Practice jamming at home!

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


Bluegrass Jam Camp

taught by Gilbert Nelson

assisted by Leigh Nelson

using the Wernick Method*

Jubilee House Retreat Center
Abingdon VA • March 27-29, 2020

4-8pm Friday, 10am-6pm Saturday, 10am-4pm Sunday

Tuition $300, which includes lunches. Lodging is by separate arrangment; contact Leigh Nelson at [email protected] for more details.

Camp Status Update

Abingdon Jam Camp is confirmed as planned. We will be a small group of perhaps 8 or maybe 10. Everyone will be on their best hygiene behavior and we will be very active in hand washing and other strategies. Anyone who feels even slightly unwell of course will need to stay home.

If you want to attend this camp, it may be possible; contact Gilbert to check the requirements. We’re gauging things as they unfold and we’ll adjust as necessary according to authorities, but for now . . . Prepare for fun!

  • Due to health concerns, the dates shown for this and all WM classes through April are considered "tentative" -- hoped-for but subject to change.

  • We welcome you to register (which must be cleared by Gilbert), whereupon you'll promptly receive a welcome email with 18 pages of student materials attached, including links to playlists of over 100 jam favorites, and plenty of good suggestions to keep you busy working on jam skills!

  • If the dates listed here for this class are changed, we will promptly update this page and notify all registrants.

  • Deposits paid while this notice is in place and class dates are listed as tentative will be fully refundable on request -- a change from our usual policy.

Sign Up Now!

We'll email you full information you'll need for the class and the world of jamming! $150 deposit holds your spot! ($150 balance due at first session)

Sign me up!

All registrants receive a coupon code for $10 off any Jam DVD!

Once we receive your payment, we'll contact you via email for registration info. Prefer to pay with check or money order? Email [email protected] for details. 50% of payment refunded if you cancel more than one month in advance.

Closet pickers, this is for you!

All bluegrass instruments welcome
No jamming experience necessary
You will be jamming the first morning!
Encouraging teaching by Gilbert + Leigh Nelson
Camp Flyer (PDF) Current Space Availability FAQs

How you qualify

It's easier than you may think!

If you play guitar, mandolin, banjo, fiddle, bass, 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.

Intermediates welcome! You will be given extra challenges and jamming opportunities

Comments from Gilbert's students

“Gilbert and Leigh, you have empowered me this weekend... I’ll have you to thank the rest of my life.”

“I highly recommend the class and would do it again in a heart beat.”

“I wish I had met Gilbert years ago!”

“Thanks for the help and confidence I received, letting me feel I could do this.”

“He made everyone feel welcome and important to the success of the group.”

“Why didn't someone explain these things to me before?”

“I can count on one hand the master teachers I’ve known and Gilbert is one of them.”

“Gilbert, you have an uncanny way of blindfolding my musical presuppositions . . .you always find ways to help me ‘get it’.”


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


Wernick Method Classes teach real bluegrass jamming!

  • Hands-on learning in large and small groups
  • Learn many bluegrass standards
  • Gentle tempos! Mistakes expected!
  • Full ground rules and etiquette of typical jams
  • How to lead songs and how to follow new songs
  • How to find melodies, fake solos, sing harmony
  • Ear skills taught and emphasized, as in real bluegrass
  • Reading skills not needed or used
  • Group and individualized instruction on backup skills
  • Understanding, low-pressure, time-tested teaching
Pete Wernick ("Dr. Banjo", originator of Banjo Camps and Bluegrass Jam Camps) has created a method based on his years of experience teaching jamming.

Wernick Method teachers are certified by Pete based on knowledge of bluegrass, teaching ability, and proper use of the Wernick Method.

Jubilee Retreat Center