Take Your Guitar Playing
To The Next Level
Over 500 guitarists just like you are taking advantage of the step-by-step courses, fantastic community, lessons, feedback, and advice at Electric Campfire. It's time to take it up a notch!
Are you in?
Here's what you get...
Our library of video courses provides training and practical advice on all aspects of guitar playing, improvisation, practising, harmony and much, much more.
Regular live training sessions and guest expert workshops to ensure you've always got regular lessons and guidance to keep you focussed and motivated.
You'll get to share ideas, get feedback, and contribute to our amazing community of like minded guitar geeks from all over the globe.
You can submit a video or recording of your playing for Mike's personal feedback to take your playing to the next level.
Every month we take on a new and varied challenge together. It's a powerful, fun way to learn alongside other people.
In our Monthly Q&A, Mike answers your questions on how to make the lessons work for you, plus any topics you want to talk about.
So we have around 20 Courses here for you. These are step-by-step video course with TAB, notation and text on topics such as:
Building a Practice Routine
The routine is designed to take you no longer than 30 minutes. It’s a series of short, highly condensed daily exercises. Some of them are simple; some are very challenging. I show you how to build each exercise so you can start using them today, and build up your control over the materials.
You’ll improve your physical and mental dexterity with the fundamentals. My goal is for you to be FLUID with the fundamental material, so you can apply it however you want.
[Also, this is actually my daily practice routine for technical exercises. I try to spend around 20% of my time working on fundamentals, and 80% on learning and playing music. So I designed these exercises to work on both the mental and physical sides of fundamentals.]
Play Better Solos
This 8 part series will help you play solos that tell a story.
It's NOT - “Just play this scale over this chord. Ok, got it? Cool. Bye! Good luck…”
It’s NOT - “Here’s 10 Licks for Jazz.”
It's about how to play IDEAS, how to DEVELOP your ideas, how to sound interesting, how to play a solo that sounds like a piece of music and not just a series of unconnected scales.
It's all about being musical.
How To Learn Tunes
In this series, I show you how to learn Wes Montgomery's tune 'Mi Cosa'. But it's also about how to learn tunes.
You’ll learn how to 'see' the musical shape and form of a piece so that you can memorise it and produce a more musical performance.
You can apply these ideas to learn any tune. It'll help you learn tunes quicker. And you'll learn tunes in much more depth.
Style Study - Emily Remler
This series is an analysis of Emily's amazing solo from the album East to Wes.
You'll learn how to play it, what she's doing, and how you can apply the ideas to your music.
The Triad Quest
A series of exercises to increase your triad knowledge. Getting a strong command of triads will help you to play on chord changes without having to learn a million scales.
These exercises are short challenges. As you go through this course, you’ll become more fluid with triads.
Triads are maaaaaaaaasively useful, and you should totally know them.
In this series, you'll learn how to get those rich open voicings you'll hear piano players using all the time. These voicings use 4ths and upper structures.
You’ll learn from my comping examples. I’ll show you techniques and devices to add musical variety and interest to your comping.
Jazz Phrasing & Articulation
This course will give you phrasing that’s fluid - Really fluid. You'll make the guitar, and your technique work for you rather than against you.
Most guitarists haven’t even thought about how you CHOOSE to phrase. They let the guitar dictate to them how they’re going to sound. You’ll learn how to phrase several tunes and sound like a badass :)
You’ll learn how to CONTROL the instrument and make your phrasing sound the way you want.
Quick Win Harmony Lessons
In this is a series of short harmony lessons you'll learn one simple harmonic nugget.
Each lesson is no longer than 5 minutes, and there’s ONE actionable thing to practise for each lesson.
This is different to the other series where the lessons are super in-depth.
This series covers 5 common voicing types and their inversions.
You'll learn how to play each voicing, how to play each set of inversions up and down the fretboard, how to smoothly connect [voice-lead] the chords, how to apply these voicings to tunes, and WHY you might choose particular voicings for particular musical settings.
Style Study: Kurt Rosenwinkel
In this series, I walk you through some of the features of Kurt Rosenwinkel's playing.
My introduction to one of the modern masters of the guitar.
Unlocking the Melodic Minor Modes
You'll learn all the Melodic Minor Modes - How to use them. Where to use them. When to use them.
I'll show you how to get these sounds into your playing.
You've heard Robben Ford use the altered on 'Help the Poor'?
Well, there are six other modes you can use too.
I'll show you how.
Style Study: Ted Greene Solo Guitar
In this series, I walk you through how to play Ted Greene's beautiful arrangement of 'Hark! The Herald Angels Sing'.
We discuss how to perform a solo piece. How to bring out the sound of inner voices. How to 'shape' a performance.
Chord Tone Improvisation: The Gateway To Musical Connections
You'll learn how to nail the changes to a blues using chord tones.
That's the surface-level thing, but we go much deeper - this course is all about connecting with your bandmates.
How to get inside their heads, how to dictate the action, how to react, how to think on your feet, how to have fun in those moments of magic!
Rhythm Changes: Hidden Language
This is the start of our course on Rhythm Changes
The Community Forum
Wouldn't it be nice if there was a place where other guitar nerds, just like you! could go to chat about, say, John Scofield's voicings, or Larry Carlton's phrasing?
And you know what'd be really cool?
A place where I could get together with other human beings who are working all this stuff out, too. Maybe we could all work out a solo for one month, and share our progress, and use that for a bit of focus. And maybe get some more ideas and inspiration to keep working on it, have fun, plus a bit of banter?
Well, Holy Coincidence! Did the planets just, like, re-align themselves right now?
Because, this, my six-stringed brethren, is EXACTLY what our Forum is all about.
You'll be in our little family of like-minded guitar geeks, and they will weigh in with witty observations, motivating riposts, answers to your questions, challenges and support to KEEP YOU MOVING TOWARDS ACHIEVING YOUR GOALS.
Hi, I'm Mike Outram - guitarist, improviser, composer, teacher, and the founder of Electric Campfire.
I've been a professional musician for around 25 years and have had the privilege to take part in international tours, sessions, & recordings with Carleen Anderson, Tim Garland, Theo Travis, Steven Wilson, Nikki Iles, Steve Lawson, and Laura Rossi. I love being part of a group and taking on different musical challenges.
Also, I'm Guitar Professor at The Royal Academy of Music, Trinity Laban & The Guildhall School of Music, London where I work with the next generation of guitarists.
A couple of years ago I started writing about improvisation, guitar playing & creativity on my blog and kept getting asked for more in-depth material. Hence this site was born and here we are!
Here are a couple of clips for you to hear so you can get an idea of what I'm about, and what I can help you with. This one is a funk/fusion band I play in called the London Horns (Track: Feelin' Nearly Normal)
And this one is a jazz quartet from a while back. (Track: Secret Love)
PS: Here's how our members are benefitting from using TEC...
“I'd definitely like to echo Neil's comments - there's been some fantastic stuff happening on here in the past year covering a huge amount of ground (music, memory, habits, psychology, creativity etc. etc.). It's also been very motivating having Mike and the rest of the community pushing me to actually get on and do things - especially when they're in areas of weakness that I'd prefer to ignore if only people would let me...
Bottom line is that I think my playing has improved more in the last year than in any other year I can remember since I'd learnt the basics and Electric Campfire has been possibly the most important thing driving and enabling that progress."
- Mark Morley-Fletcher
"My playing has undoubtedly improved by virtue of the fact TEC has got me out of that vicious cycle of just noodling with absolutely no direction. There's always a lesson or a challenge to take up. I really like the mix of exercises (like the triad quest, practice routine), pieces (Zhivago, Mi Cosa, Softly) and philosophy (Play Better Solos). I feel like I am moving forward again, even if it's slowly.
I like Mike's post on how to frame practice. My biggest challenge is the 'do music' part, since a full time job and two kids under 4, life in general, makes it quite difficult... but that won't last forever! :-) So TEC is like a refuge, this is the place I can 'do music' consistently. I often practice or post stuff at around midnight when I really should be asleep if I want to be coherent in meetings the next day :)
My goal right now is to keep my playing ticking over until it's easier to get out and about and do more music, specifically playing with other people. Ideally I'd really like to find some folks to play with regularly, a duo, a trio whatever...
It's never a bad time to take the opportunity to say thanks to Mike for creating such a great site and finding the time and energy to be so on it with feedback in the comments and on the forum. It's also fantastic to watch TEC steadily grow into such a really great community - 'you get out what you put in' is never truer :)”
- Neil Hodgson
"It's great to have such a positive community feel on this site. I am loving the material as well as the feedback :-)"
- Ernest Alishan
"TEC has turned my relationship with the guitar around completely. I guess I did effectively give up too, although I hadn't thought of it like that. Wasn't playing music, and just picked up the guitar at random times to play whatever was in my head/fingers or to read a bit of music, but totally sporadically and with no goals in mind and no purpose. It had been like that for years I guess….
After joining TEC in June I now have:
-a regular practice routine
- more confidence on the instrument
- a bunch of people to talk to about it all
- interest and enthusiasm for music and sounds
- a great community of like-minded students
- material for a lifetime
- an inspirational tutor
- Will Gibson
"Overall what's worked for me - in the sense of seeing some progress - has been having limited goals, and within them, focussing systematically and consistently on particular aspects of theory and technique. You've done this for me by constructing the practice routine! The videos *work" too, they're a big help to make sure I've understood an exercise/lesson."
"The result was much better than I expected and I really feel that this is the result of working so much on my ear as I have since the Chet Baker challenge in September. It has really changed the way I listen, and the clarity of the music in my head is much more precise."
"I feel I have learnt much more than in any other musical activity, Mike is really a unique teacher and I am happy to be part of this site with all of you."
So that's how this site and the community is making a difference to people just like you. Now it's up to you. Do you want to play better, enjoy your learning & surprise yourself?
Ask yourself, what would happen to your playing if you had expert tuition & guidance plus an amazing community available to help you whenever you want?
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