Band Camp is a little Rocky
BY MIKE AVERILL World Staff Writer
Saturday, July 18, 2009
7/18/09 at 3:34 AM
Armed with Stratocasters and drumsticks, a group of campers spent the week crafting tasty grooves in the Michael Vines Music Studio.
Vines held the summer rock camp at his studio to give young musicians the chance to see what it's like to play in a rock and roll band.
"I'm really encouraging them to play live and be creative and write their own music," Vines said. "I try to really push them into being themselves and having fun."
About 12 students took part in the camp — a few drummers, a few bassists and lots of guitarists — who played in interchangeable bands, performing a mix of original and cover material.
"It's cool. It helps you know how to organize a band and how to practice," said Ben Deibert, 12, who has been playing drums for four years. "It's a good learning experience for everybody."
Eric Werfel, 12, came from northern Virginia to attend the camp with Deibert.
"Camp's pretty fun," he said. "It's the first time I've played in a band with other people. "I'm glad I made the trip out here."
The goal of the camp is to get the students used to playing live and performing in front of an audience.
"I remember when I was young and started playing out — I barely could play, but that's how I got hooked on it," Vines said.
Vines started playing in bands when he was 13 and wanted to share that experience with his students and other young musicians.
"You can sit in your room all day and play all day, but there's an aspect to playing live you won't get sitting in your room," he said. "This gives them a good background to know how to play in front of other people and how to get it locked down.
"It's rewarding to see them write and be creative instead of just playing a chord."
The students perform myriad genres of music ranging from country and jam-band stuff to death metal.
"Whatever gets them excited is what they're doing," Vines said. "It's not too much different than what you hear on the radio. I give them ideas and let them run with it. Since there are a lot of 12- and 13-year-old boys, we're dealing with a lot of metal."
This is the sixth camp Vines has hosted.
During the camps, students rehearse for four days, and on Friday, the camp culminates with a live performance for their families and friends. Sometimes family members are a little shocked at the heavy tunes cranking out of the speakers.
"I've had some camps where Grandma was nothing short of terrified," Vines said.
That's not to say that Vines doesn't let the music his students enjoy lead them on a progression to classic artists such as Miles Davis.
"Improv is a big part of the camp," he said. "We'll work out part of a structure and they can apply scales."
Vines said he's hoping to hold another camp toward the end of September.
The weeklong camps cost $125.
For more information
on the Michael
Studio rock camp,
Mike Averill 581-8489
Michael Vines (right), tutors rock camp students Courtney Juen, 10 (left), and Josh Deibert during a rehearsal at his studio. JAMES GIBBARD/Tulsa World
Michael Vines plays guitar with rock camp student Courtney Juen, 10, during rehearsal at the studio in Bixby. JAMES GIBBARD/Tulsa World