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Bluegrass Jam Camp

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Taught by John David using the Wernick Method*

Glendale, CA at a private residence

November 20-21, 2021

Saturday 9am-5pm; Sunday 9am-4pm

Tuition: $250

Includes Saturday lunch. $15 off if you register by October 20. $50 deposit holds your spot; 50% refundable for cancellations more than one month in advance.

  • Lodging 3 miles from venue: La Crescenta Motel, Classic single level L-shape 1949 Motel. Featured on penultimate episode of Mad Men. Very basic. 818-248-1294. Photos here.
  • Many other more modern accommodations within 5-10 miles of venue in Glendale, Burbank, Pasadena via hotels.com.

Each student must submit either proof of COVID vaccination or negative COVID test dated no earlier than 72 hours prior to start of camp.

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

John David is a master on banjo, mandolin, dobro, guitar, and harmonica. He also plays fiddle and bass. He toured with music luminaries the Limeliters, performed with Leon Redbone, and has recorded for many television shows, commercials, and movie soundtracks. John created two instructional videos, on banjo and mandolin, for the Warner Brothers “Ultimate Beginner” series. While the Denver Post describes him as a “guitarist’s guitarist”, John is also eager to help everyday people with the challenges of learning to jam.

John’s students say:

“The atmosphere at the jam workshop made everyone, beginners and experienced alike, feel welcome and comfortable.”

“I was surprised at how much I learned and how quickly.”

“He’s able to teach and play every instrument, never become annoyed and keep the excitement and energy going all weekend—superb! Organization, clarity, pacing (fast clip, but seemed to work for the group) kindness, this was the best it could have been”

“John’s explanations are excellent and easy to follow.”

“Had lessons from several teachers in the area—John has been easily the best”

“He showed me simple ways to get around roadblocks that had frustrated me for a long time”

“John made me (and everyone) feel at ease, created a fun atmosphere.”

* 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.

2 Responses

  1. Gary Dunny
    | Reply

    Hi John:
    I am very interested in your November class– I live in MN, but will be spending this coming Nov-March in LA, so the class might be perfect for me– I have been playing a long time, but with MANY interruptions– I alternate between scruggs banjo, clawhammer and dobro– My questions are as follows:
    1) Would it be OK if I switched instruments occasionally during the class?
    2) About how many students do you expect,and how quickly do the spots fill up?
    I will check the dates with my better half, and try and register soon if things look OK from our end.

    • Leslie Dare
      | Reply

      Hi Gary,

      Thanks for your questions. Switching instruments is perfectly fine.

      Those who play more than one instrument often do so, based upon mood, what they want to work on at the time, or the makeup of the particular group. Some come to just focus on one instrument for the entire camp. It’s completely up to you. It’s an easy decision to make on site as well. My advice would be to bring any that you might be interested in playing and you’ll find a spot to do so.

      At this point there is no way to predict camp size or rate of sign ups. Whatever the size, we will spend part of the time playing together and learning as a large group and part of the time broken down into smaller groups.
      Unless you wait till the last minute, it is unlikely that you’ll miss out, but I would encourage you to sign up as soon as you are ready. That way you’ll get pre-class materials, you’ll be on the list for any announcements/info about the camp, and we can answer any questions you might have.

      Looking forward to having you join us!

      John David

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