This course has concluded. To view the current list of courses offered, visit the Winter Online Course page.
Bluegrass Mandolin for Beginners is an eight-week online program designed to give the beginning mandolin student a solid foundation in basic mandolin technique, and help students start playing actual songs and tunes from the start. Chords, picking exercises, fingering exercises, rhythm exercises as well as tunes and songs will be taught each week in a progressive curriculum to help students establish good habits and enable them to advance more quickly in their mandolin playing.
The eight-week course begins on October 6th and runs until December 13th. Class sessions will take place every Monday evening from 8-8:45 pm central time, and follow-up practice sessions will take place every Saturday morning from 9-9:45 am central time (Matt will be taking off the weeks of October 27 and November 24 off due to his tour schedule and the Thanksgiving holiday; there will be eight class sessions and eight practice sessions over a ten-week period). All class sessions and practice sessions will be recorded so that students can revisit the lessons as often as they’d like to, and students who are unable to attend any of the live sessions can view the lessons at their own convenience.
During the live sessions, students can ask questions and/or play examples via their microphone (built-in or external plug-in), or they can ask questions via a built-in chat window.
All students will also have unlimited access to short recorded videos of all of the material played at a slow tempo, PDFs of all material in both standard notation and mandolin tablature, and mp3s of all of the tunes at slow and medium speeds that they can practice along with. Students can access all of this material at any time through the class website, and can also download all materials (videos and class session videos included) to keep them permanently.
Students are also encouraged to submit mp3 recordings at any time during the course if they would like to, and the instructor will respond in an mp3 recording with constructive criticism. Students can submit these mp3s either privately via email or publicly via the class website, where all students can listen and respond if they choose to. Mp3 submissions are encouraged but not required, and there is no limit on how many mp3 submissions a student can send in.
Students will also be given a “Recommended Listening” list each week for the material covered. A variety of versions of each tune will be provided in the hopes that students will listen to recordings and further explore the wide world of recorded bluegrass and old-time music.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED TO PARTICIPATE:
1. A desktop or laptop Mac or PC computer, iPad or Internet-connected mobile device in order to view the sessions, plus a good internet connection.
2. An internal microphone and speakers on your laptop or desktop computer, or a phone to listen and speak (if desired) during the sessions. Instructions for participating by phone are included when you register for the course (long distance charges may apply).
3. During the course, you have the option of submitting recorded examples of your playing to the instructor (and to the group, if desired). In order to do this, you will need your computer’s built-in microphone or an external microphone plugged directly into your computer (via built-in ports or an external audio interface), in addition to basic audio recording software, such as Audacity or Garage Band, that will allow you to record yourself playing andsave the recording in MP3 format.
4. A mandolin (actually maybe that should have been #1).
The fee for the course is $150. If you have questions about the course, email Matt at [email protected]
Register for Mandolin for Beginners here.
MANDOLIN FOR BEGINNERS CURRICULUM
Getting familiar with the mandolin
How to choose a pick, mandolin set-up and tuning
A Few Chords
A Few Picking Patterns
Playing chords on Will the Circle Be Unbroken
Bonus material: This Land is Your Land
Picking Pattern 2
Chords in A
A Major scale
BIle Them Cabbage Down
Bonus material: Woody’s Rag
Picking pattern 3
Fingering Exercise I
D major scale
Angeline the Baker
Bonus material: Wildwood Flower
Picking pattern 4
A few minor chords
G major scale
Old Joe Clark
Bonus material: Shady Grove
Adding ornaments, Slides and Hammer-ons
Fingering Exercise II
Playing rhythm in Waltz time
Rhythm on Goodnight Irene
Bonus material: Eighth of January
Getting to know the neck a little better
Closed position A major scale
Three Closed position chords
Red Haired Boy
Bonus material: Over the Waterfall
Intro to position playing
A few double stops
Bluegrass “Chop Chords”
Will the Circle Be Unbroken
Bonus material: I’ll Fly Away
Transitions between lead and rhythm
Trying other keys (with tunes from week 7)
Bonus material: Blackberry Blossom
Questions? Email Matt: [email protected]