At NimbleFingers, you'll register in advance for one workshop, which you'll attend the entire week-—it's important to select a workshop wisely. Most days your group will meet twice per day, and the rest of each day will be filled with elective workshops, jams, concerts, band scrambles, meeting new friends, connecting with old ones, and generally having a very good time. The guidelines below are very general, but they will give you some idea of what level workshop to choose. Please read through them, and then also read the workshop descriptions and bios above. If you have any questions, please contact us. Some of our levels are fairly straightforward (i.e. Advanced Bluegrass Fiddle), while others will have more of a range of abilities/experience (i.e. Beginning/Intermediate Dobro). This is a group learning environment, so skill levels, interests, and learning styles will vary—just try to find a workshop that's likely to suit your overall goals most of the time.
Though we do our best to provide information that will help you make an informed decision, we understand that choosing a workshop can be a bit nerve racking. If it turns out that you come to camp and find yourself with an incompatible group/level/workshop leader, we'll do our best to switch you into something that's more to your liking. We occasionally will suggest that someone shift to a workshop that will be a better fit for that particular student.
Beginning Level and Let's Jam Workshop:
It's expected that to enroll in a workshop at the beginner level you must already be well on your way to having a firm grasp on the fundamentals of your instrument. You can strum, pick or bow, and change basic chords or scales slowly but have little experience playing with others. If you're playing an instrument for which bluegrass players use a flatpick or fingerpicks, you should come to camp with some degree of "pick" experience. Reading tablature will be helpful, and it will be helpful to know what a major scale is. If you're brand new to playing an instrument, please get a few lessons or work with an instructional video before camp starts. Having these basics down is essential to ensuring the quality of your experience at NimbleFingers.
You are comfortable maintaining good rhythm and/or taking breaks while jamming with others, even if the breaks don't always turn out the way you planned. For workshops on creating instrumental solos, you should know some major and minor scales and be able to put them to some practical use. Your workshop leader is likely to assume everyone knows the Nashville Number System. At this level you may be hoping to take your playing up to the next level of performing with a group or band
For players who already have extensive jamming and/or performance experience. You should be able to play solos and backup in a band or jam setting—in time and up to speed. You should know the chords that are common in several keys, the Nashville Number System, scales, etc. For harmony singing classes, you should be able to hear a note and match it with your voice—that is, hold a tune. At the advanced level you should also be familiar with many bluegrass and/or old-time tunes and songs commonly played in a jam setting.