Brad Laird is one of the busiest bluegrass players you’ve never met. Unless you live in Georgia, you might not have ever seen him play. But he teaches a large load of students and interacts with thousands of bluegrass lovers online.
Primarily a mandolinist, Brad has performed with a band he started in college, Pony Express, and is also a veteran of another named Cedar Hill, who are no longer performing. You might have also seen him with a number of other Georgia-based groups, or with the Atlanta Mandolin Society Orchestra. He is also a part-time mandolin builder, and produces a free podcast, Grass Talk Radio, but it is as an instructor that his greatest impact has been felt.
Laird has written 16 books for banjo and mandolin, and offers a wealth of free lessons on his web site, as well as video lessons at very reasonable prices. You could spend several hours browsing through the ebooks, lessons, and bluegrass play-along jam tracks available online, with several packaged as courses at discount prices.
This year, Brad has come up with a clever promotional idea that sounds like fun. His goal is to give away $1,000,000 of free lessons in the form of his 30-minute video teaching Salt Creek for mandolin. You just visit his site to download the video, which includes tab for the mandolin solo, and two play along tracks as MP3 files. These normally sell for $10, so his goal is to find 100,000 people to go and grab it.
That may seem like a big ask, but as Brad puts it, if you download it and tell ten people, and they download it and tell 10 people… well, you see how it could catch on fire.
In truth, he isn’t so much concerned about reaching the $1,000,000 mark as he is in letting everyone know about both the free lessons on his site, and the various ebooks and lesson videos he offers for sale. But wouldn’t it be a hoot to say that he gave away a million dollars worth of lessons?
To participate, you need to go to his site and order the Salt Creek video. When you go to check out, just use the code “saltymando” and it will change to a zero price, and you can proceed to download the lesson. This way, he can easily track how many were given away, with an eye towards his 100,000 downloads goal. This free video is available through December 20.
To show the quality of the lessons offered, here is a sample from Salt Creek.
You can check out all of Brad’s offering at bradleylaird.com.