From time to time we have discussed various ventures that involved online video instruction for bluegrass music. The idea has a great deal of appeal to bluegrass instructors, and some are actively involved in providing such instruction. Three that come to mind immediately are Butch Baldassari, Ross Nickerson, and BluegrassCollege.com.
Ours is a small industry and I suggest that we look outside of bluegrass to see what other people are doing and possibly learn from them. There are other artists and companies who are also pursuing this avenue of instruction, and income. One such company that has come to my attention is WorkshopLive.com. They don’t have any bluegrass instruction on their site, it’s all rock, blues, jazz, etc. But what they do have is great quality video. At a reasonable price. Reasonable, but not cheap.
Theirs is a subscription service. You pay by the month and can then access as many lesson as you want from any of their offerings. The lessons include the video instruction, synchronized graphics of the instrument fretboard, and printable exercises. It”s an impressive program.
To be fair, they have spent a lot of money to get set up. I saw it reported just this week that a new investor has just provided them with $3.25 million dollars in funding to bolster their staff, expand the service, and expand their marketing efforts. Not many of us in bluegrass will have that kind of capitol to work with, but let”s not write off the idea of achieving a similar level of success in our own industry. There is much to be said for the idea of emulating success.