Note: The 2016 program has passed. See below for further information about the program.
Get ready for a practical, hands-on playing experience through a variety of classes, clinics, and performances 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 13–Friday, August 18, 2017|
|Move in starting:||TBD|
|Move out by:||TBD|
|Age range:||15 years and older|
*Nonrefundable and nontransferable. Program information subject to change.
Musical Preparation and Placement
Participants are required to have two years of guitar playing experience to participate. Program curriculum strictly focuses on guitar technique and proficiency. If you’re a bassist, please check out our Victor Wooten/Berklee Bass Workshop.
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 their guitars, 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. Students should bring a notebook and pens/pencils.
Though not required, you are permitted to bring laptops, computers, tablets, etc. Wireless internet and electrical outlet plugs are provided throughout the campus. Please keep in mind that it is your responsibility to keep your items safe. Berklee is not responsible for the loss of these items.
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.
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.
Please note that the following schedule and course descriptions are only a sample and are subject to change. You will receive personalized schedules on the first day of the program.
|9:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.||Check-In and Auditions|
|3:00 p.m.–5:30 p.m.||Opening Ceremony / Concerts|
|5:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.||Dinner Break|
|7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m.||Jam Sessions|
|10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.||Ensemble|
|12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.||Clinic|
|1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m.||Lunch Break|
|2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.||Fretboard Harmony Class|
|3:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.||Styles Class|
|4:00 p.m.–5:30 p.m.||Visiting Artist/Faculty Master Class|
|6:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.||Dinner Break|
|7:30 p.m.–9:00 p.m.||Concert in the Berklee Performance Center|
|9:00 p.m.–10:30 p.m.||Jam Sessions|
|10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m.||Ensemble Set-Up/Rehearsals|
|11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.||
- Kim Perlak, Program Director
- Jon Aldrich
- John Baboian
- Bruce Bartlett
- Kevin Belz
- Dan Bowden
- Ethan Brosh
- Sal DiFusco
- Richie Hart
- Jon Finn
- Craig Hlady
- Jeffrey Lockhart
- Don Lappin
- Shaun Michaud
- Jane Miller
- Tim Miller
- Amanda Monaco
- Rick Peckham
- German Schauss
- Jack Pezanelli
- Robin Stone
- Curtis Shumate
- David Tronzo
Berklee, along with a generous donation from Godin Guitars, offers a limited number of merit-based, partial-tuition scholarships to the Guitar Sessions program.
Please note: you must be registered for a program in order to be considered for a scholarship.
- Three links to YouTube video performances
How to Apply:
Step 1: Create an account and register for the Guitar Sessions Program.
Step 2: Complete the Scholarship Form under the Guitar Sessions Program:
- Three links to YouTube video performances.
Video Performance Guidelines:
- Videos can be home, live, or studio recordings.
- Sound quality of featured musician must be clearly audible (video quality is not a factor).
- Each video should be 3–5 minutes in length.
- Recordings of the performances should be recent (within the last year).
- Editing or overdubbing of your performance in any way is not permissible.
- Videos should show the style you wish to study at the program.
- The three videos should be in a smiliar style with contrasting tempos.
If you have any questions about scholarships, please contact the Scholarship Office directly at email@example.com or 617-747-8681.