Hit a stumbling block? Fix it by reading Brad's books! Here they are...
©2013 Bradley Laird
FREE MANDOLIN VIDEO LESSONS...
How to Use These Video Lessons...
This page is a listing of 61 video mandolin lessons. I have organized them in the most logical way to help you learn to play quickly. My suggestion is that you bookmark this page! You will come back here many times as you practice and progress with your mandolin playing.
The lessons begin with the basics such as tuning and simple mandolin tunes and progress through learning a lot of the great standard bluegrass jam session tunes. These videos also will teach you a great deal about chords and the music theory that you can use to strengthen your abilities as a musician. As you build your physical skills on the mandolin you will also learn how to improvise solos and play in every key. I have put a lot of thought and planning into these lessons and they are proven to work! Thousands of mandolin students all over the world are using these videos.
All of the lessons include the tablature (tab) and standard music notation, the chord charts and, in many cases, MP3 practice and jam tracks to make learning more fun. Grab your mandolin, bookmark this page, and begin:
BRAD LAIRD'S COMPLETE MANDOLIN VIDEO LESSON DIRECTORY
*Denotes a Free Video Lesson
Tips: I would suggest that you proceed one by one through the lessons. By simply reading the title you might think that you "already know that" and will miss some valuable insights. For example, lots of beginners learn to play Salt Creek (or whatever tune) early on. So, they see Salt Creek on the list and they skip it because they think they know the tune and wouldn't get anything by studying that lesson. Trust me on this, I have packed these lessons with loads of little details, techniques, concepts, licks, tricks, ways of thinking about things, and improvisation ideas. While the lesson might, on the surface, be "Salt Creek" you might be surprised by the additional insights you can gain by looking deeper into "tunes you already know." What you learn by exploring "Mississippi Sawyer" might teach you some valuable things about triplet embellishments and jazz chords. You will never know unless you dive in and see for yourself.
When you click on any of the links above you will find a more detailed description of the lesson contents and length. The free lessons have the tab and/or chord charts right on that page along with the video player window. The premium lessons are delivered to you as a zip file containing the video file, any audio tracks and the tablature as a PDF file. You store them on your computer and do not have to be online to watch them.
For people who want to learn to improvise: If you already know how to play some tunes and can read tab my initial suggestions are lessons #35, 36, 37, 41, 42, 55 and 58! and then check out my book Mandolin Master Class! These can really help you get into playing tunes "you don't know".
I think that if you explore the premium lessons you will discover that they are a good value. The premium lessons are a lot less expensive than a single private lesson and you can go over the material as many times as you need to until you get it. In 1982 you could take a half-hour mandolin lesson from some guy (probably rock guitar player who barely knew more than the student) for 6 bucks. And there was a good chance that you would forget 99% of what he taught you before you made the drive back home. Today, that same guy charges $20-25 for that same half-hour lesson you are destined to forget. (There are, of course, certain advantages that a good, live teacher can provide. I also teach lessons one-on-one, but these videos are a great and less expensive alternative. There are even valuable insights to be gained by finding out what that rock guitar teacher can show you about a mandolin he has only fiddled with for 20 minutes.)
Yes, there are zillions of so-called mandolin lessons available for free on YouTube. A few are pretty good. However, what you get here are not blurry webcam video recorded in some guys basement. I know about making blurry webcam videos in the basement. You may have seen them.) I don't have the heart to take them down from EweTube since there is nothing wrong with the content. Now, speaking of the lessons listed above, these lessons are well thought out, produced professionally and are a solid value if you really want to learn to play the mandolin. Try out a couple of them and see for yourself.
A money-saving tip: If you do decide to try out the premium lessons, and I hope you do, you will discover that for each 5 lessons you purchase at the same time you get another Premium lesson for free. The shopping cart and delivery of the lessons are handled by Watch & Learn, Inc. and the 6th lesson will show up as free when you add it to the cart.