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Bluegrass Jam Camp

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Taught by Gilbert Nelson using the Wernick Method*

Boomer, NC just after MerleFest

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

May 2-5, 2022

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

Tuition: $425

Includes lunches, snacks, and Camp Harrison student fee. $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.

Until further notice, all Wernick Method classes will be conducted either outdoors or in very well-ventilated indoor spaces.

In 2022 we will again present two camps but at different times:

Basic Camp (entry level – early intermediate) — this camp — just after MerleFestIntermediate / Advanced just prior to MerleFest
QualificationsAbility to change chords smoothly between G, C, D, A (fiddlers and bass players: know which notes go with which chords)Experienced at bluegrass jamming; able to play in different keys; able to follow guitar chord changes; willing/able to lead songs; know basic chord number system and jam etiquette
Tempos60-95 beats/minuteRanging over 100 beats/minute
SingingPlease try!Ability to sing melodies accurately is expected; harmony singing taught to those who can learn and “hold” a harmony part most of the time
SoloingMinimal “placeholder” soloing taught, and acceptable; more advanced soloing taught but not requiredWilling/able to fake passable solos (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
PerformingNo performing expectedPerformance opportunity (expected but optional); some performance coaching; extra coaching available for bands
If you’re not sure if you qualify, write Pete regarding your skills in these areas.

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 accommodations on-site (link coming soon).


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.”
“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.”

Click any photo to enlarge.

This camp is full! There may be cancellations, so join the wailtist.

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