2013 Gembrook Jamcamp

Gembrook 2013Last week saw us complete another jam camp in Gembrook. This is the second camp we have run in this location and is was a great weekend for me and the feedback to date suggests it was a winner with the jam campers as well.

I arrived on Friday evening to find that Victoria has experienced some long periods of continuous heat with temperatures sitting well over 35 degrees for several days. Fortunately our choice of venue was air-conditioned.

We had a total of 18 jam-campers including three instructors Carolyne, Max and me. The biggest and certainly most satisfying thing about these jam camps for me, is to watch the levels of confidence and playing ability develop in each of our jam campers over the course of the three days of tuition. People who would have otherwise continued to play in the closet just opened up and shone as “jam-stars” as the camp progressed. A very satisfying process to watch.

I would encourage anyone who has the wish to play along with others, join in a jam session or simply improve their level of confidence when playing with others to come to one of our camps. They work.

Thanks to Carolyn and Max for their support and help over the three days. I do hope the Victorian weather improves and the threat of further bush fires and high temperatures abate in the near future.

Thanks to all of our jam-campers, those who attended their first camp and those who returned for their second camp. John, Joe, Mary, Brent, Joanne, Shirley, George, Alan, Duncan, Theo, Shane, John, Gilly, Ted, Mark, Carolyn and Max thanks for your attendance, participation, support and encouragement. We will try to return in 2014.

Thanks must also go to our fabulous hosts Anthony and Karen Hall at Stringybark Lodge in Gembrook for a wonderful weekend. The food was great as was your wonderful hospitality, many thanks to you and your team.

Keep on picking, and get out there and meet other players. Start a regular jam session. Put an advertisement in the local paper, a poster on the local community notice board. Invite others over for a jam – long live bluegrass music.

Manjimup Jam Camp 2013

Manjimup Jamcamp 2013The Warren Arts Council are presenting a three-day Bluegrass jam camp to be held in the beautiful regional town on Manjimup on 1st, 2nd and 3rd June 2013. The tutor for the camp will be jam camp instructor, Greg McGrath from Queensland utilising the successful Wernick Method of music instruction.

We believe that playing music should be fun. We set out to deliver the most fun right from the start of the camp. We keep is easy because easy is good, as long as the music is good.

Gembrook Jam Camp 2012

As an overview we set out to learn chords and basic timekeeping first. We start by playing along with 2-chord songs, then 3-chord songs. You can practice these jam skills at home by playing singing from a songbook, play along with recordings but playing with others is far more satisfying.

We keep things very slow at  first as you gain confidence we gain momentum.  Remember that soloing (playing lead breaks) is not necessary for jamming but this becomes easier as jam skills are developed.

Do we have rules? Yes we have some. For example we urge you watch other players – not read chords from song sheets. How is this possible? We show you how; It is easy.

We teach you about the bluegrass basics and typical ground rules. We cover jamming protocols and teach adherence to the bluegrass traditions, but most of all we have loads of fun.

What can you expect:

  • 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 with 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

The camp is to be held at Wilgarup Lodge B&B in Manjimup WA. The land upon which Wilgarup Lodge is situated was one of the first farms set up in the district and has a colourful history including the use of “convict labour”. This, coupled with the fascinating stories that make up the history of the Manjimup township, keeps visitors intrigued.

The camp features three days of tuition aimed primarily at beginners or those new to jamming with others. Enrollment is simple. Just visit our Manjimup Jamcamp page and enroll.

We hope you’ll join us for the inaugural Manjimup Jam Camp courtesy of the Warren Arts Council of W.A.

Gembrook Jamcamp 2013

Jamcamps Australia is pleased to announce that the second Gembrook Jamcamp is now been confirmed and is scheduled for 9th to 11th March 2013.

The venue will once again be the Stringybark Lodge in Gembrook up in the Dandenong Ranges of Victoria.

The full cost of the camp is $360 for three days which includes accommodation and all meals from Saturday breakfast through to Monday lunch. Discounts now apply.

The camp fee has been discounted until the end of December to encourage some early registrations. Secure your spot now with just $140 deposit and pay the balance on arrival to secure your discounted place at the 2013 Gembroom Jamcamp.

We certainly encourage last year jamcampers to return and of course welcome any recommendations to friends and family that you might pass on.

This year we are able to arrive on the Friday evening making it easier for those travelling from interstate. You can arrive and check in to the camp after 5:00pm on Friday 8th March. Of course we shall have a pre-camp jam that evening. There are local food outlets in Gembrook just up the road from the campsite.

Register you and your instrument now for the 2013 Gembrook Jamcamp. 

Sign Up Now.

2010 Golden Beach Jamcamp

The following files are recorded from the 2011 Jam Camp held at Golden Beach from 30th April to 2nd May.

On day the 24 jammers broke into three smaller groups to perform the songs that had been rehearsing over the course of the weekend. The following video files are of their performances and come courtesy of Ria, one of our pickers for the weekend. Thank you Ria from all of us.