Murphy Method Women's Bluegrass Jam+Harmony Singing Camp
July 7-9, 2017 - Winchester, VA
Taught by Murphy and Casey Henry

Open to all women
All bluegrass instruments:
guitar, Scruggs-style banjo, mandolin, fiddle, dobro, and bass
Level: All (except complete novice).
Tuition: $700 
(Includes lodging Fri and Sat nights and breakfast and lunch on Saturday and Sunday)
To register: Print this form and mail it back, or email the info to

Bluegrass Girls Heads up, y’all! This year’s camp includes a harmony singing workshop by the fabulous Dede Wyland who was a big hit last year. Learn all about singing bluegrass tenor, baritone, and lead in different keys.

This women’s jam camp offers you the unique experience of picking with other women in a safe, empowering environment. It’s different! We teach the basics of bluegrass jamming for all levels. In this supportive setting, you will find yourself taking breaks on songs you’ve been reluctant to try in other jams. We help you find the right keys for your voice so that you, too, can sing lead. We also explore and encourage harmony singing. Encouragement and praise flow like wine!

We hold the camp at the Courtyard Marriott in Winchester, Va., and hotel rooms are included for Friday and Saturday nights. The camp provides breakfast and lunch on Saturday and Sunday, as well as afternoon snack on Friday and Saturday. Dinners are on your own.

Courtyard Marriott
300 Marriott Drive
Winchester, VA 22603
Phone 540-678-8822

Women's Jam Campers 2016The days will be taken up by class, both as a group and split into different levels. Friday and Saturday evenings there will be a concert from 7-8 with Murphy and Casey and/or Friends. Following the concerts our friend and Murphy Method jam leader Kathy Hanson will be leading the jamming. She will be joined by Kristina Ellingson on bass. Her jams always get rave reviews the next day from bleary-eyed jammers!

If you have any questions at all or need more information please feel free to email Casey at


Each camper must know the basics of her instrument and how to play at least three songs:

Cripple Creek in A
Plus two singing songs

In order to be able to jam, players must be able to at least chord in various keys. Most women sing in the keys of C, D and even E. Therefore:

Banjo players should know the basic "F" chord vamp position and how to vamp G, C, and D. Banjo players should also know how to use a capo. And banjo players MUST HAVE spikes in their banjo or some way to capo up to C or D in order to play in the "women's singing keys."

Mandolin players must know their three-fingers "chop" chords in at least G, C and D.

Fiddle players should know a few basic fiddle tunes by heart (Old Joe Clark, Cripple Creek, etc.) and how to tune their instruments. We'd also love for the fiddlers to be comfortable with the "chop" rhythm motion. If you're not sure what that looks like, check out a live video of Alison Krauss playing Man of Constant Sorrow on YouTube and you'll see what we mean! It will really help if you can play breaks to some simple three-chord singing songs such as I Saw The Light, Will The Circle Be Unbroken, I'll Fly Away, and Worried Gal in the Key of C

Guitar players must be able to use a capo and move easily from G, C, and D. F would be helpful, not not essential. Rhythm guitar players are most welcome. You do not have to be able to play lead.

Bass players must be able to play in the keys of G and A. C would also be helpful.

Dobro players must have a capo or be able to play breaks in open keys.

Real Feedback from Real Students:

"I enjoyed every minute of it and felt a new sense of confidence from all the support and encouragement.  Women are awesome!"

"I have never had the courage to jump in and take a break ... unless it is a tune I already learned from tab and could play fairly well - albeit slowly! I just didn’t know how. What a thrill it was to have the support to make lots of mistakes then find the notes (or find the notes and then make lots of mistakes)!"

"The harmony singing lessons were great, and your explanations were very helpful.  I have not had much opportunity to try harmony with other women, and it was enlightening!"


safety pinCan my significant other come along? 

Of course! If your spouse/partner/relative/friend wants to come along they are welcome. $50 will cover their lodging, breakfasts, and lunches for the weekend. If they play, too, they are welcome to bring their instrument and they can join in on the after-hours jamming! Here are some things they can do in Winchester while we are busy during the day.

When should I arrive?

We’ll start class after lunch on Friday, so a Friday morning arrival is fine. If you come in on Thursday night (or stay extra nights afterward) and want to stay in the same place you’ll be staying for the camp, that can be arranged separately with the hotel. The hotel has a special Murphy Method rate ($90 + tax), so be sure to ask for that if you’re booking extra nights.

When should I leave?
Classes will end at lunch on Sunday so you can plan to leave then, or join us for lunch. If you want to stay over Sunday night, that can also be arranged separately with the hotel.

What level player do I need to be to attend this camp?
The camp is open to all levels, but you do need to basically know how to play your instrument—know your chords and how to strum, chop, or vamp, and how to play a break to at least three songs. Please see our pre-reqs.

Will private lessons be available?
Murphy will be available for private lessons before camp. These should be arranged individually with Murphy. (Murphy:

Go back to Workshops page.