~ About Our Next Banjo Camp ~

Dates for Next Camp:

MARCH 13-16, 2025

Georgia-Film-Industry

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2021 Camp Online

Student Comments

Students on Suwannee Banjo Camp 2023

I cannot even begin to describe how useful Suwannee Banjo Camp was. The classes were right on point with what I needed, the instructors were knowledgeable, non-judgmental, helpful and top notch. I loved the camaraderie with fellow students, instructors and yourself. I can’t even imagine it could be improved, and I am so thankful I made the decision to attend. In addition to a great program, the relaxed setting was just perfect. I am putting next year’s program on my calendar now. (David Prince: Jasper, GA)
Thanks a ton for everything you, the staff and instructors did to make this camp so great. I can’t stop talking about all that I learned and who I met. It was a great experience. This was the first time I had ever played in front of somebody who could give direct personal instruction, and I treasure that time and encouragement. I look forward to next year to see how much progress I will make. (Greg Williams: Wilmington, NC)
I wanted to let you know what an amazing weekend I had. I learned so much and really got the context for banjo playing that I was missing. I’ve been learning out of books on my own and there’s just so much we can’t do alone. (Tiffany Hopkins: Lily Dale, NY)
I am filled up for another year! Be back God willing and the Creek don’t rise! (Jaque Rasmussen: Miltona, MN)
Fun, challenging stretched my skills; learned many useful ideas for continued growth in banjo skills. (Ron Schnellbacher: Flagler Beach, FL)
Well organized and very welcoming. (Mark Kover: Cumming, GA)
Instruction was top notch! (Steve Hairfield: Hanahan, SC)
Great to be back! I missed SBC a lot [in the pandemic years]. (Lawrence Barker, Knoxville, TN)
Liked the setting, the rooms, the food, the world-class instructors. (Nancy Bentley: Cleveland, NC)
Highest possible. Elite!! (Richard Sherman: Davie, FL)
Arrive-Amazed-Bewildered-Overwhelmed-Exhausted!! (Eddie Hamilton: Vero Beach, FL)
Super camp! [It’s] very hard to balance instruction, jams and concerts; and great job done with that! [I liked] being around great friends and gaining technique and wisdom from great instructors. (John McCure: Sebring, FL)
Great location, great music, great people! (Neil Donovan: Chicago, IL)
Wonderful; great experience! (Laura Gayle Green: Tallahassee, FL)
Fantastic and impressive! (Gabriel Deloreto & Kathi Rodgers: West Palm Beach/Lake Clark, FL)
5 Star! Most awesome experience! (Peggy Klimm: Tampa, FL)
Great experience! (Rick Hall: Tallahassee, FL)
Great! Enjoyed the variety of instructors and styles. (Tim Zierden: Marietta, GA)

About the Online Camp

SBC Is Moving on Line

Due to the Covid crisis, we all knew that there was at least some chance that it might be difficult or impossible to hold an in person event in Live Oak Florida this coming March, and we were expecting that we would have to make a difficult decision at some point. Even though there are vaccines on the horizon, the current sate of things – and logistics at our venue – make it impossible to guarantee that we’ll be able to safely gather together to study our favorite instruments. It is with great regret then, that we must now officially cancel the in-person version of SBC. That’s the sad news.

The hopeful news is that SBC will be moving online for 2021 and in a big way. We’ll announce most details shortly (and in fact some are still being worked out) but we expect offer the following.

  •  Length of event. MBC online will run for two solid days: Saturday and Sunday, March 13-14
  • Class time-slots. There will be five class time-slots per day.
  • Number of Tracks. We have found software that allows us to run 10 tracks simultaneously; so your options will almost be as large as for the in-person Camp.
  • Class length. Each class will be one hour long followed by a 15 minute Q&A period
  • 5-String banjo tracks offered. During each class time-slot we expect to offer four levels of bluegrass banjo, and four levels of old-time banjo. The tracks will be called Basic, Intermediate, Upper Intermediate, and Advanced.
  • What about total novice banjo? We don’t feel that we can offer the kind of interactive instruction online required to launch complete beginners. However, we plan to offer detailed videos that would get people started ahead of time
  • Classes in other instruments. We will continue to offer a full program in old-time fiddle. We will offer one full day in guitar and one full day in mandolin.
  • Other Activities. We will offer at least one, and possibly two online concerts featuring members of our faculty. We may also offer some internet style “jams” (instructors play on line; participants play on their own at home with their audios muted).
  • Faculty. So far almost the entire 2021 faculty has already agreed to participate in the online event.
  • Cost. $125 per day, or $240 for the entire event.
How We’ll do It. Classes will be conducted over the Zoom network. Another “app” essentially connects Zoom and our website; it allows students to select the classes they wish, access handouts,etc. It will also allow you to access videos of events that have already taken place (in other words, in effect you can be at two or more places at once; Harry Potter lives!!).

2024 Register Here

Register for Suwannee Banjo Camp

Online Registration

To register online, go to the bottom of the page and select an attendance option.  Then click on the green “NEXT” button and the registration form will appear.

Note: If our registration form does not work correctly try another browser (for example, if you are using Internet Explorer as your browser; try also Chrome, Edge, Firefox, or Safari).

Register by Mail

To send in your registrations by mail; simply print out the Printable 2024 Registration Form, fill it out, then pay by check or PayPal. The mailing address is: Suwannee Banjo Camp c/o Ken Perlman, 307 Bellevue St., Boston, MA, 02132.

Note: To pay via PayPal, write for instructions at info@suwanneebanjocamp.com

PAYING IN FULL

Select your tuition option. Select the spouse/companion option as well, if that applies. Select any other options that apply. Click the Register button. Complete the brief survey and check out. You will receive an automatic confirmation via email, followed a week or two later by a personal acknowledgement email from the director.

PAYING A DEPOSIT ONLY

If you are making a Deposit Only today, select that option alone. You will receive an automatic confirmation via email. Within two weeks after registration, we will personally send you an email with a promo code that lets you apply your deposit to the full cost when you return to pay your balance (instructions below).

**Note.** All balances must be paid by Jan. 14, 2024; all new registrations made after that date must be accompanied by payment of full tuition.**

PAYING DEPOSITS FOR A STUDENT AND A NON-PLAYING SPOUSE/COMPANION

Select “Deposit Only” and order 2 deposits ($200 should appear as your total). You then get a questionnaire that allows you to fill in information for two persons. The student fills out the first questionnaire and indicates that he or she is bringing a spouse/companion; the spouse/companion fills out the second questionnaire and writes “spouse/companion” in the special needs box. You will both be sent an email with a promo code so you can apply your deposit to the full cost when you return to pay your balance (instructions below).

PAYING YOUR TUITION BALANCE

Once you have paid your tuition deposit and filled out your questionnaire, you are registered for Camp as far as we are concerned. To pay your balance online, however, our sales platform requires the following procedure:

  • Go to the Register Here link below to find our registration form. Then register for camp as if you are STARTING FROM SCRATCH, beginning with the tuition and meals package of your choice.
  • After you select the full-tuition amount and click, you will find yourself on a second page that has a box labeled “promo code.” Enter your promo code in that box, and that makes sure your $100 deposit is deducted from your total amount.

To pay your balance the old fashioned way, simply send a check for your amount to Suwannee Banjo Camp c/o Ken Perlman, 307 Bellevue St., Boston, MA, 02132.

Note: You can also pay balances via PayPal; write for instructions at info@suwanneebanjocamp.com

DONATIONS TO SCHOLARSHIP FUND

Help enthusiastic youngsters attend SBC, either this year or in the future.  We suggest a $25 donation, but the software allows you to enter any amount, as you see fit.

2024 Banjo Camp Classes

2024 Banjo Camp Classes

Old Time BanjoBluegrass BanjoFiddleGuitarSpecial Classes

Old-Time Banjo Program

We offer four levels or tracks of instruction in clawhammer style banjo: Novice, lower intermediate, upper intermediate, and advanced. Another common name for the style is “frailing.” Over the years, it has also been known as stroke-style downpicking, knocking, and rapping.

The Novice Track

The Old-Time Banjo Novice Track in old-time banjo is for students who are just starting out on the instrument, and have with well under one year’s playing experience. Recognizing that students just getting underway have unique learning requirements, we offer a course of instruction designed to impart both needed skills and effective practice-attitudes.

Lower Intermediate Level

The lower intermediate level is for those players who are above the novice level but are still in the process of mastering basic techniques. The focus here is overwhelmingly on acquiring the skills you’ll need to grow as a player. Our best guess is that students who have been playing between nine months and two years will feel most comfortable here.

Upper Intermediate Level

This level is for students who have been playing at least two years. Classes in this track are not necessarily technically demanding, but they generally require that students have considerable familiarity with the instrument.

Advanced Level

These challenging classes give our instructors the opportunity to offer students the full depth of their expertise and experience.

Old-Time Fingerstyle

Although most of our old-time banjo classes focus on clawhammer, we usually offer at least a few classes in old-time fingerstyle, including various 2-finger, 3-finger and hybrid varieties. You can get the idea by checking out the fingerstyle offerings on the 2024 Schedule.

Note: You do NOT have to sign up in advance or make any special arrangements to attend any particular instruction level. Once you’re at Camp, you are completely free to make class selections as you please.

Bluegrass Banjo Program

We offer four levels or tracks of instruction in bluegrass banjo: basic, lower intermediate, upper intermediate, and advanced.

The Novice Track

The Bluegrass Banjo Novice Track is for students who are just starting out on the instrument, and have with well under one year’s playing experience. Recognizing that students just getting underway have unique learning requirements, we offer a course of instruction designed to impart both needed skills and effective practice-attitudes.

Lower Intermediate Level

The intermediate level is for those players who are above the novice level but are still in the process of mastering basic techniques. The focus here is overwhelmingly on acquiring the skills you’ll need to grow as a player. This track is for students who have been playing between nine months and two years.

Upper Intermediate Track

This level is for students who have been playing at least two years. Classes in this track are not necessarily technically demanding, but they generally require that students have considerable familiarity with the instrument.

Advanced Track

These challenging classes give our instructors the opportunity to offer students the full depth of  their expertise and experience.

Note: You do NOT have to sign up in advance or make any special arrangements to attend any particular instruction level. Once you’re at Camp, you are completely free to make class selections as you please.

Old-Time Fiddle Track

Although this is primarily a banjo camp, we offer a full time Appalachian-style fiddle track with considerable appeal to serious fiddlers. Erynn Marshall is our primary fiddle instructor for 2024. Some fiddle classes will also be taught by Adam Hurt and others TBA.

Level of Instruction: Because there is only a single fiddle track, instruction will almost certainly geared to an intermediate level. This is a good place for old-time fiddlers with at least a couple of year’s experience to burnish their skills and make their playing sound more authentic and professional. Classical violin players and fiddlers who play music from other traditions will find this program a good introduction to old-time fiddling.

Important Note: We do NOT have a program that teaches basic violin skills; you probably need at least a year or two of experience on the instrument in order to take full advantage of our program. Although we can’t get you started on violin, we can teach authentic fiddle style and help make you a better fiddler.

SBC’s Guitar Track

SBC offers a full program in flatpick guitar. The focus is bluegrass accompaniment and soloing, but we generally also feature a couple of classes in other aspects of the instrument. Jim Hurst returns for as our principal guitar instructor for 2024. Some guitar classes will also be taught by Alan Munde and others TBA.

Level of instruction: Because there is only a single guitar track, instruction will almost certainly geared to an intermediate level. Students should probably have at least one year of playing experience. In practical terms, this means that you should be able to handle a flatpick and change relatively comfortably among the most common basic guitar chords.

Important Note: The SBC Guitar Track is NOT for total beginners. You should have at least a year or two experience on your instrument to take full advantage of our program.

We always feature a number of classes that don’t fit into our regular tracks. In the past, our special class offerings included topics on ukulele, bass, singing, and banjo set-up. For this year’s special offerings, check our 2024 program schedule. Note that the number of special offerings on the schedule usually increases as we get closer to the start of Camp.