There’s nothing like starting a day by strapping on an electric guitar and rocking out to a heavy metal version of the nursery rhyme Hot Cross Buns.
At Supercat Studios, located in a soundproofed, semi-underground lair at the corner of 6th Avenue and Columbia (behind Castle Brew), this reporter had the chance to join musicians Kellie Walker (14), Kaelum Smith (6) and Luke Grutter (7) as instructor and owner Yanive Feiner walked us through the basics.
In truth, the “lair” is a fully equipped studio with a treasure trove of guitars, deluxe sound systems including Krank amps and professional recording software by Propellerhead.
The always popular Summer Rock Camps are back at Supercat Studios and musicians, from beginners to experts, are signing up in droves for the popular summer lessons.
Beginner Rock Camp is an introduction to guitar, bass, drums, keyboard and/or singing for kids ages seven and up. This is the camp Feiner invited me to; a wise move by a veteran instructor.
But a remarkable thing happened: after learning where the right chords were, firing up some synthesized drums and giving some instructions to each of us on when we were to jump in with our particular notes, he had us close to something resembling harmony. And on our very first try. (I think my bandmates may have carried me a bit through the trickier changes.)
“It’s a great alternative to summer sports,” said Feiner during a break. “All the instruments are supplied.”
Billed as Castlegar’s “original school of rock,” Supercat Studios has been providing a wide variety of musical lessons in Castlegar since 2005; Feiner has over two decades of musical experience and has been involved with several bands.
A number of local performers, including Mateo Villa of the band Roy Has Fire, have benefited from the Summer Rock Camps.
Feiner said he tries to make learning music fun and exciting and it shows in his delivery. Having not touched a guitar since the 1970s, I was a little hesitant… but with some encouragement from him and my bandmates, we all got through it quite well.
These beginner camps are held Monday to Thursday from 9:00 – 11:30 a.m. and run every week during the summer for $99. The kids learn a couple of classic songs, get to write their own song and record — all in a professional recording studio. If that’s not enough, each student also takes home a CD of their songs at the end of camp.
Two earlier camps sold out but there is still some space available for the July 22-25 sessions (as of Friday, July 5) and all August camps still have room.
There are also two-week intermediate to advanced Rock and Roll Boot Camps. The dates for these are July 15-25 and August 12-22. Students 10 years and up learn a complete set list and play a live show at the Castle Theatre. There are still spaces available for some of the July and August boot camps, which are priced at $199, and run Monday and Thursday from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Beyond the camps, Feiner also offers private lessons on guitar, drums, bass, piano, and singing.
After impressing Feiner with a sweet finger slide to wrap up Hot Cross Buns, I bowed out when the group said they were going to take on the Guns N’ Roses classic, Knocking on Heaven’s Door and the metal version of Bob Seger’s Turn the Page. Always leave them wanting more… long live rock.
Supercat Studios can be reached at 250-365-1671, email at email@example.com or check out some photos and find more information at www.supercatstudios.com.