Renowned guitarists Alex Skolnick of TESTAMENT and Chris Broderick of MEGADETH joined forces to create the first annual Skolnick & Broderick's Winter Guitar Retreat. This unique experience offered a select group of guitarists of all talent levels the opportunity to expand their horizons while spending four days and five nights studying and jamming with Broderick and Skolnick in a relaxed setting at Full Moon Resort in New York's Catskill Mountains from December 26 to December 30, 2011.
While best known for their work with TESTAMENT and MEGADETH, Skolnick and Broderick are diverse, well-rounded musicians with backgrounds and training in rock, jazz, classical and blues.
Skolnick & Broderick's Winter Guitar Retreat included master classes with Skolnick and Broderick, jam sessions, open-mic nights and optional private lessons. Attendees were invited to expand their knowledge of lead guitar, rhythm guitar, music history, jazz theory, chord theory, harmony, improvisation, counterpoint, composition, chord voicings, improv (taught by Skolnick), classical fingerstyle technique (taught by Broderick), and, of course, heavy metal guitar. Guitarists learned techniques to increase speed and improve tone, while hearing stories about life on the road, getting gear tips and much more. Nathan Peck (bass) and Matt "Zebar" Zebroski (drums, percussion) of the ALEX SKOLNICK TRIO provided rhythm accompaniment for jam sessions throughout the week.
Commented Broderick: "I just wanted to give a quick shout-out to all my fellow musicians that attended the Guitar Retreat this last week. The jam sessions were over the top just the way rock and thrash should be.
"It was great to be able to jam with Alex and each of you to see how you approach your instruments. I also liked how we added a second repeat of the solos (more solos, more solos) so that everyone could get their chance to shred! You made it so easy for me to teach and play, as well as taught me a lot about what music really is!!! Expression, pure and simple, something that can not be judged, or scrutinized, just appreciated. Another thing I really came to appreciate was the diversity of individuals and personalities which reflects in the music we all make, yet at the same time we were able to come together and add that personality to a common style of music.
"A big thanks goes out to Jackson, Fender, DiMarzio, Ernie Ball, Planet Waves, and Fractal for supplying us with all the cool prizes and swag, as well as Amy at Full Moon resort for facilitating everything and the chef for creating the great food."
Video footage of Skolnick & Broderick's Winter Guitar Retreat can be seen below.
The Skolnick & Broderick's Winter Guitar Retreat was the first winter installment of the successful Music Masters Camp Series held at Full Moon Resort, which has been hosted by musicians including Dweezil Zappa, Todd Rundgren, Adrian Belew, Tony Levin and Pat Mastelotto.
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