Michael Cleveland instructional fiddle video

Bluegrass fiddle master Michael Cleveland, the most awarded fiddler in IBMA history, has released his first instructional video for sale and download online.

Working with his friend and fellow fiddle freak Gil Benson, Michael has determined that video is the ideal method for him to convey what he knows to interested students of the instrument. Gil set up, shot, and edited video lessons of Cleveland playing Fiddler’s Dream, a classic fiddle tune and the title track of his latest album on Compass Records.

Michael plays and then carefully demonstrates four different solos, using a picture-in-picture presentation as he slowly plays through each one. He then talks though what he plays, phrase by phrase, discussing tricky sections and pointing out possible variations as he goes. Anyone with some time playing the fiddle should be able to easily follow what he teaches. Transcriptions are also provided in standard notation for good readers in the fiddle community, complete with bowing indications, fingerings, and chord symbols.

The Fiddler’s Dream video is offered for $20, which includes lessons for all four solos and the transcriptions, through the Platform Purple online distribution network. Their free player works on almost any computer or handheld device, including Windows or Mac OS, iOS and Adroid, AppleTV, Roku, Playstation, and most smart TVs. This is the same system used by other popular bluegrass video instruction titles from AcuTab, Homespun, and The Murphy Method.

Once you purchase the video, you can start watching in the length of time it takes to download the free app. The presentation even includes fast and slow jam tracks which provide a rhythm section to practice the tune with, either fast or slow.

For Michael, this is the ideal method for sharing his intense knowledge and skill with other players.

“I’ve had a lot of people ask me over the years if I had any sheet music or tablature for the fiddle tunes I have recorded on my albums. Now, we have something even better! Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced player, I think everyone will be able to learn from this lesson video. Thanks to my friend Gil Benson for all of his hard work on this project. This wouldn’t have been possible without him.”

Here’s a brief sample from the complete video presentation.

The video can be purchased at Michael’s web site. He is offering a 10% discount to Bluegrass Today readers through April 15. Simply enter the promo code BLUEGRASSTODAY during checkout and click apply to receive your discount.

There are no plans at this time to release these lessons on DVD, though additional lessons with different songs and tunes are in the works.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.

  • Gil Benson

    Thanks John for the post. My friend Rick Hagens (Ohio Bass Player) did the camera work. We had a blast. The video contains some really cool fiddle licks. Michael did almost everything in a single take. Michael is one of the most amazing musicians I’ve ever met.