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Bluescamp UK female woman playing acoustic guitar Rotosound strings

Guitar strings are packed ready for BluesCamp 2021

For over 14 years, BluesCamp UK's summer music school teaches blues, rock, and jazz lovers of all ages the skills of playing in a band. Rotosound has had a strong connection with this annual event so it's great to hear that it's back this summer...

“[Vic and Grant are] still rocking and using Rotosound strings”

“Many things that are taught and not direct, are implicit in what they do”.

Bluescamp UK is a three-day learning experience of Blues, Rock and Jazz for vocalists and backing vocalists, saxophonists, guitarists (electric and acoustic), bassists, drummers and keyboard players of all ages and abilities. Subjects covered in the three-day course include live performance tips, chord and scale theory, bass playing, drumming and singing. Tutors tailor the experience around attendees and what they want to achieve with the weekend culminating in a live performance where groups debut songs written over the 3 days.

Organisers Vic, Grant, Chris, and Mike got in contact to tell us that 2021’s Bluescamp is all set and they’re even adding some interesting experiences for this year; “a little left field but they will enhance your performance ability ten fold!”

Vic Hyland at Bluescamp
Vic Hyland

Mike Kilgour explained, “Our venue has confirmed that Bluescamp can go ahead this year, including the accommodation. The UK Government’s green light for venues being opened by the 21 June gives us, and the School confidence in going forward.

“Vic, Grant and I have been using Rotosound strings for years and at our summer schools we can promote and have for sale some of your products.”

Grant Tunbridge bass player bluescamp uk
Grant Tunbridge

Over the past 14 years Vic Hyland and Grant Tunbridge have been essential members of the Bluescamp music summer school, teaching all ages the skills of playing in a band. Grant and Vic have been professional musicians and teachers clocking up over 70 years of experience between the two of them but they’re still rocking and using Rotosound strings.

Check out the Bluescamp UK website for more information.

The site also hosts a blog with some fantastic posts – we’ve included one about What makes a good guitar teacher here:

© Bluescamp UK

What makes a good guitar teacher?

It’s not so obvious what makes a good teacher, having knowledge of the subject is important obviously, but if you’re the sort of person who cannot transmit that information to somebody else, you are not a good teacher.

I have come across many people who are experts in their subject, but are unable to appreciate where the pupil is at that point in time in order to instruct them.

I have also come across people, who are only slightly ahead of the pupil in what they really know, but they are excellent at transmitting that information; they in my opinion are good teachers!

If you go back to when I started there was no formal training in contemporary guitar styles, and there were no exam qualifications at the time. If you wanted to do gradings you had to study a classical instrument. If you were a young whippersnapper like me and you just wanted to just go out and change the world by playing rock guitar,  you were unlikely to go and study an instrument like the piano in order to get a piece of paper to get a job.  I would still rather work at getting in through the back door by gigging and making connections. This was the way that things used to be done in the past, and I suggest actually that this should be more of the way of doing things now.

A good teacher is a mind reader

If someone is able to look inside the mind of a pupil knowing exactly where they are, and is able to read the rules that are laid out in front of them to see the problems and how they can be best corrected they possess a skill of teaching.

This skill requires someone to be focused on the subject, in other words the pupil.

A good teacher is an iconoclast

Break the rules in order that people can be free, so they can get out of the cage they have created by the way they think and by the way they play. This requires the teacher to think outside the box, for instance what do you do when somebody comes along who has a deformity in their hands or their fingers? If you are playing classical guitar how do you get on with the fact that they’re not going to be using the ‘correct fingers’?

What happens if they have some problem in the way that they see the world?  You have to inhabit their world in order for them to express themselves through music, there is no school curriculum or syllabus that will help you, it’s completely down to your own genius. Take the labels like ADHD and throw them away.

A good teacher knows that they are rubbish.

All of the things that one holds dear are only ideas. For everything a teacher tells a pupil about technique there is a great player who is doing the exact opposite. You can never know it all and you are never truly correct.

A good teacher is also a good business person

Charging a high rate for what they do, but giving incredible value in the way they do is important. A teacher should not be held to account by other teachers who are undervaluing themselves. A teacher should make sure that they earn a good living from what they do, because it will add life force to the work.

If you don’t charge enough you will resent working!

A good teacher is organised, punctual and reliable.

Many things that are taught and not direct, are implicit in what they do. Being an organised and reliable one inadvertently teaches a pupil to be the same. To succeed as a musician, if that’s what they choose, one of the most important skills that you need is reliability. This is because no one wants to work with an idiot who forgets what he or she is booked to do, who is late and unreliable. They will make one or two gigs by being like that, but after they will not be hired again, ever. And the same goes for a teacher.

Vic and the team

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