Featured Instructor – Rachel Gollay

Rachel was one of the guitar instructors for last year’s summer camp.

Rachel is currently finishing up recording her first studio album, and looking forward to a release show with a full band in the not-so-distant future. She also been playing guitar with Un Chien.

She got into music but starting off taking piano lessons, but really got interested in picking up guitar around age 11 or 12. When she started guitar, she began by looking up chord charts and tabs on the internet for pop songs she liked (TLC’s “Waterfalls” being one of her favorites), which eventually led her to explore “classics” territory–David Bowie, The Beatles, The Kinks, Radiohead (are they  considered “classic” yet?)

“Throughout high school and college I played in bands and started writing/performing my own music, at the same time getting introduced to the music of Patti Smith, Björk, Kate Bush, Dolly Parton, Neko Case, St. Vincent … so many female artists from all genres and eras who have become my heroes. Today, I listen to any and all styles of music, and channel those different influences into my songwriting.”

She owns an assortment of guitars, all left-handed–acoustics, electrics, a bass, a scratched-up 3/4-size classical (her first guitar) that she can’t bear to get rid of for sentimental reasons! On stage, Rachel uses a beautiful Gretsch hollowbody electric that she recently bought and is slowly getting into pedals (delay, distortion)…which she states could be dangerous.

When asked, Rachel said that one of her favorite highlights at the girl’s rock camp was seeing all the “positive, creative energy among campers throughout the week was incredible to witness! I was continually blown away by the ideas the girls came up with while collaborating, and how quickly they picked up on musical/performance skills. And the showcase was icing on the cake.”

Any advice on new and upcoming performers?

It probably sounds cliché, but stick with what feels authentic and natural to you. If you’re passionate about the music you play and what you create, you’ll have fun while also developing your own skills and style. Whether you’re practicing alone in you room or performing in front of a crowd, the energy you get from doing what you love will shine through in the music, which is fun for everyone!

Oh, and don’t forget to tune, and turn it out every time. 🙂

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