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Jam Camp

Jam Camp at MerleFest 

No jamming experience is necessary! The MerleFest Jam Camp is a unique combination of classroom and personal instruction by experienced, understanding teachers led by Pete Wernick, 9:15 A.M. - 5:00 P.M. daily. You will be grouped with others according to experience, and do a lot of jamming, sometimes guided, sometimes on your own!Jam Camp 2013 

Pete and his experienced assistants Joan Wernick, Scott Freeman and Keith Yoder will give both group and individual pointers on instrumental technique, harmony singing, and the how-to's of a variety of jam situations.  If you play guitar, mandolin, banjo, fiddle, bass, or resonator guitar (dobro), you can be part of a bluegrass jam.  The ONLY two requirements are:  You must be able to tune your instrument (electronic tuning devices welcome) and follow chord changes between G, C, D, and A.  Fast playing is not expected, instrumental soloing is not required (simple soloing is taught), and singing is not required, though encouraged.

Intermediate track 

This camp offers a unique option, specialized group instructions and jam coaching designed for experienced jammers. Many of our repeat campers and others are ready to learn more advanced band skills, ear skills, musicianship, band dynamics and backup, practice techniques, and more.

For this Intermediate track, jamming experience is required, including for banjos, mandolins, fiddles, and dobro players, the ability to fake solos and willingness to sing. If you're not sure if you qualify, no problem -- you can check out the choices once you're at camp.

Attendance is limited. Preference is given to underrepresented instruments (usually fiddle and bass).  Some scholarships will be available for those instruments, based on need.

The Bluegrass Jam Camp will be held at the lovely Herring Ridge YMCA Camp located in Boomer, NC about 12 miles from the festival site.  For Jam Camp and MerleFest lodging info at Herring Ridge, please visit www.campharrison.org/events.  Special accommodations and meal packages will be available.

For complete information, dates or to sign up, please visit www.DrBanjo.com.


  Jam camp in the trees 4 

" I attended the MerleFest edition of Pete Wernick's Jam Camp last month and found it to be profoundly helpful to me both in terms of my development as a banjo player and in learning to play with others. "

-- T.L., NC

"Thanks so much for offering the jam camp and for coaching us through the course.  It was a great experience for me!  I think you're doing a huge service by getting us novices comfortable in the shallow end of what could be a very deep and intimidating pool."

-- T.L., MA

"Jam camp was everything I had hoped for.  It was fun, educational and motivating.  Most importantly it has helped get me out of the psychological shell I had created.  The voice that says "you're not really good enough to play music with other people" has been replaced by a new voice saying, "you aren't that good but this is so much fun who cares...you'll get better". 

-- H.L., TX