The Jim Richter Mandolin Camp for the Rest of Us featuring Don Julin

The Jim Richter Mandolin Camp for the Rest of Us Featuring Don Julin (and sometimes Bourbon Tasting!) had its 8th year in 2021.  It is typically  scheduled for the weekend after July 4th each year at the Grant Street Inn in Bloomington Indiana.

Though camp focuses on non-bluegrass mandolin styles with a special emphasis on rock and blues, the camp also intends to address “beginner-its,” or the dreaded disease effecting those mandolinists who never seem to move beyond beginner status.  If your goal is to win Winfield next year, this may not be the camp for you.   But, if your goal is to learn to better enjoy the mandolin both in your practice and playing with others, this most definitely will be your mandolin camp.

This camp has many individuals who travel across the country each year for its very special and singular approach to mandolin instruction pedagogy.  The camp is a dedicated program that all students attend, engage, and interact in.  There are no level systems, concurrent classes, etc. This is an opportunity to develop a student cohort that will ensure the best outcomes of this type of camp.

My mandolin buddy Don Julin is back from taking names in the mandolin world the last several years between performance with Billy Strings, teaching at every relevant mandolin camp in the USA, or writing the incredible Mandolin for Dummies.  As always, looking very forward to have Don be an integral part of camp.

2019 saw the introduction of Bourbon Tasting at our opening night Meet & Greet.  It was a blast that year and have kept it an annual event for our first night meet and greet.  2021 saw a special WhistlePig Boss Hog, Van Winkle, Weller, Kentucky Owl, Blanton’s, and other premium whiskies making appearances.

The curriculum, which is in final development, will cover:

  • Blues
  • Rock
  • Jazz
  • Arrangement
  • Basic music theory (especially pentatonics)
  • Technique (especially right hand)
  • Practice routines
  • Jamming
  • Instrumental construction

However, as in all previous years, attendees always help refine the curriculum by completing the questionnaire that is a part of the registration form. Let us know what you’d like to learn and we’ll do our best to work it into the schedule.  We are also very sensitive to the needs of students in the moment and will always consider shifting the schedule to accommodate.

Also, 20 minutes of individual instruction is a standard part of the camp. Given that camp is open to around 15 attendees, we have to limit private instruction to 15 minutes. Individual instruction will be held in the mornings between 9AM and 11:30AM.

Breakdown of the Camp:

Wednesday:  Meet and Greet/Jam. Not obligatory to attend but a good icebreaker and beginning to the camp.

Thursday:  Individual sessions in AM. Classes from noon until 5PM. Jamming in the evening.

Friday:  Individual sessions in AM. Classes from noon until 5PM. Jamming in the evening.

Saturday:  Individual sessions in AM. Classes from noon until 5PM. Faculty concert in the evening.

Cost: Tuition for the workshop will remain the same as last year at $320 per attendee ($330 if paying via Paypal). This covers camp instruction, printed materials, individual instruction, and the faculty concert. It does not include dining or lodging.

Housing: For out of town folks, I encourage you to use the Grant Street Inn as it is the center of activities and is offering a great discount for our group. Just tell them that you are booking for the Richter Mandolin Camp to ensure the $119 plus tax rate per night.
http://www.grantstreetinn.com 812-334-2353. Reduced rates are available from Tuesday 7/6 through Saturday 7/10.

Lesson Plan/Special Topic signups: Once I receive a sufficient number of registration forms back, we will finalize our curriculum. At that time I will send each of you a schedule of classes where you can list your class preferences. After sending this back to me, I will finalize our class rosters.

Registration: You can email me (jim@jimrichter.com) for questions or to put a hold on a spot for you.  You can register through my online registration form.  All registrations will be done online.  However, payment can be done either via check or PayPal.  If you choose to pay by check, please let me know.   Thanks!

About Jim Richter
Over the last 15 years I’ve built a reputation as a solid blues mandolinist who draws heavily from classic electric blues guitarists, such as Freddie King and Hollywood Fats. Due to my extensive background as a blues-oriented rock guitarist, I’ve garnered respect and notoriety for my mandolin renditions of tunes by Hendrix, Pink Floyd, and Led Zeppelin. This respect also extends to mandolin instruction, as I’ve become one of the more visible blues mandolin instructors, including maintaining the rock/blues mandolin instructor spot at Mandolin Camp North in the Boston area in 2018 and 2918 (was scheduled for 2020 but cancelled due to COVID-19).  2012 saw the release of my iPad interactive mandolin instructional book Richter Mandolin. In terms of recent discography, 2013 saw the release of the dual release In-Tuition: Blues & Mandopoly, containing mostly original tunes and special guests from artist such as the great Mike Compton.  Will Kimble and I were also on The Road Home/Butch Baldassari Tribute CD and Gordon Bonham and I were on The Tribute to Yank Rachel CD.

About Don Julin
Don Julin is one of Michigan’s premier instrumentalists. From jazz to folk, gypsy to avant-garde, Julin is loved for his talent and fluidity. 2012 saw Don release his CD Vibe, as well as the much acclaimed Mandolin for Dummies, a much needed addition to mandolin instruction. 2014 will see Don’s release of Mandolin Exercises for Dummies.  Don has achieved national acclaim for his original compositions from his cd’s Tractor and Mr. Natural. Don has won national songwriting contests and his music is often heard on NPR’s radio magazine All Things Considered. Don performs thoughout the United States and Europe and has been a featured performer for the Classical Mandolin Society of America including other international events.  Don’s performances with Billy Strings over the last two years have shaken up the old time and Americana worlds. The last half dozen years as seen Don rally multiple mandolin instructors together to contribute to Don’s “Mandolins Heal the World” instruction site.

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