Mark Bridge

Mark B.

Park Rapids, MN

About Mark B.

Background check: Last verified 05/28/2016
Mark passed a background check on 05/28/2016 that included the following:
  • National Criminal Record Check
  • County/State Criminal Record Check
  • Sex Offender Registry Search
  • SSN Trace & Verification
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Mark teaches: Ages 5 and up
Teaching since: August 1990
Last sign in: Today


Mark B. has played and taught banjo and mandolin for over 30 years and has performed with the Circle B Cowboys, The Blue Bell Lodge Wranglers, The Smokey Hills Wranglers and has performed at venues at Disney World, the National Festival of the West, Medora Cowboy Poetry Gathering, The Journey Museum and many more. Mark currently teaches at the Itasca School of Folk Music, The Headwaters School of Music and Art and at Overbeek Music in Bemidji, MN. Classes are also taught through community education in a number of towns as well as online.

The internet is loaded with free video lessons for banjo, guitar, mandolin, fiddle and every kind of instrument under the sun. But even videos can be a static method of learning when compared to personal lessons taken in real time. Nothing can replace having a teacher to guide you step by step as you learn to play your favorite instrument. Interactive online lessons will help you to avoid the stumbling blocks and hang ups that occur while using books and videos – nothing can replace live lessons with a caring teacher. Now, no matter where you live, you can take lessons in real time with a qualified instructor – it’s almost like taking lessons at the local music store.

Lessons are structured for each individual student to provide the personal attention needed for effective learning.

*** Lesson Details ***
Through my in person and online lessons, a music student will not only learn to play a stringed instrument he or she will also learn important elements of basic music theory. The student will be taught timing, notation, improvisation, chords, tablature, playing in group situations and more. With this knowledge, an aspiring musician will be prepared to enjoy a lifetime of playing music. Basic music theory can be taught using popular fretted stringed instruments like guitar, banjo, mandolin, and mountain dulcimer that can be played and enjoyed for an entire lifetime. Here is some of what will be covered in your online music lessons. The fundamentals of music covered are Note Values and Rhythm, Time Signatures, Sharps and Flats, Common Scales, Chord Structure, Chord Inversions and more of the elements of music. Lessons will also cover improvisation, playing with other people, music styles and other skills that will help students of any age to open doors to the world of music. *You will be up and playing quickly with painless and fun lessons.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Deering Banjos, Boucher Minstrel Banjo for early playing styles, mandolin, mountain dulcimer, autoharp.
High defination webcam.
Full recording studio.
Cubase DAW.

*** Specialties ***
Banjo styles include Scruggs or 3 finger, Reno, melodic, early minstrel style. Mandolin style folk, country. Autoharp and dulcimer are taught using traditional styles.

Photos and Videos

Mark Bridge presents a variety of musical genres on a variety of banjos.



Oct 2013 - Present
Headwaters School of Music and Art

Teach banjo, mandolin, dulcimer and autoharp.

Teacher - Owner

Oct 2002 - Present
Itasca School of Folk Music

Teach banjo, mandolin, guitar, dulcimer, autoharp, voice, performance, recording



Aug 2009 - Mar 2010
Recording Institute of Detroit

Certificate - Audio Specialist

Sep 2006 - Jan 2007
Recording Institute of Detroit

Languages Spoken


Fluent / Native Proficiency


Artist Grant

Nov 2015
Minnesota Legacy
Write a Review

10 Reviews on Mark B.

Alla Z. Oct 20, 2016
Banjo · Online
Verified Student
Levi M. Oct 19, 2016
Banjo · Online
Verified Student
I had a lot of fun and enjoyed him a lot. He made things very clear for me. I think he has a cool mustache!
Myron Oct 18, 2016
Banjo · Online
Verified Student
He is super helpful and encouraging even though I knew nothing about the banjo. Would definitely recommend.
Joel A. Sep 13, 2016
Banjo · Online
Verified Student
Great instructor. Looking forward to many more lessons.
Luke T. May 27, 2016
Banjo · Online
Verified Student
If you're wondering, "I want to learn banjo, but who should I take lessons from? There are so many teachers!!" Well I'm writing this review to tell you Mark is one of the best! Mark has been playing Banjo for at least 30 years and continues to play on summer banjo tours. His knowledge of many different banjo playing styles can be modified to your liking and skill level. Whether you're an expert or just a first starter, Mark will work with you and your schedule to maximize your banjo experience. I was a little nervous at first about playing banjo over Skype since he wouldn't actually be there with me, but Mark did a fantastic job online. 5/5, 10/10 would do it again. I would recommend Mark to any banjo player.
Scott Apr 21, 2016
Banjo · Online
Verified Student
I have really enjoyed my lessons with Mark. As a new student who has never before played banjo, I learned much in my first month and recently signed up for more. He is very patient and personable and has always answered my many questions. For those of us who live in remote small towns, these online lessons have been very convenient.
Graham R. Apr 28, 2015
Banjo · Online
Verified Student
Mark was a great teacher. He was entertaining as well as insightful, and could play some mighty good bluegrass. Being online lessons it was certainly created its challenges, but Mark did a good job explaining ideas and I learned a few songs over the course of just a few lessons.
Wayne B. Mar 16, 2015
Banjo · Online
Verified Student
Superb experience! Mark and I have worked together once a week now for a couple of months, and my banjo playing has improved leaps and bounds as a result of his technical knowledge, sensitivity to my situation, and great ability to communicate some fairly difficult concepts. He's provided me with material aimed at expanding my ability for me to work on during the week, I work on that and then play it for him during our lessons and he provides feedback to get me through the parts I'm having trouble with and set the stage for future work. I've been trying to play the banjo for some time, but I've never made the kind of progress that I've made while working with Mark. We're going to continue for another 12 lessons and I'm certain that my ability and confidence level will much improve as a result. Great job, Mark--I'd recommend him to anyone who wants to get serious about their banjo skills!
Sarah D. Mar 3, 2015
Banjo · Online
Verified Student
Great teacher. I began playing banjo awhile ago, but seem to only improve when taking lessons. Mark has been giving me lots of tips for improvement based on what I want to learn. He is able to pick up on where I am having trouble and provide tips to help me keep going.
Hugh S. Apr 7, 2014
Verified Student
Learned so Much so far

Mark has been Outstanding in just two lesson so far but as an old beginning player, I'm very impressed with Mark
! He makes we want to parctice harder!

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