We are heading into our California IGC next week but it has been business as usual here in a lot of ways. A few new lessons: Pure Imagination, Who Knows Where The Time Goes by Sandy Denny and Airport Convention, The Carpenters’ For All We Know, and a FOTW with Kevin working on Midnight Rider by The Allman Brothers and Uptight by Stevie Wonder. I started the video with a stab at the melody to one of those and tackled another a little later. There was a short 12-bar-blues improv somewhere in there too.

I was happy to see the responses to the Chord Puzzle thread, and elaborated on the subject in today’s News as well.

We also have been running a sale on artist packs this week and there are just a few hours left so grab them now if you are interested.

Other than that I am looking forward to spending next week with our IGC students and hope more of you will consider joining us next year, either in Amsterdam or back here in Northern California. Details on 2019 camps will be coming along in a few weeks.

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For some reason a TV Theme song popped into my head just as I started the camera today, which led to some not-too-polished attempts at a couple others. I hope you can remember or recognize them, answers soon if necessary.

Our recent lessons included The Boomtown Rats’ I Don’t Like Mondays, Chitlins Con Carne by Kenny Burrell, a classical exercise from Max on a Paganini piece, and Ode To Billie Joe by Bobbie Gentry. The last one is a fascinating study in mystery songs, or songs that don’t paint the full picture (remember You’re So Vain?). There are quite a few songs that the author claims there are lots of verses to (Sugar Mountain, Hallelujah for example), and this is one that Bobbie Gentry may have had eleven to, according to sources. Obviously record companies are not in the habit of doing Desolation Roe very often. In any case, it is a rare case of a song being turned into a movie due to its intriguing narrative.

Most of the rest of today’s update had info for folks coming to IGC about some of the plans and guests. I am excited to say that we will have Richard Hoover from The Santa Cruz Guitar Company there giving a presentation, and Max Rich is now really confirmed to be there for the last couple days as well. I guess that means we will have a bit of attention focused on electric styles and techniques.

I also want to remind everybody that we are running a sale on all artist and compilation packages through next Friday so check them out if you are not a Target member.

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After a couple weeks away I figured I would do more of a recap of our trip to Europe, particularly to include a report on our first IGC over the Atlantic, held at The Samaya Conference Center, in the countryside surrounding Amsterdam. We spent the first few day in the tiny village of Weesp, narrow cobblestone streets, canals, drawbridges and windmills right outside Corina’s door. It definitely took the three days we had to adjust to the time change and by Friday, the first day of camp, we were feeling close to normal. It was a thrill to reconnect with a few returning students from our California IGCs, and meet some new ones, who I hope will consider joining us next year at either or both camps.

We spent the weekend immersed in playing, teaching, learning, and even relaxing a bit, as I describe in the video. I really need to send out special thanks to my partner Matt Williams who talked us in to going ahead with this when I thought we might have to cancel a few months ago. As it turned out everybody had a great time and Nani and I got a cool European vacation out of it (particularly cool with the stopover in Iceland on the way home.

The rest of the trip included a few days around Lake Zurich, driving up into the alps, a paddlewheel ride into town for lunch, and dinner with a bird’s eye view of the town of Frick. We then went on a somewhat ancestral search in the middle of Ireland, staying at Castlecor, an 18th century hunting lodge in Ballymahon, almost running head on into a tractor in Crossmolina (spacing out on the driving on the left thing), a long trip to the Cliffs Of Moher (totally socked in at the time), a couple nights in Galway before spending the last night in the heart of Dublin, details in the update.

And for now, back to some new lessons and our next IGC at Asilomar.

Stay Tuned & In Touch,

Neil

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