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Bluegrass Jam Class

Taught by Rick Sparks using the Wernick Method*

Flagstaff, AZ at the Pickin’ in the Pines Bluegrass & Acoustic Music Festival

Ft. Tuthill County Park, 2446 Fort Tuthill Loop, Flagstaff, AZ 86005

September 18-19, 2021

Saturday and Sunday, 9am-Noon

Tuition: $70 for 2 sessions, or $40 per session

$5 off if you register by July 5; festival admission required

Assisted by Karen Roemmich

  • 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.


Rick Sparks is equally at home playing banjo, guitar, mandolin, dobro and pedal steel guitar, and singing either lead or harmony. He has developed a reputation as an outstanding teacher on all of his instruments, with over 30 students currently under his wing in his home base of Reno, NV — as well as traveling throughout the west and southwest presenting Wernick Method jam camps.

Rick’s students say:

“Rick got us to make music together by the end of the first class–it seemed miraculous to me.”

“Great class, Great fun!”

“Rick is so patient and generous with his time and expertise.”

“Rick did a superb job of teaching a mixed group of mostly beginners (I am one) and intermediate musicians to jam.”

“You know how to put people at ease!”

“Rick’s gentle yet persuasive nature is perfect for managing a jam class.”

* 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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