Experience a week in the life of a Berklee Guitar Department student in this comprehensive course designed to provide you with practical performance and classroom experience. You'll be placed in performance ensembles with guitarists of similar training, stylistic interest, and ability. Your faculty will include 35 of the Guitar Department's 60 internationally recognized players in all styles.
2019 Program Information
|Program length:||Six days|
|Program dates:||Sunday, August 11–Friday, August 16, 2019|
|Registration fee:||$50 (nonrefundable)|
|Move in:||August 11, 2019, between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.|
|Move out by:||August 16, 2019, by 7:00 p.m.|
|Age range:||15 years and older|
Participants are required to have two years of guitar playing experience to participate. Program curriculum strictly focuses on guitar technique and proficiency.
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.
Please use the Information for Registered Students page to view the 2019 program schedule.
Guitar Sessions offers ensembles, classes, and clinics in the styles of blues, metal, classical, jam band funk/fusion, classic rock, contemporary rock, jazz, fingerstyle, and performing-songwriter. You'll choose your main style for ensemble work, and from there you can branch out in our clinics and jams. In our classical track, students will be placed in a classical guitar ensemble and then branch out in a styles class that covers classical, fingerstyle, and Latin jazz. Fretboard harmony classes will be valuable to students in all styles.
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, and explore related concepts and applied theory. Styles include blues, funk/fusion, performing songwriter, classic rock, contemporary rock, metal, classical, fingerstyle, and jazz.
- 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.
- Kim Perlak, Program Director