“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.
“After buying six mandolins and umpteen books…I am convinced your course is best $100 I have invested in my mandolin journey to date. Finally, I’m getting the discpline I need with your exercises to learn scales, arpeggios, double stops, fingering techniques, learn the fretboard (the essential tools I need)…and most importantly to learn how those things fit into playing tunes.”—Rick D.
The Bluegrass Mandolin 101 program is pleased to offer courses this spring focusing on the American fiddle tune repertoire! Plus a brand-new course on playing the octave mandolin. 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 Octave Mandolin Techniques will start up March 29, 30 and 31.
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 29-May 29): 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 for Mandolin (March 30-May 29): 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, 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.
Octave Mandolin Techniques (March 31-May 29): This course will explore the wonders of that rare but fun-to-play instrument, the octave mandolin. This course will teach students how to play backup in various keys plus lead on fiddle tunes, folk melodies, Irish tunes and more. Hints on how to get around on this bigger instrument will help students play melodies and backup with more facility and flexibility. The course is intended for students of all ability levels. Exercises will be given at a variety of levels each week, and students will be encouraged to focus on the exercises and/or tunes that are best suited to their level. Students do not necessarily need to have an octave mandolin to take the course; all exercises and tunes can be played on a regular mandolin (though the fingering will be a bit different). Register here.
60-minute classes take place online every Monday (Fiddle Tunes for Mandolin 101), Tuesday (Advanced Fiddle Tunes for Mandolin) or Wednesday (Octave Mandolin Techniques) evening from March 29, 30 or 31 to May 24, 25 or 26 at 9 pm eastern time, and 45-minute practice/review sessions take place every Saturday morning/afternoon from April 3 to May 29. The week of April 26th will be off.
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.
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 whereÂ 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.
If you have questions about any of the courses, email Matt at [email protected]
Here are a few quotes from some past students about their experiences in the Bluegrass Mandolin 101 program:
“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.
“I’ve practiced more in two weeks than I have in months! Really enjoying how it’s going.”—Donna O.
“I have to say that making everything available online is a great convenience for me. Being able to stop and return to a more challenging exercise or a newer phrase is great for learning. I also really appreciate your availability to answer questions offline. This is a great course, and I feel as though I’m improving daily because of it.”—Joe C.
“The level was perfect. Mentally I understand many things that have opened up the fingerboard a lot; now I need some quality time to get it under my hands. I found things challenging without feeling out of reach.”—Stan M.
“I’m really enjoying the course. The first time I’ve actually practiced an instrument in my 60 years!”—Skip H.
To visit the registration pages, click one of these links:
View curricula for each course here: