It’s that time again! I’m very excited to invite you all to join me at Vai Academy 5.0, taking place July 29 – August 2, 2019 at The Mansion at Glen Cove on Long Island in Glen Cove, NY not far from where I grew up in Carle Place. I was a teenager on Long Island in the 70’s and it was an amazing place to grow up. New York City wasn’t far, nor was The Hamptons. Living in California is nice, but I’m one of those guys that pines after the seasons so growing up on Long Island was pretty magical. Summertime is especially beautiful so I’m already looking forward to it.
Vai Academy 5.0 will include all of the things we usually offer – a myriad of classes with outstanding teachers, study and discussions on technique and theory, and of course, my own metaphysical meanderings that I believe are at the core of the transformation you are capable of with your instrument. But this year, the theme of the camp is “Sound Sculpting,” and we will be diving deep into the quality of the tone that comes out of your amp, focusing heavily on signal path and the use of FX. Signal path is integral to the quality of your tone. The way the signal comes out of your guitar, and goes into various stomp boxes, and then into your amp, alters tremendously based on the FX you use and the order in which they are plugged in. There will be discussions on the most effective signal path, when to use a digital or analog FX, how the FX loop actually works, how various FX work and the terminologies of FX perimeters when programming. It’s a vast field that many guitarists don’t quite understand, even though it’s integral to their sound.
At my last camp, I personally taught more classes than ever before. I really enjoy speaking to the campers so that will continue at Vai Academy 5.0. We will also have a number of other extremely competent artists around to offer their wisdom and tips. The other teachers I’ve invited are all accomplished in their field, although that does not necessarily mean they need to be famous to be effective teachers. Of the utmost importance is that they are able to teach in a way that encourages and inspires the students to expand their own tools for the discovery and manifestation of their own uniquely creative visions. Having said that, we certainly do have some “famous” artists joining us.
One thing that I think makes Vai Academy so special is that I jam with each and every attendee. This might be my favorite aspect of the camp. Connecting with another person on a musical level is an intimate space I love embracing. We musicians are always learning something on some level, and I believe I learn something every time I jam with a student, no matter what level they are at. I can make music with someone even if they show up with a dime and a rubber band.
This is our fifth Vai Academy, and I’m so appreciative of how it has grown and evolved over the past five years. At the end of every camp we send out a questionnaire to those that attended, with very specific questions regarding what they liked, didn’t like, what they would like to see more of, etc. We really listen to what they tell us so hopefully this next camp will be our best yet. There’s a diverse group of people that attend, all at different levels of proficiency, with different understandings of music and the music business. We try to keep things at a level that is helpful for all, and the way we go about doing that is continuing to evolve at every camp.
I know I’m personally looking forward to Vai Academy 5.0. Hope to see you all there!
Visit www.vaiacademy.com for more information!