Picking On The Prairies
Bluegrass Jam Campout 2023

Bring your RV, travel trailer or tent and come out for a weekend of making music together.

Friday June 23 through Sunday June 25

A weekend camping to get together and play bluegrass music.

Friday June 23 through Sunday June 25

  • Friday – 7 pm – Easy Jam / Introduction to Bluegrass Jamming
  • Saturday – 5:30 pm – Potluck Dinner
  • Jamming anytime outside quiet hours
  • Quiet hours – 10pm – 8 am


An hour and ten minutes east from downtown Calgary, this Bluegrass Jam Campout will be at the Severn Dam Reservoir (more location information).

The closest town is Strathmore, 30 minutes away.


    • Instruments: Acoustic guitar, mandolin, banjo, fiddle, dobro and acoustic or electric bass
    • No jamming experience necessary
    • No pressure to lead a song
    • No band scramble
    • No open stage
    • Jam tents welcome
    • Bluegrass Jam etiquette in effect
    • Music stands and fakebooks and iPads/tablets welcome


    • Free dry camping for tents and RVs at Severn Dam
    • The Bluegrass Jam Campout will be on the field to the right as you arrive at Severn Dam
    • Jam tents welcome
    • On site pit toilets
    • No potable water on site
    • No RV dump on site
    • Dogs and cats welcome. Pets must be leashed, in a pen or crate at all times. Pet waste to be cleaned up immediately
    • Propane fires are welcome (if no fire bans in place)
    • No wood fires


    email us πŸ˜€

    I’m interested in the Bluegrass Jam Campout

    we’re asking just to get an idea of the range and number of instruments coming to the Bluegrass Jam Campout

    More Info… Particularly useful for those newer to jamming


    It happens. You have practiced a song; nailed the vocals; perfected the chord changes; but it all fell apart at the jam. This is a bluegrass jam, not a performance. It’s ok.

    Jam Busters

    It happens. You love a song and want to play it at the jam. But when it’s your turn to lead a song and you start describing the chord progression you get blank stares from the rest of the jam circle because the chord progression is complex, no one has heard the song before or it’s not a bluegrass song.

    Songs that break the flow and vibe of the jam are jam busters.

    People and behaviors can also disrupt the flow of a good jam.

    Nashville Number System

    The Nashville Number System is a quick way to share a song’s chord progression among musicians.

    Bluegrass Lyrics and Chords

    Finding the Key you Sing In

    Any song can be sung in any key.

    Chords with lyrics are are usually created in the key of the original artist. If that is not in your vocal range, it will be difficult for you to sing the song. If you are flipping between singing high and low in a song, that’s likely the wrong key for you.

    Changing the song’s key to fit your vocal range is easy. Transposing the key or use a capo to find a key where your low notes are not “gravelly” and your voice does not strain to sing the high notes. Simple. πŸ™‚

    Note: Fiddle tunes without singing are typically played in the key in which they were originally written. 

    Warm Up Your Voice

    Common Bluegrass Chord Progressions

    Just a heads up… One feature of bluegrass music is the simplicity of chord progressions, typically three or four chords. Different songs can share the same chord progressions (PDF).

    And… common chord progressions are not unique to bluegrass. πŸ™‚

    Other Useful Links


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