Acoustic Kamp Online Brochure

Thank you for your interest in our Acoustic Kamp Series. We feel it is the best organized, educationally beneficial, camaraderie based Kamp available. People come from all over the world to share this experience. Everyone is nervous the first time at the Kamp - for about 15 minutes. Then they see all the love and joy and excitement around them. Everyone comes for one main purpose. To learn from the best and better play acoustic music! We hope you too will join us to experience this joy in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.

See you in June, 

Steve and Donna

Downloadable Items

Notification must be made by mail (not email) and received by April 21.
Send to:
PO Box 1020
Alcoa TN 37701.
Refunds of the balance paid, minus $75.00 is refundable prior to April 21. After April 21 and before June 1, your balance (minus $75.00) will be credited toward the next year’s Kamp series and is only available for the one following year. Kamp registrations are transferable to friends or family members only after discussing it with the Kamp Office.

Due to the high level of preparation and fees incurred by the Kamp, after May 21 there are no cancellations accepted, transfers or refunds.

 Absolutely No refunds are given after April 21

Steve Kaufman's Acoustic Kamp
Maryville College
502 East Lamar Alexander Parkway
Maryville, TN 37804

Our facilities are on the campus of the spacious, scenic and historic Maryville College in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. We are just 17 miles south of Knoxville, TN.

The campus facilities include dormitories, cafeteria, concert hall, classrooms, Chapel and "The Kamp General Store".
The sleeping quarters are in the college dormitories. There are two tall twin beds per room with shared baths. Pairing up of friends is possible but rooms are limited so let us know early. Stair climbing and walking required. All Rooms are based on Double Occupancy. Quiet Sleeping Areas or Jam Sleeping Area Available. Quiet Area Jamming Curfew is 11:00 PM.

Mountain Challenge is a group on campus that will take you up to the Smokies for hikes, canoeing, white water rafting and more. We will update as we get closer.

If traveling by air, you will fly into the Knoxville Airport (TYS). The Kamp is about 5 miles from the airport and we can pick you up if your flight arrives between noon and 4:30 PM on your check in day.
Kamp shuttles begin at noon about every 20 minutes and will pick you up outside of the baggage area at the curb.
Look for the Maryville College Van
Returning to the airport should be just as easy. We start running shuttles back to the airport at 8:00 AM on check out day. This will get you to a 9:30 flight. Earlier departures require a taxi and we will help you make the arrangements during Kamp. You must sign up for the shuttle when you check in, or outside the Kamp Store.

Flying With Your Instrument

Steve flies four to six planes every week and has found the best for him is to check his guitar in his Calton Case. This is nearly indestructible but important measures have been taken to insure its safety. Many, many guitars come to Kamp in factory hard shell cases. Use a roll of bubble wrap under the peg head which pushes the peg head slightly off it's cradle. This will help the weak area of the neck where it rests in the cradle of the case. Make sure the guitar does not slide inside the case. You can use T-Shirts stuffed around the instrument to snug it in the case.

If you are traveling with anything smaller than a guitar, simply bring it on the plane. Try to be one of the first people on the plane, either by Medallion status or tell them you need a little extra time. The later you wait to board the less chance you have to put your instrument overhead. Then you will "Gate Check" it. This is when you have your instrument at the gate and there is no room and you have to hand it to a worker to hand carry it down the steps and hand place it in baggage. When you get off the plane, your instrument is brought to you at the door of the plane. Steve has done this hundreds of times, still with no damage issues.

One last item for peace of mind. Call Heritage Insurance. They insure Steve's instruments and are the best folks to work with. Pennies on the dollar and zero deductible. Just in case something happens, you will be covered. Steve has not had a damage claim in 20 years and travels on many flights and you will no doubt have great success getting your instrument to Kamp either on board or gate checked.

Our designated Kamp Hotel is the MainStay Suites by the Knoxville Airport.

It is located about 3 miles from Maryville College.

Special Kamp Rates Apply - The regular rate is $139 but for Kampers it is only $79 plus tax - Wow thanks MainStay!

You can click HERE to book your room online or you can call or email Teagan by May 1 for special rates guaranteed

Click Here or Call to get the Best Kamp Rate. Use Code LKAUFK when calling or mention Kamp Student

Contact Rachel Oxendine at 865-379-7799   ext. 7800

These are all great B+Bs and hotels a few miles from Kamp

+++ Hotels and B+Bs +++ +++ Hotels and B+Bs +++

Jim and Mary Haider, of Chilhowee Mountain Retreat, wrote me about their brand new B+B:
Our B&B is an upscale log home with three rooms available. We offer such amenities as two person air-jet tubs, bath salts to use in the tubs, steam showers, robes, and million dollar views of the Smoky Mountains in addition to 10+ acres to explore. We also have a music room in our home where you can find a piano, two harps, guitar, banjo and mountain dulcimer. You may visit our website for more detailed information.

Contact them at:


Holiday Inn Express


Hampton Inn – 865-983-1101    

Hilton Airport 865-970-4300  

Fairfield Inn Hotel 865-984-9350

Family Inns Airport 865-970-2006

The following hotels and motels are in Townsend, TN about 15 miles from Kamp in the Smokies

Richmont Inn    800-267-7086

Tally Ho Inn    800-448-2465

Highland Manor Inn   800-213-9462

Dancing Bear Lodge  800-369-0111

Chilhowee Inn   865-980-5623

Econo Lodge Townsend   800-369-0111

Transportation to and from the Knoxville Airport (TYS)

Arrival Day: Check In is between 1-5 PM Eastern Standard Time. A shuttle will be provided for the 5 mile trip from the airport to the college. If you are coming in a day early and staying at an area hotel, you will need to shuttle back to the airport for pick-up. We will begin pick up shuttles from the airport a little after noon.

SHUTTLES: Please wait outside the airport on the lower level directly outside the baggage terminal. Look for the white Maryville College van. Our friendly staff will be waiting or on their way to meet you.

You will be responsible for your own lunch on Check In day. Dinner is included and will be served from 5:00—6:00 PM. There may not be another food vendor open before or after the scheduled dinner time so be prepared.

Check Out Day: The Kamp is officially over at the close of the final concert Friday evening. You are welcome to stay over that night, rest up in the morning and enjoy one last delicious breakfast meal in the cafeteria. You must turn in your room key by 10:00 AM EST in order to get your deposit back and not be charged up to $130.00. If you leave early, you can slip the key under the dorm assistants door and we will shred your deposit check. Let us know through the week sometime if you will be leaving early.

We will arrange the returning shuttle times Saturday morning to start at 8:00 am for an 9:30 flight. If you need to leave before a 9:30 AM EST flight- Cab service arrangements to the airport should be made. You can call A Plus Taxi at 865-970-0016.  Please verify your departure needs before the last day of Kamp at the Kamp office/store so adequate shuttles may be arranged. Shuttles will run until 11 AM Saturday for Check Out.

The Check Out Time is 10:00 AM Eastern Standard Time on Saturday

If you need to stay longer we can stow your gear.
Check in takes place between 1 and 5 PM EST at Bartlett Hall on Sunday each week. Our first meal service is at 5:00 PM on check in day. In the past Ken and Virginia Miller have had their Instruments displayed in the foyer of Bartlett. Stop by and say hello. Fox Dogs will have lunch for purchase as a fundraiser.

You will first check in with Donna, Steve or another Kamp representative at the Kamp Check-In Table in the Bartlett Hall and receive your Kamp Manual, T-Shirt and finalizing any payment if there is any and arrange for your $100.00 refundable room key deposit. NO MONEY ORDERS OR CASH FOR ROOM KEY DEPOSIT. We do not mail back deposits, we shred them. We can also use your Visa or Master Card or a check.

You then move over to the college's table for room assignments and sign up for Saturday’s shuttle if needed. You will then be directed to your dorm for your keys.

LATE CHECK IN is 7-8 PM before Sunday evening’s Orientation and Monday morning from 8-8:30 AM at the Alumni Gym before morning orientation Any Check In after orientation takes place at The Kamp Store. If for some reason you can not make it by the Sunday check in time, you will need to notify us in advance. You may be responsible for your accommodations that night.  Be sure to attend the college orientation in The Clayton Center at 8:30 AM EST Monday morning. The hotel may possibly give you shuttle service. Otherwise you will need to take a cab over to the college. The cab is approx $14.00. Have the cab drop you off at Bartlett Hall. The Alumni Gym is directly behind Bartlett.

Let us know if you will be later than the 1-5 EST standard check in time.

Sunday’s Orientation at 8:00 PM EST in The Alumni Gym is for ALL KAMPERS and KOMPANIONS. This is when you will meet the instructors, go over class schedules and times, be notified of any last minute changes and meet all of your fellow Kampers.

Monday Morning: We will meet for College Orientation and then we will go outside for the group picture. All Kampers and Kompanions should attend.
If you need to send a fax - 865.981.8370
If you want to mail a letter or package to a SK Kamper:
Kaufman Acoustic Kamps
Maryville College
502 E. Lamar Alexander Pkwy
Maryville 37804

Be very honest with yourself.

Our Kamp is more of an instrumental technique learning music camp than a strumming and back-up music camp. Our goal is to train you to play solos and melodies on your instrument, as well as back up and rhythm techniques. Keep this in mind as you choose your level. A guitarist with 30 years strumming and singing would still be considered a high beginner with no real "picking" experience.  A violinist with 20 years of classical experience may still be barely an intermediate "Fiddler". Just because you have played your instrument for many years, does not qualify your proficiency level to be an advanced level. Please be accurate for your level. Do not jump into a higher class because you want to see what is going on there. If you do this, as soon as you ask a question you may bring the class down to your level. Please be accurate. Thank you for your honesty in this placement. Register as you wish now and you may reassess your level in May. Nothing is cast in stone, you may choose to change level after your first class as well after seeing Donna for reassignment.

Beginning Class Level One (Called 101):

Guitar, Old Time Banjo, Fiddle in Week One and Guitar, Banjo, Fiddle and Mandolin in Week Two: True beginners who know nothing about the instrument. The student level ranges from never had touched an instrument before (be sure to bring one) to being able to strum a few chords but may not really know what to do with them. No music theory or music reading skills required whatsoever! You will stay with the same instructor the entire Kamp. No class rotations. You will have a blast and get yourself ready to be at least in the beginners class for the following year.

Beginners: Full Rotation

All Instruments:  Should know basic open chords, 3-6 chords at least: G, C, D, A, E and maybe F. Maybe also their minor counterparts. Should be able to strum and change chords easily and steadily. Should know 2 to 12 simple songs, playing them by using single notes. Quarter notes good for the melodies. A knowledge of reading tablature is a huge plus, but not necessary. Should be able to tune their instrument by ear or with a tuner, put on the picks if used, know which string is which (first, second, etc) and the names of the strings.

Fingerpickers and Banjo Players: Should know a couple of basic rolls, (Forward, backward, alternating thumb). Banjo—should be able to play ONE song all the way thru, preferably  Cripple Creek or Boil Them Cabbage. Fingerstyle guitarist should be comfortable with at least one fingerpicking pattern.

Dobro (TM) Players: (Ivan says....) You know most or all of the straight-bar chords and might pick a few licks out of those bar positions, but generally need help finding a melody or doing much beyond going back and forth among the straight-bar chords. You may have memorized a G major scale but still don't know what to do with it, or you may have found a few simple melodies but can't quite execute them because you still need to work a lot on picking and barring technique. You may have learned a roll, but don't know how to incorporate rolls with melodies. If you've tried playing with others in a jam, you pretty much stick to chording and wish you knew how to do more. Dobro may be your first musical instrument, and discussions of music theory may be frustrating. You'd like someone to start with music theory from the very beginning and take it slowly. 

Fiddlers: You can play 1 octave scales such as A and D. You know some songs and fiddle tunes at a slow to moderate tempo. You are concentrating primarily on playing in tune, getting good tone and controlling the bow. You may know the basic shuffle bowing (Long short short, LSS)

Mandolin and Flatpickers: Should be comfortable using the pick, basic chords, should know 2 to 12 simple instrumental songs, playing them by using single notes. Quarter notes good for the melodies. but do not have to be up to speed.

Old Time Banjo Pickers: (but not new pickers) - Have some experience with the right hand Clawhammer technique and understand that it is NOT the same as Fingerpicking. Helpful to know a few chords in G tuning.

Bass: You can play an alternating bass line (root-fifth) on easy songs using mostly open strings. You’re just starting to get a good solid bass sound. You can hold a somewhat steady rhythm while playing the bass line. You’re learning to damp the strings after hitting them



All Instruments: All of the above plus… Should be able to comfortably play chords, some scales and be able to get a good sound from the instrument. Understand the use of a capo. Should be becoming aware of the instrument's role in a group situation and be asking questions such as: "How do I backup another musician or singer?" or "How do I play solos up the neck? " or "How can I learn to play faster?"

Dobro (TM) Players: (Ivan says....)You feel confident holding the bar, sliding, picking, and trying hammer-ons and pull-offs, even if you still make a lot of mistakes. You know a few scales, and chord changes don't come as a surprise in 3-chord bluegrass songs. If the teacher says, "the song goes to the 4 chord and then back to the 1 chord," you can follow along easily. You've tried playing in several different keys (though you're probably only comfortable in 2 or 3 of them). You know some basic melodies but want to learn strategies for finding melodies faster and making them sound more interesting with  rolls, hammer-ons, pull-offs, and slides. You have several songs in your repertoire, and now that you can play a bit of music, you're interested in refining technique and sounding better. A little bit of music theory applied right away seems helpful and interesting; too much music theory makes you forget everything you learned an hour ago.

Fiddle: You can play at least a single octave major scale in common keys A, D, G, C, F. Some of these scales in minor keys. You are comfortable using the full bow. You can play some double stops. You can play slurs and slides. You use drone strings. You are somewhat comfortable using your 4th finger. You have good rhythm and intonation and have played with other folks some. Play at least 10-20 instrumental tunes from memory.

Flatpickers and Mandolins: Plectrum users should be able to play some fiddle tunes using appropriate alternating strokes at a moderate tempo. Understand movable chords. Transpose chords from one key to another. Play some tunes with variations. Play at least 10-20 instrumental tunes from memory. You can recognize I, IV and V chord patterns. You know minor seventh chord and diminished chord forms. You play well with others and are used to jamming

Fingerpickers: Should be able to keep alternate bass going during a tune, should know first position chords and understand how they translate up the neck. Play at least 7-20 instrumental tunes from memory. Not just a roll style back-up for singing like Dust in the Wind etc. More like Freight Train, Alice's Restaurant, etc in Travis style or the like.

Banjo Players: Should be able to play 3-4 different rolls up to speed. Should know 1st and 2nd position chords and hopefully 3rd position chords. Should be able to interchange rolls and riffs. Should be able to play the off beat (2 and 4 beat) rhythm "Chunk" back up.  You can play several rolls, and they’re smooth and in good rhythm. You can do at least one intro lick and one ending for bluegrass songs. Play at least 10-20 instrumental tunes from memory like Cripple Creek, Salt Creek, Old Joe Clark, etc., Foggy Mt. Breakdown.

Old Time Banjo Pickers: Right hand technique in Clawhammer style should be solid. Able to change chords in G tuning and double C (or double D) tuning. Must be able to play several songs and tune in each tuning. Play at least 10-20 instrumental tunes from memory

Bass: You can play comfortably in the keys of C, G, D, A and E. You’ve played with other folks a fair amount. You can play at least three major scales. You play with good rhythm. You can do some runs between one chord and the next. You can play other bass notes than the root and the fifth (such as the third) and know where to use them. You can play other rhythmic patterns besides the standard 1st and 3rd beat.



All Instruments: Should have a large repertoire. Interested in the finer points of improvising and experiencing music as a language. Should have a basic knowledge of music theory and realize that an ever expanding knowledge of theory will open more doors to them. Should be striving for more precision and mastery of both the right hand and the fingerboard.  Should be able to learn without tablature, to improvise a little and have some understanding of playing up the neck. Should be performing in bands or solo or just on the edge of being able to do so.

Dobro (TM) Players: (Ivan says....)  You've probably taken combined intermediate/advanced classes before and felt they moved too slowly. Even if you can't quite do them up to speed, you have many songs in your repertoire, including a few fiddle tunes that require some intricate barring and picking. Hammer-ons and pull-offs aren't a problem, and you've practiced incorporating rolls into your bluegrass solos. Overall, you're starting to sound pretty good when jamming with your friends. You're comfortable playing in open and closed positions, and you're looking to play more interesting music un-capoed in the keys of C, D, Em, Am, etc. You should have several chord triads memorized. The Nashville Number System is old hat, and you can't wait to learn some more practical music theory that will make you a better musician. You'd like to know more-advanced ways of playing Dobro backup and rhythm. In short, you can already play some pretty good music and have a good grasp of what to do with the Dobro, but you want some hands-on instruction to get you to the next level.

Flatpicking: (Both Weeks) Should have a large repertoire or at least 20 tunes minimum but more like 50-500. Of that large repertoire, should be able to play the melody and a variation to all. Possibly play same song in different keys. Should have a strong understanding of chord structures and progressions, movable chords. Should be able to play most songs at speed (200-228 bpm). May be able to play out of positions up the neck.

Mandolin: Should be able to play solos on bluegrass songs. Have some knowledge of double stops. Should be able to jam comfortably with others. Some improvisation skills.

Mandolin according to Don Stiernberg: The advanced mandolin player should be careful not to be better than Don Stiernberg as that would intimidate Don and perhaps hamper his performance with Steve Kaufman which he looks forward to with great relish.

Fiddle: You learn new tunes quickly (by sight reading or by ear). You are comfortable with 3rd position, and may also play in 2nd, 4th and 5th positions. You can back up others in a jam using double stops and chops. You can improvise some leads. You play well with others and are used to jamming at a pretty fast tempo. You play (or can play) double shuffle bowing and Georgia shuffle bowing. You can play a variety of stylistic ornaments like trills, rolls, slides, and drones with 4th finger slide. You are comfortable playing in most keys. You’re an experienced jammer or performer. You can play well at a fast tempo

Fingerstyle: Always keep alternate bass, even with hammers and pulls both on and off the beat, play (and maybe understand) chords up the neck, be familiar with two or more styles (e.g., jazz and country, or folk and blues), should have some ability to improvise while playing solo. You can work out fingerpicking arrangements including bass lines and treble harmonies.

Old Time and Bluegrass Banjo: You are an experienced jammer or performer. You play melodic leads comfortably and at a variety of speeds. You can play with dynamic control. Your rhythm is rock-solid. You can improvise on most any tune or song.

Bass: Your rhythm is rock-solid. You’re an experienced jammer or performer. You understand the theory of the chords you’re backing up. You’re comfortable with many different styles of playing. You can play a walking bass in all keys using closed-position notes.
All Instruments: Should be extremely comfortable with their instrument. Should be able to improvise somewhat melodically in most keys without the sole use of pentatonic or blues scales. Be a theme or melody player with continuity. Should have comprehensive ideas on how music fits together. Should play with compassion and feeling for those around them trying to keep up. Should be able to play what you are thinking, not thinking about what you wish you could play.

Friday evening, both weeks, is our Grand Prize Door Prize Give-Away to some lucky Kampers. Every Student is registered. You must be present to win.  This year we will be giving away a custom guitar, a Collings guitar, Hopefully a Weber Mandolin, two Deering Banjos with more to be added as we get closer. This is exciting because several Kampers leave with a very special and expensive instrument. Unbelievable - this could only happen at Kamp!  (Instrument Give-Aways Subject to Change)

Room Key Deposit: The Kamp requires a $100 REFUNDABLE room key deposit upon check in. This is to be in the form of check or Credit Card.
No Cash or Money Orders. We do not mail back checks. We shred them.

The Kamp Group Picture: 
The picture will be taken the first instructional day of each week. The photo will be available on line usually before the end of the week in Kamp section of Look for the Kamp Year and follow the links. We have Kamp Folios for sale to keep your treasured photographic memento safe and you can also have your teachers and friends sign it. Get your folio in the Kamp’s General Store!

For the Kompanions: There will be a lemonade social for the Kompanions on Monday morning, the first day of official classes, at 10:30 hosted by Donna Dixon (The Boss). Their social activities in the area and special needs will be addressed. Trips may be planned and activity suggestions given. We also have Lap Dulcimer, vocal lessons and many classes available for the Kompanions if they wish to participate. Mike Clemmer, local Dulcimer builder, will be on hand for the Kompanions to learn the Lap Dulcimer. Preparations will begin for the Kamp Kompanion Chorus. All Kompanions attend.

Off Kampus Rates:

There is a discounted rate for those wanting to stay off Campus.  You will be 100% responsible for your accommodations and transportation. The Off-Campus Fee for the Kamp is $800.00 for the Student and $475.00 (Check registration for accurate pricing) for the Kompanions. Meals, classes and concert passes will still be included.

Please Read: We turn in all Kamper info to the college the first of June. Room assignments are NOT on a first come basis. At the beginning of June we make up your packets, badges, Kompanion packets if any, and have your Kamp Manual books ordered. Any change after June 1 to your name, email address, room mate request, main instrument, class level will result in a $15.00 administration fee added to your balance due at check in.
Be sure to check and verify your information in the Kamp registration confirmation letter we send you after registering for Kamp.

There are some incredible additions to the upcoming Acoustic Kamp. The changes and additions are directly taken from the past Kamper's evaluations. 

Contra Dance - During the Traditional Week we held our Second Contra Dance and it was a huge success. There were hundreds dancing. This will happen Wednesday night of the first week. We will have the best of the best for the band! Emily Abel will be our featured caller. She hails from Asheville, NC and does a wonderful job. You will love her.

Old Time Mandolin:  A growing instrument in Old Time Music. This class will be geared toward beginner and intermediate students.

Old Time Traditional Guitar Rhythm to the first week.

Bluegrass Guitar Rhythm and Ukulele to the second week. A second instructor may be added. Be sure to let us know your level of proficiency.  These were a hit the past two years, so register early

Lunch at Check-In: Sunday Check-In is from 1-6 EST. There is no food service on campus until 5:30 pm dinner.  Kiwanis will again be helping out and serving small lunches. All money they raise goes to the Children’s Hospital. You have helped raise over $63,234.40 through food sales at Kamp.

Two Week Kampers: On Campus Students - A $85 "Stay Over" charge will be added to your file and balance for this needed package. This will include your Saturday Lunch and Dinner, Saturday night Bed and Sunday breakfast. This is automatically added unless you tell us that you won't need this Saturday package. This package allows you to stay in the same room and not have pack and unpack your gear. If you are keeping your gear in the room Saturday night, you will be charged for it. There is no separation of bed and meals. 

Off Campus Students (Kampers) and Kompanions: If you are staying off campus as an Off Campus Kamper or Kompanion, your meals are included in your fee. If you are staying off campus as a non-registered Kompanion, you will be able to purchase meals at the cafeteria door along with concert tickets at the concert hall. You are responsible for all transportation to and from the Kamp.

Students: Besides your two 2-Hour Classes each day Monday through Friday you can also participate in: Structured Morning and Afternoon Jam Session along with break out sessions and Master Classes. All led by Kamp Jam Leaders.

TN Tax:  Beginning in 2017, all fees will have our TN State Tax added to registrations. This will not be added to the Scholarship donations. We have been paying it out of the Kamp funds since 1996 and just can’t afford to do so any longer. We are sure you understand our situation. This will allow us to make improvements to Kamp that all the students and faculty can enjoy.

Morning Lap Dulcimer Class with Mike Clemmer. Mike and Connie Clemmer own the Wood-N-Strings Dulcimer Shop in Townsend, TN and they come in special to teach this class. Therefore a fee of $35 for the four day morning class is charged. All Levels of students accepted for this morning class. Classes are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Rental instruments available. Rent goes towards purchase.

Licensed Massage Therapist - Tina Becker will return as Head of Massage Therapy. She and her team will try to solve those sore problems that crop up. Student and Kompanion schedules will be posted.

Like us on Facebook

Please don't misinterpret this list to mean you should know all these songs before Kamp time.
  • Beginners at Kamp (depending on the instrument) know a few chords and maybe a tune or two up to 8-10 tunes
  • Intermediates know their basic chords and a few more and maybe 10-25 tunes
  • Advanced students know more than this but this is a list of some of the most common jamming tunes at Kamp.

Tony Anthonisen is going to be leading our morning Slow Jams (8:30-9:30am) and the evening Beginner's Jams (10:30-11:30PM), our mid-day Fiddle Tune Jam (12:30-1:30:PM) and the 4:15-5:00PM medium jam.

Click below for Tony's lists:

Fiddle Tune List
Vocal Tune List
1-4-5 Progression List
This list is from Steve's 4 Hour Bluegrass Work-Out written for Guitar, Mandolin and Fiddle in one set.
Four CDs plus chords, music, and tab for guitar and mandolin
Also available - Steve's 4 Hour Banjo Work-Out with the same great songs written in Banjo Tab
Both the Banjo Work-Out and the Bluegrass Work-Out can be found at
What a great way to improve your picking, build up speed and stamina, and get those licks and solos working so you can really jam! On these four CDs, Steve plays 49 classic bluegrass tunes slowly three times and then up-to-speed three times. With the stereo balance control, you can turn off the lead and play along with the rhythm track to get your soloing together. The solos lead part is on the other channel, so you can practice your back-up parts and learn the tune.

  • Each Measure represents 4 Beats.
  • Bass hits on the 1 and 3 beats
  • Mandolin and Fiddle chop on the 2 and 4 beats
  • Guitar hits Bass-Strum-Bass-Strum

Alabama Jubilee

Key of C

Arkansas Traveler

Key of D

Played with Capo on 2nd Fret, C position, Key of D

Beaumont Rag

Key of D

Played with Capo on 2nd Fret, C position, Key of D

Big Sandy River

Key of A

Played with Capo on 2nd Fret, G position, Key of A

Bill Cheatham

Key of A           

Played with Capo on 2nd Fret, G position, Key of A

Billy In The Low Ground

Key of C
C/C/Am/Am/C/C/Am/GC   (REPEAT)

Black Mountain Rag

Key of A    A/A/A/EA/A/A/A/EA/   (REPEAT)

Played with Capo 2nd Fret, G position, Key of A

Blackberry Blossom

Key of G
Em/ Em/ Em/ B7/ Em/ Em/ CG/DG/ (REPEAT)

Blackberry Rag

Key of C

Cherokee Shuffle

Key of D

Cricket On The Hearth

Key of D

Played with Capo on 2nd Fret, C position, Key of D

Cripple Creek

Key of A



Played with Capo 2nd Fret, G position Key of A



Cuckoo's Nest

Key of D

Devil's Dream

Key of A

Dixie Hoedown

Key of G
G/Bm/Am/G/D/D/D/G/  (REPEAT)

Down Yonder

Key of G

Drowsy Maggie

Key of Em

Fire On The Mountain

Key of A

Played with Capo 2nd Fret, G position, Key of A

Fisher's Hornpipe

Key of D

Flop-Eared Mule

Key of G

Flowers Of Edinburgh

Key of G

Forked Deer

Key of D

Played with Capo on 2nd Fret, C position, Key of D

Golden Slippers

Key of A


Played with Capo 2nd Fret, G position Key of A

Hell Amongst The Yearlings

Key of D

June Apple

Key of A

Katie Hill

Key of G

Kitchen Girl

Key of A
Am/Am/Am/E/Am/Am/AmE/Am/  (REPEAT)


Key of D

Played with Capo 2nd Fret, C position, Key of D

Lost Indian

Key of D

Played with Capo 2nd Fret, C position, Key of D

Miller's Reel

Key of A

Mississippi Sawyer

Key of D

Played with Capo 2nd Fret, C position, Key of D

Over The Waterfall

Key of D

Ragtime Annie

Key of D

Played with Capo 2nd Fret, C position, Key of D

Red Wing

Key of C

Red-Haired Boy

Key of A

Played with Capo 2nd Fret, G position, Key of A

Rickett's Hornpipe

Key of D

Sail Away Ladies

Key of G
G/Em/C/G/G/Em/D/G/  (REPEAT)
G/Am/D/G/G/Am/D/G/  (REPEAT)

Salt Creek

Key of A

Played with Capo 2nd Fret, G position, Key of A

Soldier's Joy

Key of D

Played with Capo 2nd Fret, C position, Key of D

St. Anne's Reel

Key of D

Played with Capo 2nd Fret, C position, Key of D

Staten Island Hornpipe

Key of D

Stony Creek

Key of A

Stony Point

Key of G
Em/Em/Em/DG/Em/Em/CG/DG/  (REPEAT)

Temperance Reel

Key of G
G/G/Em/Em/G/G/Em/DG/  (REPEAT)
Em/Em/D/D/Em/Em/Em/DG/ (REPEAT)

Texas Gales

Key of C

The Eighth Of January

Key of D

The Girl I Left Behind Me

Key of G

The Gold Rush

Key of A

Played with Capo 2nd Fret, G position, Key of A

Turkey In The Straw

Key of G

Whiskey Before Breakfast

Key of D

Played with Capo 2nd Fret, C position, Key of D

We are often asked what the age group or average age of our students are. We usually tell them to walk into a grocery store at a busy time and look around. They will see mostly people in the 35-55 group. Then they will see 15-34 year olds and then the 56 and over group.

This is how our Kamp student base is as well. We will have some minors but mostly 18 and older. Children under 18 require a guardian as a room mate on campus. The guardian must be 21 year old or older. Fill out a minor release form and bring with you to Kamp or fax it to us at 865-982-3808..

Click here to download our minor release form

In 2017 we had more minors arrive to Kamp ranging from the age of 9 to 17. It was great to see. More kids perpetuates our music. Thank you for supporting them.

The Student cost for each Kamp is $900.00 plus Tax. This fee includes all classes, concerts, workshops, lifetime friendships, meals and Maryville College dorm style housing. Off campus rates are available but we strongly suggest you stay on campus for the full feel and effect of the Kamps. There is a $75 deduction for staying off campus.

Spouses and friends accompanying students are called Kompanions and their rate is less though they cannot attend any of the Main Classes or Master Classes. They can however enjoy all meals, bed, concerts, jam sessions, some afternoon events and the tours that Mountain Challenge offers.

Master Class - This is a class that you sign up for at Kamp, not separated by level or instrument, with one of the Master Instructors. Maximum of eight students per Master Class. You don't have to be a master on your instrument to take part in the Master Class.

Old Time and Traditional Week - June 11-17, 2017

Old Time Traditional Rhythm Guitar
Old Time Fiddle
Old Time Mandolin
Old Time Banjo
Old Time Mountain Singing and Harmony
Mountain Dulcimer
Hammered Dulcimer

On Campus Rate - $900.00
Off Campus Rate-$825.00
Kompanion Rates are:
On Campus $495.00
Off Campus $420.00

All Fees Plus Tax.

Bluegrass Week - June 18-24, 2017

Dobro ™
Bluegrass Banjo
Bluegrass Vocals
Bluegrass Rhythm Guitar
Bluegrass Fiddle

On Campus Rate - $900.00
Off Campus Rate-$825.00
Kompanion Rates are:
On Campus $495.00
Off Campus $420.00

All Fees Plus Tax.

Our Kamp's class structure is unique and different from any other music camp in the world. When you register for the Kamp with your instrument of choice, you aren’t just signing up for one instructor - as is the case with most music camps. You are signing up for all the instructors for your instrument. You are divided by level and rotate through each of the instructor’s classes. The “Beginner 101” class does not rotate. “Beginner 101” students stay with the same instructor through the week. Final Schedule Subject To Change.

Kampers (Students) can enjoy all classes and seminars, concerts, jams, break out sessions. Everything the Kamp has to offer.
Kompanions may attend the various morning and afternoon jams, breakout sessions, concerts and meals with the exception of the afternoon Master Classes. Kompanions may not attend the Main Classes and the afternoon Master Classes.

Kampers only, no Kompanions, in the Master Classes or the 2-Hour Main Classes.

Three healthy meals will be served daily in a large, buffet-style dining hall. Meals are provided by METZ accommodating all tastes including Low Carb and Vegetarian. Gluten free upon request. Let us know if you have specific food needs.

Let us know of any dietary restrictions.
Gluten Free and Vegetarian Meals are available at each meal and are marked and labeled.

Breakfast choices are cereals, fruit, eggs with a different meat each day and a different form of potato each day.

Lunch and Dinner hosts a salad bar, sandwich station, pizza (Gluten Free Pizza available upon request), two hot entre choices and fantastic desserts. 

This food service crew boasts Farm to Table Freshness. And for the most part, it's true. You won't lose weight at Kamp unless you want to.

Family members (Kompanions) may attend the Kamp for an additional fee. There is no fee for children under the age of two-years old if they do not need a bed. All other children must comply to the Kompanion fees. This fee covers the evening concerts, jam sessions, most afternoon sessions, Kompanion get-togethers, room and meals.

The Kompanions are not permitted in the main class rooms for any reason unless assisting a handicapped Kamper.

In addition to the two two-hour long daily classes, we offer slow and intermediate jam sessions, morning mountain dulcimer lessons, vocal classes, master classes (Students only), organized jamming classes and more. These sessions are available to Students as well as Kompanions. These sessions are not separated by level or instrument.

The evening Kamp concert series is open to all Kampers, Kompanions and the general public. The concert series is included in the registration fee and is designed to really show off our instructors. They are mostly known for their concert performance so you will really see these stars shine. This is their evening to stretch out so your guess is as good as ours what to expect!

Note that the concert series is now becoming the grandest of it’s kind in East Tennessee. Many Kampers tell us that the Concerts are worth the price of the Kamp alone. This year’s concert series will be in the new Clayton Center for the Arts on the Maryville College campus. You can order the 2 CD Sets of the concerts called “The Best Of The Kamp Concert Series” currently with 7 Volumes dating from 1998 to 2004. Order Yours Today!


Kompanions having a Mountain Challenge Get-AWay

The schedule may differ slightly but as a whole it looks like this:

7:30 am - 9:00
Breakfast - Food Service replenishes from 7:30-8:30 but you can stay until 9am

8:30 - 9:30
Slow Jam Period / Kamp General Store Opens

10:00 - 11:55
Morning Class

12:00 - 2:00 (Lunch served 12-1pm)
Lunch/Rest/Jam Times

1:00 - 1:45 or 12:30-1:30 - T-Man's Call (Check Schedule)
Tune of the Day Class / Fiddle Tune Jam

2:00 - 4:00
Afternoon Class

4:15 - 5:00
Break Out Sessions/ Master Classes / Jams

5:00 - 6:30 (Dinner served 5-6 pm)
Dinner/ Rest/ Jam / Kamp General Store Closes

7:00 - 7:30
Open Mic. On the Main Stage

7:30 - 10:30
Evening Concert Series

10:30 PM - Midnight
Open Mic in Issac's led by Keith Yoder and Beginner's Jam in the Bartlett Hall led by Tony Anthonisen.

Midnight - 7:30 AM
Sleep/Jam Period

Schedule subject to slight change

Breakfast is Breakfast is Breakfast: Good food, decent coffee

Slow/Beginner Jam Periods: These are times when students can get together for controlled jam sessions with a jam leader. The Slow Morning Jam will take place in the Alumni Gym each morning Tuesday through Friday. The Slow Beginner's Jam will take place after the concert each evening in Issac's in Bartlett Hall. Nothing should exceed 100 Beats Per Minute or 45 Miles Per Hour. Slow/Beginner Jams in the AM and after the evening concert.

Morning and Afternoon Classes: These classes are two hours each with a few minutes break in the middle. You rotate with your assigned group through the week eventually attending each instructor's class. This input from every instructor and every possible angle and direction helps to make you a more rounded player and tends to avoid the clone syndrome that many students suffer.

Lunch/Rest/ Jam: Lunch is Lunch:
Good Food! Near the end of the Kamp you will be looking for rest periods. It is our intent at SK's Acoustic Kamp that you feel "whooped" by the end of the week. These are great chances to catch up on sleep, go to town and visit the Smokies or jam with new or old acquaintances.

Break Out Sessions and Up-Close Classes: Kamp Staff will conduct special afternoon topic discussions. Also each instructor will conduct Master Classes. Eight Students to the class for One to One attentions. Must sign up at the Kamp Store.

Dinner:  Dinner is Dinner - no one has ever complained about losing weight while at the Acoustic Kamps.

Each Night: Open Mic Time is a time that the students can try new material and play the big stage. Slots will be roughly Five minutes each and is available through a sign up sheet at the "Kamp General Store".

Open Mic Time: 7:00 - 7:30 PM and Concert Start Time 7:30 PM

Every Night: Instructor Concerts with special guests.

All Kamper and Kompanions

Orientation Sunday Night   8:00 PM

There are many, many things to do in East Tennessee. From hiking, camping, biking, shopping, theme parks, horse back riding and lots more. We go over the things to do to the Kamp Kompanions during their lemonade social Monday morning. The Kamp Kompanions have always been a welcome group at The Acoustic Kamp.

Their numbers in attendance grows every year. The inspire us and allow us our interests and we all surely appreciate them. The Kompanions band together early in the week to see what their shared interests are. Starting in 2005 the Kamp Kompanions officially had Stage Time on the main stage to perform and best show some of their known and unknown talents.

We at Kamp Central try to show to the Kompanions all the finer points of interest in East Tennessee to help them spend their time. Donna Dixon also holds a Cookie and Lemonade Social for the Kompanion when the students begin their first class Monday morning. This meeting gets them together so they can buddy up and see what their common interests are and what they may want to do through the week.

We have a list of some of the things to do and places to see in the area. More will be added as time grows closer to Kamp.

Mountain Challenge  has come up with tours of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and great things to do for the Kompanions during the week and for 2 Week Kampers with a Saturday Stay Over.

The Smoky Mountain Visitor's Center
is a great place to find out what's going on at the Foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains (just 20 minutes from SKAK).


Jim and Mary Haider, of Chilhowee Mountain Retreat, wrote me about their brand new B+B:
Our B&B is an upscale log home with three rooms available. We offer such amenities as two person air-jet tubs, bath salts to use in the tubs, steam showers, robes, and million dollar views of the Smoky Mountains in addition to 10+ acres to explore. We also have a music room in our home where you can find a piano, two harps, guitar, banjo and mountain dulcimer. You may visit our website for more detailed information.

Contact them at:

Camp Grounds

Misty River Campground - Maryville

The college does not permit living in a camper on campus.Here is a spot given to us by Kamp Alumni John and Marlene Dillard

It is a full service campground just 8.5 miles outside of Maryville
5050 Old Walland Highway,
Walland, Tennessee 37886
Office (865) 981-4300

These campgrounds are up in Townsend, TN. Townsend is usually 20 minutes from the college.

Big Meadow Family Campground

Townsend TN  *  888-497-0625  email to: or visit

Lazy Daze Campground

Townsend TN  *  865-448-6061 email at

Little River Village Campground

Townsend TN   *  865-448-2241

Tremont Hills Campground and Log Cabins

Townsend TN  *  865-448-6363

Big Valley Campground

Townsend TN - 865-448-6191

Mountaineer Campground

Townsend TN - 865-488-6421

Tuckaleechee Campground

Townsend TN - 865-448-6681

Townsend Great Smokies KOA

Townsend - 800-562-3428

Theme Parks

There are several in the Pigeon Forge Area
For More Info call the Smokey Mountains Convention and Visitors Bureau
800-525-6834 or 865-448-6134

Dixie Stampede

Outdoor Activities

For More Info call the Smokey Mountains Convention and Visitors Bureau
800-525-6834 or 865-448-6134 

Outdoor Adventures

Guided interpretive hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park  *  865-774-5885

Scoot the Cove

ATV Rides and the River Rat (tubing down the Little River) 865-448-8888

Lost Sea

America's Largest Underground Lake - Sweetwater TN (about one hour drive) - 423-337-6616

Other Regional Information
An Audio Recorder: Be sure to bring a audio recorder or a mini disc recorder to record your classes and preserve your Kamp experience.


Video Camera: You can video the concerts if the artists have no objections. This will be let known at the beginning of their concert.
Instruments, picks, capo… multiple instruments are encouraged for better jams.

LinensBring your own. Be prepared to bring a pillow and sleeping bag or Twin Tall size sheets, blanket, wash cloths, towels along with soaps and shampoo. You may also want to bring a fitted mattress pad to avoid contact with the plastic covered mattress. 

Linen Rentals are available but you need to reserve before  May 31 - no exceptions. The college needs to reserve them ten days in advance. Linen Sets include: bottom and top sheet, thin college blanket, small college pillow, tiny college washcloth and towel - Call 865-982-3808 to reserve before May 31. Cost: $20 depending on college rate. This is paid on the registration form or you can decide before May 31 and we will add it to you bill at Kamp check in. To understand the use of the word "college" in this description, replace with "cheap". Extra sets can also be ordered before May 31.

Trash Can for Your Room: The college will provide garbage bags for you to keep up with your trash but they do not supply trash cans. You may want to bring a small receptacle for your room.

Clothing: Our June temperature is generally between 70-95 Fahrenheit during the day and 60-70 degrees in the evening. The humidity is between 75% and 110% due to the Great Smoky Mountains 20 miles away. Bring appropriate clothing, raincoat, umbrella, comfortable shoes, etc.  Most classrooms are air conditioned. All dorm rooms are air conditioned. Classes are held in several buildings with up to a 5 minute walk. Stair climbing is necessary.   There is a laundry in most dorm buildings.

Communication Devices: Optional - There are phone jacks and computer lines in all of the rooms.  Wireless Internet is available throughout the campus. We will get our codes Monday morning at the College orientation.

A Flashlight: For getting around to those late night jams. We do have lights in Tennessee but this is just another something you may want to pack with you.

A Watch/Battery Powered Alarm Clock: (optional but advisable - late evenings with early morning risings.) No Wake Up Service is provided (g).

A Desk Lamp: The college dorms have only overhead lighting. A small bed lamp or desk lamp might be nice to have.

Spending Money (and lots of it): All of the instructors and performers will have tapes, CD’s and/or instructional books and DVDs for sale. All money goes to the artist and instructors (and the government, of course).

A Sharpie for Autographs!  

The Acoustic Kamp Store will have new items this year along with our Kamp Kazoos, Case Covers and Gig Bags, Tote Bags, Koosies, Instruments, Kamp Ear Plugs, Foam Seat Cushions (a survival necessity), Key Chains, Embroidered Kamp Ladies Golf Shirts, Embroidered Kamp Baseball Jackets, Embroidered Kamp Fleece Jackets, Case Stickers, Fishman Pick-ups, CD Holders and more. Along with a fresh stock of T-shirts, hats, batteries, Fanny-packs, sun glass holders, coffee mugs, guitar strings, picks, Capos, Tylenol, Kamp group photos and other camp souvenirs.

Please notify us if you have any special needs or concerns
Our Kamp is an instrumentally based Kamp. We have vocal classes but the core of instruction is based on instrumental work. This can help you back-up yourself or another vocalist. Learn the exercises, scales, rolls and fiddle tunes that will make you a great musician.

Note: The paragraphs that call for practicing up on the 4 Hour Bluegrass Workout songs are for all the classes except Fingerstyle. Though some fingerstyle pickers can play these tunes, they generally pull from a totally different set of tunes. Fingerstyle players should work on what they are working on and possibly try to find arrangements to some of the
Work Out series tunes. Bass, fiddle, dulcimer, flatpicking, banjo, mandolin students should concentrate on this list (The Work Out series) along with what they are currently working on.
1.   The use of fiddle tunes in your plectrum (pick) repertoire helps to coordinate right and left hand, strengthen hands, develop ear skills, sight reading and scale work plus they give the player something to share with another player ie. A jam.
2.   Prioritize Your Goals
What do you want to get out of Kamp? To be a better picker? To be a better Jammer? To develop a particular style? To try out a new instrument? Narrowing your focus can help you prioritize so you will gain the most out of Kamp. Decide on a few topics of interest before you arrive. Listen for those topics or ask about them and let the rest of class go.

Focus on a few things for this coming year and the following year work on a few other topics. Don’t expect to master these or any topics at Kamp. You learn it and understand it
here in Tennessee and then practice and perfect when you get home.
3.   Arrive Well Rested
Get plenty of rest before you come to Kamp. You will be busy from the AM to the PM to the AM again. You will probably return home exhausted, so don’t start out that way.
4.   Strengthen Up Your Calluses and Vocal Cords
The month before Kamp, ramp up your practice time. You won’t want to sit out of the evening jam sessions because your fingers have given out on you. If you will be doing a lot of singing, try to strengthen your vocal cords as well.
5.   Examine Your Instrument

Check out your instrument for any work that will need to be done. We are one of the very few Kamps that has Kamp Doctors on hand. You may want to take care of instrument issues before Kamp but you can also make appointments and discuss any repairs with our staff luthiers – The Kamp Doctors. Ken and Virginia Miller will be on hand both weeks to do repairs. You can follow links to their sites and get all their contact info. A well set up instrument makes life so much better.

6.   Review Your Repertoire
Avoid having to stop and say. “I used to play that song” by going over the tunes that you know. You can link over to a List of songs that many people play at Kamp. This will give you the chord structure. Many of these tunes can be found in Steve’s Four-Hour Bluegrass Work-Out (Book and 4 CDs) Volume 1 and 2.
7.   Write Your Name on Your Stuff
Use a laundry marker or similar to label all things that you bring. You will be amazed at what turns up in Lost and Found. Thank you through the years for all those capos, straps, T-shirts and more left behind.




Click Here to create your web account