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Matt Flinner

Western Swing Mandolin Curriculum (April 3-June 8)




“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.


“Your classes are moving me forward so very much. Thank you.” —Jean C.




Register by February 17th and save $75!


Register for Western Swing Mandolin with Matt Flinner


See the Swing Mandolin 101 curriculum

See the Mandolin Chord Melody curriculum



New this spring, Western Swing Mandolin with Matt Flinner will take students on a journey through the music of Texas dance halls in the 1930s and 40s.  Drawing mostly from the music of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, but also the likes of Milton Brown, Hank Thompson and Spade Cooley, the course will introduce students to the unique combination of early country music and jazz that became Western Swing.  Students will learn one (or two if they choose) standard song per week, and will be given exercises to help them play lead as well as backup, all with the intent of getting more familiar with the harmonically rich vocabulary of Western Swing Music.  We’ll also look at at least one solo per week by one of the greats (Johnny Gimble, Tiny Moore, Leon McAuliffe, etc.) in this style.  

This course is intended for intermediate-level students, though students at all levels who are intersted in Western Swing may find it helpful.  A minimum rudimentary knowledge of chords and some fiddle tune melodies is recommended.  


Here is the curriclum: 


WEEK 1 (April 3)

Simple chord progressions

Looking at chord tones

A few melodic lines


Take Me Back to Tulsa


WEEK 2 (April 17)

Extensions: 9 and 13 chords

Sugar Moon

Corrine, Corrina

Miss Molly


WEEK 3 (April 24)

Using arpeggios

Major, Dominant and Minor arpeggio exercises


Steel Guitar Rag

Taking Off


WEEK 4 (May 1)

More with chord tones

Some more melodic lines

Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette

Driving Nails in My Coffin


WEEK 5 (May 8)

I-VI-II-V Progressions

Lines over the I-VI-II-V progression

I Hear You Talking’

Roly Poly


WEEK 6 (May 22)

A bit of twin fiddle harmony

Creating harmonies based on chord tones

Faded Love

San Antonio Rose


WEEK 7 (May 29) 

Diatonic arpeggio lines

Fat Boy Rag

Three Guitar Special


WEEK 8 (June 5)

Tying it all together

Arpeggios, melodic lines, chord tones, extensions

Yellow Rose of Texas

Remington Ride


The course fee is $225.  Register by February 17th for just $150!


Register here for Western Swing Mandolin with Matt Flinner



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