Attending a summer music camp can be one of the most exhilarating and memorable experiences we have in our lives. It gives you a chance to meet and interact with creative, interesting and talented people – all of whom open you up to new ideas, challenge your status quo, break down mental barriers and take you out of your comfort zone.
If you’re a string player, summer music camp is a great time to try new repertoire and new techniques, and so it follows that it’s also a great time to bring along a second instrument – your electric. Even if your summer music program doesn’t have an electric string program per se, bringing your electric instrument with you to camp opens up more playing opportunities than with your acoustic alone.
First of all, you can practice silently at all hours in your dorm/cabin/room without disturbing anyone. You can work out that tough Tchaikovsky passage before tomorrow’s rehearsal without anyone hearing you!
Bringing an electric instrument to camp can also open the door to mastering new playing techniques with input from your peers and the instructors. After all, more and more orchestral players are gravitating to non-classical playing in addition to the standard repertoire, and so there is much to discuss creatively! While you can literally play anything you want on an electric (including classical music), these kinds of instruments naturally inspire players to try new effects, learn to play “less classically” by using less vibrato, add new bowing techniques, and experiment with a wide variety of tones and volume ranges.
Perhaps the best part of having an electric instrument with you at music camp is the opportunity it provides to jam and improvise with non-string players. Playing an electric puts you at the center of a standard rock or jazz ensemble, where you can be easily heard alongside brass, electric guitar, bass and drums. Besides, your new electric guitar friend at camp is going to give you a ton of stage amplification tips and tricks! Soon enough, your fellow string players who didn’t bring an electric with them to camp will be asking YOU for the how-to’s so that they can join in the jam… next year.
Wishing you all a safe and happy summer season! Happy jamming!
For more information on Yamaha electric stringed instruments, click here.
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