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Thread: Monroe Mandolin Camp, 1st time.

  1. #26
    Registered User Tom Hart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Monroe Mandolin Camp, 1st time.

    Really? This could take some time.
    Arrived Wednesday and even for the navigationally challenged very easy to find. Less than two miles from 65. The Scarritt Bennett Center is a beautiful, small old campus. The dining hall was thirty seconds from my room and the teaching/ jamming building was less than a two minute walk.
    Check-in was as well organized as the Marine Corps Marathon. (Here's your goodie bag, your t-shirt, your nametag and lanyard, more free stuff over there, etc.)
    As a novice at these things I spent a lot of time that first night staring at headstocks. Wow! Three Gilchrists, ooh an Ellis, you get the idea.
    And then jam realization, almost all these people are better than me.
    Thursday started with an excellent breakfast but as I found out the food was always great.
    Spent all three sessions that day with Sharon Gilchrist. Each built upon the previous lesson. The patience of Sharon and all the instructors was amazing. More than once the class would slaughter something at 1/4 speed and they'd tell us "good, I think you've just about got it let's do it one more time.)
    Some students were so impressed with the Gilchrist classes they stayed for Friday and Saturday as well. Thursday's class size was between 9 and 22.
    Thursday jam realization almost all these people are better than me and I don't care. In my family room I can hear every mistake, with ten mandolins and assorted accompaniment no one will hear my mistakes.
    Friday's classes started with Skip Gorman, Homemade Tunes in the Monroe Style. Beautiful wood paneled room, great acoustics, would've been happy to just listen to him play but he took us through several tunes a few measures at a time.
    Played hooky for the 2nd session and went to Carter's. Wasn't the only one, Tom Ellis, Will Kimble and Paul Duff were also there. Paul Johnson from Carter's opened the display case and let me have a couple of minutes with one of the Loars. Wow.
    After lunch, "Building a Monroe Style Solo Using Double Stops" with Mark Royal. Never heard of Mark before this but when I go back I hope he's there again. It was an honor and a pleasure.
    Then a tour of the Vanderbilt campus to listen to an expert botanist/ environmental teacher from Boston explaining the various types of tone woods we were standing beneath. (Bill I'm sorry I don't remember your last name or your exact job description but you were an excellent mandolin player also.) To have Will Kimble and Tom Ellis both there to field questions as well was a bonus.
    I'm rambling on but if you want to hear more about Saturday and Sunday's classes and concert, I'll oblige. No one at work could care less about all these details but I'm happy to share. Thanks for asking.

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  3. #27

    Default Re: Monroe Mandolin Camp, 1st time.

    You're just getting started...
    the billyhawks http://www.thebillyhawks.com

    Original Melodies for Mandolin, Mandola & Mandocello
    http://www.HillbillyChamberMusic.com

  4. #28

    Default Re: Monroe Mandolin Camp, 1st time.

    Thanks Tom and yes, keep going. This camp is on my list for next year.
    Northfield NF5M #268

  5. #29
    Registered User Tom Hart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Monroe Mandolin Camp, 1st time.

    Okay...
    Skip Gorman again on Saturday morning. 75 minutes focusing on "Watson's Blues". Had never played with a recording, always played it in D. Most of you probably know it's in E. Thursday's classes with SG helped make the transition less painful. Skip is a great storyteller besides a great teacher.
    Couldn't attend camp without going to one of Mike Compton's classes. Three fiddle tunes in C. Tennessee Wagoner, Charleston #1 and 8 miles from Louisville. First intermediate/ advanced class for me but Mike broke it down a few measures at a time, thankfully.
    Picked up my mandolin from Paul Duff. He installed a new bridge and did a set up on my mandolin. How cool is it to have Will and Paul both there to tweak your instrument? Before I dropped it off with Paul he asked if I had a spare with me. Do believe he would have loaned me a Duff if I had needed one.
    After lunch session 3 with Lauren Price. "Moveable Monroe" showing how to move through multiple double stops in about eight different keys.
    Then a special presentation, Raymond Huffmaster interviewing Bill Monroe as played by Glen Duncan. Glen has a million stories and impersonations. Who does Hank Snow? This was followed by a triple fiddle show with Duncan, Buddy Spicher and Brian Christianson. After all that previous learnin' and concentratin' those soothing sounds nearly took me out but then Glen would launch into another story and I'd be back.
    Suppertime. There's two things I never do. Play mandolin or eat ribs in public. Proud to say this camp cured me of both. Two kinds of ribs, both excellent.
    Then the instructors concert. Highlights? The luthiers band, Tom Ellis playing upright bass and doing the high harmonies. The tone on Sharon Gilchrist's mandolin. Lauren Price's solo. The everybody on the stage final two songs.
    Two more sessions with Mike and Adam Tanner on Sunday. Buddy Thomas tunes and finally, Bill and Doc's Old Time Fiddle tunes.
    At the start of camp you're given a 290 page book that has notes and tabs from all the lessons.
    So.... I've got some practicing to do.

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  7. #30

    Default Re: Monroe Mandolin Camp, 1st time.

    I think what may limit you is timing. I know people who play alone (as I did for 20+ years) struggle with timing. For instance, I've been playing with a guy for over a year and we still don't lock-in because he struggles with time, adding/subtracting beats randomly, etc.

    Kinda' makes it a challenge for me (on bass) but I take it as just that... a fun challenge.

    That said, just a little metronome practice really helped lock my timing in (and the fact I was playing drum set at the time).

    Otherwise I think you'll probably do fine!

  8. #31
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    Default Re: Monroe Mandolin Camp, 1st time.

    Sounds like a large time. How many students were there?

  9. #32
    Registered User Tom Hart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Monroe Mandolin Camp, 1st time.

    I believe 91.
    2011 Old Wave
    1958 Gibson F-12
    Morgan Monroe MDM 1
    2001 Paul Smith (father-in-law)
    Antoniotsai double neck
    Bruce Wei wall hanger

  10. #33
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    Default Re: Monroe Mandolin Camp, 1st time.

    Great meeting you Tom!

  11. #34
    Registered User kymandolin29's Avatar
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    Default Re: Monroe Mandolin Camp, 1st time.

    tom it was great to meet you I hope the camp was good for you...Ritchie it was great to finally meet you after a lot of years !!! the camp was good for me as I made some new friends and hung out with old ones ive made through the camp...theres nothing else like it !!

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