Looking for an e-guitar boot camp!
August 30, 2008 7:14 AM   Subscribe

My wife and I are looking for a "boot camp" to learn to play electric guitar. Can you recommend any kind of retreats, workshops camps, schools, that offer intense one- or two-week e-guitar training in a pleasant, vacation-like surroundings?

We are based in Switzerland; European workshops - if there are any - would be our first pick, but we're open for other options as well. We speak English, German and French.
posted by lord_yo to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Do you already play the guitar? Any instrument?

If not, you're asking the impossible if you actually mean to learn to play anything more than a chord or two. It would be the same for classical piano or Tibetan flute.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:26 AM on August 30, 2008


You will find the first couple weeks of learning the guitar to be incredibly painful. The strings dig into your fingers like knives. It takes a while to build up the calluses that allow you to play comfortably, and only then can you really knuckle down and practice.

For this sole reason I doubt it would be possible to make any significant progress toward learning the guitar in only one or two weeks.
posted by rlk at 8:45 AM on August 30, 2008

Whether or not you already play and no matter what style of electric guitar you want to learn, Youtube.com has all kinds of "tutorials" and "lessons" (with varying degrees of quality).

I've been playing for 15 years and I find I can still learn quite a lot. I just watched a really good lesson in Metallica-esque shredding from some Russian dude. This isn't him (unfortunately) I can't find the same guy anymore but here are a number of examples from "expert village".
posted by metajc at 8:53 AM on August 30, 2008

Lifehacker's How To: Learn to Play an Instrument Online might be useful too - if you decide that an intensive course might not be the best thing to do.
posted by backwards guitar at 9:12 AM on August 30, 2008 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: QUESTION UPDATE: I had taught myself to play a couple of chords before using books and video courses (and found it moderately painful on my fingers, but bearable). The thought behind the "boot camp" idea was to kick-start some serious learning, not only from a technical but also from a motivational point of view. Obviously we're not going to "learn how to play the guitar" in a week or two, but it might give us a good experience to keep going, and take normal lessons or just practice afterwards.
posted by lord_yo at 9:42 AM on August 30, 2008

Sounds like you should check out the National Guitar Workshop.
posted by dpcoffin at 10:29 AM on August 30, 2008

Oops, just noticed the Switzerland part; sorry!
posted by dpcoffin at 10:31 AM on August 30, 2008

In the US we have a thing called the Rock n Roll Fantasy Camp, which really is a few days of learning some basic chords so what you play sounds a little like Smoke On The Water and then playing a couple of times with real aging rockers.

I seriously doubt you'll learn much but it might be motivating to play with a classic rocker you might have heard of.
posted by damn dirty ape at 10:53 AM on August 30, 2008

At 16 weeks it's not quite "boot camp" by my local community college offers classes like this, and despite being a community college has a pretty good reputation for it's arts programs.
posted by Brittanie at 11:07 AM on August 30, 2008

This may or may not be a silly idea.

I play lots of instruments to just under the skill level where I'd feel comfortable teaching any but a really rank beginner. If there are any more expert folks out there, feel free to contradict.

Lots of folks who give good lessons are not terribly well-employed. You might be able to get someone to give you a couple of weeks of patient one-on-one lessons for a free vacation.

I know some pretty damn good guitarists who'd trail after a pair of well-intentioned newbies for a vacation with evenings free.
posted by LucretiusJones at 12:02 PM on August 30, 2008

Agree with rik on this. If you have never played guitar before, it takes at least a week for your fingertips to become acclimated to guitar strings. After the first time playing for any extended period of time, your fingertips will be sore for a few days.

I'd recommend getting a good instructional DVD or just watching YouTube and just learn a few basic chords. Once you get comfortable with those, then go for the intense training.
posted by kenliu at 4:38 PM on August 30, 2008

Try taking a look at www.iplaymusic.com. They have a bunch of videos that you can download in different formats. They have free and pay for versions. I just started messing around with them last week and I'm finding success with it.
posted by eRock at 4:26 PM on September 5, 2008

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