Musicians Retreat in Tufo

Hi Friends! Happy Holidays.

I’m writing with exciting news. For ten days in Summer 2020—Friday July 3rd to Sunday the 12th—seven musicians will fill Rosa di Tufo (our family’s home), in Southern Italy, for the first Musicians Retreat in Tufo (MRiT). MRiT will be structured in the like of Tufo’s other incredible opportunity for writers – the Writers Retreat in Tufo

(This is Don, by the way.)

If you already know you want to apply to the Musician’s Retreat in Tufo, you can Apply Here. If you’re still unsure, let me convince you!

tufo wide angle
Tufo in July


Musicians can generally expect to gain a deeper understanding of the dynamics of their instruments, write new songs, and hone their particular craft through the mornings, workshop their pieces in the afternoons, sit down to family dinners and jam together in the evenings while generally exploring the best of the town and region in between. 

Some highlights from the past three writers retreats have included: 

  • The Path of the Gods, a day-long hike along the Amalfi Coast
  • Tour and tasting at Cantine di Marzo, the birthplace of Tufo’s signature wine, Greco di Tufo
  • The Gardens of the Palace at Caserta, by bicycle
  • Santuario di Montevergine, the region’s highest point, by funicular
  • Enormous family dinner with the Lucianos (Tufo royalty, more or less)
  • Cooking lessons with Virginia Luciano
  • Pompeii
  • Positano
  • Italian market in Altavilla or Montemilletto
  • Karaoke and line dancing at Barcollo
  • Amazing pizza at the cliffside town of Montefusco

Because of a need to strike a balance between these kinds of things and actual time to work on our own projects and practice, we won’t fit all of them in this July, but we’ll definitely hit some, and likely add to the list as well. 

In any case, all activities are covered up-front in the program costs, as are your place in the house and the van or other transportation, all the espresso and wine you could want, and the opportunity to workshop two pieces of your own. 

I’ll also provide three meals throughout the course of the retreat (One on the day you arrive, Luciano’s family dinner, and the region’s best pizza on our last night together). Other meals can be shared family-style or not depending on your preference. 

Workshops and Garden Sessions

You can expect some songwriting and lyricism advice as well as five Garden sessions in which we will share the progress that we have made, give each other meaningful constructive criticism on our compositions and goals, and best of all: jam together throughout the 10 days.

Two one-hour-long Workshops will be available to you over the course of the retreat. Each to help guide your project or practice in the way that you want to. Below, I’ve provided a list of techniques and concepts that we can focus your individual workshop on -in order from easiest to most difficult- in the case that you just want to focus on getting better at delivery and new techniques:

All Musicians:

  • Warming Up: Basic Essential Techniques (It’s Not Just a Scale!)
  • Effective Chords In Different Genres of Music: What Chords Work Best for Neo-Soul, Alt-Rock, Acoustic, Classic Rock, Indie, Folk, Country, and Fingerstyle 
  • Instrumental Layering: Logistics in Studio Recording
  • What it Actually Means to Listen: How Do We Do This Live?
  • Instrumental Layering: Keeping Dynamic While Playing Live
  • Ghost Notes: Spookily Funky Technique
  • Microtones: What Are They and How Do We Use Them Effectively?
  • The .08 Millisecond Technique: Playing Behind The Beat Without Dragging Behind

Guitar and Bass only: 

  • Harmonics 101
  • Introduction to Fingerstyle 
  • The Art of the Pick
  • Bending Notes
  • The Essential Funk Chords
  • Alternative Tunings
  • Hybrid Picking
  • Jazz Chords
  • Incorporating Leading Tones into (and out of) Your Rhythm Playing for Dynamic playing
  • How to Play With “Dirt”

Vocal Only

  • Warming Up: Basic Essential Techniques
  • Diaphragm, Diaphragm, Diaphragm: Breath Control and Power
  • Once You’re There, How Do You Sing for Three Hours Without a Break?
  • Practice Techniques

Garden Sessions will be held on the days that we dedicate to writing and reflecting, which usually fall on the days after a group excursion. Each Garden Session will have a different focus ranging from “jamming” to songwriting to lyricism, to expressing yourself while playing. 

These are all optional, but highly recommended! I want you to feel free to work at whatever pace you desire. 

Cost of the program is $1285. As mentioned, that’s pretty inclusive–last year we estimated the 2019 writers wouldn’t need more than 150 euros for spending money for the ten days. We were right. 

Applications are open through March 1st, 2020. 

How to Apply: Just fill out the Google Form below! 

Just provide an audio sample (of your music, you playing the instrument(s) you will bring, or you singing a song), a resume, and a short note providing some context: where are you in your musical pursuits? How do you feel like a musicians retreat in a small town in Southern Italy will benefit those pursuits? How do you feel about pasta? Etc.

Apply Here  — > Apply to Musician’s Retreat in Tufo! < —

If you would prefer to apply via email: Address applications and inquiries to me at, and be sure to use ‘MRiT 2020’ for the subject line.

Last, I want to encourage musicians of all levels to apply. My hope is that you will be able to jam in a group setting, understand more of the dynamics of your instrument/art, and will use this opportunity to grow. Apply!

Tanti Auguri,



guitar fire
Latenight bonfire singalong, 2017