What it's like
Large group instruction and small group jamming all day long and as late as you
like. It's a beautiful campus at Jubilee House Retreat Center with a smaller crowd
and more intimate feel. Two motel style buildings for accommodations and a
beautiful main meeting place with multiple rooms, kitchen and dining area.
Outdoors landscaping, picking areas, rolling green hills and horses all at the
outskirts of Abingdon Virginia. Nearby scenic walking trails, historical places,
restaurants, and more.
The way bluegrass is supposed to be played.
We'll arrange small groups for you according to skills, interests, instruments, singing to get you the best ensemble experience. Sometimes we’ll mix groups so you can jam with a variety of people.
Large Group Instruction . . .
happens periodically as the occasion calls.
Especially first meeting of camp and typically mornings but other times too. These sessions are for everyone to get on the same page together. There we can set a theme, a principle or topic that we’ll pursue further in our small groups.
Breakout and Topical Sessions
Mixed groups according to topic like:
Finding melody - Faking a solo when you don't know or haven't practiced the melody - Leading a song or following one. Singing and also Harmony singing - Instrument specific breakouts - Pick up notes - Fills - tone, timing and technique - Learning strategies - How to find your key(s) - capos and transposing. Who knows what will come up. We can't always hit everything but some things we always get to work on.
After Hours Jamming is a tradition at Jubilee House.
Pretty much a spontaneous and less rigorous time just letting it all hang out.
Small or larger groups tend to congregate in the various jamming spaces around Jubilee House. Indoors, outdoors - faster or slower - straight up bluegrass or off the beaten path stuff. Or you may just want to retire and nurse your sore fingers. Sit and visit or just watch the horses as the sun sets over the green Virginia hills.
Each day Leigh creates one of her famous lunch dishes. We'll probably serve pizza Friday evening just to get things rolling. Everybody's on your own for breakfast and dinner. Lots of nearby eateries.
Leigh makes real food like your mama - right in the Jubilee House kitchen. If you have special diet restrictions please let us know and we'll do our best to take care of you.
aka Dr. Jambo
Gilbert Nelson is your host. He leads jammers to green pastures. A passionate player and teacher of the music. Gilbert can hone in on where you're at and guide you in ways to break out with more knowledge and pathways to improvement. He knows how to bring out the best in you and he leads jam camp by example with inspiration, energy, and insight.
aka General Leigh
Affectionally known as "General Leigh" Leigh is Gilbert's "backup brain" She's part musician, part organizer and problem solver. Leigh knows jamming. She's a master with gentle and knowledgeable instruction making learning fun. Leigh plays Bass Fiddle, Guitar, Mandolin and she's learning banjo now. She’ll even sing for you if you’re nice.
We love the Wernick Method
A common sense approach to getting musical fun and success in bluegrass jamming.
You'll be jamming in the first 5 minutes. We use Pete Wernick's time tested methods to get you understanding, how to techniques and plenty of action in a friendly circle of people just like you.
There is no requirement for vaccine or testing. Masks are welcome but not required.
We do expect everyone to use common sense and hygiene. We'll prioritize open windows with plenty of fresh air and space ourselves so as not to crowd together. Each of us is responsible and accountable.