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History of MerleFest Jam
Camp, with photos

Pete Wernick's Bluegrass 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.

Scholarships available! We are pleased to offer two scholarships covering most of the tuition to this camp. 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!

Practice jamming at home!

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

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

Instructional content

Teaching team
Pete and Joan Wernick will be assisted by multi-instrumentalists and experienced jam teachers Scott Freeman, Keith Yoder and other outstanding regional musicians.

  • Daily instrument classes, instruction at all levels
  • Coached small groups, all levels
  • Harmony singing taught daily

For novice jammers

Same content and requirements as a typical Pete Wernick Jam Camp:

  • To attend, you must be able to tune your instrument (with electronic tuner) and change smoothly between G, C, D, and A. Fast playing is not expected, nor is the ability to solo required. No tab or music reading.
  • Learn how to follow new songs, lead songs, fake solos, find melodies on your instrument, sing in tune. Learn the number system and jam etiquette.

For intermediate level jammers

(able to follow chord changes, take simple solos on the fly, willing/able to sing). You will be coached in skill-matched groups. Harmony singing, backup instruction, creating good solos, rehearsed or on-the-fly.

For organized bands

"Band lab", band cohesion, rehearsal guidance, stagecraft including working with sound systems, band decision-making, "how to make a band work".

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.”

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Visit our FAQ section. If you still have questions feel free to email us at [email protected].

Registration Form Camp Flyer (PDF) Current Space Availability