Young, old, boy/man, girl/woman, race or where you're from doesn't matter. It's only about dedication. The only of its kind, Freak Guitar Camp has during the past years rapidly grown from a small course for Swedes to what now only can be described as a major international success!
Though plenty of details have been improved during the years the basic concept is still the same: what you get are six intensive days of hard work (an understatement) in the Scandinavian wilderness, hang out with like-minded guitar fanatics and get yourself a life-altering experience.
"The Guru", a.k.a Mattias IA Eklundh, will lead the God-fearing classes during daytime, teaching his various unique techniques; picking, tapping, harmonics, konnakol, phrasing, riffs, exotic tonality, finger-picking, reduction, poly-rhythms and odd time stuff that will turn your whole concept of music up side down!
IA's six-stringed-spanking starts right after breakfast and continue until dinner in the afternoon (plus lunch and a couple of breaks for occasional caffeine and refreshments).
There will also be talk about on how to make it on your own in the 21st century, how to make a living from your music, how to survive in show business, e t c. We will sink our teeth into the song-writing process , dissect several tunes to see what make them work (and what to avoid when composing), production and more.
Every now and then we will throw in a Freak Hour and check out those favourite licks and beefy riffs of yours.
Most of the teaching is based around demanding Freak Guitar Camp tunes accompanied by a ridiculous amount of pages in both standard notation and tablature, exclusively put together by IA (music) and Linus (notation) for the camp, a zillion backgrounds, both with guitar and without, for you to practice your brains out to.
There will also be attention paid to other interesting artists' music. IA is always working hard to put together more and more demanding and rewarding tunes over the years. The Guru has already begun making new challenging music for the 2024 camp!
As if this wasn't enough, other prominent guest musicians will also visit the Freak Guitar Camp when you least expect it... Many fabulous players have come the camp to play, teach and simply chill out; Kiko Lourerio, Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal, Alex Hutchings, Guthrie Govan, Emil Ernebro, Tom Quayle, Christophe Godin, Vic Zino from Hardcore Superstar, Robert Ritchiesse, Stian Carstensen, Niclas Engelin from In Flames and The Halo Effect, Panzerballet's Jan Zehrfeldt, Rob Marcello, Courtney Cox, Andreas Oberg, Mr. Fastfinger, Jen Majura, Rob Guz, Kee Marcello, Yogev Gabay, Mats/Morgan, Andy James, Dick Lövgren from Meshuggah, Fredrik Akesson from Opeth, Jonas Hellborg, Angry Loner, Uli Jon Roth, Danny Gill, Per Nilsson from Scar Symmetry and Meshuggah, Selvaganesh Vinayakram, Robert "Robi" Svärd, Susanna Risberg, Henrik Linder from Dirty Loops, Jack Gardiner, B.C. Manjunath, Jonny Wemmenstedt from Nestor, Ola Englund and many more.
2024 will certainly be no exception!
The camp is held just outside Gothenburg, Sweden, at a place called Härsjösand, located exactly in the middle of nowhere. (Closest airport is Landvetter International Airport, airport code GOT. You can also get to Gothenburg by ferry, train or bus. We will pick you up. The dare devil might want to drive on his/her own. A detailed map will be provided to prevent you from getting lost in the wilderness).
Among many things, the beautiful surroundings include a nice lake great for various H2O-activities (read: swimming, if you're into that) and sauna between the frantic classes, something you might need since at least 10 hours in the class room each day is to expected! After an intense day's work there is time for practice and if you're lucky you just might catch a couple of hours of well-deserved sleep!
Does this sound challenging to your physical and mental state of mind/body? You bet it is! But do not fear; everyone (as far as we know) leave the camp strengthened (if somewhat exhausted). In fact, many of our former students come back year after year and vividly tell that the Freak Guitar Camp has been one of the best experiences of their lives!
Besides all the classes, the registration fee includes all the course material, a bed at night (nothing fancy but you won't do much
sleeping anyway!), pick-up from the airport (or bus or ferry terminal), splendid, nutritious food cooked by our own professional Freak Guitar Camp Cook, the one and only Fiffi Tjusling and and the most intense six days of your life!
The 2024 camp fee is 9500 SEK (approximately 850 $, 700 £, 800 €)
Is this something for you? Are you brave enough? In need of a vitamin injection in your playing (and life)? Do you like progress and detest stagnation? Registration begins February 1st!
The Freak Guitar Camp Crew(Photos by Peter Reck)