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Matt Flinner

American Roots Mandolin Curriculum (1/8-3/21)


“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 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.






Register for the American Roots Mandolin course


See the Rhythm Mandolin with Matt Flinner curriculum

See the Advanced Swing Mandolin Soloing with Matt Flinner curriculum


The Bluegrass Mandolin 101 program is excited to offer a new course exploring the many sounds of early 20th Century mandolin styles from (mostly) rural America.  Blues, ragtime, Dixieland, old-time, stomps and early swing will be explored in this course, and we’ll look at the common threads between these styles as well as the differences.  Two tunes will be given each week for students to choose from, along with exercises to help students improve their technique, learn the fretboard and gain tools for playing lead and rhythm in the various styles.  

The course is intended for intermediate students, or for students simply interested in expanding their musical horizons!  

Classes meet online on Wednesday evenings at 9 pm eastern time, with follow-up practice sessions on Saturdays at 12:30 pm eastern time.  The weeks of February 19th and March 4th will be off due to Matt’s touring schedule.  Eight class sessions and eight practice sessions will be held over the course of 10 weeks.  


Register here.


Here is the curriculum: 


WEEK 1 (1/8)


Picking exercise I

Blues rhythm patterns

Seventh chords

Blue notes and licks

Sliding Delta

Midnight Special


WEEK 2 (1/15)


Picking Exercise II

A few melodic runs

Chromatic melody exercise

Ole Miss

Muskrat Ramble


WEEK 3 (1/22)


Finding roots in chord progressions

Melodic lines for rags

Picking Exercise III

Red Pepper Rag

1919 Rag


WEEK 4 (1/29)

String Band Rags

Picking exercise IV

Rhythm exercise I

More melodic lines 

Mandolin Rag

Dallas Rag 


WEEK 5 (2/5)


Rhythm exercise II

Down-picking exercise I

Some more blues ideas

1944 Stomp

Jackson Stomp


WEEK 6 (2/12)

Early Swing

Swing rhythm exercise

A few basic swing chords

Chord tone exercise

Grandpa’s Spells 

Sheik of Araby


WEEK 7 (2/26)


More chord tones

A couple of ways to navigate jazz progressions

Chord inversions

I’m Confessin’

My Melancholy Baby


WEEK 8 (3/11)

Bringing various styles together

Soloing in blues, swing and Appalachian styles 

Comparing rhythm in blues, swing and Appalachian styles

Careless Love

Sittin’ on Top of the World


The course fee is $225.  Register here.

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