online lesson recommendations

  1. Southern Man
    Southern Man
    Hello All,

    I've take three courses of lessons for mandolin through my local roots music school. I was planning to take a fourth this fall, but the class was cancelled for lack of sign-ups.

    I am considering going with an online course of lessons and was wondering if you all had any recommendations? I have a few ideas, but I am not going to post in order not to bias the responses.

    I am mainly interested in learning fiddle tunes, bluegrass mandolin. I will eventually also move into some rock and blues, but not so important at this point.
  2. FredK
    FredK
    Southern Man, there are several good, free courses by well respected mandolinists that are currently available. I'll address 2 of the paid courses: ArtistWorks and Peghead Nation. Both are excellent ways to learn.

    In ArtistWorks, I studied under Mike Marshall. His lessons start from bare-bones beginning all the way up to advanced. He has a comfortable style and you're able to loop within the lessons if you have a sticking point to work on. There are accompanying PDFs to his lessons if you need the standard notation. You also get to submit videos of your playing in which he provides good feedback. I did that for about a year, then switched to Peghead Nation with Sharon Gilchrist. I really enjoyed her style of teaching. She advocates learning by watching and playing by ear. I learned a lot with Mike Marshall but Sharon's style is more compatible with mine. It was easier for me to pick up the tune and go with it.

    Both groups have backing tracks to play with and both have their own perks. I'm no longer in either group at this time but it doesn't mean I won't go back for some refreshers. Again, there is some very good free courses online. Hope this helps. Others will chime in soon with more good info. Happy pickin's!
  3. Southern Man
    Southern Man
    I'm familiar with the free lessons at mandolessons.com and have learned quite a few of those tunes and found it quite useful. I'm more than happy to hear reviews of other free services as well.

    I was looking more for the paid courses for a more structured learning experience. I've kind of followed a class/break schedule and during the break periods I play what I wanted. I'm still new enough that I am still on the fat part of the learning curve, so I can still learn quite a bit from just playing what I want, but after a few months of that I am wanting to go back to a more structured experience again.

    I appreciate your review of these two courses.
  4. Ellsdemon
    Ellsdemon
    Southern Man, my recommendation is Matt Flinner. I've been signed up with his lessons online for the past couple of years. He does a wide varity of types of styles, from Bluegrass, Beatles, chords, how to practice, etc..., and they are great. They have helped me a great deal. His lessons are twice a week for a average of 8 weeks. I think that's the longest session, some maybe shorter. His format is to do a live instructional webcast one day a week, he then also provides all the written materials to practice with through the week until Saturday, which you'll have your live practice session on the materials that he instructed on previously in the week. You are one of many students that are learning the session live, so it's a not truly one on one, but you can ask questions via chat platform and he'll answer your questions live on the webcam during the class.
    I like the fast past of working on new weekly material to learn, it kind of forces me to practice more throughout the week. I like having goals and items to focus on, which is why I like the style of his teaching. You get all the written materials and recordings of the live sessions, so you can always go back after the course to keep working on it.
    It's my recommendation and I'm glad I found him when I did.

    Hope that helps.
  5. bbcee
    bbcee
    I've done both the ArtistWorks & Matt Flinner paid courses, and I learned tons from both. Mike is a stickler for fundamentals, so it's a good way to break any bad habits you might have early on. I've done Matt's classes both live and downloaded others to do at my own pace. Both his Appalachian Tunes & Fiddle Tunes 101 courses taught me not only some great new tunes (plus variations on ones I already knew), but how to play better rhythm and how to select chords.

    There are others offering courses, but these are the ones I've used. As FredK said, I think it's a matter of trying different ones and seeing who's point of view you line up with. I don't think you can go wrong with any of the ones suggested here.
  6. Lauralbriar
    Lauralbriar
    I'm taking on line lessons through Bradley Laird - really enjoying it and learning which is the best part! I opted for the best package - Mandolin Treasure Chest which is just full of video lessons, pdf exercises and a bunch of mandolin ebooks from beginner through to experienced. Brad's videos are easy to understand, work with, practice with and learn with. I would highly recommend - another great point is you can also submit a video for review or question and work directly with Brad, something I can see being really helpful as I progress. The video private lessons are not included with the Treasure Chest package, but are very reasonable ($30). I'd highly recommend Brad Laird to anyone looking to learn
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