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History of MerleFest Jam
Camp, with photos

Pete Wernick's Bluegrass Jam Camp - Merlefest

April 20 - 23, 2015

Monday - Thursday prior to MerleFest at the beautiful and spacious grounds of the Camp Harrison YMCA at Herring Ridge, 10 miles outside of Wilkesboro, NC. Lodging and meal packages available. Onsite accommodations and meal info.

MerleFest info: http://www.merlefest.org

Registration Form Camp Flyer (PDF) Current Space Availability

Camp times: 9:15-5:00 daily.

Total tuition is $350 and includes lunch and snacks each day. $120 deposit holds your spot. Attendance is limited. Need-based discounts available for less common instruments (usually fiddle, bass, mandolin). More info.

Early bird discounts:
$15 off if full tuition of $335 paid before January 20, 2015.
$10 off if full tuition of $340 paid before February 20, 2015.

All but half of the deposit amount refundable until March 20, 2015.

Pete's teaching background

Closet pickers, this is for you!
All bluegrass instruments welcome
No jamming experience necessary
You will be jamming the first morning!

What it is

Micah, Liam, and instrument transport system (4/2013)

  • Understanding, low-pressure, experienced teaching by Pete and Joan Wernick, with a first-class staff of great local musican/teachers including multi-instrumentalist Scott Freeman.
  • Hands-on learning in large and small groups
  • How to play lead, fake solos, sing harmony
  • Group and individualized instruction on backup techniques.
  • Ground rules and etiquette; learn many bluegrass standards,
  • In over 100 camps, we've taught thousands to jam. You can too!

How you qualify

Practice jamming at home!

17 songs, just 4 chords and SLOW tempos. This DVD will help you prepare for your first jam camp.

It's easier than you may think!

If you play guitar, mandolin, banjo, fiddle, bass, resonator guitar or resonator guitar you can be part of a bluegrass jam.

Only requirements: You must be able to tune your instrument (electronic tuning devices welcome) and change smoothly between G, C, D, and A. Fast playing is not expected, nor is the ability to solo required.

Intermediate track

Click here for more pics from this camp from ace photographer and jam camper Ted Lehmann

This camp offers a unique option, specialized group instruction 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.

Comments from recent jam campers

“I have been waiting to start playing real bluegrass with people for quite a while, and now I can.”

“It's been three weeks, but I'm still on a high from your Bluegrass Jam Camp in Gettysburg. To put it mildly -- it was absolutely fantastic! My banjo playing has improved immeasurably since Camp -- even my wife has noticed. I am now actively looking for other jammers.”

“One of the best experiences in or out of music I have ever had!”

“I had a great time, learned a lot, met great people.. The best week of my whole year!”

“It was exactly what I needed. I will now have the courage to actually take my banjo with me to jam sessions instead of just hanging around listening.”

“An incredible experience... a depth of knowledge on the subject beyond just technique, including the history, etiquette, and flavor of the genre.”

Click here to see additional comments


Visit our FAQ section. If you still have questions feel free to email us at Pete@DrBanjo.com.

Registration Form Camp Flyer (PDF) Current Space Availability