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National Guitar Workshop closes it's doors, end of an era.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by bigfatbass, Jul 11, 2012.

  1. bigfatbass

    bigfatbass Banned

    Jun 30, 2003
    Upstate NY
    Endorsing Artist: Karl Hoyt Basses
    Some of the best summers of my life were spent there on that crappy little campus in New Milford CT. Magical times involving players/writers/producers/engineers ranging from garage bands to international headliners. During my 3 years as metalhead teen wrangler and faculty member I forged relationships and built a musical work ethic and body of knowledge so huge, it showed me I still knew nothing. I can not thank the folks that made that place happen enough for making me what I am today.

    this is just a brief list off the top of my head of people I had the honor of playing/hanging with during my tenure:

    Ronnie Earl
    Paul Gilbert
    Michael Manring
    Alex Skolnick
    John Knowles
    Steve Bailey
    Matt Smith
    Trey Anastasio
    Mike Gordon
    Rick Emmit
    Kenny Neale
    Roy Bookbinder
    Duke Robillard
    Reeves Gabrells
    Anthony Jackson
    Larry Coryell
    Murali Coryell
    J. Geils and Magic Dick
    Chris Duarte

    I could come up with dozens more!

    And that doesn't even begin to mention the STAFF!

    My fellow grunts are amongst the best players in the world, and I am forever humbled by them gracing me with even a little of their wisdom. Pat Berguson, R. L. Cass (wrote virtually ALL of Allison Krause's hits, and he was just the guy that ran the campus music store!), Ryan Smith, Raleigh Green, Jody Fischer (wrote the literal bible on modes for jazz guitar), Sharon Ray, Terry Syrek, Chris "Angus" Clark, and the list just goes on and on. Google some of those names you don't know and you'll start to get an idea of what we had back then.

    No real reason for posting other than to say I'm just so sad it is gone. It has been some years since I've been involved, but I am just devastated by the fact that no one else will experience the joy that was the NGW.

    Any other alumni/faculty lurking around TB want to share a tear and a virtual beer over the passing of such an inspirational institution?
  2. fenderhutz

    fenderhutz Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    Harpers Ferry WV
    Never heard of it. Free bump.
  3. Pruitt


    Jun 30, 2005
    Danbury, CT
    Sorry to hear this. I never got the opportunity to attend, but I was always aware of it. I knew some guys who attended and raved about it. And I took lessons for a while from Dave Overthrow, who helped run it (Dave has his own forum here at TB), once back in the 80's, and then again about 4-5 years ago. He's a great guy, and a great teacher (I own all his books)! NGW will certainly be missed, I'm sure.
  4. bigfatbass

    bigfatbass Banned

    Jun 30, 2003
    Upstate NY
    Endorsing Artist: Karl Hoyt Basses
    Overthrow was one of the original bass faculty, and a hell of guy.

    And good grief what a player!

    He would have the kids in his class do the craziest step-in-time exercises, in odd meters, with dance moves and everything, and parade them through the cafeteria. Just awesome.

    I even did it with one of my classes in his honor when he left the faculty for a short stretch, just to keep the tradition alive.
  5. So what happened? Why did NGW close? Was it the economy?
  6. GigJones


    Jun 10, 2009
    This news saddens me greatly. I was lucky enough to attend two separate weeks at the NGSW in New Milford, CT in the early and mid 1990’s. At that time I was playing fingerstyle acoustic guitar but I can say the experience was almost religious in nature.

    The vibe of the people and the place was inspirational. The staff and guest artists were great.
    The experience changed the way (and the why) I play.

    I agree with the OP in that I’m sad to think that no one else will get to experience NGSW.
  7. I spent 11 years at NGW - 3 as a student, 3 as an intern, and 5 as a bass teacher, and the news of its closing really broke my heart. I learned many great lessons there - both from my teachers and my students.
  8. bigfatbass

    bigfatbass Banned

    Jun 30, 2003
    Upstate NY
    Endorsing Artist: Karl Hoyt Basses
    that just about says it all right there.

  9. Yep, it's the economy all right! :atoz:
  10. gscroggin

    gscroggin Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2006
    Wow, I've lived in CT on and off for 30+ years (about 20 mins from New Milford currently) and I've never even heard of this place. I'm guessing they didn't have a big advertising department...wish I knew about it before they closed!
  11. bigfatbass

    bigfatbass Banned

    Jun 30, 2003
    Upstate NY
    Endorsing Artist: Karl Hoyt Basses
    They had ads in every guitar and bass magazine, sometimes full pages, for the last 20+ years. They have an entire series of books for Alfred Press, featuring dozens of titles, available in virtually every music store on earth, and they were regular feature side bar ads (often featuring my pal Amanda Monaco on a guitar) on this very site for years.

    Read much?


  12. gscroggin

    gscroggin Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2006
    Allow me to re-phrase; I'm familiar with the name, I just had no idea it was in CT and I had no idea it was beyond just guitar. I asked a good friend of mine (guitar player) about it over the weekend and he said something like "oh yeah, that's a place for classical (nylon string) players". I'm guessing he didn't know the scope/breadth of the place either! :)

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