All Wernick Method Teaching!

by Pete Wernick and these certified, experienced bluegrass player/teachers:


Ira Gitlin
(bass, banjo, guitar)


Joan Wernick
(“The Colorado Songbird”)


Bob Amos
(guitar, songwriting)


Ellen Carlson
(fiddle, singing)


Bob Altschuler
(banjo)


Alan Epstein
(mandolin)


Harry Gambrill
(dobro & other instruments)


Let's Pick! sticker FREE with any DVD order!

Can’t make it to a class?

Learn jam skills at home with Slow-Jam play-along DVDs!

Pete Wernick's Silver Bay Bluegrass Camp

June 25 - 30, 2017  A new type of Bluegrass camp... in an ideal setting!

We now have a $500 scholarship available, for full tuition plus $100 toward accommodations and meals. If you know anyone who "ought to" attend our camp, but is financially pinched, please encourage him/her to apply. Send application by email to [email protected] describing experience and goals in bluegrass, and the nature of the financial need. Skill level is not as big a factor as interest in learning and economic limitations. Veterans and youngsters given extra consideration. Deadline for applications is May 31, with all applicants notified by the following week.

4th year, great prices, limited space... Don't wait!

Silver Bay is a large Y Camp and Conference Center, on Lake George in the Adirondacks.

For info about the facility, activities, photos of accommodations, visit SilverBay.org.
Watch this video of our 2015 camp! With many thanks to the French filmmaker and banjo player Antoine Porteaux who attended the camp as part of a U.S. bluegrass tour originating in Paris. The film starts with the Europeans' travel to Silver Bay, and the part about the camp starts at 2:03.
Claim your spot now!
Reservations are finalized by phone only, for both the camp & housing:
To start the process, either fill out and submit the Silver Bay online registration form, or just call Silver Bay at
518-543-8833, ext 350.
Call any time (not just during business hours)... Your message left will get a callback during the next business hours (Monday-Friday 8am-4pm). The Silver Bay reservations team will help you with housing choices and all info.
The 2015 Camp at Silver Bay Schedule Camp Flyer Space Availability

Choose morning-only or all-day program:

Schedule (draft)

Only $250 / $400 for five days!

Camp-“lite” (9am-12:30pm only, $250/week) includes: Daily instrument classes for banjo, guitar, fiddle, mandolin, dobro, bass... AND... Coached small groups: Beginner slow jams, all the way to advanced band coaching

Add the Afternoon program (2-5pm daily, only $150 extra!): Daily classes on harmony singing, slow jamming, songwriting, practice “boot camp”, band lab, more!

Activities every night – Open mics, bluegrass movies, karaoke, history, jamming!

Full performing bands - special discounts! Professional band coaching twice daily, and special discounts for full bands. Write Pete for details.

Closet pickers, this is for you!
No jamming experience necessary.
Hands-on coached ensembles daily.
Novices to advanced players welcome!

Instructional content

  • 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".

The Venue

Silver Bay YMCA Conference Center offers:

Accommodations choices some with private bath, some as low as $60/night. Rate includes all meals and activities. 35-55% off for kids, under 6 free! All-site Wifi.

Activities! Swimming, boating, tennis, crafts, gym, shop, hiking trails, volleyball, archery, family programs, faculty concert. Licensed day camp every morning.

Night fun! Campfires, movies, karaoke, late sunsets.

24/7 staffed front desk

For information on the facility, including photos of accommodations, description of activities, and more, please visit SilverBay.org.

Comments from recent campers:

“Pete Wernick is a master teacher with decades of experience in promoting and advancing bluegrass education at all levels. His methods seriously address the fact that most pickers quit while still at a beginning level due to the use of ineffective materials and methods. His approach quicky leads one to becoming an independent and successful learner. Pete's camps could be thought of as bluegrass "boot camps" because they are skill based, experience based and intensive. The camps involve a lot of challenging and enjoyable group work.”

“High quality instructors.”

“Great place for a camp like this!!!”

“Awesome location!!!”

“Thank you for a terrific week at Silver Bay. Your faculty was all top notch.”

“A wonderful experience! The camaraderie was palpable!”

“The small jams were challenging and empowering, a big confidence boost for me.”

“The mixed instrument, jam opportunity and performance experience were invaluable. Likewise student population was great, helpful and fun, a major part of the success.”

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

“Our 13 year-old son got more out of it than I ever expected. Bob Amos’ guitar class was outstanding and really helped my son and I break out of a rut we had been in.”

“One of the best musical experiences of my life. The camp gave me knowledge, experience and laughs for a lifetime.”

“I do not believe I have ever been to any type of class where the instructor made learning so easy and so much fun.”

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

“I had a wonderful time at the Silver Bay camp. I like your idea of a program that focuses on entire bands. Thanks for a great experience.”

“This is so much more fun than sitting on the couch playing alone.”

“I have never had so much valuable information and real teaching in such a short period of time.”

“I came to jam camp new on my instrument (mandolin), and intimidated. By the end I was pretty comfortable. I started checking out different jams in my area, and now often go to at least 2 a week. The more I play, the better I get, and the more fun I have. I've made great new friends” -- Marion, MA

“You have had a major impact in my life. Our social network now is mostly musicians, wonderful people my wife and I would have never met if I hadn't gotten out of the closet and attended your Jam Camp in 2006.” -- Jim, NC

“The information that I learned will help set me on the path that I am looking for. I learned more than I have in three years at fiddle camp.” -- Lynn, CO

“The jam camp I attended was a true treasure. It changed my life for the better. I was able tonight to walk in, 'cold tukey', and sit in with the featured band at a Bluegrass society meeting. Before your workshop I had never even tried to play in public.” -- Richard, KY

“I truly am happy that I have been able to attend your camps and never expected to be in this position to enjoy playing so much.” -- Jim, NC

More comments

Want to know more about the Silver Bay instructors? Here they are in concert.
The 2015 Camp at Silver Bay Schedule Camp Flyer Space Availability