Hobby holidays, where people go away to learn a range of crafts and skills from painting to pastry making, are becoming increasingly popular. So if you’re a keen guitarist wanting to improve your picking, or a beginner who doesn’t know a chord from a clef, how about trying a guitar short break?
I spoke to Ronnie Mccrorie from Guitar Weekends who regularly hold courses throughout the country. Ronnie told me their courses cover all levels of experience, styles and genres, “from jazz to country, folk to indie and blues and rock.”
“We’ve had people on the course who have only just picked up a guitar,” said Ronnie. “In fact we’ve even lent an instrument to someone who’d never picked one up. We’ve also had a professional musician from the BBC orchestra who wanted to hone his guitar skills.”
Ronnie says you need to be prepared for a very intensive weekend of guitar playing. “The courses start at 5pm on Friday and end late with a jamming session. There’s a full day of teaching on Saturday with projects just after dinner. Then on Sunday we run through to 1pm. It’s two days of solid playing. You have to view it as a guitarfest!”
And Ronnie says that although the weekends are hard, the participants get a lot out of them and he enjoys seeing them progress. “I love it when they get that ‘lightbulb’ moment,” he told me. “People will have played guitar for a while and they don’t know what they’re doing, but they just do it. On our weekends, they learn from the tutor and they’re also learning from each other. It’s about meeting a whole bunch of likeminded individuals and making friends. They often get together afterwards.”
Guitar Weekends are running courses in several venues around the country including Somerset, Wiltshire, Berkshire and Cumbria. They’re also hoping to start offering weekend guitar breaks in the Cotswolds.
If you fancy improving your guitar skills, then find out more at GuitarWeekends.co.uk.