the audition?

With performances like Our Love is Here to Stay, Here There and Everywhere, and so many more, you could be teaching. 


That's very nice of you Ken, I just meant that there's so many great players out there...most of them wouldn't pass up a chance to study under Bela and Tony.

Dec 8, 2017 - 3:06:05 PM
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8578 posts
Joined Jun 2, 2008

I think Bela is the only one of these four who rarely, if ever, teaches at camps.  So that could certainly be a draw.

I've written to the camp to ask what they're looking for in the audition:  a minimum level of ability to qualify; an assessment of ability in order to assign campers to level-appropriate groups; some combination of those; or something else.

I'll report back what they say.

Since it costs nothing to apply, I'm going to do it.  I figure if I get in, it's then my decision whether to actually spend the money and go.  But I can't go if I don't apply.

Dec 8, 2017 - 5:58:09 PM

5288 posts
Joined Dec 10, 2003

Heck, im going to give it a shot. Bela is my favorite with Tony a close second. Its not to awful far from me. Problem is I havet picked much in ages and cant cut it very good right now.

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