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Matt Flinner

Fiddle Tunes 101, Advanced Fiddle Tunes & Building Mandolin Technique Start 3/27-29





“I have done some online courses, some one-on-one instruction and some camps.  The course I just finished with you has been the most useful by a pretty large margin.  Thanks for both the thought and effort that went into the design and material preparation and for the personal presence you bring to it.”—Steve F



“This was the best online learning experience I’ve ever had.  And,  for the time and money, the best music learning experience in any format: DVD, video, group, or individual live lessons.”—Christine R.








Fiddle Tunes for Mandolin 101                                    Curriculum               Registration

Advanced Fiddle Tunes and Improv for Mandolin          Curriculum               Registration

Building Mandolin Technique                                      Curriculum               Registration



The Bluegrass Mandolin 101 program is pleased to offer courses this spring focusing on the American fiddle tune repertoire!  Plus a brand-new course to help you improve your fundamentals.  Courses are offered for a variety of ability levels and interests, and are intended to help students improve their technique and learn the fretboard while learning some great tunes.   Fiddle Tunes for Mandolin 101, Advanced Fiddle Tunes for Mandolin and Building Mandolin Technique will start up March 27, 28 and 29.

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!  


Fiddle Tunes for Mandolin 101 (March 27-June 3): This course will introduce students to the core of bluegrass/fiddle tune repertoire and help them improve their mandolin technique along the way.  Exercises in scales, arpeggios double stops, backup, and creating variations will give students the tools they need to move forward in their playing and enable them to play more comfortably on their own or with other players in jam sessions.  The course is recommended for students at a beginner (though absolute beginners may find it too difficult) to intermediate level.  Register here.

Advanced Fiddle Tunes and Improvisation for Mandolin (March 28-June 3): This course is intended to help students learn some more advanced tunes and get tips on how to create variations and/or improvise.  Students will be given new concepts and exercises each week, along with a new tune (plus a bonus tune for more ambitious students) to help improve technique, get tips on playing up the neck and in various keys, make better use of practice time, get more familiar with bluegrass and old-time fiddle tunes and have more fun jamming with others.  The course is recommended for students at an intermediate to advanced level.  Register here.

Building Mandolin Technique (March 29-June 3) is intended to help students improve their technique in both the right and left hand, and to give students a more solid understanding of the fretboard while getting ideas of the “tools” used in soloing and rhythm playing.  Each week, students will be given a handful of exercises in the areas of picking technique, fingering technique, scales, arpeggios, chords, double stops and tremolo.  We’ll also look at a tune each week—from old-time, bluegrass, swing, classical or the Beatles—and try applying concepts from the exercises to them.  The goal is to help students play with more ease and better tone, and to get ideas to help them advance more quickly and have more fun playing with others.  The course is intended for students at any level who want to improve their skills, though absolute beginners will likely find it too difficult.  Knowledge of some fiddle tunes and basic chords and rhythm playing is a must!  Register here



60-minute classes take place online every Monday (Fiddle Tunes for Mandolin 101), Tuesday (Advanced Fiddle Tunes for Mandolin) or Wednesday (Building Mandolin Technique) evening from March 27, 28 or 29 to May 29, 30 or 31 at 9 pm eastern time, and 45-minute practice/review sessions take place every Saturday morning/afternoon from April 1 to June 3.  The weeks of April 24th and May 8th will be off due to Matt’s travel schedule.

ALSO: we’ve added Europe-friendly times for the Advanced Fiddle Tunes for Mandolin course!  Class sessions will  take place on Tuesdays at 2 pm eastern time (7 or 8 pm in the UK and most of Europe) in addition to the 9 pm eastern time class time.  Students are invited to attend either or both of the sessions (both will be essentially the same).  

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.



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 course fee is $225 for each course.  


If you have questions about any of the courses, email Matt at [email protected]


Register here:

Register for Fiddle Tunes for Mandolin 101 with Matt Flinner

Register for Advanced Fiddle Tunes and Improvisation for Mandolin with Matt Flinner

Register for Building Mandolin Technique with Matt Flinner


6 comments on “Fiddle Tunes 101, Advanced Fiddle Tunes & Building Mandolin Technique Start 3/27-29

  1. Edward L Schmid says:

    I’m interested in the Double Stops course but may not be able to participate in on-line sessions. What do you suggest?

    Ed Schmid

    • Hi Ed,

      All class sessions are recorded and uploaded to the class website by the following day, so you can view them any time after-the-fact. Several students seem to prefer this option, as they might have conflicts with work, different time zones, etc. Also, all class videos (including class sessions and practice sessions) are downloadable, so students can keep them and watch them offline any time.
      I hope that helps! And hope to see you in class.

      Thanks Ed!
      Matt Flinner

  2. Edward L Schmid says:

    Hi Matt,
    You mentioned that the Double Stops II course was discounted for folks that took the DS I course. What would be my cost?

    Ed Schmid

    • Hi Ed,

      Students taking consecutive courses receive a $25 discount. I’ll have it set up shortly on the registration page so that you can just sign up and then you’ll receive an invoice which will reflect the discount.

      Looking forward to having you in class again! Let me know if you have any other questions.


  3. Mark Bonitatebus says:

    Would you recommend this class for a beginner mandolin player? Or should I take something different? I am an acoustic guitar player for the last 5 years. Thanks Mark

    • Hi Mark,

      Knowing some basic chords and a handful of tunes is really helpful, but I imagine you’ll be able to get off to a pretty quick start with skills you can bring from the guitar. You can always try out the Bluegrass Mandolin 101 course for a week or two, and if it doesn’t work for you for any reason, you can withdraw for a full refund.
      Let me know if you have any other questions. Hope to see you in class!


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