Since offering the original “banjo camp” in 1984, Pete “Dr. Banjo” Wernick has conducted nearly a hundred of them, hosting over 1,500 students from around the world. In January 2013 he will host his 29th annual winter camps at the Boulder Inn in Boulder, Colorado. The camp consists of three “full-immersion” weeks: Basic Skills, Intermediate, and Advanced. Complete information is found on www.DrBanjo.com.
Pete, best known for picking with Hot Rize since 1978, has also participated in dozens of bluegrass and banjo camps run by others, and hosted camps and workshops throughout the U.S.
“I’ll say this, my programs are unique, and longer than most of the others. Spreading it over six days means plenty of time to have fun, work at it, rest up… and move to the next level,” says Wernick. “I show them how to focus and get results and breakthroughs, in both novice and advanced players. Everyone gets feedback and individual help. For all that’s offered, quite a few players will travel long distances.” Wernick’s camps have drawn from almost every state and 15 foreign countries.
Pete’s camps always include jamming, even at the novice level, with basic skills taught. The main camp room is open 24/7 for jamming or viewing a large library of banjo/bluegrass vintage and instructional videos. The room also houses, for checking out overnight, over 30 years of Banjo Newsletter and dozens of instruction books.
Jan 7-12, 2013: Basic Skills. A "safe" situation for inexperienced and closet players. Includes: creating basic solos (worked-out and improvised), backup pointers, beating timing problems, practice tips and standard licks. All Pete’s camps include lots of jamming, with everyone participating!
Jan. 14-19, 2013: Intermediate. For pickers who can create a solo and have jamming experience. Focus is on good timing and tone, creating 'believable' solos, practicing for maximum progress, gaining speed, knowing the neck, backup approaches and techniques.
Jan. 21-26, 2013: Advanced. For pickers with experience in performing bands, the emphasis is on "the pro sound"--timing, tone, bringing out the best in each song, backup and lead, expanding creative choices for both left and right hands, and performance skills. The week includes a one-on-one session with Pete and a class performance with Pete January 25, benefiting the Banjo Camp Scholarship fund.
Through the generosity of Stelling Banjo and others, Pete’s camp offers scholarships to deserving advanced players short on funds to attend. The Advanced Camp is for banjo players with bluegrass band experience or the equivalent. Scholarship application deadline is December 10 and requires a playing sample, on sound file, link, or CD. More information on DrBanjo.com: Click to the Advanced Banjo Camp, then click Scholarships.
“I can’t thank you enough for your expertise and wonderful teaching skills! You’ve helped me ‘see the light’; it was a (banjo) life-changing experience! My banjo playing is gonna rock!”
-- A.H., Maryland / Advanced Camper 2011
“I feel like I have been knocking on a locked door and now I have been given the key!”
-- Lamar / Basic Skills Camper, 2012
“Wherever your level of picking falls, there is something for you at the camp. Pete has an uncanny ability to zero in on areas each picker needs to work on.”
– D.S., Wisconsin