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Matt Flinner

Celtic Mandolin Curriculum (March 19-May 26)


“Your courses have opened my musical mind, focused my practice and expanded my skill far beyond expectation.”—-Steve F.



“I’ve participated in many online learning programs, but so far, your format is the best I’ve ever seen. I am so pleased I happened upon your courses.”—Gina M.





Register here.

See the Beatles for Mandolin Curriculum.

See the New Acoustic Mandolin Curriculum.


Celtic Mandolin returns this spring!  This course will explore techniques for playing lead and rhythm in traditional Irish fiddle tunes.   Each week, students can choose between three reels, jigs, songs or hornpipes to learn, along with several exercises to help with various aspects of technique.  During the class sessions, Matt will focus on one of the tunes each week, but students are given the option of learning one or two more if they have time, or focusing on one of the other tunes if they so choose.  Rhythm playing and picking technique on reels, hornpipes and jigs will be explored, as well as picking technique for triplets and various ways of playing ornamentations.  The course is recommended for players at an advanced beginner to intermediate level (though advanced players who want to learn some Irish tunes may enjoy it as well!).  


The live class sessions occur online on Monday evenings at 9 pm eastern time, and practice/review sessions take place on Saturdays from 10-10:45 am eastern time.

Students are NOT required to attend all (or any) of the live sessions; all sessions are recorded and uploaded to the class website where they can be viewed after-the-fact at the student’s leisure.  Students also have the option of downloading all class videos and practice videos, as well as all PDFs and practice mp3s for the course, so that they can revisit the materials any time.


Register here.


Here is the curriculum:


WEEK 1 (3/19)

Picking Exercise I

Playing basic rhythm on reels

Rhythm Exercise I

A few scales

The Wind That Shakes the Barley

Rolling in the Rye Grass

The Concertina Reel


WEEK 2 (3/26)

Picking Exercise II

Adding some hammer-on and pull-off ornaments

Varying the octave

Rhythm Exercise II


Tommy People’s

The Crooked Road to Dublin


WEEK 3 (4/9)

A few hornpipes

Adding triplets

Triplet picking exercise

The Boys of Blue Hill

Harvest Home

Stack of Barley


WEEK 4 (4/16)


Picking Exercise IV

Emphasizing the beat in 6/8 time

Playing rhythm on jigs

Rhythm Exercise III

Blarney Pilgrim

Road to Lisdoonvarna

Behind the Haystack


WEEK 5 (4/30)

Using chord inversions in your rhythm playing

Picking Exercise III

Pull-off ornaments

The Silver Spire

The Mason’s Apron

Jenny Picking Cockles


WEEK 6 (5/7)

Accompanying songs

Adding melodic lines behind vocals

Patterns to use on mandolin or octave mandolin

Mary and the Soldier

Paddy’s Green Shamrock Shore

Arthur McBride


WEEK 6 (5/14)

Jigs II

Further rhythmic ideas on jigs

Rhythm Exercise IV

Octave variations

Monaghan’s Jig


The Laurel Tree


WEEK 7 (5/21)

Slip Jigs

Picking Exercise V

Rhythm Exercise V

Patterns in 9/8

The Rocky Road to Dublin

Foxhunter’s Jig

The Salmon’s Leap


WEEK 8 (5/28)

A few more reels

Tying it together: moving chords, ornaments and trills

Farewell to Ireland

The Broken Pledge

Music in the Glen

The Otter’s Holt


The course fee is $225.  Sign up here

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