On stage rules:
- No singing
- No talking to the audience
- No flat picking
- Thumb picks are acceptable
Competition General Rules
There is no entrance fee for the competition itself but only those who purchase a camping pass will be eligible to compete in the competition. Advanced ticket sales are required via PayPal or other means for eligibility verification. No exceptions.
The competition is open to anyone of any nationality. The title of the event is "The Canadian Fingerstyle Guitar Championship"
The number of entrants is limited to 25. Each contestant will play two separate pieces for a total time of no more than twelve minutes. Contestants must pre-register and have had their registration confirmed by the organizers.
Five finalists will then be selected from the 1st round and will perform ONE additional song each. The order of these performances will be determined by 'random draw', in keeping with the same manner as that which determined the order of the first round.
Three finalists will then be selected by the judges in order of first to third.
Hired main stage performers of the Canadian Guitar Festival are not eligible to compete in the fingerstyle competition that same weekend. The main stage performers, those willing and available, will be the judges. As the wise folks in Winfield have discovered, the judges will be in a separate area away from the stage and will only know the contestants by their respective competitor identification numbers.
Each contestant will perform in a seated position into a condenser microphone as provided by the organizers.
Judging will be done on an Olympic model points system.
There will be four judges.
The competition begins at 10:00 sharp on the Sunday morning, and marks the final day of the Festival. All registered competitors must assemble at 9:00 am sharp - ONE HOUR PRIOR to the competition, behind the stage end of the building for final registration. It is here that we determine the order of your appearance in the event by placing numbers 1 through 25 into the hat. The number you draw is your new and only identity for the next 5 or 6 hours... keep it close :-)
Prior to the drawing of numbers we determine that everyone who is expected to be there IS there...and if that number falls short for some reason we go to the list of alternates (people who were a tad late entering before quota was reached)...so once we have our 25 people, the numbers are drawn. If you sleep in, get a flat tire, your wife's water breaks, or are in any manner late... please understand that the drawn numbers are final... it is one thing to test your own fate... but hardly fair to force everyone else to monkey with theirs by having to reach into the hat for a 2nd time. No one wants to take a pregnancy test twice, right?!
Okay then. 9:00 am it is!
To our confirmed competitors: practice, breath, practice, relax. The judges will be affected by that which 'moves' them. It could be a tear-jerker of a composition... or it could be a linear locomotive busting through the walls... but whatever it is they'll be hearing so make it yours. Own it.
While there is no entry fee for the guitar competition as such, only those who purchase a camping pass will be eligible to compete for the competition. You don't have to camp, but your bases are at least covered if you want to. Advanced ticket sales are required via PayPal or other means for eligibility verification. No exceptions.
frequently asked questions
We have put together your most commonly asked questions and provided the definitive answers. Please review this section thoroughly if you have a question about the Competition. Thank you.
"I was perusing your site, I was checking out the competition rules, what is the difference between using a thumb pick, and just holding a flat pick? Fingerstyle can be played employing both methods, the thumb pick can be used like a flat pick, and visa-versa. Music is an auditory thing, so if you don't see what he is using, thumb or flat, what's the difference? Just wondering."
- Well good question - if a player is using a flat pick in addition to other digits then likely finger style it technically can still be... however, assuming that at least two of the digits are employed for the sake of controlling the flat pick, that leaves but three to do other things. Flat picking in the general sense, speaks more to musical idioms than it does mechanics... so a flat picker by that standard, is easily spotted by what we hear and not necessarily by what we see. It can look like a duck... but it can't quack like one. [ Can I copyright that? ;-) ]
"I just had a quick question concerning the use of thumb picks. Can some parts of songs be played only with a thumb pick (ex. a fast melodic line being playing with cross-picking)? I play fingerstyle guitar, but my pieces are peppered with some cross-picking. I just wanted to make sure this is permitted."
- Thumb picks are a mainstay in the FS world... if their use occasionally crosses over then this is chalked up to added technique. I can see no negative connotations here.
I just read over the rules and would like more information about the requirement that:
"Each contestant will perform in a seated position into a condenser microphone as provided by the organizers."
My instrument of choice is the Gibson Chet Atkins solid body nylon string, requiring amplification such as direct in to the board. Also, I very much prefer a stool to a chair. Please advise.
You're the first one to raise this question about the solid body guitars. In short, the rules require that all contestants are amplified by the same condenser mic. This of course implies that the instrument should have some ability to project. What we can do is have you play into your own amp and we can pick this up with the mic. It's not really the optimal way for us to go, but if the alternative would negatively impact your performance, that would not do anyone any favors with respect to the spirit of the event.
Chair, stool... whatever you'd like, that's fine.
One note of advice on the amp: try to keep your sound as clean and honest as possible... ie no digital delay etc ;-)
Every year, the Canadian Guitar Festival Competition boasts over 12,000 dollars worth of prizes for the undiscovered artists who show a high caliber of technical proficiency along with new composition to the artform.
As always, the first place winner is guaranteed a competition spot in the International Fingerstyle Guitar Competition held at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield Kansas this fall.
The entire list of prizes will be announced as soon as possible. Check back often.
Hone those chops!
See you at the lake!