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.

Music Stand Dependance


ABC Sunshine Coast: Harriet Tatham

In teaching people to jam using the Wernick Method we try to persuade people to either learn the music or better still follow someone who does know the music by following the guitar players chords. This requires learning to recognise the shapes of those chords on the guitar fretboard.

Music stands become a barrier between yourself and other players in a jam session and to the audience on stage.

The photo in this post shows what happens when you become dependant on reading words and music from a book while jamming or performing. Here the entire band has their nose stuck in a music book and thus has no connection with the audience.

This photo was taken at a recent Ukulele Music Festival on the Sunshine Coast by Harriet Tatham.  You can read the article on the ABC Website.

Perth Jam Camp

IMGP3496We have arranged to host a two weekend jam camp in Western Australia next year. The venue is Mattie Furphy House in Swanbourne WA.

Thanks to the Ed Lowe and Leanne Reid from Fremantle pickers group who have helped us find and arrange the venue.

The camp will be non-residential to help cut costs and run over two weekends from the 12th – 13th, and 19th – 20th March 2016.

Bookings for the event will open shortly and numbers are limited. Keep tabs on this website for updates.

Wernick Method Makes the Nashville Scene.

Wernick Method Instructor Jeff Burke has just commenced his sixth class at the Station Inn, a world-famous bluegrass performance venue in downtown Nashville. The classes have been very successful, often selling out. And now comes a lengthy, impressively detailed article about jamming, Jeff’s classes, and the Wernick Method, just published in the Nashville Scene. Here is an excerpt:

The bluegrass jam circle is a remarkable cultural product. Through and through, the bluegrass community is dedicated to accessibility and participation. There are few other genres where you can anticipate a large chunk of the crowd at a show being proficient in one, if not most, of the instruments onstage. It’s due both to this community and the structural simplicity of the music that bluegrass has such a vigorous jam culture. Fans have a relatively easy time meeting one another and learning enough on an instrument to be able participate in the enormously social experience of the bluegrass world.

Sadly though, many bluegrass fans wind up in what’s known as the “closet-picker” trap. The music moves them enough to learn an instrument, maybe even to seek out a teacher — but for shyness or lack of access, they never tap into the resources to learn to play with other fans. Relegating bluegrass to alone time in your living room is a tragedy on par with doing the same thing to swing dancing or Scrabble. It’s just not built for that.

Relegating bluegrass to alone time in your living room when you live in Nashville, Tenn., however, is a tragedy of proportions that exceed easy comparison. Nowhere else in the world can you find such a wealth of resources to participate in bluegrass.
Jeff Burke is a local teacher who leads group classes based on a method developed by internationally renowned bluegrass teacher Pete Wernick. He compares playing music by yourself to boxing against a punching bag: “Ultimately people always aspire to do it in person, in the moment. It’s what lights up the experience.” Burke’s jam classes bring about 15 students together to practice the fundamentals of playing in groups. Week by week students learn to play backup, signal others to take solos, and give the cue to end a song — all the connective tissue to make a jam flow that’s lost when your learning and playing stay private – Nashville Scene.

Read the full article on the Nashville Scene Website.

Wayward Angels

The Wayward AnglesAnne Marie Lawton and Kay Armstrong attended Australia’s first Wernick Method jamcamp back in 2011.  They have notched many jam sessions between them since then and have now formed The Wayward Angels.

Here is a four piece all-girl band delivering sweet vocal harmonies to a repertoire of alt country/bluegrass tunes.

The group is heading off to Tamworth this year to take a taste of bluegrass music with a feminine edge to national audiences in Australia’s Country Music Capital.

The Wayward Angels are: Kay Armstrong on banjo, Jody Bell on mandolin, Brenda Kelly on guitar and Anne-Marie Lawton on double-bass.

We wish you all the very best.

Manjimup Festival Jams

Lost & Found

Peter Stanicic, David Watt, Greg McGrath, John Wilson.

Hi all, I am heading over to Western Australia again to host a few jam sessions for the Warren Arts Council’s Making Music in Manjimup festival. There will be swag of people there including the guys from The Company – one of Australia’s most progressive Bluegrass bands – as well as Jim Fisher from Perth and a reformed band from Bunbury called Lost & Found. I was a member of that band back in the lat 1990’s. We played around the South-West of WA including many of the regional folk festivals including Nanup, Fairbridge and Toodyay.

I hope to catch up with many of the Manjimup Jamcampers from 2013. Hopefully we can have a pick together. There is also the opportunity to play onstage that weekend with me and several other jammers. Hope you can join us.


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