My name is Raynae Redman and this is the second time I have attended Monroe Mandolin Camp.
In 2016, the camp was expanded to include banjo, and in 2017, a fiddle track was also added. Each year there’ll be another instrument track added until each of the 5 bluegrass instruments in Monroe’s band will be offered. It’s going to be exciting as each year the next instrument added will make it a full Monroe Bluegrass experience.
I was intrigued and stoked to attend because I wanted to take the banjo track. it was taught by the famous Alan O’Bryant of the Nashville Bluegrass Band fame-Very exciting. All techniques and songs taught were Monroe songs and styles even on the banjo, keeping with the theme of this being a Monroe camp.
A very nice spiral bound book was given to us with tabs and tips from each instructor for what they were teaching, and even though I took the banjo track, our book contained all the mandolin instructions and tabs too, which was a bonus. The book was nicely done and is about 3/4″ thick with a lot of useful information.
The camp is well run and a lot of fun to attend. They offer fun evening activities as an added interest to the camp too.
The food package offered was unbelievably good. i almost decided to not pay for the food package thinking I’d walk to eat elsewhere, but I decided to add it on to my camp tuition. i can tell you right now that that was a great decision! The food is so good and all you can eat; full meals that offer you anything you’d possibly want plus it’s very convenient and more fun eating right there with your fellow campers. I’m sure I gained ten pounds and it was definitely a good value.
My classes were fun and a challenge but I found that recording the lessons on my iPad was the greatest help of all, so if your considering attending, it’s very helpful to bring a recording device (after getting the ok from my instructor that recording was ok!) I was able to come home where I had plenty of time to decipher what was taught in the comfort of my home, and spend as much time as I needed to improve each tune. There were five tunes that were harder tunes that I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d be playing, and I’m proud to say I’ve learned several of them already! TIt was easy to match my videos to the tabs where I was having trouble, and then to figure the parts out.
If you’re interested in traditional bluegrass and in particular Monroe’s style which defined early bluegrass, I would highly recommend this camp.
You’ll make lifelong friends and be able to network with them afterwards for even more help. Everyone attending this camp shares our same passion and they’re just good ole bluegrass folks from around the world making it a really fun experience.
Evenings that I didn’t feel like jamming were spent at The Station Inn or other interesting Nashville sites.
I highly recommend this camp! —Raynae Redman, September 16, 2017