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Bluegrass Jam Class

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Taught by Leslie Dare & Susan West using the Wernick Method*

Raleigh, NC at Community United Church of Christ

814 Dixie Trail, Raleigh, NC 27607

Wednesdays, October 13 – November 17, 2021

6:30-9pm each Wednesday

Tuition: $195 for 6 sessions

$10 off through September 15; $10 for family members; discounts can be combined.

  • We welcome you to register and promptly receive 18 pages of useful student materials, with access to video playlist of 116 jam favorites and great ways to work on jam skills!
  • If dates of this class change, we will promptly update this page and notify all registrants to switch their registration if the new dates work for them. If they don’t work a full refund will be given.
  • Deposits fully refundable on request until 7 days pre-class — a change from our usual policy.
  • Watch our class listing, always updated, and go here to be notified of future classes.
  • All Wernick Method classes/camps will be conducted either outdoors or in very well-ventilated indoor spaces.
  • Safe 6′ distancing at all times
  • Temperature screening of all participants upon arrival, followed by all washing hands
  • Prior disinfecting of common surfaces (doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, etc.)
  • Student materials (all paper) will not touched, except by just-washed hands, for at least 24 hours before distribution.
  • Anything handed from one participant to another (such as a borrowed tuner or capo) will be disinfected before transfer.
  • With these measures taken, we expect that all can relax and enjoy the class!

50% of your deposit refundable on request if you cancel more than one month in advance.


Leslie Dare & Susan West have found great synergy in working together to teach others the essentials of bluegrass jamming. Both grew up with music but after being musically inactive for many years, both joined the bluegrass community through their experiences at camps run by Pete and Joan Wernick, re-discovering the joys of music later in life. Leslie plays guitar and Susan plays mandolin, bass, and guitar. They are both active in the Raleigh, NC-area jamming scene, including regular participation with the Raleigh chapter of the Handsome Ladies.

Leslie and Susan’s students say:

“Susan and Leslie’s warm & welcoming teaching style helped me do something a little scary in each class which made me a better player.”

“The most enjoyable learning experience I have ever had.”

“I feel so much better equipped to jam now. Y’all are the best!”

“Leslie is a talented, welcoming leader who makes jamming fun for everyone, regardless of their level of proficiency.”

“Susan West and Leslie Dare are the best group music instructors I’ve ever experienced. I went from feeling nervous/uncomfortable about taking breaks and improvising, to feeling confident and capable.”

“Leslie and Susan were so organized and helpful. They do a great job of gently urging a student to try something new. I learned a lot and had a great time.”

* 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.

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