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  1. #1

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    Am thinking about spending a week at an adult jazz camp this summer. Has any of you done that and can recommend, or not recommend, one or another camp? One thing I want to avoid is the approach of 'play this mode over this chord'. But I would like to play in an ensemble, with a great coach. Any suggestions?

    Thanks,
    j.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by jasaco
    Am thinking about spending a week at an adult jazz camp this summer. Has any of you done that and can recommend, or not recommend, one or another camp? One thing I want to avoid is the approach of 'play this mode over this chord'. But I would like to play in an ensemble, with a great coach. Any suggestions?

    Thanks,
    j.
    I went to jazzcampwest one year. I enjoyed it and got something out of it. The positives were that there were some great teachers, they were accessible to chat with and ask questions, and there were a lot of musical styles represented.

    The negative was the overall size of the camp. It was physically big, so that there was a fair amount of time roaming the hilly site trying to find the right spot. Most of the classes were way too big for individual attention. I knew a bunch of people who wanted to jam, but it proved just about impossible to get a venue (one of the spots with drums and keys set up) and all the people and their instruments in the right place at the right time. There was a central jam, but it was very crowded. The main playing I did was in my ensemble, which met for an hour a day. And, you're not guaranteed an ensemble -- there's an audition and then they match you with players at your level. I think they got mine about right. And the teacher was fine. Most of the guitar classes were more than 15 or 20 players, so there wasn't much individual attention.

    I didn't go back, but I know people who go every year.

    Despite the negatives, it was a positive experience to hang with a large number of like-minded individuals, many of whom were very talented.

  4. #3

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    Just make sure it's a jazz camp and not something else.

  5. #4

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    If Canada is an option:

    jazzworkscanada - Home

  6. #5

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    There is one outside of Detroit, that is run by the guitar guy from Wayne State Univ. The Wayne State campus is in downtown, but I believe the camp is held at Oakland Univ. which is suburban Detroit.

    Recalled looking at it, and it seemed quite reasonably priced. Mix of young kids and adults, IIRC.

    Wayne State had/has some outstanding music programs. AT one time in the 50's, they had a student band with Kenny Burrell, Doug Watkins, Elvin Jones, and Yuseef Lateef! Not too shabby, eh?

  7. #6

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    Jamey Aebersold has been in the jazz camp gig for a long time now.

    http://workshops.jazzbooks.com

  8. #7
    Thanks guys. Keep 'em coming. I attended Jamey Aebersold's camp a few decades ago and found it, at least at that time, to be devoted to chord-scale theory. If that's still what they do, I'm not interested. But maybe they've moved to other approaches by now? After all, it was a long time ago...

  9. #8

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    ...is great - and in a lovely spot, and the food is excellent

    Summer Jazz Workshops

  10. #9

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  11. #10
    Yes, I'm aware of that one. Have you attended? If so, pros & cons?

    Thx.

  12. #11

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    I went three times to the Tritone jazz camp. They do one in WI and one in NY every summer; I have been to the WI one. They keep it small (I think 6 guitarists and probably about that for most instruments, more for reeds and brass), so it's a bit spendy. The guitar coach is Gene Bertoncini, and IMHO it's going to be hard to do better than that anywhere. I had to skip the 4th summer due to family health issues and getting back in has been hard- it sells out quickly (at least the WI one does) and for some reason the time and money to go has been harder to come by. There are general classes (rhythm, jazz theory, etc.) and instrument-specific classes, plus small group combos, an optional big band, Gene does a "guitar orchestra," there are nightly jam sessions and an end-of-the-week concert with all participants.

    I think most jazz camps follow a pretty similar format. There is another one in WI called the Northwoods Jazz Camp or something like that. It's shorter and less expensive, but people I know that have attended speak highly of it.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by jasaco
    Yes, I'm aware of that one. Have you attended? If so, pros & cons?

    Thx.
    No, I've never been. Although it seemed like you were looking for opinions from people who had actually attended a specific camp, the Yosemite page came with a video of testimonials from a few campers, so I thought it might be helpful.

    I don't think I'd want to go to a camp that would let someone like me through the gate.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by jasaco
    Am thinking about spending a week at an adult jazz camp this summer. Has any of you done that and can recommend, or not recommend, one or another camp? One thing I want to avoid is the approach of 'play this mode over this chord'. But I would like to play in an ensemble, with a great coach. Any suggestions?

    Thanks,
    j.
    Playing in an ensemble with a great coach is an excellent thing to do! Why go to a camp for that, though? Are there no jazzers in your town, or jazz teachers?

  15. #14

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    Here is a link to the University of North Texas's workshops this summer. The school is world-renowned for its Jazz studies.

    Workshops, Camps and Masterclasses | College of Music

  16. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by marcwhy
    Playing in an ensemble with a great coach is an excellent thing to do! Why go to a camp for that, though? Are there no jazzers in your town, or jazz teachers?
    I live in Philly which is renowned for having great jazzers. But they're not about to give up a week to play in an immersion setting with me (or anyone else, for that matter), eight hours a day for 6 days...

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by jasaco
    I live in Philly which is renowned for having great jazzers. But they're not about to give up a week to play in an immersion setting with me (or anyone else, for that matter), eight hours a day for 6 days...
    Hey, Philly's great (isn't Jimmy Bruno still there?)!

    And I hear ya: I did a "guitar camp" with Mick Goodrick, and it was an unforgettable week!

    In all seriousness, though, these camps are $2-4K or more (not including travel, some not including food and lodging). Try this: get a trio or quartet together, commit to playing together for a week, every night for three hours, and pay a Philly pro to hang out and coach you [this is one of Hal Crook's suggestions in his book, "Ready, Aim, Improvise!"]. Guaranteed the pro will take your gig, you'll have a blast, and you'll save enough money to buy another amp or guitar!

    Just a thought ..

  18. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by marcwhy
    Hey, Philly's great (isn't Jimmy Bruno still there?)!

    And I hear ya: I did a "guitar camp" with Mick Goodrick, and it was an unforgettable week!

    In all seriousness, though, these camps are $2-4K or more (not including travel, some not including food and lodging). Try this: get a trio or quartet together, commit to playing together for a week, every night for three hours, and pay a Philly pro to hang out and coach you [this is one of Hal Crook's suggestions in his book, "Ready, Aim, Improvise!"]. Guaranteed the pro will take your gig, you'll have a blast, and you'll save enough money to buy another amp or guitar!

    Just a thought ..
    Yes, Jimmy's still here, right up the road, in fact...

    The camps I looked at online cost around $1400 including room and board for a week, so less than you cited, but I get your general point nonetheless. I'm not sure how I'd find other people who'd want to do this with me, though. Most of the jazzers I know are working pro's, any of whom could be the coach, rather than the student... maybe craigslist or something?

    But the camps have other benefits: theory, arranging, ear training/listening, and other classes, different coaches, playing with faculty, performing for your peers, total immersion for a week, etc, etc.

    Still, with $1400, I suppose I could pay for a bunch of lessons with Jimmy Bruno (or buy another guitar!) Hmmm...

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by jasaco
    Still, with $1400, I suppose I could pay for a bunch of lessons with Jimmy Bruno (or buy another guitar!) Hmmm...
    Now you're thinking -- feed that GAS!!

    Again, for me, hanging out with a bunch of musicians night and day for a week was … wonderful!

  20. #19

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    Hi bumping this thread, anyone have any experience going to this camp? thanks

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by marcwhy
    Hey, Philly's great (isn't Jimmy Bruno still there?)!

    And I hear ya: I did a "guitar camp" with Mick Goodrick, and it was an unforgettable week!

    In all seriousness, though, these camps are $2-4K or more (not including travel, some not including food and lodging). Try this: get a trio or quartet together, commit to playing together for a week, every night for three hours, and pay a Philly pro to hang out and coach you [this is one of Hal Crook's suggestions in his book, "Ready, Aim, Improvise!"]. Guaranteed the pro will take your gig, you'll have a blast, and you'll save enough money to buy another amp or guitar!

    Just a thought ..
    The trouble with camps is that you get such a wide variety of skill levels and playing experience. I think everyone should do a camp once, and then resolve to practice hard and find people to play with of their own choosing (which requires having some reasonable competence first)...because if you feel you have to attend a camp again then, IMO, you are doing something wrong...i.e. not practicing hard enough, not listening to enough jazz, and not internalizing tunes.

    The biggest thing I took away from the one mini camp (3 days in Whistler) and one larger camp I attended two years later was MOTIVATION TO PRACTICE MY ASS OFF, which I did. The suggestion above to hire a pro to help mentor/coach is a great idea. I'm lucky and I got to do that in an organized setting for about 5 years about once a week after I was done with camps, along with jamming with others and occasionally playing fun gigs. I learned a lot but eventually grew tired of playing with people who don't know repertoire, and have in mind to do something similar to Marc's suggestion above if I can catch up enough at work and have enough time for regular sessions.

  22. #21

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    I don't know who else among us is into recording, but I would love to attend this one:

    Weeklong Seminars | Mix With The Masters

  23. #22

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    I think it can be really helpful to hang around some truly great players.

    And, even more helpful, if you have an opportunity to jam with them, if you're at a level where you can do that.

    If I were considering one now, that's a question I would ask. You already know how many teachers there are, but it might be helpful to ask, how many students, how many guitarists came last year?

    For me, I'm less impressed with classes or group lessons for, say, two dozen guitarists. I don't need a camp to get that information.

    Playing with a truly great player is a really important opportunity to learn.

  24. #23

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    Is Christian being cheeky?
    No, I did not see that one coming. I heard a story long ago about a couple who somehow found themselves ( very uncomfortably) at a nudist resort. After being afraid/embarrassed to bare all through out the morning and afternoon they came up with the idea to head to dinner early to avoid exposing themselves walking into the dining hall. As they sat there, eventually other guests started arriving...wearing suits and fancy dresses.