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PSGW logo

Registration begins officially on the Ides of March.
Registrations received before March 15th will be held and processed then.
After March 15th, registrations will be processed (and receipts sent) as they are received.

The dates for the upcoming PSGW summer sessions ("Guitar Camp") are:
Session # Dates How soon it will start. . .

All three sessions are now full and have wait lists.
To be wait-listed you must send in a registration form and deposit.
(If you don't get in your entire deposit will be refunded.)

(The PSGW Countdown Clock gives a little higher precision, if you need that.)
You can always find the dates for any of the PSGW events on the PSGW Events Calendar page.

Each summer since 1974 the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop has taken place at a sylvan camp/retreat hidden away in the tall pines of Washington State. Each year we prepare a brochure describing the classes and activities that will take place during the upcoming summer. Now you can browse the contents of this year's (and many previous year's) brochures on the World Wide Web... See the Brochures section below.

The spirit of that first Guitar Workshop session in 1974 has grown and prospered, and in the process inspired many other camps, conferences, and retreats.

Blues Class

Teachers, Classes, & Schedules
for next summer's Guitar Workshop are being worked out as we, er, speak. You should expect teacher news by early Februrary and class information by late February.
If you already know which week of Guitar Camp you want to attend, you can send in a registration now; you don't need to wait for the brochure to come out or for the classes to be listed. However, no registrations will be processed until the Ides of March (3/15).

The PSGW Events Calendar lists other events that the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop sponsors throughout the year, and a PSGW links page offers links to several other camps and events inspired by PSGW.

"Guitar Camp" -- The Week-long PSGW Summer Sessions

PSGW runs three independent, one-week-long Guitar Workshop sessions each year designed for adults ranging from bare-bones beginners to professional musicians and singers. The teachers and classes are different in each session and although there are a number of classes that will always be given (e.g. beginning guitar), each week develops its own character based on that week's unique teachers, classes, and students. The brochure for each year's summer sessions can be viewed through the PSGW Brochures - Past & Present section.


PSGW is held in a gorgeous wooded setting with a private lake near Bremerton, Washington (about 90 minutes southwest of Seattle by car). A complete set of directions are automatically sent to all students well before camp. Seattle-Tacoma airport (commonly known as "SeaTac", airport code SEA) is the closest major airport. The shuttle bus from the airport to camp takes 60 to 90 minutes.


Accommodations have become quite comfortable over the years. Most of the campers are put up in small cabins with fireplaces and 4 people to a bedroom and bathroom. Bed linens, pillows, pillow cases, blankets, and towels are all provided. There is also space for tenting in both a small quiet area and a larger general tenting area. Pop-ups and RV can park in on site, but there are no hookups available. The cost of accommodations is included in the registration fee.

The PSGW Week in a Nutshell

The first day of camp is set aside for meeting other campers and finding out about the classes being offered during the week. The next five days have classes in the morning and early afternoon, workshops in the late afternoon, and special events in the evening. The last day of camp is devoted to packing up and saying goodbyes.

In addition to the scheduled events, every day has opportunities for jamming, swimming, or just playing hooky and sleeping. Each day's events are listed on large posters in the lodge, so you needn't memorize the schedule.

A Typical Day in Music Heaven . . .
8:00 a.m. -- 8:45 a.m.Breakfast
9:00 a.m. -- 10:15 a.m.First Class Period
10:30 a.m. -- 11:45 a.m.Second Class Period
12:00 p.m. -- 12:45 p.m.Lunch
1:00 p.m. -- 2:15 p.m.Third Class Period
2:15 p.m. -- 4:00 p.m.Free Time (practicing, jamming, swimming, napping, ...)
4:00 p.m. -- 5:30 p.m.Workshops (one-shots, offered by teachers or students)
6:00 p.m. -- 6:45 p.m.Dinner
7:00 p.m. -- 10:30 p.m.Evening Activities (concerts, dances, music circles, etc.)
10:30 p.m. -- 11:00 p.m.Late Night Snack
11:00 p.m. -- .   .   . Jamming, Practicing, Sleeping, ...

Velzoe Brown
Velzoe Brown, 3/1/1910 - 5/4/2011

About Teachers

Aside from its students, PSGW's single strongest asset is its teachers. Teachers are chosen for their ability to communicate their knowledge, enthusiasm, and skill, both in the formal class atmosphere and in the equally-important informal playing situations that abound at camp. Although the teachers provide hand-holding when needed, they also provide space for the student to experiment and make mistakes on his or her own, leading to satisfying growth.

Click here to see bios of PSGW teachers.

About Classes and Levels

Classes are ongoing for the full week while afternoon workshop sessions are one-shot offerings. Level numbers (arabic numerals) are included with class descriptions to help you decide which classes make sense for you. It helps a lot if everyone in a class plays at about the same level. Feel free to ask for advice from teachers. The ``Meet the Teacher'' sessions on the first day are specially designed for this purpose, but you can ask anytime.

The level numbers correspond to the following guitar skill levels:

LEVEL 1: Just learning the first chords and can't yet change chords without pausing to relocate fingers (level I players are sometimes known as ¬beginners║).

LEVEL 2: Mostly accompaniment styles and designed for a range of skills.
· At the simpler end, gets from one chord to another without pausing on at least three or four chords. Can't play an F chord. Rhythm is pretty steady as long as the song is familiar. Generally needs chords either written out over the words or else taught to each song.
· At the more advanced end, has met an F chord but shuns its acquaintance; knows a few bass runs or a finger pattern or two; has sometimes played a little with a friend; may be beginning to sort out finger and flatpicking; competent with basic chords: A, Am, B7, C, C7, D, Dm, E, Em, G, and G7. Can sing and strum at the same time easily; learns chords to simple tunes fairly quickly.

LEVEL 3: No problems with F chord, can hear I, IV, and V chords and usually recognizes a circle of fifths. Fingerpicking: plays a few tunes smoothly; usually learns from friends or tablature. If making own arrangements, they are usually fairly simple, with an alternating bass or a few bass runs. Flatpicking: can play a few melodies smoothly clear through and may be starting to improvise leads. Fancy Chord Styles: knows there is life above the fifth fret and has been there with barre or four finger (partial) chords. Keeps steady rhythm.

LEVEL 4: Fingerpicking: works out arrangements or learns complex arrangements from recordings, including moving bass lines and treble harmonies. Flatpicking: plays lead and back-up with steady rhythm, some improvisation, and clear tone. Plays skillfully with others. Fancy Chord Styles: knows there is life above the seventh fret and is on a first-name basis with most of the chords; has been known to use 12 chords where one would do.

PACING: Classes usually pace themselves to match the participants' abilities. Classes designated level 1 proceed at the pace of the slowest student in the class -- no one gets left behind. Classes designated level 4, on the other hand, move at the pace of the most capable student in the class -- no one gets bored. Level 2 and 3 classes try to follow the pace of the majority of students in the class.

About Tuition, Registration, and the Small Print

All the nitty-gritty details of signing up for PSGW (Tuition cost, refunds, scholarships, ages, deposits, mailing address) are on the "SMALL PRINT" page that accompanies the registration form.

PSGW Information - Past & Present

Brochures from previous years:
2018   2017   2016   2015   2014   2013   2012   2011   2010   2009   2008   2007   2006   2005   2004   2003   2002   2001   2000   1999   1998   1997   1996   1995  

Each year the camp brochure appears first on the website, then we send a notice to everyone on our Brochure Emailing List, then it is printed on paper, and finally, copies are mailed to everyone on our Brochure Mailing List (postal).

Postal mail used to be the best way to get the information out, but it is expensive. If you want to help us keep costs down you can choose to get an email announcement when the brochure first appears on the website instead of a paper copy sent by postal mail later.

Click here to get on the Brochure Emailing List.

Even the instructors have fun at PSGW!

Links to other interesting camps and music-related organizations.

Contact Us

The Puget Sound Guitar Workshop (i.e. PSGW, the camp) is run by two year-round Coordinators under the legal aegis of the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop Board of Directors (i.e. PSGW, the 501(c)3 non-profit organization).

The current year-round Coordinators are Janet Peterson and Peter Langston.
Kudos, complaints, or suggestions about the Guitar Workshop can go to them.
Send email to: info@psgw.org
Send mail to: Puget Sound Guitar Workshop
P.O. Box 896
Bellingham, WA 98227-0896

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This page was last modified Wednesday, 22-Aug-2018 23:25:21 PDT.
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