Get ready for a practical, hands-on playing experience through a variety of classes, clinics, and performance activities at Berklee, which features the largest, most comprehensive guitar program available—anywhere. You’ll be placed in performance ensembles with guitarists of similar training, stylistic interest, and ability.
|Program length:||Six days|
|Program dates:||Sunday, August 16, 2015 - Friday, August 21, 2015|
|Housing: Move in starting: Move out by:||$790 Sunday, August 16, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. Friday, August 21, 2015 at 8:00 p.m.|
|Age range:||15 years and older|
Participants are required to have two years of guitar playing experience to participate. This program is not suitable for bass guitarists.
For students who are also interested in enrolling at Berklee full-time, there are several benefits to attending Guitar Sessions:
- Find out what it takes to succeed in music and at Berklee.
- Study with Berklee faculty.
- Get a head start on your full-time studies.
- Get to know Boston, New England's hub of culture and academia.
- Learn about admission, audition, and scholarship requirements.
Guitar Sessions offers ensembles, classes, and clinics in styles such as blues, metal, jam band funk/fusion, classic rock, contemporary rock, acoustic rock/pop, and jazz, as well as courses in fingerstyle acoustic guitar and courses for the performing songwriter. You'll choose your main style for ensemble work and from there you can branch out in our clinics and jams. At this time, players with a classical background can choose to branch out in a fingerstyle acoustic, jazz, acoustic rock/pop, or songwriting ensemble if they choose to bring their nylon-string instruments. Fretboard classes will be helpful to all students in any style.
Classes during the week generally run from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and clinics and concerts take place in the late afternoon and evening. Jam sessions run from 9:00 p.m. until 10:30 p.m.
Every participant's schedule will include a class in each of the following:
- Fretboard harmony: Learn music theory and how it applies to the guitar. The class includes scales, modes, chord voicings, and chord inversions.
- Style: Focus on the specifics in the style of your choosing (such as blues, groove funk, fusion, performing songwriter, classic rock, contemporary rock, metal, or jazz) and explore theory and concepts as they apply to your chosen style.
- Ensemble: Rehearse with other instrumentalists and perform in concert with your group on the last day of the program. Friends and family will not want to miss these performances.
- Visiting artists: Guitar Sessions will host several visiting artists and clinicians during the week. Past programs have included John Abercrombie, J. Geils, Wayne Krantz, John Petrucci, Vernon Reid, and Tommy Emmanuel.
- Jam sessions: Play with a professional rhythm section under the direction of Guitar Sessions faculty members. Diverse musical styles in various venues allow you to learn more about your favorite styles and to stretch your musical boundaries.
About the Instructors
Berklee's talented and experienced guitar faculty will provide the instruction for the program and will appear in concerts and clinics throughout the week. Guitar Sessions ensemble classes feature professional rhythm sections on staff for the program.
Musical Preparation and Placement
Participants are requested to perform a placement audition. Be prepared to play a short piece of music no more than two minutes long. Your audition piece will help the audition team measure your ability in the style you wish to study for the week. You do not need to read music, but if you do, you will be asked to demonstrate your skills in this area.
Electric guitarists should bring cords for connection to amplifiers and electronic guitar tuners. Acoustic guitarists should bring guitars (and pickups, if applicable). We provide amplifiers for all participants to use in our ensembles for rehearsal and final performances. No amplifiers are provided for use in practice rooms, so you may elect to bring a set of practice headphones and a very small practice amplifier.
Berklee offers a limited number of merit-based, partial-tuition scholarships to Guitar Sessions. Students seeking financial assistance must create an account here, register for the program, and submit links of a maximum of three video performances (uploaded to YouTube) in the “My Summer Program Forms” section of their account.
The performances you submit for scholarship consideration should be representative of your best playing. Each of the three recordings should be three to five minutes and should exemplify your best playing in the style you wish to study at the program.
The deadline to apply for scholarship consideration to Guitar Sessions is June 1. Scholarship decisions are issued by July 1 via email.
Godin Guitars has also generously donated funds for a limited number of merit-based, partial-tuition scholarships to Guitar Sessions.
If you have any questions about scholarships, please contact the Scholarship Office directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617 747-8681.