“Your courses have opened my musical mind, focused my practice and expanded my skill far beyond expectation.”—-Steve F.
“I started playing the mandolin a little over two years ago. I played the piano as a child, but having never played a stringed instrument before, my intention was to study as much as I could about technique, theory, improvisation and the various genres of music for the mandolin.
To that end, I have taken nearly every course Matt has offered, even three at a time! Matt is a brilliant teacher. Every course is deep and rich with information. The material is thoughtfully explained, allowing a student to slowly transform the class material into music. I can’t imagine this journey without Matt Flinner. His courses are a true life changing musical experience!”—Lisa S.
The Bluegrass Mandolin 101 program is pleased to offer three new courses for a variety of ability levels and interests this fall! Blues Mandolin, Bach for Mandolin and Bill Monroe Style Mandolin will start up October 1, 2 and 3.
Each course lasts eight weeks, with class sessions on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday evenings (depending on which course it is) and follow-up practice/review sessions on Saturday mornings or afternoons to help you solidify the material while learning practice techniques and getting tips on practice routines.
Students DO NOT need to tune in to the live online sessions, as all class sessions and practice/review sessions are recorded and posted to the class website by the next day for viewing at the students’ convenience. Students are encouraged to attend the live sessions whenever possible, as they can ask questions during the session—plus we’ve found that many students are more likely to practice when they show up for the live sessions!
Blues Mandolin with Matt Flinner (October 1-December 8) will delve into the wonderful world of the blues. Students will get tips on playing rhythm and lead on a variety of blues grooves in various keys, with lots of great soloing ideas given each week based on the playing of many of the great blues mandolin players including Yank Rachell, Johnny Young and Howard Armstrong, among others. The course is intended for players at an advanced beginner to intemediate level, though players at any level who are interested in the blues can find plenty to learn in the course. Register here.
Bach for Mandolin with Matt Flinner (October 2-December 8) dives into the wide world of J.S. Bach. Each week, students are given exercises in various aspects of technique (picking, scales and arpeggios, chord forms, etc.) along with two Bach pieces arranged for mandolin. Pieces will include several two-part inventions, selections from the notebook of Mary Magdalena Bach, the Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin, and several others. Students will get tips on performance of Baroque music as well as a bit of music theory as they learn some great pieces! This course is recommended for intermediate to advanced players. Register here.
Bill Monroe Style Mandolin with Matt Flinner (October 3-December 8) explores the music and mandolin style of Bill Monroe over his long and influential career from the late 1930s to the early 1990s. Various approaches to soloing, including double stops, blues elements, positions on the neck and many unique “Monroe-isms” will be covered. Fundamentals will be included as well, as students will get tips and exercises to help them improve their rhythm, picking and tone. The course is intended for students at an intermediate to advanced level. Register here.
60-minute classes take place online every Monday (Blues Mandolin), Tuesday (Bach for Mandolin) or Wednesday (Bill Monroe Style Mandolin) evening from October 1, 2 or 3 to December 3, 4 or 5 at 9 pm eastern time, and 45-minute practice/review sessions take place every Saturday morning/afternoon from October 6 to December 8. The weeks of October 22 and November 19 are off due to Matt’s touring schedule and the Thanksgiving holiday.
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.
WHAT STUDENTS GET FROM THE COURSE
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.
HOW INTERACTIVE IS THE COURSE?
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.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED TO PARTICIPATE:
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 course fee is $225 for each course. Register by September 15th and save $25!
If you have questions about any of the courses, email Matt at [email protected]
View curricula for each course here: