Home » Basic » Basic Level Bluegrass Jam Camp

Basic Level Bluegrass Jam Camp

posted in: Basic, Camp, Northeast 0

Taught by Harry Gambrill using the Wernick Method*

Silver Bay, NY at the Silver Bay YMCA Conference Center

87 Silver Bay Road, Silver Bay NY 12874

August 21-26, 2022

Assisted by Tom Behan

Tuition: $460

$10 off through April 21. $100 deposit holds your spot; 50% refundable for cancellations more than one month in advance.

Though Silver Bay now has online booking options, if booking for Bluegrass Camp please instead call Silver Bay’s Reservations Team at 518-543-8415 for the favorable group rate. Rates include all meals. Call anytime and get a call back during business hours.

All participants and their guests must be fully vaccinated (including booster/s) or show recent negative test.

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

In 2022 we will have two concurrent camps:

Basic Camp (this camp)Level 2 (directed by Pete Wernick)
QualificationsAbility to change chords smoothly between G, C, D, A (fiddlers and bass players: know which notes go with which chords)Experience with bluegrass jamming; able to play in more than one key; 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
Night ActivitiesAttendance welcome at all nighttime activitiesOpen to participate in open mic and karaoke
If you’re not sure if you qualify, write Pete regarding your skills in these areas.

Both camps will have the same hours. Sunday evening following dinner is an informal kickoff get-together for all. Classes and coached jamming run Monday-Friday 9-5 daily, in separate but close-by locations at Silver Bay. Both camps’ students will have meals together and may arrange accommodations on-site.

Stately 700-acre Y Camp on the shores of Lake George, est. 1902


For accommodations reservations, call 518-543-8415 or email reservations@silverbay.org.

Call any time… Your message left will get a callback during the next business hours. The Silver Bay reservations team will help you with housing choices and all info.


Harry Gambrill was bit by the bluegrass bug early and began playing the banjo at age twelve. He plays banjo with regional bluegrass band The Jersey Corn Pickers. Harry also plays the bass, dobro, and guitar, and has been giving lessons for over 20 years.

Harry’s students say:

“You can see the passion that he has for both teaching and playing music. Very friendly, very welcoming and very knowledgeable.”
“Great class…very challenging, but fun!”
“Harry was a helpful and encouraging teacher, even though I am a rank beginner.”
“A wonderful experience. I would highly recommend Harry’s class to anyone trying to learn the basics of bluegrass jamming.”


Tom Behan teaches and performs in the Capital District area of Upstate NY and has been playing the guitar and banjo for over 40 years. He currently holds down the guitar and lead vocal spot with the High Peaks Bluegrass Band based in Saratoga Springs. Tom has been successfully teaching guitar and banjo to children and adults for over 20 years, including a Beginning Bluegrass Guitar Workshop at the Saratoga Library.

Tom’s students say:

“A welcoming and enthusiastic person with a positive teaching style. His infectious passion for interesting music leaves me with handfuls of material to analyze and be inspired by.”
“Tom was friendly and flexible and provided a welcoming environment.”
“Tom was great. I have months worth of great material to work on, well fitted to my level.”
“I really liked Tom as a teacher. He’s a great guitar player and singer as well.”
“I like Tom’s positive upbeat attitude.”

Click any photo to enlarge.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.