Lessons available via Zoom, Skype, Facetime and video exchange.

"Nic is a really great tutor, friendly, patient and adaptable to the individual's learning style. His passion for the mandolin really comes across and his enthusiasm is infectious."

I have experience teaching one to one lessons with children and adults, as well as running group workshops on the mandolin, teaching a range of styles including folk, bluegrass, old time and jazz. I welcome players of any level from beginners to advanced, and can help develop tune playing, accompaniment, technique and reading music on the mandolin alongside the individual direction of any student's playing.

Video lessons are 45 minutes, following which I send students relevant tablature/sheet music, short video links which detail specific exercises as well as general notes.

Lessons are £30.00 per hour.

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Part of what I enjoy about teaching most is having the opportunity to reflect on my own process as a musician. With students who have no prior experience of the mandolin, or any instrument (or music at all) I usually offer some pointers to help get started. If you're interested in learning to play, or if you already play but are interested in developing your musicianship and technical skill, then some notes on these are included below as a kind of primer:

 

Why do you want to play?

This is the first question I ask new students, and sometimes students I've been teaching a while will need to be reminded of why they actually decided to pick up a mandolin in the first place. There are many reasons why you might want to start learning an instrument, whether it's to play along at a local jam, accompany yourself or someone else singing, or because there's a piece of music you've heard that you'd love to try playing yourself. Whatever the reason, it provides an initial roadmap that underpins your learning and can offer some sense of achievement. Remember that most top players still consider themselves to be learning their instrument, so giving yourself markers to reflect on your progress can be more useful and gratifying than simply 'wanting to be able to play the mandolin!'.

Listen

I encourage all my students to listen to other mandolin players as much as possible. Your ears are as important as your hands, and require the same time and attention to develop your skill as a musician. Something I personally enjoy about the instrument is the huge array of styles you'll encounter as soon as you delve deeper into the world of folk and acoustic music. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Mike Marshall / Sarah Jarosz
Carlo Aonzo
Hamilton De Holanda
Hawktail - Dominick Leslie
Laura - Beth Salter

Note the difference in instrument shapes, and also the shapes of the sounds and tones that are being made. The more you develop a familiarity with the sound of the mandolin the easier it becomes to identify these tones in your own playing. When I started learning I was completely obsessed with the opening mandolin line of this song, and twenty years later it's still a reference point for me tonally.

Practise

 

Muscle memory, metronome, rhythm, repeat

You Are A Musician

Note the difference in instrument shapes, and also the shapes of the sounds and tones that are being made. The more you develop a familiarity with the sound of the mandolin the easier it becomes to identify these tones in your own playing. When I started learning I was completely obsessed with the opening mandolin line of this song, and twenty years later it's still a reference point for me tonally.