Goodness, what a blast we had at the Marleaux Camp! It is called Tiefgang, which is a play on words in German. We are “going deep” – as in notes, low tones on the bass, and we are diving down deep to the bottom of the sea (of knowledge). It was held from October 4 through 6 at the Wunderkammer in the beautiful Hartz Region of Germany.
I teach at a lot of camps and I can truly say that Tiefgang is very unique.
Here are some of my favorite things about it (in no particular order):
1 – This camp is all about the people –
The participants (many of who have attended since the first camp four years ago!) came prepared rocking awesome bass T-Shirts! The one on the left sports: “HOME IS WHERE THE BASS IS” and he is holding the exact bass that’s on his shirt. “BASSD SCHO” is another play on words – all good in German doubles as “bass already!”. The spelling is a bit off, but who cares :).
They come from near and far with their Marleauxs or other basses (of course everyone is welcome!), put on a smile and tune up for a great three day event!
When I say the people are really what this event is all about, I mean it. The Marleaux, Wunderkammer and faculty team all contributed to support a young student named Lisa with a scholarship and stipend. It was a pleasure to be part of that, and truly feel like sharing our best ideas and strategies would inspire effort and hard work!
Marco Assman – MC/Magician/Musician
Marco not only owns a real flea circus, is a musician, magician and variety performer, he is also the host of the “Wunderkammer” and MC of Tiefgang. You never know what jokes he has up his sleeve. But you do know, the organization will be stellar, smart, and from the heart!
Gerald and Heike Marleaux
Top favorite peeps in my book…
You can clearly see how loved these two are :). Down-to-earth, hard-working, passionate, artistic, creative and committed- all wrapped around a really great sense of humor!
It is impressive to get a glimpse of the hard work that goes into building these instruments (I have a surprise for you on that below!), as well as to appreciate how much effort putting together a camp like this is – on the heels of the London Bass Guitar Show, Mannheim Bass Day and with NAMM looming, there is no downtime for Gerald and his small team! Heike is very involved in the business as well – you can feel what a great team they are, bound by a shared passion for wood, beauty and family.
The Teachers and Classes
Awesome clinics from the teachers. Check them out:
Heiko Jung, Oliver Poschmann, Andre Müller, Andreas Dahle, Ralf Gauck, Claudio Zanghieri, Marius Goldhammer, Florian Friedrich, Emmanuel Stanley, Jay Tee Teterissa, Ariane Cap, Lars Lehmann, Christian Fabian, Lisa Wulff
And while the concepts, ideas, and content shared was as diverse, inspiring, interesting and challenging as it comes, a good laugh is always part of the groove…
Andre Gleisberg, Photography
All the awesome photos in this blog post are by Andre. Check out his page, gleisbergs.de
He and his wife create some amazing art there! This would not be Tiefgang unless every detail had an artistic and unique touch. Thank you, Andre!
2 – The “Wunderkammer”
I have been to camps at hotels, on campgrounds, in nature, at retreats… but this one is at a little Theater. Marco owns it and it has as much charm as it has a remarkable history.
The area of Germany where all of this goes down used to be big on mining. Directly behind Marco’s Theater, the miners entered the mountain. Every morning before they started their treacherous and extremely dangerous work, they would go into a little chapel and pray.
The mines shut down many years ago, but the chapel is alive and well and has retained its spirit of being a place to be uplifted to this day – Marco bought it and turned it into the “Wunderkammer”, translated the “Chamber of Wonders”.
He added a cool stage, red plush seats and lots of charm. When it is not bustling with bass players and low-end love, it hosts comedians, musicians, jams and speeches. And although it is a bit in the sticks, I believe Marco when he tells us the camp is almost always completely sold out and patrons come from as far as 100 kilometers away. It is the perfect backdrop for this event!
3 – The Final Concert
Varied and inspiring! Singer Jaycilee and the awesome band with Andreas on guitar, Ollie on keys/flute and Ron on drums knocked it out of the park! Also pictured is Silas who played a beautiful vocal-bass duet with Jaycilee!
4 – The Cozy Air BnB and the Breathtaking Nature
Frau Berndt is the beloved host at the Hotel Berndt. Those jams with the long spoons on them are all hand made. She remembers what you like and dishes it up for you every morning. And those caterers every day at camp with their traditional German fare were yummy, too!
Those shrooms, though! Watch out for the dwarfs living underneath!
5 – Gerald Marleaux Clinic, Tour of the Shop
Every time at Tiefgang, Gerald gives a tour of his shop. So much love and expertise go into every step of the process of creating these basses. But even when it is all finished, it is not done. Gerald spends at least an hour after each bass is completely done to play it, enjoy it and get a feel for it to make sure it is just right.
I mentioned in the beginning I had a surprise for you… Here it is.
Once a month, students of any of our Courses (Music Theory for the Bass Player, Ear Confidence, and other upcoming courses) can ask questions in our monthly Q&A called “Ask Ari Live featuring Wolf”. This members-only event takes place every first Sunday of the month. This time it just so happened that this date fell on the very last day of the Marleaux Camp “Tiefgang” – Gerald agreed to give us another tour of his wood workshop – exclusive for Ask Ari! And we decided to share it with everybody!
ASK ARI broadcasting LIVE FROM MARLEAUX’S BASS BUILDING WORKSHOP
Just the part on how to properly string your bass is worth it. Tune into this impromptus bass workshop tour featuring Gerald Marleaux, his wife and team member Heike Marleaux, Marleaux endorser Christian Fabian, Wolf co-moderating from Los Angeles and myself. It’s a raw (shot on iphone), fascinating and informative hour!
Enjoy! And remember that Ask Ari is a useful Q and A event to help our course participants stay on track. Learning is easier with support. Sign up now!