Pete Wernick (“Dr. Banjo”) will bring his renowned Bluegrass Jam Camps to communities across the country throughout 2008. Jam Camp is geared to “closet pickers” of all bluegrass instruments. “Many people want to start playing bluegrass, but they don’t realize how easy it can be.” says Wernick. “It’s available for anyone, 8 to 88. They just need a little help.”

Pete and his wife Joan show inexperienced players how to fit into bluegrass jam sessions and develop confidence in making music together. Each camp (most of which precede bluegrass festivals) is a multi-day immersion into the world of jamming, with hands-on instruction as students play in small groups. Participants are required only to be able to change smoothly between a few simple chords.

In answer to many student requests, two of this year’s camps will be tailored to intermediate level, with jamming experience assumed.

One recent first-time jam camper shared her positive experience: “I came to jam camp new on my instrument, and intimidated. By the end I was pretty comfortable and now often go to at least 2 jams a week. I’m testimony to how effective it is to follow Pete’s advice to just get out there and play, play, play. It just gets better and better.”

Pete also encourages bluegrass music teachers to facilitate their students’ jamming. Pete says, “Once a person gets comfortable and confident playing in a group, a world opens up. The playing situations keep them learning and practicing.” Pete invites teacher referrals to the Jam Camps, and recommends teachers host jam sessions for their own students.

2008 Bluegrass Jam Camps

March 5-7—Argyle, TX, preceding the Argyle Bluegrass Festival
March 28-30—Boulder, CO, at the Boulder Inn
April 11-13—Boulder, CO, Intermediate Jam Camp at the Boulder Inn
April 21-24—Boomer, NC, preceding Merlefest, includes new Intermediate Track
May 13-15—Gettysburg, PA, preceding the Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival
June 3-5—Morehead, KY, preceding the Clack Mountain Festival
July 14-17—Copake, NY, preceding Grey Fox Festival

For more information about any of the camps, visit