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Mário Franco started music lessons at the age of 4 in Centro de Estudos Gregorianos. After one year in Lisbon Conservatory where he studied harp, singing and music theory he went on to Academia de Amadores de Música, where he continued his studies in music theory with Cristina Brito da Cruz, and started double bass lessons with Fernando Flores, and composition with Pedro Rocha as well as studying chamber music.
He subsequently became interested in jazz. and became a member of the Lisbon Hot Club. After having bass guitar lessons with António Ferro he began taking Double bass lessons with David Gausden and playing in jam sessions; also took part in workshops with Rufus Reid, Niels Henning, Orsted Pederson, Eberhard Weber, etc.
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