10 Best Online Mandolin Lessons – Apps, Courses & Software

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Written By Will Fenton

Founder of MidderMusic. From numerous bands to stints working in music shops, read more about me on the 'Here's My Story' page!

Looking for a quick answer? We rate ArtistWorks as the best online mandolin learning platform.

The mandolin is a stringed instrument that adds a unique, lively sound to songs.

It’s also an easier instrument to learn than the guitar, so it’s a good place to start for beginners.

One of the easiest ways to learn the mandolin is through online lessons. They are affordable, fun, and effective.

Explore our list of the 10 best online mandolin lessons to get inspired and find out more about their features and benefits.

There’s something for everyone – from lessons for absolute beginners to advanced classes with private online tutors.

Whatever you choose, an interesting and fun process is ahead of you!

Disclosure: We are a professional review website that may receive compensation for the products we reviewAll recommendations are genuine and/or verified by myself!

Best Online Mandolin Lessons

1. ArtistWorks – Mandolin Lessons With Mike Marshall

ArtistWorks is a popular online platform offering quality lessons for a variety of instruments.

You can purchase individual lesson packages, and a few of them will teach you how to play the mandolin.

Features and Benefits

ArtistWorks courses are often taught by renowned musicians, and this mandolin course is no different. You can learn from Mike Marshall, an expert bluegrass mandolin player.

When you buy his online course, you’ll get unlimited access to hundreds of video lessons. It means you’ll get an in-depth education and improve your mandolin skills regardless of your starting level.

Besides Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced categories, there’s an array of other sections including Licks & Tricks, Brazilian Choro, Dawg Tunes, Swing and Jazz, and Bill Monroe Tunes.

With every ArtistWorks course, you receive up to 5 submissions to your teacher, meaning you can get personalized feedback and access the video exchange library, which can come in really handy.

Now, another amazing teacher you can learn from is Mike Marshall’s wife. Caterina Lichtenberg is dedicated to studying the history, techniques, and repertoire of the great mandolin virtuosos of the past.

Caterina can teach you all the basics of the classical mandolin and help you progress to the advanced level where you can play more complex pieces like Vivaldi’s Concerto in C or Bach’s Cello Suite No.1.

Both Mike and Caterina are experienced teachers who offer well-structured online courses, and which one you’ll choose depends on the style you prefer.

What Sets ArtistWorks Apart From Other Platforms?

ArtistWorks will give you a unique chance to learn from Mike Marshall. He is a well-known bluegrass mandolinist, and to take his lessons (even if they’re pre-recorded) is truly precious.

Who is ArtistWorks For?

ArtistWorks is an excellent learning source for learners of all skill levels.

It’s especially beneficial to beginners who can easily gain core mandolin skills and progress to advanced levels.

Pros

  • Great teacher
  • Video exchange library
  • Linear lessons
  • Covers different genres

Cons

  • No instant feedback

Learn more about ArtistWorks here!

2. Udemy

Udemy is always a great choice if you’re searching for online music lessons.

The website also offers affordable mandolin lessons taught by skilled teachers.

Udemy e-learning platform with online mandolin lessons

Features and Benefits

On Udemy, you can learn how to play the mandolin from scratch, but also gain intricate mandolin skills.

You can purchase individual courses. Each course contains very concise and simple video lessons focused on specific topics, genres, or levels. The number of lessons and prices vary, but you can find some really good deals.

For example, Beginner Mandolin Lessons will teach you how to tune the mandolin, play pentatonic scales, and master picking techniques. You’ll also learn how to play the key of D which allows you to play mandolin in any genre.

Some courses also include articles and downloadable resources.

Before choosing the course, you can read other students’ reviews to give you a better idea of what to expect.

What Sets Udemy Apart From Other Platforms?

Udemy offers very specific courses focused on different skill levels, genres, and styles. And even if you can’t find what you’re looking for, Udemy keeps having new courses so from time to time, you can check if somebody created a mandolin course you’re interested in.

Who is Udemy For?

Udemy is best for beginners, but intermediate players can also find some useful content.

Pros

  • Specialized courses
  • Downloadable resources
  • Clear structure

Cons

  • Lack of feedback
  • Udemy certificate is not accredited

3. Fiverr

Fiverr is a freelancing website full of affordable mandolin courses.

A lot of freelancers are offering private online mandolin lessons, you just need to find the right one for you.

Fiverr freelancing website with private online music courses

Features and Benefits

The Fiverr website is very easy to navigate, so you won’t have any problem finding your online tutor. All the info you need is available on each freelancer’s profile.

On their profile, you can see what they offer, a price per hour, a rating in stars, and other people’s reviews. Once you book a lesson, you are free to choose whether you want to continue with your lessons, so there are no obligations or subscriptions on Fiverr.

Having private virtual lessons is an excellent way to learn mandolin online. A tutor can adjust to your level, speed of learning, and goals you wish to achieve. They can also spot your weaknesses and help you improve them.

Basically, one-on-one virtual lessons are the closest you can get to traditional mandolin lessons, but you’ll still have the freedom to learn from home and choose styles or songs you want to learn.

However, many freelancers on Fiverr offer recorded lessons, which is also fine but not as effective as it would be to have lessons in real-time. But the thing about Fiverr is that it’s often being updated, so you should always keep an eye for fresh offers.

What Sets Fiverr Apart From Other Platforms?

Fiverr will allow you to take engaging and efficient virtual mandolin lessons. If you don’t like your lessons, you can simply find another teacher. Finding a good online tutor isn’t always easy, but Fiverr made sure you get the lessons you signed up for.

Who is Fiverr For?

Fiverr is a good option to learn mandolin online for anyone who seeks affordable and effective online lessons.

Having a private online tutor is an easy way for beginners to grasp the basics and intermediate players to learn specific techniques or styles.

Pros

  • Individual approach
  • A lot of teachers
  • Affordable

Cons

  • It can be hard to choose a teacher (at first)
  • Lack of other resources

4. Mandolessons

Mandolessons offer free online mandolin lessons.

They are great for beginners and intermediate players who want to expand their repertoire.

Features and Benefits

What’s great about Mandolessons, all learning material is completely free!

Sometimes free video lessons can be a bit scarce or recorded with poor quality, but that’s not the case with Mandolessons.

The founder of the platform Baron Collins-Hill is dedicated to creating quality content and sharing it with people around the world. He delivers new lessons every week.

If you’re just starting out, the Resources tab offers a section for absolute beginners. It has text about different types and parts of the mandolin, a buying guide, and tips on a proper setup.

If you’ve already been introduced to the instrument, you can browse through lesson categories. There’s a beginner series, techniques and fundamentals, and music theory.

There’s also a section focused on jazz and blues, as well as a section with songs. Each song is broken into several parts so you can learn it thoroughly and step by step.

Baron also hosts weekly live Q&A which is a great opportunity to clear up something that bothers you or simply listen to other students’ experiences.

What Sets Mandolessons Apart From Other Platforms?

You can take Mandolessons without subscribing or purchasing anything. Baron Collins-Hill wants his lessons to be available to anyone who wants to learn, and that’s very commendable.

Who is Mandolessons For?

Mandolessons is a good learning source for students searching for free mandolin lessons for beginners.

These lessons will give you a good start or come in handy as an extra learning source.

Pros

  • Useful resources
  • Free
  • Frequent live lessons

Cons

  • No feedback
  • Lack of features

5. Online Academy of Irish Music

This e-learning platform offers a great way of learning traditional Irish music.

So if you enjoy melodic Irish tunes, this program is for you.

Academy of Irish Music online learning platform

Features and Benefits

Online Academy of Irish Music is an online community of Irish music lovers providing lessons for various instruments, and the mandolin is an important part of the traditional Irish sound.

Lessons are created by Paddy Cummins, but many skilled musicians are contributing to the platform. Paddy Cummins teaches two courses: one for first-time beginners and a following progressions course. 

After you complete the Mandolin Basics course, you’ll know how to play 11 popular Irish songs, play basic chords and triplets, and have a deeper understanding of the Irish music tradition.

The Academy’s teachers use a ‘phrase by phrase’ technique for teaching tune. Also, all of their instruction comes with easy-to-follow ABC standard notation downloads, sheet music, and mp3s, so you don’t have to read notes in order to learn songs. 

You can start with simple free mandolin lessons for beginners, and continue to progress with a paid membership. A free 14-day trial is a great way of testing the program.

What Sets Online Academy of Irish Music Apart From Other Platforms?

Unlike other platforms we mentioned today, the Online Academy of Irish Music is focused exclusively on Irish music. They are also active on social media so you will feel like you’re a part of an online community. And that’s what this platform strives to be, after all.

Who is the Online Academy of Irish Music For?

Online Academy of Irish Music is for mandolin beginners who love Irish music.

It’s a well-structured program suitable for all ages.

Pros

  • Free lessons for beginners
  • Well-structured
  • Strong community

Cons

  • Suitable only for Irish music lovers
  • No direct feedback

6. Mandolin Compass

Mandolin Compass offers free online mandolin lessons and paid premium courses.

It’s a very simple way of gaining core mandolin skills.

Mandolin Compass online mandolin learning platform

Features and Benefits

Free Mandolin Compass lessons are made to quickly teach you the basics and to introduce you to the platform’s teaching style.

One of the featured free video lessons is focused on double-stop – it’s created when you play a pair of strings at the same time. Other free lessons cover beginner mandolin chords, turnaround lick in D, pentatonic scales, and so on.

As you progress, you’ll also learn slides, hammer-ons, and other important techniques.

Paid premium courses are more detailed and longer in length. They will give you a better understanding of the instrument and teach you different styles.

On the website, you can also order books and DVDs if you need any additional learning resources.

What Sets Mandolin Compass Apart From Other Platforms?

The Mandolin Compass platform is very simple – everything is very clear and straightforward. And it offers some classic resources like books and DVDs.

Mandolin Compass might not be an ideal primary learning source, but it can certainly help you out.

Who is Mandolin Compass For?

Mandolin Compass is best for beginners who want to learn with different resources like videos and books.

Pros

  • Simple
  • Free content
  • Premium lessons option

Cons

  • Lack of modern online tools
  • The website could be more engaging

7. Bradley Laird Free Mandolin Lessons

This online learning platform offers free mandolin lessons and resources.

It was created by an experienced musician Bradley Laird.

Free online mandolin lessons with Bradley Laird

Features and Benefits

If you’ve checked out the Mandolin Compass website, you probably recognize Bradley Laird. He created this platform to share most of the lessons for free.

The website features free tabs, chord charts, and videos. You can easily access everything online but also download it as a PDF which is great if you want to print it or use it offline.

Beginners will have a lot of use of the series focused on fundamentals. These lessons cover basic chords, rhythm, double stops, and playing easy tunes.

The intermediate category is also quite extensive. It includes lessons on bluegrass solos, chord triangulation, pentatonic improvisation, turnarounds, and so on.

Although there’s a lot of free content, some of these lessons can be purchased for a small price.

You can also buy Bradley’s eBooks. They are nice and useful to have for anyone learning the mandolin.

What Sets Bradley Laird Free Mandolin Lessons From Other Platforms?

It’s pretty clear that Bradley Laird created this website because of his passion for music. His lessons have a personalized approach and they are actually quite helpful.

Who is Bradley Laird Free Mandolin Lessons For?

Bradley Laird Lessons are for students who need a free extra learning resource.

It’s also useful for intermediate players who can find instruction on specific techniques.

Pros

  • Free content
  • Useful resources
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • The website could look more appealing
  • No direct feedback

8. Banjo Ben Clark

Don’t get confused by the name – Banjo Ben Clark is a website offering courses for several instruments including the mandolin.

It provides free mandolin video lessons and membership options.

Banjo Ben Clark online mandolin lessons

Features and Benefits

The free video lessons are short but informative, and they have a good quality of video and sound.

Most of the lessons are created by Ben Clark, a world-renowned performer, composer, and teacher. He has taught online for years and has thousands of students in over 40 countries.

Lessons are divided into Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced but you can also search lessons by the alphabet and release date.

Beginner and Intermediate lessons mostly cover the technique and some simpler tunes, while the Advanced category is full of song tutorials.

New videos are frequently added so you’ll always have fresh content at your fingertips. All you need to do is subscribe for free, and you can easily watch any lesson on the site.

And if you decide to become a paid member, you’ll get benefits such as e-mail support, video submissions, live events, and special offers.

What Sets Banjo Ben Clark From Other Platforms?

The Banjo Ben Clark website keeps updating its content from time to time. So, besides regular lessons, you can look for new song tutorials, exercises, and so on. You can also easily search/filter lessons to find what you want.  

Who is Banjo Ben Clark For?

Banjo Ben Clark is beneficial to all kinds of mandolin players, from beginners to more advanced musicians who want to expand their repertoire.

It’s also great for people seeking reliable free online lessons. Although paid membership brings many benefits, you can access most of the material on the website for free.

Pros

  • Free content
  • Progress tracking
  • All levels

Cons

  • Video quality could be better
  • Lack of useful features

9. Peghead Nation

Peghead Nation is another platform that teaches multiple instruments.

It also offers quality mandolin lessons for different skill levels and styles.

Peghead Nation online learning website with private mandolin classes

Features and Benefits

The Peghead Nation website is fresh-looking and very easy to navigate. Once you choose your instrument, you can browse through courses taught by different professional teachers.

Some of the available mandolin courses are Bluegrass Mandolin Fingerboard Method, Irish Mandolin, Monroe-style Mandolin, and The Advancing Mandolinist. As you can see, you can find something for yourself whether you’re a seasoned player or a first-time beginner.

Before subscribing to the course, you can check its sample video and description. You’ll see that courses usually include a large number of videos and other resources.

For example, Beginning Mandolin with the great Sharon Gilchrist includes more than 80 videos, tunes to play, downloadable Play-Along audio practice tracks, and MP3s.

All courses are well-structured, easy to follow, and filmed with high quality.

What Sets Peghead Nation From Other Platforms?

Peghead Nation offers courses focused on a specific technique or style. Plus, every course is designed with a specific learner in mind, so you can find a course that perfectly suits your level and goals.

Who is Peghead Nation For?

Peghead Nation is literally for anyone who wants to learn mandolin online.

There are lessons for all levels, and they are detailed, comprehensible, and taught by professional musicians.

Pros

  • Covers different topics
  • Well-structured
  • Good production quality

Cons

  • No instant feedback
  • Could have more features

10. Mando Montreal

The Mando Montreal website offers great lesson packages and private online mandolin lessons.

It’s a music school with an address in Montreal and students all around the globe.

Mando Montreal website with private online mandolin lessons and lesson packages

Features and Benefits

Regardless of the style you want to learn, Mando Montreal can help you improve your mandolin skills.

You can book a private Zoom lesson directly on the website. You can see teachers’ availability and choose the time that suits you best. All instructors are skilled and talented musicians.

Having individual lessons with a tutor is one of the best ways to learn music online. You can communicate, ask questions, and the teacher can give you personalized feedback. Therefore, you can enhance your skills more quickly, and also feel more motivated.

Alternatively, purchase a lesson package on the Mando Montreal website. There are currently great beginner courses available.

The Beginner Course includes 14 video lessons, exercises, PDFs, and unlimited e-mail exchange benefits. It will teach you proper sitting and holding position, how to read basic notes and rhythms on the staff, how to play the G Major scale using all fingers, and much more.

Whether you choose private classes or pre-recorded lessons, you’ll be sure to strengthen your skills and expand your knowledge with Mando Montreal.

What Sets Mando Montreal From Other Platforms?

Mando Montreal will allow you to take reliable private mandolin lessons. Their team of teachers is professional and friendly, and you won’t come across someone inexperienced. If you want to improve your musicality and mandolin skills, you should definitely take this opportunity.

Who is Mando Montreal For?

Mando Montreal is a great learning source for mandolin players who want to take their playing to another level through quality private online lessons.

Pros

  • Private lessons option
  • Well-rounded courses
  • Great teachers

Cons

  • Might be overwhelming for some people
  • A bit more expensive than some other options

How to Choose the Best Mandolin Lessons Online?

Luckily, there are many quality mandolin lessons online, so choosing the best one will be a pleasant task.

The only thing that’s important is your goal. Do you want to play a round-back mandolin? How much time do you have on your hands? Do you wish to learn Vivaldi or Led Zeppelin on the mandolin?

If you’re not so sure what you want, that’s also fine – simply choose a structured and versatile course that will guide you and help you figure out which style suits you.

But before you decide on anything, be sure that you did a little research on the teacher. Many websites offer video samples so you can get an idea of the teacher’s methods and approach. It’s important to find someone skilled but approachable and trustworthy.

And if you’re a beginner, be sure to find a program with thorough starting lessons. Of course, you want to jump into playing songs right away, but if you don’t gain core mandolin skills in a proper way, you might have problems playing those songs later on.

In the end, when you find the right lessons for you, follow the instructor’s suggestions and try to stick to your practice schedule. Online music lessons are effective only if you are.

How to choose best online mandolin lessons

What Are the Benefits of Online Mandolin Lessons?

The benefits of online music lessons are numerous – from the freedom to practice from the comfort of your home to the flexibility of online learning programs.

If you find the right course, you’ll be having fun and learning the material of your choice. Even if you take private online lessons with a tutor, they are more likely to adjust to your wishes and personal goals than someone in the traditional music school.

Although traditional live lessons are precious for many reasons, online platforms offer the unique possibility to use modern learning tools. They also offer a chance to learn from world-known musicians.

And when it comes to the benefits of playing the mandolin in general, they are numerous. You’ll boost your creativity, improve concentration, and reduce stress. Learning music is a rewarding process that is always worthwhile.

How We Test Online Mandolin Lessons

MidderMusic produces honest and accurate reviews based on personal experience and research. Therefore, the MidderMusic online mandolin lessons process is fully editorially independent. We are either supplied with the free subscription by the platforms or we purchase our own subscriptions.

When evaluating a mandolin platform we take into account the following factors:

  • Simplicity in setup and use – How easy is it to sign up? Is the website easy to navigate?
  • Quality of content/tutors – Are the lessons easy to follow? What is the quality of the video? Are teachers easy to understand? Do they give clear instructions? Do they communicate information in a friendly manner?
  • Range of content – What areas or skills is the platform focused on? Does it contain lessons for advanced mandolin players? If it’s only suitable for beginners, does it have enough material and songs/tutorials?
  • Useful features – Can you use the program on multiple devices? Is there a possibility to get feedback? Is the service flexible or customizable? Are there features such as the ability to slow down or loop video?

We approach every platform with these same four categories in mind.

Our testing team includes:

  • Reviewers experienced in testing and owning musical instruments, equipment, and services
  • Professionals who work in the music industry
  • Writers experienced in creating content for music magazines and websites

Final Thoughts

There are many ways to learn mandolin online, from one-on-one lessons to detailed, structured courses. Each has its own benefits, so you need to choose whatever suits your preferences and abilities.

With enough practice, you’ll get the results you want! You’ll enhance your mandolin skills, expand your knowledge of music theory, and if the course is good, improve your overall musicality.

And once you learn how to play the mandolin, the possibilities are endless. It’s a versatile instrument so you can explore many genres and styles, but also have fun jamming and improvising.

So, the only thing left to do is start with your online mandolin lessons and get to know this wonderful instrument!

FAQs

Can I learn the mandolin online?

Yes, it’s possible to learn the mandolin online. With the right course and enough practice, you can easily gain basic mandolin skills online.

Is it easy to learn the mandolin?

The mandolin is easier to learn than the guitar because it has fewer strings. However, it takes time and practice to learn more complex techniques or styles.

How long does it take to learn the mandolin?

It doesn’t take long to learn the basics of playing the mandolin. But if you want to learn tablature, proper technique, and faster melodies, you’ll need to practice every day to see quick progress. It takes a few months to play the mandolin with confidence, and much more to gain intricate skills.

What are the best online mandolin lessons for beginners?

The best online mandolin lessons for beginners are provided by ArtistWorks. ArtistWorks is a popular platform known for quality content and famous teachers. With the ArtistWorks mandolin course, you can learn at your own pace and master the basics in an easy and effective way. You’ll also have the chance to get feedback.

What are the best free online mandolin lessons?

The best free online mandolin lessons can be found on the MandoLessons website. MandoLessons offers free material and video lessons for beginners and intermediate players. You can browse through different categories and focus on the style you’re interested in. Alternatively, search for YouTube tutorials provided by reliable websites and teachers.

Are there any mandolin lessons near me?

Visit the TakeLessons website to find mandolin lessons near you. This popular platform allows you to connect with a tutor online or in person. You can browse a wide selection of mandolin teachers and see if anyone is in your area.