The 10 Best Mandolin Lessons Online (2022) – Free and Paid
A member of the lute family, the Mandolin is fun to learn and play. Since it’s not as popular as a guitar, finding a good mandolin player to teach you may not be the most convenient option. If you’re in such a predicament, you can thank the internet for saving you.
Mandolin is a plucked string instrument that is often considered a cousin of the guitar. The modern-day version of the instrument originated in Italy and is generally used in classical and folk music.
You can find many generous and knowledgeable mandolin teachers online on various sites. Some are paid for while others are free. But almost all of them are well-structured and easy to follow. Which is quite important when you’re trying to get better at a complex instrument like the mandolin.
Today, I’ll show you some of the most useful sites on the web for learning mandolin.
If you’re a fan of 1940s bluegrass music and see it as your inspiration to learn the mandolin, ArtistWorks is a great website for you. ArtistWorks is an online music learning platform where you will find dedicated lessons for string, woodwind, keys, percussion, etc.
The lessons are paid but at a reasonable price. The great thing about them is that you get unlimited lessons, a video exchange library, theory workshops, and submit videos for review. You can choose from a 3, 6, or 12-month plan. The three not just differ in duration but also in their features.
ArtistWorks has lessons from seasoned musicians who have years of teaching experience. You learn at your own pace, you can play the videos in slow motion, or loop them. This is a useful feature as everyone learns on their own time.
The lessons are divided into beginner, intermediate, and advanced with lots of additional topics for the instrument. There are also videos on gear and setup, transcriptions, and musical challenges. If you stick through with it, you’re bound to come out as a better musician.
Udemy has quickly turned into one of the best places for online learning. The website is a huge platform where you can learn just about anything, including a wide variety of mandolin lessons.
Udemy is a great option to get about learning the mandolin as the teachers are well-versed with the instrument. In fact, if you’re unsure about a lesson, Udemy uses a rating system to help you make a better decision.
The lessons on Udemy are very concise and give you exactly what they promise. There are plenty of lessons sorted by their difficulty level, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding one regardless of your skills.
Udemy doesn’t have a structured, plan-based system. Instead, you buy a course at a very inexpensive price and get lifetime access to it. You, then, learn at your pace, rewatch the lessons as many times as you like, and get into community discussion.
Being one of the biggest marketplaces on the internet, Fiverr is home to countless freelances. So, you shouldn’t have much trouble finding a good mandolin teacher to help you.
Freelancers on Fiverr work on a one-off, short-term, or even long-term basis. The lessons are mostly one-on-one which gives a very personal feeling. Also, since the website is so competitive, the pricing ranges from anywhere from $5 a lesson to $50+.
Lessons on this platform don’t require commitments. If you like a teacher, you stick with it. If you don’t, you move on. It’s that simple.
Fiverr is a platform, available to anyone around the world. So, you’ll find teachers from different countries and languages. This is great if you’re more comfortable in a familiar environment.
4. Online Academy Of Irish Music
Online Academy of Irish Music is a great place to learn the mandolin if you’re influenced by Irish music. The website is focused on teaching instruments that are heavily used in the country’s music.
The teachers are experts in their domain and make it easy for their students to follow along with their lessons. You’ll see the lessons divided into two. Beginner’s course to get started and then a progressions course as the next step.
You don’t have to jump into the course and break the bank. OAIM offers a 14-day trial with some of its features. It also has a YouTube channel by the same name as its website. There are a few tutorial videos that should help you make a better decision.
5. Peghead Nation
Peghead Nation is an online learning platform that’s dedicated to teaching string instruments. From guitar to ukulele to banjo and, of course, the mandolin. The teachers are seasoned vets of their crafts and the courses are designed to be incredibly student-friendly.
To start with, you can take a sample lesson. After that, it follows a subscription-based model on either a monthly or annual basis. The lessons are totally worth it though, especially if you’re starting from scratch. You’ll begin with beginner lessons and continue to progress until you reach an intermediate-advanced level.
Peghead Nation is a great environment to learn as it hosts live workshops, keeps you up to date on the latest happenings, and post performances for you to inspire. Take a look at their course trailer. You’ll get an idea of what Peghead Nation is about.
6. Mandolin Compass
Mandolin Compass is the first platform on our list that is solely dedicated to teaching the mandolin. The website offers a lot of free beginner lessons where you can get started and become proficient with the instrument.
There are also many free videos on tabs, solos, and improv. You can find them on the YouTube channel Guitar Compass. The playlist should give you a more in-depth look into Mandolin Compass. Once you go through this, you’ll be able to judge whether you want to get into intermediate or advanced courses.
Mandolin Compass has been a proponent of free mandolin lessons for a long time. In addition to that, it also makes and sells books on the instrument. Find those in the ‘Shop’ section of the website.
MandoLessons is a brilliant and pro-bono initiative by a guy called Baron Collins-Hill. It started in 2008 as a way for mandolin enthusiasts to learn the instrument, free of cost. Thankfully, it’s still the same.
MandoLessons has a YouTube channel where a new lesson is uploaded every week. These videos demonstrate techniques, song tutorials, and sounds specific to a genre. You can get really good with it if you follow the channel religiously. You can also find the lessons and much more like notation, tabs, etc. on the website.
If you like this platform, then you’ll be pleased to know that Baron also does private lessons. This is great for getting a personal touch during your lessons.
8. Bradley Laird
Bradley Laird is a well-respected name in the mandolin community. With a pro career spanning over 40 years, he knows a thing or two about the instrument.
Bradley offers free mandolin lessons on his website where you can get a ton of incredibly useful information in your quest to become a mandolin player. There are free beginner lessons, chord charts, tabs, and a podcast for you to learn from.
If your hunger doesn’t stop there, Bradley also has really good e-books and instructional videos. You can find those on the website as well.
9. Banjo Ben Clark
If you’re looking for a place that offers you an insight into beginner, intermediate, and advanced mandolin lessons in one place, for free, then Banjobenclark.com is the place to be. It takes you through the complete journey of mandolin playing.
While the introductory lessons on each level are free, you will have to pay for either a membership or individual lessons if you want to access the complete library of Banjo Ben Clark. And there’s a whole lot to be discovered.
Apart from the lessons, it hosts a public forum where students discuss everything mandolin. There are also past events that you can access. Lastly, you can buy instruments, accessories, apparel, and whatnot on the website’s store.
From the looks of it, it doesn’t look like Mandozine has a lot going for it. However, the website is a brilliant resource for learning all you need to know about the Mandolin.
The basics like chords, scales, techniques, etc. in a fun way at your own speed. But it doesn’t end there. It also gives you intermediate and advanced levels like techniques, complex scales, improv, and solo.
There are also a lot of tunes for you to practice. It’s practically endless. The website has tie-ups with some professional players who help you learn songs. The media and instrument sections help you keep up to date with all the happenings in the mandolin world.
If there is a criticism of the platform, it’s that the lessons are text and pdf-based. No videos are available. This might be unattractive for some. But the great thing is that Mandozine is completely free.
Mandolin is a brilliant instrument to play. With the omnipresence of the internet, one can learn the instrument from great teachers while sitting at home.
There are plenty of online resources that are accessible to everyone. Some are free while some are paid. However, all are worth it. You just have to decide which one’s the best for your needs.
I hope this list presents some good options for you. Now, go and start your mandolin journey today.