Extended Weekend Camp

An advanced/ beginner to intermediate banjo camp with a low student to teacher ratio. 2 teachers for 4 or 5 students 3 teachers for 6 or 7 students. Guitar players who wish to learn to play with others are also welcome. There will be a combination of 1 on 1, 1 on 2 and jamming in small groups to practice what is taught.

The low student to teacher ratio lets the instructors give the students lots of monitored practice and 1 on 1 attention. The students not only understand what to do but have time to practice each technique or song taught which increases retention rate by up to 500%. This sets the stage for major changes and progress to occur after camp as they apply the playing and practice strategies that are taught.

What is covered and the depth depends on the individual student. There will be handouts to help the student remember and reinforce this information. We feel that it is better to thoroughly understand a few important points and be able to implement these as opposed to glossing over a lot of information.

See Upcoming Dates

Banjo Camp Subjects

• Correct right and left hand technique

• How to practice to produce optimum results in your playing.

How to relax.

• How to set up your practice area so that everything you need is easily accessible.

• How to use a metronome to increase speed and accuracy.

• When not to use a metronome.

*Before each session we will send out a list of 10 songs that will be covered.

• How to count using a metronome.

• Understanding basic Bluegrass Rhythm.

• Playing chords anywhere on the neck and how to move from one chord to another.

• Using Chord Clusters to play more efficiently.

• How to play minor and 7th chords if you know the major chord.

• What to do in a Jam environment and how to jam.

• Other subjects related to student need and desire.


Meet the instructors

Geoff Hohwald is one of the top banjo instructors in the world. He has been playing banjo for over fifty years and has taught thousands of students how to play banjo.  His Banjo Primer book has sold over 200,000 copies. In addition, he has taught over fifty, one-week banjo classes at John C Campbell Folk School in Brasstown NC. Geoff also hosts a monthly banjo retreat. Geoff Hohwald’s Bluegrass Retreat Workshops, “nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Dahlonega, GA”.  His experience and expertise translates into a unique and amazing program that has changed the playing of banjo players worldwide.

Curtis Jones is a multi-instrumentalist who has been a professional musician for over 30 years. He has played and recorded with Alison Brown, Dan Tyminski, and was invited to be Ricky Skaggs’ guitar player.  Curtis is a gifted musician and teacher who has taught all over the world. His knowledge and experience sets him apart from other instructors. His patient teaching style relaxes students and enables them to achieve a level of playing they never thought possible. He is a music instructor at the Weber School. For more information, visit curtisjonesguitarmusic.com.

David Ellis is a full-time instructor who plays many instruments professionally. He regularly performs bluegrass, country, blues, and rock in numerous bands. He has written an instruction book, the Dobro Primer Deluxe Edition, that is sold worldwide. David has also taught at the John C Campbell Folkschool and currently instructs over 30 students each week in guitar, dobro, fiddle, mandolin, ukulele, and bass. His experience and versatility make him one of the best and most knowledgeable instructors in the southeast.

John English is an engineer by trade who learned to play banjo using Geoff Hohwald’s Banjo Compass materials and is an expert in teaching beginners. His ability to share knowledge in a clear, concise and patient way has made him a welcome addition to Geoff’s staff of exceptional instructors. John is a shining example of how hard work, practice, and dedication can advance player from beginner student level to an accomplished instructor.

Words from a camper

“…before the camp, the participants were able to discuss with Geoff what their goals and intentions for the camp were.”

Banjo camps and jam camps are a lot of fun and are very popular. I’ve been to several, some multiple times that would attend again, and have been to a couple just once and will not go back. I attended Geoff’s banjo camp last January and it is definitely one to which I will return.

While most of the camps have a similar format, I found Geoff’s to be significantly different in several ways. The first is the small size limit and intense one on one instruction that each participant receives. You are not going to get lost in the crowd which is easy to happen at the larger camps. Also before the camp, the participants were able to discuss with Geoff what their goals and intentions for the camp were. Based on this, when we got there, he had a list of objectives and skills prepared to be covered. We discussed these as a group and were able to modify our goals then or later during the camp.

Another significant difference with this camp is that, as we followed our objectives, we were able to put them into practice right away under Geoff’s direct supervision or that of another instructor, with plenty of playing to help cement the concepts. No one was left alone to figure something out and told to “…Just practice it when you get home.” A big advantage to such a small, one on one situation is the ability to talk about and discuss various aspects about playing, theory, or just what concerns you – your future goals and aspirations as a banjo player. No question or subject was too small or insignificant. I’ve not had this experience at any other camp. Discussion and verbal instruction, while intense, did not interfere with the playing we did…and we did a lot, with Geoff on the banjo or bass and the other instructor on mandolin or guitar. We had plenty of time to jam using what we had learned, playing the old standards or trying something new we had been practicing at home and wanted to try out. Most camps, I’ve noticed, advertise lots of jamming but usually leave it up to the individual to find or fit into a jam. Not here, the instructors played and participated with us and when the day ended at 5:30 PM, were willing to come back after dinner for more playing….!

In reflecting about my experience, it was outstanding – a total immersion in the banjo and banjo playing with little to no distraction – which was one of my goals. Almost more of a retreat rather than the traditional camp because of the level of intensity,focus, on my playing, and the enthusiasm I felt when it was over. This feeling was also emphasized by the location being in the hills of Dahlonega, Ga., north of Atlanta. A very delightful small college town with a rich history going back to the first major gold rush in the United States. By the way, Dahlonega has a good variety of outstanding restaurants- none of them “chain”.

I certainly look forward to returning in the future.

Gerald C.

Cost of Extended Music Camp

Instruction - $550

High teacher to student ratio of no more than 5 students with 2 instructors or 7 students for 3 instructors.

Lodging - $225 -$325

Stay at the camp.There are 2 private rooms with private bath available on a first come first serve basis. If you wish to stay Wednesday night there is no extra charge.

Meals = $175

(5 people sign up) We hire a chef for 8 meals that are served family style.
This is healthy menu that will help you to maintain your energy throughout the camp. If you are allergic to any foods please let us know so we can design the menu to accommodate your needs.


Our workshop retreat location really is the epitome of southern country relaxation. Located down a secluded dirt road, you’ll find the Retreat House and all of its amenities. The private, wooded camp grounds provide a peaceful, relaxed and serene learning environment.

The Colonial

Decorated in the 1940’s time period, The Colonial is a newly renovated & cozy, private suite with a full bath. The Colonial is perfect for couples, or co sharing with a fellow student. This room sleeps two comfortably with two twin beds and features a desk area for writing or sending post cards.

Full Retreat Cost: $325

Main House Bedrooms

The Main House guest rooms provide students a cozy and personable student experience. Ideal for singles. Comfortable twin sized bed. Full size bathroom shared with fellow Main House student.

Full Retreat Cost: $225


June 18-20, 2020



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Please send checks to:

Geoff Hohwald North Georgia Music Retreats
C/O Watch and Learn
2947 East Point St.
E. Point, GA 30344