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Matt Flinner

Appalachian Mandolin Tunes and Techniques Curriculum (1/10-3/10)




“Thanks for the terrific class! I had my mandolin lurking in the corner for 9 months before I took this class. I played with it now and then but felt out of my depth, having only played piano in the past. A few weeks into your class, I couldn’t put down my mandolin.”—Randy R.




“The material chosen for the class was excellent, and I’m already excited for the next session.”—Larry S.







Register here.




See the Bill Monroe Tunes for Mandolin Curriculum

See the Crosspicking Mandolin with Matt Flinner Curriculum 


This course will focus on getting students more familiar with Appalachian fiddle music and old-time songs, and help them improve their mandolin tone and technique along the way.  Students will get pointers on how to maximize their tone, various approaches to rhythm playing and chords, making use of open strings, double stops, bits of variations as well as learning a new tune (or two, or more!) each week.  

The course is intended for students at a beginner to intermediate level.  More advanced students may benefit from the tone exercises and focus on fundamentals (plus learn some great tunes!).  



60-minute classes take place online every Wednesday evening from January 10 to March 7 at 9 pm eastern time, and 45-minute practice/review sessions take place every Saturday afternoon from January 13 to March 10 at 12:15 pm eastern time.  The week of February 5 is off due to Matt’s touring schedule.

NOTE: It is helpful, but not essential, to be present for the live sessions.  All class sessions are recorded and available to view on the class website by the following day.



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.  All class sessions and practice/review sessions are recorded and posted on the class website (usually by the following day) so that students who were unable to attend the live sessions may view them at their own convenience, and all students may review the class videos as often as they wish.

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 old-time and bluegrass music.



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.  The instructor responds to all questions immediately (or between teaching exercises, etc.) on the spot.

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.

There is also a class website where registered students can find all class materials (videos, PDFs, mp3s) anytime.  The site also has a Forum section, where students can ask questions, bring up topics for discussion, etc., in an open forum where the instructor and other students can respond.



1. A desktop or laptop Mac or PC computer, iPad or Internet-connected mobile device (such as iPhone) 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 and save the recording in MP3 format.

4. A mandolin (actually maybe that should have been #1).


The coure fee is $225.


If you have questions about the course, email Matt at [email protected]


Register for Appalachian Mandolin Tunes and Technique with Matt Flinner.


To view other mandolin courses offered this fall, click one of these:

Bill Monroe Tunes for Mandolin Curriculum

Crosspicking Mandolin with Matt Flinner Curriculum


WEEK 1 (1/10)

Key of D

Picking Exercise I

Picking Exercise II

Rhythmic Patterns in D

Rabbit Chase

Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine


WEEK 2 (1/17)

Key of A

Picking Exercise III

Rhythmic Patterns in A with Added Notes

Slides and Anticipations

Train on the Island

Shakin’ Down the Acorns


WEEK 3 (1/24)

Key of G

Some Double Stops

Rhythm Playing in G with Double Stops

Prettiest Girl in the County-O

Barlow Knife


WEEK 4 (1/31)

Some More Double Stops

Rhythm Playing with Added Runs

Octave Variations

Old Molly Hare

Red Rockin’ Chair


WEEK 5 (2/15)

Going Between Octaves

Some “Open” Style Double Stops

Some More Double Stops in Backup

Little Rabbit 



WEEK 6 (2/21)


Rhythm in Waltz Time

Tremolo Picking Exercise

My Own House Waltz 

Jack of Diamonds 


WEEK 7 (2/28)

Key of C

Picking Exercise IV

Picking Exercise V

Playing Backup in C

Take Me Back to Georgia

Tennessee Mountain Fox Chase


WEEK 8 (3/7)

Tying it all together 

Double Stops

Octave Variations

Approches to Rhythm

Walk Along John to Kansas 

Chinquapin Hunting (key of A)

Dog in the Rye Straw 

Lost John 



The coure fee is $225.


Register for Appalachian Tunes and Techniques

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