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Camp Tunefox Immerses New Musicians in Bluegrass and Creativity

Mar 27, 2019

Camp Tunefox Immerses New Musicians in Bluegrass and Creativity

Camp Tunefox strives to bring out the creativity in aspiring bluegrass musicians, even those who are just starting on guitar, banjo, or mandolin. This year’s camp takes place on May 15-19 in Montreat, North Carolina (right outside of Asheville), with teachers such as Danny Barnes, Wes Corbett, Grant Gordy, Clay Hess, Joe Walsh, and Mike Compton. Tunefox’s Bennett Sullivan answered a few questions by email about the upcoming event.

What sets Camp Tunefox apart from other instrument camps?

I’d say our focus on creativity and musicality over pure technique is what makes Camp Tunefox different. The schedule for the camp is organized using daily themes so each day all of the campers will have a focus that they can practice and discuss together. The teachers will teach their material with the theme in mind and the small group rehearsals will be aligned with it as well.

Tunefox is an app company and we have online content that will help support the students’ learning at camp. We’ll be launching a new feature and the campers will be the first ones to experience it in May.

How do you decide upon the instructors?

We wanted teachers that reflected both the tradition of bluegrass and pushing the envelope. Most of all, the teachers at camp are creators at heart. They’re people that have studied with the great bluegrass artists, either with their records or in person, and they bring that knowledge and passion with them to every gig, teaching event, or recording session.

I also am looking forward to learning from each of the teachers. As a professional musician, I know more than anyone the value of hearing a different perspective, be it musical or academic.

Your 2019 theme is Cultivating Individual Creativity. What does that mean to you?

It’s what I strive for every day! These days I’m writing more music in an attempt to further discover who I am. The creative process is a vulnerable, yet revealing space. At Camp I want the students to be inspired to look in themselves to not only technically play music but play it with intention. Bluegrass can be intimidating and when you label yourself as a ‘bluegrass musician’ it seems you have to play a lot of notes really quickly. I want the students to leave camp knowing themselves a little bit better. And I’d like that for myself, too.

What can a someone who is new to the instrument expect to learn at Tunefox?

[New players] will be immersed in an experience where they will learn foundational concepts like rhythm and chords but also be encouraged to create, improvise, and explore what music means to them. I think beginners can do this from the start. We’ve all listened to music before and we have a taste of what we like and dislike. So when you approach learning an instrument, you bring that discernment with you. It’s important to learn the fundamentals but when it comes to choosing songs to learn, pick what you dig most. Eventually, this will translate into ‘your sound.’

What is it like, from your perspective, to see these beginners develop their ability?

It’s exciting. The smallest breakthrough by a student gives me so much joy. All of the teachers resonate with this as well. Camp Tunefox will be a hands-on experience, giving students even more of an opportunity to make these breakthroughs with the guidance of experts at hand.


Photo courtesy of Tunefox


Discover more about Camp Tunefox and the Tunefox app at tunefox.com

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Camp Tunefox Immerses New Musicians in Bluegrass and Creativity
Camp Tunefox Immerses New Musicians in Bluegrass and Creativity