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Bluegrass Jam Class

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Taught by Rick Sweeney using the Wernick Method*

North Adams, MA at a private residence

Tuesdays, August 10 – September 14, 2021

6:30-9:00pm each Tuesday

Tuition: $200 for 6 sessions

$20 discount through July 10. $50 deposit reserves your spot. 50% refundable for cancellations more than one month in advance.

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



Rick Sweeney has been playing guitar and bass with other people since the 1960s. After years playing in rock bands, he started jamming bluegrass and country music at campsites in 1991. Rick has played at a weekly bluegrass jam for over ten years, and played in 3 different bands that arose from that jam.

As a member of the CrabGrass bluegrass band he was in a 2016 Christmas performance with the Cape Cod Symphony. He says, “I’ve been singing and jamming for the last 30 years or so, love people and want to share my love of bluegrass music with them.”

Email Rick

Rick’s students say:

“Rick brought a joy and energy to our jam that we hadn’t seen in years. Always willing to help novice players. He’s friendly, patient, supportive, a good picker and a pleasure to be around.”

“When my husband and I met Rick at a jam several years ago, I hadn’t picked up my guitar for 25+ years. It bothered him that I was not playing it, and over the next weeks he was very patient and suggested easy songs I could start with to build confidence. His love of music is so evident and he brings it out in others as well. He really pours himself into the music he sings and plays–a great model for others!”

“Rick Sweeney has made me a better musician. He is very patient with new players, is knowledgeable and has a great sense of humor. He’s been a blessing in my musical journey.

* 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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