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Matt Flinner

Mandolin Chord Melody Curriculum (Oct 5-Dec 9)


“After buying six mandolins and umpteen books…I am convinced your course is best $100 I have invested in my mandolin journey to date.  Finally, I’m getting the discpline I need with your exercises to learn scales, arpeggios, double stops, fingering techniques, learn the fretboard (the essential tools I need)…and most importantly to learn how those things fit into playing tunes.”—Rick D., Bluegrass Mandolin 101 student




“I have to say that making everything available online is a great convenience for me. Being able to stop and return to a more challenging exercise or a newer phrase is a great for learning. I also really appreciate your availability to answer questions offline. This is a great course, and I feel as though I’m improving daily because of it.”—Joe C., Bluegrass Mandolin 101 student




Save $50 on two courses!  Use the discount code “django” to save $50 when you sign up for your second course. 


Register for Mandolin Chord Melody with Matt Flinner.

See other courses offered this fall.


This course is all about chords!  Chord inversions will be explored around the fretboard in various keys, and students will learn how to play melodies using those chord inversions as melodic and harmonic foundations.  Each week, two solo arrangements of swing/jazz standard tunes will be given in which the melody is played as the top note (or often passing notes) of the chord; as the melody moves, the chord inversions move accordingly, creating a full, rich sounding solo arrangement on, of all things, the mandolin.  Students will also be given tips on using these chords to accompany other soloists, as well as ways of using chord inversions and chord melody technique in improvisation.   It’s a great way to become not only a better solo mandolinist, but a much better accompanist as well!  

This course is intended for students at an intermediate/advanced level.  


Mandolin Chord Melody Curriculum (Oct 5-Dec 9)


WEEK 1 (Oct 5)

Intro to Chord Melody

Dominant 7 Chord Inversions

Scales over dominant 7 chords

Bright Mississippi

Bags’ Groove


WEEK 2 (Oct 11)

Major 7 chord inversions 

Scales over major 7 chords

Bye Bye Blackbird

Jeepers Creepers


WEEK 3 (Oct 18)

Minor 7 chord inversions

Scales over minor 7 chords

Moving from minor 7 to dominant 7 chords

Georgia on My Mind

The Days of Wine and Roses


WEEK 4 (Oct 25)

A Couple of Waltzes

More moving chord inversions

Alice in Wonderland



WEEK 5 (Nov 2)

Putting it together

Some 4-note Chords

Fly Me to the Moon

As Time Goes By


WEEK 6 (Nov 14)

Diminished Chords

Diminished chord inversions

Scales over diminished chords

It’s Only a Paper Moon

There Is No Greater Love


WEEK 7 (Nov 29)

Augmented chords

Scales over augmented chords

Using the augmented chord as a V chord

Mood Indigo

Pennies from Heaven


WEEK 8 (Dec 6)

Starting to improvise chord melody

Further use of chord inversions

ii-V-I inversions

Adding melodic lines between chords

Sweet Georgia Brown

Satin Doll


The course fee is $225.  

Save $50 on two courses!  Use the discount code “django” to save $50 when you sign up for your second course. 


Register here.

See other courses offered this fall.

2 comments on “Mandolin Chord Melody Curriculum (Oct 5-Dec 9)

  1. Kathy Webster says:

    Which of the above classes are for beginners?

    • flinner says:

      Hi Kathy,

      The Swing Mandolin 101 course will be the easiest, but I’d say it’s for intermediate players—advanced beginners could probably be fine as well. But it will assume knowledge of some chords, and the ability to play some tunes will be really helpful as well.
      I hope that helps! You’re welcome to join the course, and if you find after the first session or two that’s it’s too advanced, I can give you a full refund. Let me know if you have any other questions.
      Matt Flinner

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