2018 Jam Camp Dates Announced

We have secured two dates for 2018 for those wanting to plan for next year.

We have two camps registered so far.

  • The first jam camp is in Quorn in South Australia on 7th to 9th Sep 2018. We have held two jam camps there in 2016 and 2017. In 2015 we hosted a jam camp in Melrose just south of Quorn.
  • The next jam camp is scheduled for 14th – 16th Sep 2018 in Phillip Island. Our previous jam camps in Victoria have been in Forrest and previous to that in Gembrook.

More information and booking details coming soon.

November Jam Session – Mooloolah Valley

November Jam Mooloolah Valley

Want to spend an afternoon playing bluegrass music? Are you a beginner or intermediate player looking for an opportunity to play bluegrass music with others?

Come and join us in Mooloolah Valley on Saturday 25th Nov at 2:00pm to 5:00pm.

We have been hosting Bluegrass music camps and Bluegrass jam classes in Australia for several years now, encouraging people with all levels of experience to play bluegrass music together in a jam environment. People develop the confidence to jam in a supportive and encouraging environment. You can fit right into a jam regardless of whether you are a beginner or an experienced player. Have fun while you learn something about jamming at our sessions. Read what others are saying.

For more information phone Ann on 0407 445 175 or email us at jamcamps@australianbluegrass.com.

The 2017 Quorn Jam Camp

Quorn Jam Camp 2017

Some of the jam campers from Quorn 2017.

This year the SA Bluegrass Jam Camp was again held in Quorn on Thurs-7th – Sun 10th Sept. 2017.

Participants for this year’s camp came from Victoria, Adelaide and Country SA. The class was composed of people who are tired of playing alone at home (closet-pickers) and want to learn how to play with others in a slow jam with no music as they did ‘in the old days’.

All you needed was a stringed instrument, know some chords, and a bit of courage to get out of your comfort zone, meet like-minded musicians and have fun with other bluegrass beginners.

Greg McGrath is our instructor with assistant workshop leader Ed Lowe – both are awesome bluegrass musicians.

From Pete Wernick’s website – Greg’s course covers:

  • Hands-on learning in large and small groups
  • Learn many bluegrass standards
  • Full ground rules and etiquette of typical jams
  • How to find melodies, fake solos, carry a tune, sing harmony
  • Tab/note reading skills not needed or used
  • Understanding, low-pressure, time-tested teaching
  • Only four chords needed, G, C, D, and A.
  • Gentle tempos – Mistakes expected
  • How to lead songs and how to follow new songs
  • Ear skills taught and emphasized, as in real bluegrass
  • Group and individualized instruction on backup skills
  • Beginners welcome

…I don’t think you could have anyone better in Australia running jam camps than Greg McGrath and Ed Lowe. They are good blokes with a nice teaching style, and know heaps about bluegrass and are bloody good musicians who know how to get info across to a bluegrass neophyte like myself. They make me want to play more bluegrass and with others, and hey, isn’t that what it’s all about? – a comment from one of the students.

Thanks to Quorn Area School who’s Outdoor Ed Centre was our home for the weekend (walking distance to the hotels and cafes)

The jam camp this year concluded with an all-in jam on board the famous Pitchie Richie railway. The jam campers had their own carriage and played non-stop from Quorn to Woolshed Flat and back again.

Visit JamcampsAustralia.com.au, or ring Sue Tulloch (organiser) 08 8648 6117 for any queries about next years’ camp, email bs.t@bigpond.com.

5,000 Wernick Method Students

5000Banjo player Laura Stabler completed her bluegrass jamming class October 15, becoming the 5,000th graduate of Wernick Method jam classes. Her instructor, Gilbert Nelson, who has taught the most Wernick Method classes of any of its teachers worldwide, commented, “I love helping jammers come out of the closet.”

Pete “Dr. Banjo” Wernick’s method emphasises the fun and social rewards of informal bluegrass jamming. Developed over decades of teaching, the method cultivates ear and memory skills with no music reading, as musicians play bluegrass standards at gentle speeds in small groups. The classes, held across the United States, Europe and Australia, impart jam skills as well as jam etiquette. Teaching is geared to a range of levels, from experienced pickers to novices who qualify by knowing four chords.

Wernick comments, “Our student surveys tell us overwhelmingly that the method works. We often hear words to the effect: ‘The class has changed my life, and I only wish I’d had this kind of teaching from the start.’ So we are looking to help brand new pickers and would ­be pickers of any age. Some people come with instruments that haven’t been played for years.”

He adds, “So many students play almost entirely by themselves and lose interest, but we know bluegrass is a team sport, so we get them together. Our teachers love seeing them having fun and encouraging each other to make breakthroughs. In our first six years we’ve had over 500 classes in over 40 states and 10 countries, and we are always looking to involve more teachers and more students.”
About the Wernick Method

Pete Wernick created the Wernick Method as an efficient way to teach bluegrass jamming. Since 2010 he has certified over 100 teachers, training them in all aspects in offering weekly jam classes in their communities, and jam camps nationwide.

Quorn South Australia 2016

imgp4255We enjoyed a full house at the Quorn Jam Camp this year. The camp was held at the Austral Hotel in the heart of beautiful historic Quorn at the foot of the magnificent Flinders Ranges.

Friday evening jam-campers were treated to a dinner at the Austral Hotel where everyone met, many for the first time, while others caught up from last year.

Our aim is to teach you how to play with others in a bluegrass jam by building a greater degree of confidence in your own playing. This year’s  feedback forms (below)demonstrate the success of our program.

What students said of 2016 Quorn Jam Camp:

  • As a result of this jam camp, I am so much more keen to learn an appropriate-for-me banjo; maybe the mandolin and even to develop a bluegrass quartet- singing acapella. Thank you for your time, effort, and interest in encouraging me and more people to enjoy the world of bluegrass music.
  • Overall a very rewarding experience, a bit daunting at first, out of my comfort zone initially, but after I grasped the principles it was a great learning experience. It gave me the chance to learn a new style of music and to meet other people that liked Bluegrass music. To jam for a three day weekend with these like minded people was great.
  • I will look forward to attending more of these Jamcamps. The skills learned at these are useful in many more ways than are immediately apparent.
  • There is definitely a feeling of community growing among Wernick Method Jamcampers and the community building exercises of Inclusiveness , encouragement, communication and participation are naturally going to benefit other aspects of participants lives. Thanks again for fostering these great life skills.
  • I had a good time even though I couldn’t play very well. The weekend is all about meeting people and having fun for me.
  • Thoroughly enjoyed the camp. Only downside was the main room being too small and having to finish early to set the tables up for dinner service. A different venue might work better.
  • Very worthwhile experience Will seriously consider attending again in 2017

For many, the jam camp was their first experience in playing with others. The Wernick Method that we teach ensures that everyone can take part at their own level and enjoy playing a variety of bluegrass songs with others regardless of that level.

Thanks for the weekend must go to local Sue Tulloch who, with generous funding from Country Arts South Australia, arranged the weekend for us all.

Dates for next year’s jam camp are already set for 8th to 10th September 2017.

About Quorn:

The township of Quorn held a variety of surprises with its many historic buildings, several of which are now catering businesses. We enjoyed lunch at Emily’s Bistro once the local emporium.

The old railway station and museum also features the Pichi Richi a heritage steam railway. This railway from Port Augusta through the Pichi Richi Pass to Quorn opened in 1879, and was part of the first stage of the Great Northern Railway that was intended to link Port Augusta with Darwin. “The Ghan” name originated in Quorn in 1923 when the Great Northern Express was dubbed The Afghan Express by railwaymen. The line finally reached Alice Springs in 1929.

 

2016 South Australian Jam Camp

Quorn Jam Camp 2016
After a very successful 2015 jam camp in South Australia we have just put on sale The South Australian jam camp for 2016 which will be held in Quorn.

The 2016 jam camp in South Australia is scheduled to run from (arriving Thu 25th Aug) Friday 26th to Sunday 28th August 2016.

The $250.00 registration fee covers all tuition, handouts, shared accommodation and includes all meals.


JAM CAMP UPDATE – Only four spots left.


Visit the sign up page now to enrol.

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