Mandolin Video Lessons by Bradley Laird


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intermediate mandolin lessons

Intermediate Mandolin Video Series by Bradley Laird

There are no "hard edges" which define who is a beginner and who is an intermediate player. These category divisions are more for your convenience in browsing my lessons than for defining what level you are as a player. Nearly everyone is a beginner in some ways, advanced in others, intermediate in others. Watching the demos can often help you decide if the lesson is appropriate for you.

If you have watched most of the lessons of my Beginner Series page, and can play them reasonably well, even at a slow tempo, you are probably ready to dive into these intermediate lessons. This category is called "intermediate" simply because they build on the skills taught in the beginner series.

If you ever purchase a video lesson and it seems a little too difficult, just set it aside and go back through your earlier lessons for a while longer. (A good example of this might be the up-the-neck version of Sally Gooden taught in Beginner Lesson 12.) At some point in the near future it will seem a lot easier. It is generally a good idea to go back, say after a few months, and review all of your previous video lessons. You might be surprised that some of the things you heard mentioned, which "went in one ear and out the other", will later make more sense. Okay, enough about levels.

Here are the Intermediate Series lessons:

bradley laird intermediate mandolin video lessons

You can purchase them individually or use the "add to cart" function to grab several at once. The entire series is lower in cost than a couple of private lessons and you can watch the videos, print out the tablature, and play the MP3 tracks as many times as you need to practice and learn. I suggest that you use your desktop or laptop computer to make the purchase and download due to the fairly large file sizes. Once you have them on your computer you can transfer them to other devices.

Study the lessons one at a time at your own pace. This is not a subscription and there is no recurring billing. Transactions are processed through PayPal which accepts credit or debit cards or your PayPal balance.

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Scroll down to read about each lesson:


Why study these tunes next? With these common tunes under your belt your physical skills will improve and you will be better prepared for the navigation and improvisation lessons which follow. Plus, you'll have some tunes which everybody knows when you show up at a jam session. Another reason might be that you already know a very rudimentary version of these tunes and you want to learn a little fancier solo.


Red-Haired Boy

is a downloadable video mandolin lesson that teaches you two solos to this popular bluegrass and old-time jam session favorite.

After reviewing the chords for the tune, I'll teach you a basic version and then I'll show you some ways the tune can be embellished. Anyone who has worked with my beginning series should not have trouble with the basic version. The embellishments take a bit more practice but learning them willl really expand your playing skill.

The download includes the 28:43 minute video lesson, 3 MP3 practice tracks and a PDF file with the tab and standard notation for the lesson.

$8 (get a 20% discount if you share on social media)

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Old Joe Clark - 3 Versions

is a downloadable video lesson that teaches you how to play the popular bluegrass jamming tune Old Joe Clark. This lesson includes 3 complete versions of the song: basic, intermediate, and advanced.

This lesson is great for moving from a beginner to a little more advanced playing. Any person who has watched my first 3 beginner lessons is ready to tackle the basic version of Old Joe Clark.

The lesson also covers the basics of using chromatic melodic lines and triplets for embellishment. Even if you already know this tune you'll learn something new in this lesson. Also included is a good ending lick which can be used for any song in the key of A.

Download includes the 24:56 minute video lesson, a 4 page PDF file with the tab and notation, and 2 MP3 practice tracks.

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Whiskey Before Breakfast

is a downloadable video mandolin lesson that teaches you two solos to this popular bluegrass and old-time jam session favorite.

After reviewing the chords for the tune, I'll teach you a basic version and then I'll show you some ways the tune can be embellished. Anyone who has worked with my beginning series should not have trouble with the basic version. The embellishments take a bit more practice but learning them willl really expand your playing skill.

The download includes the 31:07 minute video lesson, 4 MP3 practice tracks and a PDF file with the tab and standard notation for the lesson.

$8 (get a 20% discount if you share on social media)

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Sittin' On Top Of The World: Bluegrass Solo in 2 Keys

is a downloadable video mandolin lesson that teaches you two breaks to this popular bluegrass song.

Since you never know what key the lead singer may want to sing in, it pays to be able to play solos in multiple keys. This lesson can get you started in that direction by learning a solo in the two most common keys, G and A. Full of licks which can be applied to other tunes.

The download includes the 26:09 minute video lesson, 4 MP3 practice tracks (2 speeds for each key) and a PDF file with the tab and standard notation for the lesson.

$8 (get a 20% discount if you share on social media)

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Salt Creek - Tune & Improv Ideas

is a downloadable video mandolin lesson that will teach you how to play the ubiquitous Salt Creek. (I don't think I have ever been to a bluegrass jam session where it was NOT played.)

You'll learn the basic tune and I'l lintroduce you to some improvisation ideas, including the blues scale, for dressing up the tune. Lastly, I'll show you a cool ending you can use with this or thousands of other tunes in A.)

The download includes the 29:39 minute video lesson, 2 MP3 practice tracks (2 speeds) and a PDF file with the tab and standard notation for the lesson.

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Blackberry Blossom - Tune & Improv Ideas

is a downloadable video mandolin lesson that uses the song Blackberry Blossom as a vehicle for exploring note choices and techniques useful when improvising.

You'll learn 2 complete versions of the song and explore position shifting, doublestops, slides and triplets. Even if you already know a basic version of the tune you can add to your bag of tricks by watching this video. The download includes a .pdf file with tab and standard notation and three .mp3 rhythm jam tracks.

The download includes the 33:43 minute video lesson, 3 MP3 practice tracks and a PDF file with the tab and standard notation for the lesson.

$8 (get a 20% discount if you share on social media)

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Moveable Blues Licks

is a downloadable video mandolin lesson that teaches you how to play 6 blues mandolin licks which can be moved all over the neck to play in any key.

These type of licks are found throughout the improvisation of bluegrass masters like Bill Monroe, the esteemed "Father of Bluegrass". Today, you will see these ideas employed by some of the modern disciples of Monroe such as Mike Compton or Ronnie McCoury. The lesson shows you how to assemble these licks in various ways to construct solos of your own.

This is one of my most popular video lessons, probably because it mentions "blues" and everybody knows that bluegrass is full of the blues! Lesson download includes the 21 minute video, a 3 page PDF with all of the tab and standard notation and 3 MP3 jam tracks for practicing what you learn in 3 keys.

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Soloing in Moveable Positions

is a downloadable video mandolin lesson that does several things. After a few easy-to-learn exercises you'll learn to play a 16 bar bluegrass style mandolin solo for the song Nine Pound Hammer in the key of B.

Learning this one solo will imprint on your mind a pentatonic scale pattern that you can easily move all over the fretboard to play in lots of other keys. The lesson includes two MP3 practice tracks and a PDF file with all of the music written in tablature and standard notation.

Topics include: pentatonic patterns, moving closed positions, doublestops and optional blues notes.

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Chords By The Numbers

is a downloadable video lesson which takes the mystery and drudgery out of understanding and mentally processing chord progressions. I am holding a mandolin in this lesson but, in truth, the information applies to ALL instruments and there is nothing to play in it. This lesson is vital information every musician should know.

The download includes the 12:49 minute video lesson and a 8 page PDF file packed with charts and additional explanatory material.

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Chords Triangulation Two-Part Series

is a pair of video mandolin lessons by Bradley Laird, which teach you how to play almost any chord progression without thinking of the chord names at all!

The method taught in this two-part video series is how good mandolin players seem to never miss a chord change in a jam session. Once internalized, this method disposes with a lot of thinking which gets in the way of good music and fun. There are two parts to this "mini-series". The lessons are:

Chord Triangulation 1

The download includes the 17:53 minute video lesson, 5 MP3 practice audio tracks and a PDF file with the chord charts and progressions.

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Chord Triangulation 2

The download includes the 24:29 minute video lesson, 9 MP3 practice audio tracks and a PDF file with the chord charts and progressions.

$8 (get a 20% discount if you share on social media) You can add both lessons using the add to cart function if you like.

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Note: If you are not familiar with the concept of speaking about chords using numbers I suggest that you watch Chords By The Numbers first or read Mandolin Master Class. Both of these explain the idea--the video a little more basicly, and Master Class more thoroughly. Both are a good idea.

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The Pentatonic Improvisation Series

is a group of three video lessons which guides you down the path to understanding how to use the simple 5-note pentatonic scales for improvising solos. This is eye-opening information which makes it possible to play solos on songs you don't know or to create better sounding music on those you do!


Pentatonc Improvisation Basics

The download includes the 29:12 minute video lesson and a PDF file with all of the tab and standard notation and 2 MP3 tracks to help you practice what you learn.

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Pentatonc Improvisation 2

The download includes the 20:59 minute video lesson and a PDF file with all of the tab and standard notation and 2 MP3 tracks to help you practice what you learn.

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Pentatonc Improvisation 3

The download includes the 25:01 minute video lesson and a PDF file with all of the tab and standard notation and 2 MP3 tracks to help you practice what you learn.

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Turnarounds in 5 Keys

Turnarounds are short and easy to learn and make great kick-offs for tunes or mini-solos in between the verses of songs. The download includes the 27:05 minute video lesson and a PDF file with all of the tab and standard notation and 2 MP3 tracks to help you practice what you learn at two speeds.

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More Turnarounds in 5 Keys

This lesson expands on "Turnarounds" by teaching how to play 5 more of these cool little "mini-solos." The download includes the 21:08 minute video lesson and a PDF file with all of the tab and standard notation and 2 MP3 tracks to help you practice what you learn.

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These video mandolin lessons have taught thousands of people to play because they really work! Try them and see for yourself.