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Bluegrass Jam Camp

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Taught by Gilbert Nelson using the Wernick Method*

Abingdon, VA at the Jubilee House Retreat Center

822 East Main St, Abingdon, VA 24210

July 23-25, 2021

Friday 4-8pm; Saturday 10-7pm; Sunday 10-4pm

Assisted by Leigh Nelson

Tuition: $300

Saturday and Sunday lunch included. $100 deposit holds your spot; 50% refundable for cancellations more than one month in advance.

Two of our weekend Abingdon camps (this one and October 15-17) will have a “Level 2” emphasis. All are welcome to attend one or more camps. Not sure which is the better fit for you? Contact Gilbert Nelson and he’ll help you figure it out!

On-site private accommodations available; contact Leigh Nelson for more information.

All Wernick Method camps this summer will be conducted either outdoors or in very well-ventilated indoor spaces.


Gilbert Nelson 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.

Gilbert’s students say:

“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.”

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

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

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

“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.”

* Wernick Method Classes teach real bluegrass jamming!

  • All bluegrass instruments welcome
  • No jamming experience necessary
  • You will be jamming the first class!
  • Friendly, encouraging, knowledgeable teaching.
  • Gentle tempos! Mistakes expected!
  • Music reading not needed or used
  • Singing not required, but encouraged and taught.
  • Easy 2- and 3-chord songs, slow speeds.
  • Soloing not required! “Faking” solos taught.
  • Understanding, low-pressure, time-tested teaching
  • Intermediates welcome, and given added challenges
  • Hands-on learning in large and small groups
  • Learn many bluegrass standards
  • 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
  • Group and individualized instruction on backup skills

Do you qualify? It’s easier than you may think!

If you play guitar, mandolin, banjo, fiddle, bass, or dobro… 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. (Fiddles and basses need to know which notes work with which chords)

For more info or to send payment in the mail, email office@letspick.org.

Click any photo to enlarge.

  1. […] of our weekend Abingdon camps (July 23-25 and this one) will have a “Level 2” emphasis. All are welcome to attend one or more […]

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