mandolin lessons with mike marshall

"Anyone who’s done this - when you get that video response notification, and it’s Mike Marshall. It’s just cool."
- Student, Mark Augustine

Free Sample Lessons

Learn Online with Mandolin Lessons from Mike Marshall

Mike Marshall has created a comprehensive video library that includes hundreds of mandolin lessons, plus exclusive performances, special guests, and interviews. Students have unlimited access to all these online mandolin lessons which also include tab, backing tracks, and other study materials.

What ultimately sets these mandolin lessons apart from other online offerings however, is the ability to submit a video for personalized feedback using the ArtistWorks Video Exchange® learning platform. Mike Marshall reviews each submission and records a video response, offering tips about how to improve. All students can access Mike's Video Exchange library, which is expanding all the time and may contain the key to unlock your playing.

Top Quality Mandolin Lessons

  • 100s of mando lessons at your own pace
  • All levels and styles of playing welcome 
  • Slow Motion Isolation and Video Looping
Video Exchange® Learning

  • Submit practice videos to Mike Marshall
  • Get custom feedback on your playing
  • Practice the advice and get better faster
Worldwide Community

  • Connect with students around the world
  • Learn from everyone’s Video Exchanges 
  • Stay motivated to progress your playing

Mike Marshall Mandolin Lessons

  • Beginner Mandolin
  • Intermediate Mandolin
  • Advanced Mandolin
  • Gear & Setup
  • Additional Tunes & More

Beginner Mandolin

  • Introduction to Beginner Mandolin
  • About the Mandolin
  • Sitting Position
  • Sitting Vs. Standing
  • Tuning
  • The Right Hand
  • The Left Hand
  • Open Chords
  • Old Joe Clark
  • Liberty
  • Boil Them Cabbage Down
  • Woody's Rag
  • Build Your Own Exercise
  • Fun With Theory
  • Way Downtown
  • I Am a Pilgrim
  • Finding Minor Chords
  • Minor Chord Progression Exercise
  • Finding Moveable Chords
  • The 7th or Dominant Chords
  • 7th Chords as Dominants
  • Playing 1-4-5 in Minor
  • Bluegrass Chop Chords
  • Down and Up Picking Basics
  • This Little Light of Mine
  • Nine Pound Hammer
  • Fiddle Tune - Devil's Dream in A
  • Banjo Tune - Cripple Creek in G

Intermediate Mandolin

  • Introduction to Intermediate Mandolin
  • Fun With Theory
  • Moveable Chords
  • Cuckoo's Nest
  • Red Haired Boy
  • Salt Creek
  • Positions
  • Fisher's Hornpipe
  • How to Practice
  • Using Target Notes - Golden Slippers
  • Using Target Notes - Liberty
  • Speed and Relaxation
  • Soloing on Sittin' On Top of the World (using Old Joe Clark "tags")
  • Soloing on Little Maggie (using Old Joe Clark "tags")
  • June Apple
  • More Little Maggie Soloing Ideas
  • Ear Training
  • The Mandolin's Place in the Band
  • Turnaround Licks 1-5-1
  • Bill Cheatum
  • Stretching Exercises and Finger Busters
  • Tremolos
  • Harmonizing the Melody
  • Doable Double Stops
  • Scale Patterns
  • Playing Fills Behind a Vocalist
  • Kickoffs
  • Three Main Inversions
  • Three Main Dominant Chords
  • Blues Scale
  • Sitting on Top of the World
  • 1-6-2-5 Progression
  • Red Wing
  • Worried Man Blues
  • Cross-Picking on Boil Them Cabbage Down
  • Amazing Grace
  • Tennessee Waltz
  • Salty Dog - Improvisation
  • Working on Bach Pieces Video Exchanges

Advanced Mandolin

  • Introduction to Advanced Mandolin
  • What Makes an Advanced Player
  • Grooving
  • Practicing for Speed
  • Advanced Arpeggios
  • Playing Out of Closed Position
  • Making the Chord Changes - Old Home Place
  • Chief Sitting in the Rain
  • Ride the Wild Turkey
  • Scotch and Swing
  • Making Simple Tunes Difficult
  • Scales With Four Fingers
  • Reharmonizing Traditional Melodies
  • Little Maggie
  • Other Genres - Nao Me Toques
  • Final Finger Buster
  • Other Genres - Cochichando
  • Egypt
  • EMD
  • Jacob Do Bandolim
  • Jerusalem Ridge

Gear & Setup

  • Adjusting Your Action
  • Changing Your Strings
  • Mike Tuning Up

Additional Tunes & More

  • Tico-Tico
  • Sweet Georgia Brown
  • Somewhere Over the Rainbow
  • Odeon
  • “Oifen Pripitchik” (By the Fireplace)
  • Minor Swing
  • Silent Night
  • Soldiers Joy
  • Big Man From Syracuse
  • Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
  • The Christmas Song
  • Auld Lang Syne
  • Circle of 5ths
  • Rawhide
  • Lady Be Good - NEW!
  • J.S. Bach Fugue in Gm from Sonata #1 -NEW!
  • Dawg's Bull

Reviews for Mike Marshall's Mandolin Lessons

  • "This is such a fantastic method for learning mandolin. And I can only imagine how great of a resource this is for beginners. I wish when I got started playing that something like this was available, especially with the great Mike Marshall." crjones83
  • "I've only been playing mandolin for about 1 year. I joined ArtistWorks with Mike Marshall in February and I wish I had known about it sooner. I wasted so much time acquiring bad habits that took me about 3 months to undo. But now I feel like I'm really sailing with his mandolin lessons. For $1.00 a day to take lessons from Mike Marshall is incredible. Plus watching all the other videos and his responses gives me more information than I can take in - but it's always there to go back and refer to when I'm ready. His lessons are incredible, but the best part is, it's not just Bluegrass. You can send him anything you want and he will work on it and help you with it - from Bluegrass to Bach and everything in between. I also live in an area where I can't find any teachers, so for me it works out great. And Mike is almost always available through the forum if you have a quick question. He checks in several times a day and answers questions promptly. It's really got me going on the right track." mquimpy
  • "The videos from other students and Mike's responses are a great learning tool. One feature I really love, is being able to set loops on the video, so if you are struggling with a certain part, you can loop it over and over until you get it right. How the ArtistWorks lessons benefit you more than watching YouTube videos is this: you have the opportunity to submit your videos to Mike for feedback. This is a great way to eliminate any poor techniques before they become bad habits."Marc King
  • "I am in my first 6 month session on Mike's mandolin lesson plan and am getting better because of it. Before I felt like I was wandering a field and now feel like I am at least on a dirt road to success!" Alan Lackey
  • "I can't say enough about how much I've learned from Mike in the last year. He's a very insightful guy and cuts to the key issue that you may be having very quickly. There is so much material available on the site it's like a candy store." jbrwky
  • "Mike Marshall is a fabulous teacher! If you put in the time, there is a wealth of information on the site, and the library of videos just keeps growing." SternArt
  • "No brainer for those of us who live in a black hole for mandolin teachers or just want to run some things by a pro." dusty miller
  • "I have been using Mike Marshall's mandolin lessons for the past six months. In my opinion it is the best and most organized learning resource I have found." guitarpath
  • "One word: AMAZING. If you look at my first exchange and compare it to my most recent exchange, there is no comparison." woollybear
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About Mike

Mike Marshall left his native Florida at age 19 to pursue music, which eventually led him to the San Francisco Bay Area where he joined the David Grisman Quintet in 1978.  Together with the legendary jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli, Mark O’Connor, and guitarist Tony Rice, they helped set a new standard for American acoustic music.

Since the Dawg days, Mike has continued pushing the boundaries of acoustic music and can be heard on hundreds of recordings as a composer, featured artist, sideman, and producer. A master on mandolin, guitar, mandocello and violin, he has created some of the most adventurous instrumental music for over 35 years. His concert tours have taken him around the globe, and you can hear his mandolin on the theme for NPR’s ‘Car Talk’ every week. In addition, Mike composed and recorded the theme music for the San Francisco based radio program ‘Forum’ heard daily on KQED Radio.

As a teacher, Mike founded a weeklong mandolin camp in 2002 with old pal David Grisman called The Mandolin Symposium and has been teaching online with ArtistWorks since 2011. 

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