The Blues Camp gives youth aged 12 to 17 a positive way to express emotions through blues music. The program is a mixture of hands on musical instruction taught by professional and semi-professional local musicians combined with a blues history lesson with the possibility of writing a Blues Song, if time permits. Students are taught at a wide range of proficiency levels and are encouraged to build their improvisation and performance The camp will finalize with all students participating in a workshop prior to the festival with one of the incoming Festival Artists.
During camp, students learn to play blues music on their choice of voice, guitar, drums, bass or harmonica. By practicing and performing together, Blues Camp students learn teamwork, social skills, discipline, and improve their self-confidence. The camp culminates with performances that will be held at Buds on Broadway during the jam on Saturday afternoons of February 24th and March 3rd, 2017.
Guitar Classes: Classes will be divided in to 2 sections depending on level of ability. Curriculum lesson plans cover scales and soloing, rhythm playing, chords and inversions, licks and techniques. (bends, pull offs, hammer ons, mute strums etc) All examples are used in the context of well know blues songs. Students will learn from instructors that may specialize in a particular style or technique and want to share it with the class.
Drum Set Classes: Through instructor led classes students will be able to garner many of the essential techniques needed to become a more successful drummer. Topics include drum rudiments, effective listening, reading music, improving coordination, narrowing the gap between 'strong' and 'weak' hands, learning essential blues beats and fills, and creating the most effective drum beats for songs.
Bass Classes: Students will learn the essential skills needed to be part of a strong rhythm section. Class topics include warm ups, muting, scales, various styles, 3 note chords and various techniques. Bass students will have the opportunity to play in several bands at Blues Camp and these small group sessions will assist them in learning the repertoire quickly and accurately. Sessions will enable the instructor to teach his personalized style and share his "bag of tricks" with the class.
Vocal Classes: The vocal class will focus on warm ups and cool downs, breathing, voice placement, stamina, technique, singing harmony, different styles and stage presentation. Vocal students may also have the opportunity to sing in multiple bands to as a lead vocalist and backup singer. Keyboard Classes: The keyboard class will cover triads, seventh chords, different styles, chord voicings, arpeggios, scales, technique, soloing and song learning. Students will also work on arranging to develop parts to cover the melody, bass line or chords played by other instruments.
Harmonica Classes: The instrument closely associated with blues is the mouth harp. To get those 'blue' notes the bend is a necessity. Trills, fills, backup or soloing, the student will have the opportunity to learn breath control and techniques to blow the blues harp.