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Bluegrass Jam Camp prior to MerleFest

April 24, 2023 April 27, 2023

Taught by Gilbert Nelson using the Wernick Method

Boomer, NC just prior to MerleFest

Camp Harrison, 7901 South NC Highway 18, Boomer NC 28606 (10 miles south of Wilkesboro)

Monday – Thursday 9:15am-5:00pm each day

Tuition: $485

Includes lunches, snacks, and Camp Harrison student fee. $15 off through Feb 1. $100 deposit holds your spot; 50% refundable for cancellations more than one month in advance. You will be sent the full set of of student materials as soon as you register.

Other meals and on-site bunkhouse, RV, and camping accommodations are are arranged through Leigh Nelson at jamtowngrass@yahoo.com.

In 2023 we will again present two concurrent camps:

Qualifications Level 1-1.5 (this camp)
Basic/Early-Intermediate Camp
Level 2
(directed by Pete Wernick)
Overall Ability to change chords smoothly between G, C, D, A (or the notes that work on bass and fiddle) Ample experience with bluegrass jamming; able to solo in more than one key; able to follow guitar chord changes; willing/able to lead songs; experienced using the basic chord number system and jam etiquette
Tempos 60-95 beats/minute Ranging over 100 beats/minute (if not sure you can handle that speed for soloing, please check)
Singing Please try! Song leading is especially valued Ability to sing generally melodies accurately is expected. Harmony singing is taught daily to those who can learn and usually “hold” a harmony part
Soloing Minimal “placeholder” soloing taught, and acceptable; more advanced soloing taught but not required Willing/able to fake passable solos in more than one key (exceptions: bass players and rhythm-only guitar players). Melody-based solos are the standard, so we try for that; ability to find melody notes by ear is expected.

Please carefully assess your qualifications to determine which camp is most suitable. If you’re not sure, write to Pete regarding your skills in these areas. We reserve the right to re-assign students between camps as needed.

Activities Level 1-1.5 (this camp)
Basic-Early-Intermediate Camp
Level 2
(directed by Pete Wernick)
Performing No performing expected Performance opportunity (expected but optional); some performance coaching; extra coaching available for bands
Night Activities Attendance welcome at all nighttime activities Open to participate in open mic and karaoke
Hours Both camps will run Monday-Thursday 9:15am-5:00 daily, in separate but close-by locations at Camp Harrison. Both camps’ students will have meals together and may arrange onsite accommodations together.
  • Level 1-1.5 students should contact Leigh Nelson at jamtowngrass@yahoo.com.
  • Level 2 students should use this form to request on-site lodging and additional meals and submit to Camp Harrison: MS Word or PDF;

Gilbert Nelson


Gilbert Nelson (Boiling Springs, SC) has been a regular on the jam scene for 30 years, with a passion for jamming, performing and teaching a variety of instruments. Gilbert’s teaching is action packed and always encouraging, emphasizing fun and success, providing a safe and supportive learning environment while still finding ways to stretch comfort zones and bring students to a higher level of musical maturity. Gilbert leads his own band “The Jam Town Grass” as well as coaching other groups in musicianship and stagecraft.

“You can see the passion that he has for both teaching and playing music. Very friendly, very welcoming and very knowledgeable.”
“I highly recommend the class and would do it again in a heart beat.”
“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.”
“Gilbert and Leigh, you have empowered me this weekend . . . I’ll have you to thank the rest of my life.”
“You’ve given a 58 year-old guy with no ‘ear’ who started with music less than 2 years ago, the belief that I can reach my dream of being able to play music with other people!”
“Gilbert has a fabulous touch and a way to bring a true beginner up to and over their comfort zone.”
“Jamming with Gilbert is one of life’s real pleasures. I’ve never met anyone so positive and interested in others’ success. He makes learning fun.”
7901 South NC Highway 18
Boomer, NC 28606 United States
+ Google Map
View Venue Website

Register

Tuition: $485

Includes lunches, snacks, and Camp Harrison student fee. $15 off through Feb 1. $100 deposit holds your spot; 50% refundable for cancellations more than one month in advance. You will be sent the full set of of student materials as soon as you register.

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