live group Instruction

Since when do you do workshops?

Lessons With Marcel is now offering workshops via Zoom to cover all kinds of topics including right hand technique, improvisation, arranging, rhythm, playing in a group, etc. You’ll see everything taught on the YouTube channel in more detail and in a space where questions can be asked live and instructor feedback can be given. The workshops will be hosted by Marcel Ardans, Mickey Abraham and Andy Hatfield, and we’ll often bring in special guests (which will likely include some big names)! 

We love the community that’s been growing on the LWM Discord, the YouTube live streams, and of course the group jams with the Bluegrass Coalition. We want to keep creating educational content and keep creating online spaces for flatpickers and other bluegrass musicians to hang out and one way to do that is with workshops. 

Upcoming Workshops

Fiddle Tune Phrasing, Part 1

Teacher: Mickey Abraham
When: Saturday, November 19th at 1-2:00 PM Eastern
Where: Virtually via Zoom.
Cost: $40
Seats: 25 Students

This workshop will focus on how to create endless variations on fiddle tune phrases within a bluegrass context. Many fiddle tunes share phrases that consist of the same length. Once you understand how many notes are in this magic phrase you will be able to play literally endless variations on hundreds of tunes.

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Vocal Tune Basics

Teacher: Hayes Griffin
When: Saturday, January 14th at 1-2:00 PM Eastern
Where: Virtually via Zoom.
Cost: $40
Seats: 25 Students

This workshop will focus on developing solo ideas for bluegrass vocal tunes. Together we will analyze 2-3 simple bluegrass melodies, talk through using common intro/outro phrases and techniques like double stops, crosspicking, and blue notes to build a solo just like your favorite guitarists would play.

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Meet The LWM Instructors!

Marcel, Andy, and Mickey

Marcel Ardans

Big Bad Billy Goat

Marcel Ardans is a guitarist, teacher and YouTuber active in the Raleigh music scene. His time in the bluegrass scene began in the Pacific Northwest, where he wood-shedded and gigged extensively with local and regional acts. Rightfully earning the nickname “The Biggest Baddest Billy Goat In The Barnyard”. 150 shows a year led to opening for national artists such as Kyle Gass (of Tenacious D), the late Jeff Austin, Jacob Jolliff, Missy Raines, and festival favorites such as, Special Consensus, The Purple Hulls, and Chris Jones & The Night Drivers.

In 2015, he started the online business Lessons With Marcel. The goal was to bring flatpicking and bluegrass guitar to those who wanted instruction but lacked local resources, essentially trying to make bluegrass more accessible, to grow the community.

Since then Marcel has hosted local events, taught guitar workshops, and had the opportunity to interview some of the best contemporary bluegrass guitarists on YouTube, like Trey Hensley, Zeb Snyder, Andy Hatfield, and Jon Stickley. Billy Strings once said of a LWM YouTube video, “Whoa. . . this guy just taught me how I play”.

In 2017, Marcel moved to Raleigh, NC. By partnering with supportive and commendable brands like Straight Up Strings, Strum Machine, and Guitar Pro, his schedule is now filled with LWM Skype students and shooting videos for the Lessons With Marcel YouTube Channel.

Andy Hatfield


Andy Hatfield is a creative musician and teacher who loves to help students of all levels learn to play music. He has taught music full-time since 2003, and specializes in mandolin and guitar.

Andy is known for winning three National Championships: The 2011 and the 2017 National Flatpicking Championship, and the 2013 National Mandolin Championship. He is one of only four people (and the second from Peoria, IL) to win both mandolin and guitar in the 45+ year history of the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas.

Born into a musical family, Andy started out by playing upright bass when his parents would leave the house. “We had a lot of instruments around, and nobody ever said you couldn’t touch them, but I assumed I’d get in trouble for playing that bass. Instead, once Dad knew what I was up to, he gave me a few pointers, announced that I would be the bass player that weekend, and we went off to the festival to jam. From that point, I was hooked.”

Later learning to play mandolin, guitar, and banjo, Andy spent his teens immersed in Illinois’s rich bluegrass scene.
Andy has taught for several years at Steve Kaufman’s Kamp in Maryville, TN. He is a 2001 graduate of Bradley University, earning a Bachelor’s of Science in Music. In 2018, he was the featured instructor at Roberto Dalla Vecchia’s Acoustic Guitar Camp in Vicenza, Italy.

Mickey Abraham

The Rabbi

Mickey Abraham is a Suncoast Emmy award-winning performer and instructor. Mickey has been involved in bluegrass and new-acoustic music in his home state of Florida and on the national scene for nearly twenty years. He teaches both mandolin and guitar lessons, and his approach to playing has been featured in Bluegrass Unlimited and Flatpicking Guitar Magazine.

Joe Craven, acoustic maestro says, “Mickey’s enthusiasm for music inspires his students, that’s the hallmark of a great teacher”. His influence as an educator extends to the Tallahassee Youth Orchestra’s Acoustic Ensembles. 

Mickey performs alongside Kathryn Belle in their band Belle and the Band. In 2018, their song “Tallahassee”, was named Best Florida Song by the Will Mclean Foundation. And in 2019, Mickey and Kathryn met their fundraising goal through Kickstarter to start producing their new concept album, Voices: A Folk Opera. Their new project combines elements of Broadway with folk music to bring characters, locations, and a story to life. 

Mickey spends his days recording, teaching lessons, and creating arrangements for Lessons With Marcel. Perhaps Flatpicking Guitar Magazine’s founder and editor Dan Miller sums up Mickey best by saying, “I predict that in the future you will not only hear a lot of great music from Mickey, but you will hear other talented players who will say ‘I learned from Mickey Abraham’”.