(Please Note: The information you see here and on most pages throughout the website is for Django in June 2018. We’ve left it here so people can see how we have done things in the past. The website will be fully updated for 2019 by the first week of January.)
In 2018, for the first time, we’ll be offering three day-long workshops on Tuesday, June 12, before Django Camp officially gets under way. We’ll describe them in greater detail further down the page but, in brief, here you go:
Before reading on, please note a couple things:
With those preliminaries out of the way, please read on to see what we have in mind, and why…
This document has suggestions on how to prepare for Meet Greet and Play All Day: MGPAD-RepPrep
The feedback we receive every year tells us that nothing—not good lessons, not great concerts, not hearty meals or perfect weather, nothing—will make or break your experience of Django Camp more than this one thing: finding “your people.” Django in June is entirely oriented toward participatory music-making with real live people. Your people are the ones you recognize and know by name, who play more or less at your level, and with whom you share some common repertoire. They are the ones you connect with between classes and in the evening under the stars; they are the ones you may well stay in touch with after DiJ is over, and the ones you’ll look forward to seeing the following year.
We’re offering Meet, Greet and Play All Day to make sure this piece is in place from before the get-go. The day-long workshop will consist of three 90-minute sessions—all facilitated by artists on the Django Camp staff—during which you’ll play through tunes we have made available on the “Get Ready Musically” pages of this website. We’ll organize the groups into 3 levels of ability to insure that everyone moves at an appropriate pace and meets other compatible musicians. You determine your own level, and you are welcome to change levels at any point if you’d like. Here’s how the levels break down:
Meet Greet and Play All Day is designed for mixed instrumentation, so it will provide a great way to not only widen your circle of friends attending Django in June but lend it some instrumental variety as well. By the time orientation comes round Tuesday evening you’ll have refreshed your memory on some great jam tunes, warmed up your fingers and met (or re-connected with) your peeps.
As noted above, Christiaan van Hemert’s guitar classes were very popular when he was here in 2016. He thinks hard and well about the challenges students face, then devises focused and effective ways to address those challenges. He’ll be applying those skills primarily to violin instruction during Django Camp this year, but on Tuesday he’ll work with guitarists all day. Please note that if you are also drawn to our Meet Greet and Play All Day offering, it is likely that Christiaan will offer at least one or two of the guitar classes you see listed below as “special offerings” during our 3rd class period during Django Camp.
Here are the classes Christiaan will be offering on Tuesday:
Guitar Workshop 1 (@10 am) – right hand picking technique
This workshop will deal with understanding and developing correct, efficient and precise right hand technique. Christiaan will explain in great detail the mechanics of good right hand picking technique analyzing posture, muscle use, precise movements and avoiding tensions in the hands and body. Christiaan also designed two sets of daily drills to get you to a good technical skill level in an easy and organized way: one set with exercises for beginners and one set with exercises for advanced and very advanced players. The last part of the workshop is dedicated to a detailed instructions on how to use these essential exercises.
Guitar Workshop 2 (@1:30 pm) – connecting diminished vocabulary to major and minor scales and the phrygian dominant scale
This workshop will lay the foundation for authentic sounding gypsy jazz guitar improvisation using three fundamental scales and ways of connecting them through diminished arpeggios and licks. Christiaan will also discuss his unusual scale system which will get you playing over the complete guitar neck with relative ease (no more seven complicated fingerings which will take forever to memorize!) If you want a shortcut to sounding good fast this is the workshop for you.
Guitar Workshop 3 (@4 pm) – van Hemert System
In this workshop we will explore the “van Hemert system”: a unique approach to gypsy jazz guitar improvisation that will enable you to reach a high level of ability in a short amount time. A big part of this workshop is also dedicated to effective practice methods and dealing with frustration in the process of studying. All students will receive numerous detailed PDFs with the system written down to review at home. Recommended for advanced beginners and beyond.
Tcha Limberger is at least as well known as a violinist as he is as a guitarist (and vocalist) so at Django in June over the years he’s gone back and forth between offering instruction on one, then the other. This year we’ve asked him to teach primarily guitar, but here’s an opportunity for violinists to spend a day with him. The material will be oriented toward players at intermediate to advanced skill levels, which means attendees should already have a substantial repertoire of Gypsy jazz standards under their fingers and be able to fully participate in most jam settings. Tcha is a marvel; join him for one marvelous day exploring accompaniment and soloing on violin.
Novice violinists and newcomers to this style are welcome to attend as observers at any point over the day, but we’d recommend you attend “Meet, Greet and Play All Day” at Level 1 or 2 as your primary participatory activity on Tuesday.