#1
For starters, this isn't another "WTF IS PCA" thread.
On the contrary, I'm hoping this thread will give light to exactly what PCA is.
I've read some of the threads about PCA, and the ideas you guys come with are just horribly wrong.

I attended Session 2 of PCA in St. Louis, Missouri. I just got home about 9 hours ago.

When you sign up for PCA, you're asked to fill out what instrument(s) you play, how long you've played your instrument(s), what your playing style is (jazz, blues, metal, etc.), what your top 10 favorite bands are and what other musicians you want in your band.

Based on that information, you are placed into a band. This means you'll be playing with people of the same musical taste, and musical experience. So if you present yourself as a metal shredder, you're going to be in a metal shred band (there was one at my session).

Every day, you get about 3 or 4 jam sessions with your band that last about an hour and thirty minutes. You'd be amazed as how much you get done.

You and your band write a song, and you will record it. We're talking professional recording. Pro Tools, every kind of microphone you could imagine. Everything.

At one point in the week, you and your band will shoot a music video. Again, professionals. So professional, they're sent to LA to be edited and take several months to finally reach you.

Of course, there's breakfast, lunch and dinner. At the University mine was held at, the food was delicious. Of course, it varies from place to place.

In between jam sessions and meals, there's Seminars. At mine, there was a songwriting seminar which went over the very basics of a song. Verse-Chorus-Verse-Chorus-Bridge-Chorus. There was also a recording seminar, where the sound guys talked you through every different microphone and their different uses, so to say.

There was a seminar where a guy who had been in a band that got signed to RCA and was pretty much ****ed because of it. He's now doing his own Indie Label.

There was a seminar where a guy from ASCAP who talked to us about royalties, and Myspace music (how when you upload your song, they can use it and not give you any royalties). He talked about copyrighting your song, and natural copyrights.

Going back to the bands.
After your band writes the first song, and know that it's the one they want to record, they have free range pretty much. You can learn a cover song, or write another original. Or two more originals. All these songs were for the Final Student Concert, where each band had a 15 minute set.

There was also side projects. About mid-week, people were allowed and encouraged to create side projects with other musicians. There were side projects who did covers of songs, and wrote originals. Everything. The side projects were only played during the Student Concert.

Now to the concerts. There's a Student Concert the night before the very Final concert. The Student Concert is where you can play all of your songs in the 15 minute set, and where the side projects can play as well. During the Final Concert, where relatives and friends come to attend, you're only playing the song you recorded.

Overall, I would say it's a pretty great learning experience as a musician.

Of course, I'm haven't even mentioning the social aspect. At the University my PCA was held at, there were suites with 4 rooms each, holding a total of 6 people. The counselors/producers told us to go to bed at a certain time, but I don't think anyone did that bull****. My suitemates all stayed up super late every night, talking, listening to music, jamming and just hanging out.

Of course, there's your band as well. You spend hours with them a day. My band usually ate meals together as well, and we were joined by other people. So I got to know so many great people and musicians.


Overall, it's great. For the most part. If you're in a band that does gigs and has recorded and is maybe signed to an indie label (doubtful between 12 and 18), then this isn't for you. But if you're new to recording and gigging like I was, it's a great experience. I recommend it. I know it costs out the ass, but be especially nice to mom this year, and maybe she'll let you go.


I know that was long, and I hope people actually read all of it.

-brandonius lee
Spiral Out
#2
around how much is it for hte whole deal?
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#4
Wow, that sounds cool. I saw the ads on cyberfret.com and thought it was some bs/scam but I might check it out.
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#6
Thanks man, really informative.
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#7
very cool. too bad im not in the states, however.

how much does that all cost?
#8
I always thought the ad looked stupid, but that sounds pretty cool! Ditto the cost question?
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#9
Doesn't sound like my type of deal. Back when I used to play electric, an hour and a half od Jam was good. Now, Classical guitar is mainly solo, and if you do a duet/trio/etc. It takes a good amount of practice...unless you're John Williams or Julian Bream
#10
i looked on the site and it says $1595/student
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#12
Quote by zeroprezens
i looked on the site and it says $1595/student


Holy crap. We have a similar sort of academy-ish type thing here in New Zealand...its called School of Rock...and this PowerChord Academy costs ten times as much as School of Rock.

School of Rock = Around $100 (New Zealand dollars...an NZ$ is worth about...$1.50 US?)
Last edited by Bart-kun at Jul 15, 2007,
#13
Quote by zeroprezens
i looked on the site and it says $1595/student

if i was some rich kid, and my parents paid for it, i'd definitely go...unfortunately i live with my grandma because i practically have no parents...well i do, but the point is, i'm pretty poor.

for some reason i think most kids that go there are spoilt rich kids, who play green day with gibson les pauls, and think they should have a signature.
Last edited by zwound at Jul 15, 2007,
#14
hmmm... new Deluxe V Neck American Strat or Power Chord academy... that's what my mum's gonna say.

And I've been needing a new guitar real bad. I'm playing a Target Strat through a pignose practice amp.
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#15
Quote by zeroprezens
i looked on the site and it says $1595/student

Yea, it's a bit pricey. I'm lucky to be an only child and my dad likes to spoil the **** out of me with this kind of stuff.

If you sign up at a certain point, you get some taken off. I think my dad only payed for 1400.

Of course, I only went one week this year. My dad is going to let me do two weeks next year. Which means twice as costly.


I'm glad people actually read this stuff. It wasn't the most detailed description, but it seems I turned some peoples heads.


zwound - I was actually told by one of the counselors/producers that they were planning to go international next year. However, it could just be a rumor. Keep an eye peeled for it, though.
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#16
sounds awesome. i would totally have a punk band with an acoustic or hardcore side project. probably too expensive, though.
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#17
Kinda sounds like an advertisment. But whatever.

I saw ads saying if you sign up you will get a choice of an Epi bass, symbols, an Epi SG, or a PA. Is any of this true?
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#19
Actually if you take into account the fact that food and lodging is included the price is not too far out of line from what a good week long vacation to say Disneyworld would cost.
I know a couple kids that my son knows that went a couple years ago. One loved it one hated it. The one that hated it though is also a high school dropout with no ability to listen to anything that is even remotely authoritative. He still claims he learned shit at it though.
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#20
so which did you pick? i saw an ad where you get a free epiphone SG or a bass
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#21
is there anything like this in the UK cos this is in the US aint it?
#22
Yeah. My local music store has this guitar master class where the teacher wants me in. He told me it was 8000 a week. Wow.

Oh yeah, about this PCA, do you learn any theory? Or is it all just gigging, sound equipment and record deal stuff.
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#23
Where is it, how much does it cost?

EDIT: I just know it won't be in the UK. Americans get all the good ****.
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#24
i wouldnt call this an advert...everyone had pretty distorted views on this before this thread.

so thanks for clearing it up
#25
i went and id highly wouldn't recommend going don't waste your cash, just get a band together yourself and read a lot of stuff on UG and other sites. They should have frickin called the place shoegaze academy nearly every band had 3 guitars because they refused to put a cap on how many guitar players they let in. I went to weeks and neither week did i get a band with my musical tastes. and you never get what postitions you signed up for i never ended up doing any vocals and played bass the first week (hey nothing against bass I love it to, but for 1000 plus dollars you should really get what you want).

the seminars where mostly worthless, like you do learn a few little things but nothing huge you couldn't look up yourself and get better details. the guest speakers where extremely varied, the first week it was people from bands nobody has ever heard of but the 2nd week they had some good ones like the drummer from NIN he was pretty cool

The ads where fricken lies i didn't sign up for any but the lessons where group not private (didn't sign up anyway but i heard) and i didn't really care but the videos where not MTV which doesn't matter to me, but its false advertisment and someone out there might care

My camps recording setup was really cheap and unsophisticated, it was pretty much a live instrumental recording with a fairy nice mixer. the vocals where recorded afterwords with dynamic mics (grrr!) and not even inside a vocal both, a found the process a poor example of a proper recording studio.

the camp was pointlessly strict they tapped your doors and night and wouldn't let you ride elevators by yourself, and the food i won't even go there

the only postive points are the councilers where fairly cool (and extremely underpaid all the money goes nearly straight to the top) it was fun hanging out the rare chances we did and as the first poster said the nights in the dorms where pretty fun. and side projects were sweet because you got to choose your own bandmates

My advice is you get some buddies with fairly close musical tastes to you (trust me you couldn't do much worse then them) and write a song and play it at an open mic night at high school or something, you get the 1000 dollar camp for free minus gas money. And if your looking to go to get your confidence up, it won't really do much, and less you already have an agressive outgoing personality your not going to be put out front and be able to do what you truly want out of music.
#26
I won a 'partial scholarship' to this place last year but never used it. I didn't use it because I was informed less than a week in advance of the actual date of the event. Tried to call him at the number he said and left a message but got no response. I e-mailed him once more and never received a reply and in the e-mail I asked how much the scholarship covered. So it didn't get answered. Seems kind of dodgy to me.
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#27
Quote by Gmp211
Kinda sounds like an advertisment. But whatever.

I saw ads saying if you sign up you will get a choice of an Epi bass, symbols, an Epi SG, or a PA. Is any of this true?

It is true, actually. My vocalist won a Kustom PA. However, this isn't just for signing up. This is for signing up at the right time. They have special sign up times that will enter you for winning a guitar or PA.

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And what kind of job would this get you?

A job as a musician?

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Yeah. My local music store has this guitar master class where the teacher wants me in. He told me it was 8000 a week. Wow.

Oh yeah, about this PCA, do you learn any theory? Or is it all just gigging, sound equipment and record deal stuff.

There was no theory. It was just all about the music industry. Which, for me, was great.


charliec364- I'm sorry your sessions were so bad. I'm not sure which city you went to, but I was told by one of my dorm-mates that he went to a different city his first year and it was nothing compared to the St. Louis one. So, I guess it varies, which is pretty ****ty.

cerin- That partial scholarship thing is pretty much bull****. I'm pretty sure that e-mail is sent to everybody who signs up to enter the free session thing. And that e-mail is another reason I made this thread. That e-mail gave a lot of people doubts.

Sorry my responses seem few and far apart. After getting back from PCA on Saturday, I left the next morning for Arkansas. Just got back about 2 hours ago. Home to stay until the 31st.
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#28
i went for a week my parents had to split the money lol
but it was really fun and if i hadnt gone i wouldnt have had my bands line up filled out
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#29
I went, again. I had a great time.

I also realized the longer you go the more discounts they give you.
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