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History of MerleFest Jam
Camp, with photos

Pete Wernick's Bluegrass Camp - Merlefest

April 24 - 27, 2017

All spots in this camp are currently filled.
Please contact [email protected] to be put on the waiting list. Waiting list policy.

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.
For a look at a
recent jam camp...

MerleFest info: http://www.merlefest.org
Registration Form Camp Flyer (PDF) Current Space Availability

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

Total tuition is $370 and includes lunch and snacks each day. $120 deposit holds your spot. Attendance is limited. Need-based discounts may be available for players of instruments we're short of (most often fiddles and basses). Inquire about availability any time after March 1, 2017. More info.

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 outstanding multi-instrumentalists and experienced teachers Scott Freeman, Steve Lewis, Gilbert Nelson, Keith Yoder, Scott Manring, Leigh Nelson, and Dee Rosser.

  • 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 Wernick Method Jam Camp or Class:

  • 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