~ About Our Next Banjo Camp ~

Dates for Next Camp:

MARCH 10-13, 2022

Georgia-Film-Industry

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2021 Camp Online

Student Comments

Students Rate Suwannee Banjo Camp Online 2021

Except for a couple of minor technical glitches I would rate the camp in the Fabulous column. All of the classes were very helpful and the teachers top notch. Thanks for a wonderful virtual experience. Kevin Kerwin (New Hyde Park, NY)

Excellent.  I appreciated the full schedule of offerings and the fact that recordings are being made available so that I will be able to listen/watch recordings of the workshops that I did not attend and review the sessions I did attend.  That is a huge reason I feel like this was a good value.  The classes/instructors were high quality.  I definitely learned some new things and feel like my time was well spent.  Ellen Auriti (Berkeley, CA)

Pretty amazing that you could pull this off! I was very pleased. The hard work to do this was evident  Janet Rollings (Afton VA)

Great online classes.  I also enjoyed the evening faculty concerts.  Even the jams were fun; Alan Munde’s regular jam Saturday evening was perfect.  His jam was the most like being at a live jam. Linda Gamel (Albuquerque)

A great offering of classes; I hope you manage to keep a virtual aspect to the camp next year as not everyone can attend in person. Kirby Watson (UK)

This was a great experience.  I really like that the classes were recorded.  I am still going back and taking other classes.  The teachers are great. Jenny Saltzmann (Tuscaloosa, AL)

You did a nice job.  Well organized.  Good classes.  The best in teachers. Debbie Addad (San Francisco)

I really enjoyed it.  Nice job putting it together.  Didn’t mind the online part one bit! Jon Marks (Richmond, VA)

It was gorgeous! I enjoyed it very much and learned a lot! Thank you so much! Apart from the nice community feeling on the weekend, I also like the fact, that I can watch the recordings of other workshops I did not participate in afterwards. Raik Musiolik (Germany)

So much fun! There were too many offerings, like about 4 in each time slot. But that was partly due to my choosing banjo AND mandolin, and to having difficulty deciding whether to go for lower intermediate or higher. Kathy Schwar (Webster,  NY)

Ran very smoothly. I think that I got more out of the virtual classes than the in-person banjo camp. I could focus totally on the instructor and the content instead being distracted by travel logistics, etc. I loved being able to download the class materials ahead of time. My favorite was being able to noodle during the class without disturbing anyone. A totally enjoyable and successful banjo camp! Eileen Sugars (Duluth, MN)

Incredible experience! Although I missed the ability to jam with people in person, there was a unique opportunity to learn from master musicians without having fifty banjos playing in the same room at the same time. I felt like I was getting private lessons. It added a personal touch to have the artists in a relaxed setting teaching from their homes.  Jim Granfortuna (Browns Summit, NC)

This was a well-run virtual camp.  The instructors, especially Greg Cahill and Scott Anderson, did a fantastic job sharing information, performance and practice tips, and allowing us enough time to work through the music they were presenting. Jim Perone (Alliance, OH)

Great camp, innovating as needed to move from in-person to virtual. Good instructors and close up viewing of their instruction.  Handouts more available than ever before.  Camp Directors and their techs worked to solve any technical problems that did come up.  Well worth the cost.  Howard Pardue (Tallahassee, FL)

This was my first banjo camp of any type.  I was very pleased with the credentials of the instructors/speakers, the quality and understandability of the lesson material and the willingness of the staff to address individual questions.  This was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Thank you, all. Vince Lombardo, Charleston, SC.

An impressive lineup of classes and instructors that will really impact my development as a banjo player. Penny Hillemann (Northfield, MN)

Classes and instructors were top notch. I had an issue with access on an iPad but the tech support was available almost instantly. In the end I connected on my iPhone and mirrored it to my television and was good to go.  Ed Koran  (Salem, OH)

Of course I would rather it had been an in-person event, but the virtual camp was still a great success.  John Catches (Ponte Vedra Bch, FL)

Remarkable, considering this was the first try at on-line Suwannee Banjo Camp. There were a few technical hiccups, but they really didn’t interfere with my experience, which was very satisfying and productive.  Jim Miller (Savannah, GA)

I have wanted to attend in person for years but the virtual Suwanee Banjo Camp was more than ever expected. The minor glitches were quickly forgotten with the quality of the instructors and the lessons presented. Only complaint is there wasn’t enough time to attend more classes Tom Bailey (Rochester, NY)

It was very well organized and navigating the Zoom tech and classes was easy.  The instructors were great and embraced the new format with creativity and fun.  I really like the fact that we’ll have access to all the recorded classes for a time.  When we attend in person classes you always have to miss other classes that conflict but in this case you don’t.   Mark Bauserman (Port Hadlock, WA)

I received the knowledge to be a better banjo player, and I am now able to see the next destination of my journey with a road map to get there. I really liked the online classes for several reasons:
– I do not have to take notes because the lesson is recorded
– I can learn “attend” the other classes I miss.
– Having the handouts ahead of time is a huge benefit!
– Saves travel time.
– More bang for the buck.  Jimmy Culpepper (Hamilton, GA)

Well planned, well run, friendly and inclusive.  The  handouts were  excellent. Graham Wallace (UK)

I found the SBC a truly rewarding experience.  Great instructors for the most part that were really helpful on advancing the knowledge and techniques; good rapport with their virtual audience; and minimal technical issues in virtual conference delivery.  Fred Doerm (Winnipeg)

The online experience was pretty close to the in-person camp with high quality workshops, jams, and concerts.  I attended one day only and plan to do the same in June for the Mid-West Banjo Camp.  The recordings are helpful to review and solidly the workshop content.  Thanks to everyone involved! Colin Field (London, Ontario)

Suwannee Banjo Camp was excellent.  I have been taking banjo lessons for about 18 months, and this program jump started my understaning of banjo and areas I need to study and practice to improve. David Prince (Little Rock, AR)

I thought it was great!  Smoothly proceeded despite all the things that could have been wrong.  I was lower-intermediate and felt that almost all (really only 1 exception) fit with my skill level.  Teachers were knowledgeable and flexible.  A real gift to be able to talk to really experienced players in a small forum. Nancy Galluzzo (Boston, MA)

The online camp was great. I intentionally took classes that were above my current level and wow do I have work to do!  Jim Herzing (Woodlawn, IL)

SBC has been, for many years, the high point of my year. This year, despite the pandemic, was no exception. Yes, it was different. Different isn’t bad, just different. Lawrence Barker (Knoxville, TN)

I’ve only been playing for a year and a half so this was my first banjo camp. I was hoping to get exposure to lots of ideas, theory, rules and not rules and different styles. My hopes were very much met! Steve Bellen (Santa Rosa, CA)

Great! This was my first banjo camp so I can’t compare it to a live in person camp. I probably would not have been able to attend in person. Virtual allowed me to attend. I hope to attend one of the banjo camps in person (midwest is the closest) in the future. Great subjects. Great instructors. Lots of variety to choose from. The videos will allow me to pick up tips from classes I could not attend. Kerry Burns (Pringle, SD)

The camp was very useful to me, and I have a lot of homework that will keep be busy all summer. Drake Deming (Satellite Bch, FL)

The virtual presentation was just great.  I have enjoyed the in person version for sure, but the convenience and focus afforded in the virtual setting is really amazing. Al Poindexter (Jacksonville, FL)

Great!  I attended Sunday only, and found classes that were interesting and useful for me. I had strong doubts about the camp being online.  I miss visiting with other students and faculty. a lot, there are benefits. I was able to practice and tinker with tunes and licks more than in regular camps: My audio was turned off, so I could translate, say, drop thumb notes to Pull-offs and Hammers.  Now videos of the classes will be available for a month or more online, which is wonderful.  Lew Hendrix (Makanda, IL)

I am grateful that the Suwannee Banjo Camp leaders, faculty & crew were able to offer this 2-day virtual program of live lessons from terrific faculty!  I have not been able to attend the “real time” camp in Florida – this year’s virtual offering made my 1st time attendance possible.  The quality of instruction, the variety of topics and the options for beginners through advanced musicians was impressive.  Nancy Fishwick (Bangor, ME)

Excellent! Ironically, if this event had not been on-line it is difficult to see how I would have been able to attend as I live in the UK.
I thought the camp was extremely well organized and the instructors were great. Many thanks!!  Guy Rogers (UK)

The camp was a complete success, especially having to work around the difficulty of the pandemic. It far exceeded my expectations. Neil Donovan (Chicago)

Even though the camp had to happen virtually this year, I thought it was terrific! As I say every year, best camp ever! All that was missing was the opportunity to see and talk to people in person (as well as the trip to Florida during our northern winter). And I bet you didn’t get any complaints about the food! I did miss the Band Scramble and Open Mic that usually happens Thursday night. Ellen Shriver (Chicago)

The Suwannee Banjo Camp offered virtual workshops that were fun and interesting.  It was an opportunity to learn with some of the best performers in the field.  It was something that I would have otherwise not been able to participate in normally. Thanks so much Ben Bliss (Netsu, OR)

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!!).

2022 Register Here

Online Registration

You may register online via the registration form at the bottom of this page.

Please note that our registration form may not work correctly if you are using Internet Explorer as your browser; try Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

Register Online or By Mail

You may register online below or you can send in your registrations by mail; simply print the blank form (link below), fill it out by hand, then pay by check. The mailing address is: Suwannee Banjo Camp c/o Ken Perlman, 307 Bellevue St., Boston, MA, 02132.

Click here to access the Printable 2022 Registration Form

PAYING IN FULL TODAY. 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 checkout. Confirmation will be emailed to you.

PAYING A DEPOSIT ONLY (**Note: All new registrations made after Feb. 1 must be accompanied by payment of full tuition.**)

If you are making a Deposit Only today, select that option alone. You then get the the Deposit Only questionnaire, where you are asked about your anticipated tuition package and if you intend to bring someone with you. You will 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 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 Deposit Only 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 page 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. You do NOT have to re-do the survey re your interests.
  • 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.

REGISTER HERE

2022 Banjo Camp Classes

About Our ClassesOld Time BanjoBluegrass BanjoFiddleGuitarMandolinSpecial Classes

About Our Classes

Our camp is committed to offering highly specialized classes tailored to the expertise of our faculty. Almost all of our classes are “hands-on,” meaning that instructors have a set of skills or a tune or two in mind to teach, and that students should have their instruments in hand during class.

You can get even you a better idea of what we’re about, check out our Schedule for SBC 2021 which ran online, and our Schedule for SBC 2020, which we were able to run as an in-person event.

Note: Once you’ve registered for camp, SBC students  have always had complete freedom to attend any class that they you wish without signing up in advance or making any special arrangements to attend the classes of your choice. So . . . you won’t have to stick to any particular genre, track, or level, but are free to make class selections as you please.

Class Sessions

SBC offers nine hands-on class sessions over the course of the weekend — three on Friday, four on Saturday and two on Sunday. All class sessions are one hour and fifteen minutes long.

Old-Time Banjo Program

We offer four levels or tracks of instruction in clawhammer style banjo: Basic, 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 Basic Track

The Basic Track in old-time banjo is for students with well under a 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.

What if I’m a complete novice?  We now offer an official SBC video taught by director Ken Perlman to get you started and well primed to benefit from our Basic Old-Time Banjo Track. Just click on these links: “Intro to Clawhammer Banjo with Ken Perlman, #1”  “Intro to Clawhammer Banjo with Ken Perlman, #2

Just got your first banjo? Banjo curious? Check out the video, “Introducing the Banjo with Ken Perlman” before you tackle the intro to clawhammer.

 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 2021 Schedule. Our 2022 Program schedule should be available by late December or early January.

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 Basic Track

The Basic Track in bluegrass banjo is for students with well under a 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.

What if I’m a complete novice? We now offer an official SBC video taught by MBC instructor Greg Cahill to get you started and well primed to benefit from our Basic Bluegrass Banjo Track. Just click on this link: Intro to Bluegrass Banjo with Greg Cahill

Just got your first banjo? Banjo curious? Check out the video, “Introducing the Banjo with Ken Perlman” before you tackle the intro to bluegrass.

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. Pete Vigour returns as our primary fiddle instructor for 2022. Some fiddle classes will also be taught by Adam Hurt, Paul Brown, and Ellen Vigour.

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.

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.

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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. Our guitar instructor for 2022 is Jim Hurst.

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 flat pick 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.

New!! SBC’s Mandolin Track

SBC now has a full-time program in mandolin. The main focus is bluegrass accompaniment and soloing, but we will also feature a couple of classes in other aspects of the instrument. Mike Compton is our inaugural instructor for the program.

Level of instruction: Because there is only a single  mandolin track, instruction will almost certainly be 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 flat pick and change relatively comfortably among the most common basic mandolin chords.

Important Note: The SBC Mandolin 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 2019, for example, our special class offerings included ukulele, singing, bass, and banjo set-up. For this year’s special offerings, check our 2022 schedule when it comes out (probably in mid-to-late December). Note that the number of special offerings on the schedule usually increases as we get closer to the start of Camp.