“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.
The Bluegrass Mandolin 101 program is pleased to offer three courses this fall focusing on rhythm, roots and swing! 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. Rhythm Mandolin, Advanced Swing Mandolin Soloing and American Roots will start up January 6, 7 and 8.
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!
Rhythm Mandolin (January 6-March 21): This course is intended to help students learn and improve in various styles of rhythm playing. Students will start with basic chord forms and rhythms and gradually expand into various inversions, double stops and melodic “fills.” Songs will be taught in various keys to help students learn the fretboard and be better prepared for playing along in jam sessions, and various styles from folk to bluegrass to swing to blues will be explored to help students improve their sense of time and expand their musical pallette. This course is intended for beginning to intermediate students, or for ay students who want to improve their backup playing skills. Register here.
Advanced Swing Mandolin Soloing (January 7-March 21): This course is intended to help students learn some more advanced concepts in swing mandolin. Solos by jazz mandolin masters Jethro Burns, Tiny Moore and Johnny Gimble will be taught each week, along with some solos by other string instrumental masters including Charlie Christian, Django Reinhardt, Stuff Smith and Joe Venuti. Students will be given two transcribed solos on jazz standards to choose from each week, along with some analyses of the solos and supplementary exercises to help them learn more of the fretboard and apply various musical concepts in their own playing. This course is intended for intermediate to advanced level students. Register here.
American Roots Mandolin (January 8-March 21): This course will focus on mandolin music from the early part of the 20th century, when the mandolin was commonly heard played in string bands as well as ragtime bands, jug bands and by blues artists. Each week, students will receive two tunes to choose from along with several related exercises and suggestions for playing rhythm in various styles including blues, Dixieland, ragtime, old-time, stomps and early swing. The course is recommended for students at an intermediate level, or for any students interested in learning various under-explored mandolin styles! Register here.
60-minute classes take place online every Monday (Rhythm Mandolin), Tuesday (Advanced Swing Mandolin Soloing) or Wednesday (American Roots Mandolin) evening from January 6, 7 or 8 to March 10, 11 or 16 at 9 pm eastern time, and 45-minute practice/review sessions take place every Saturday morning/afternoon from January 11 to March 21. There will be two weeks off due to Matt’s tour schedule; each course will have eight class sessions and eight practice sessions over the course of 10 weeks.
ALSO: we’ve added Europe-friendly times for the Advanced Swing Mandolin Soling 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 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 the American Roots and Advanced Swing Mandolin Soloing courses, and $175 for the Rhythm Mandolin course.
If you have questions about any of the courses, email Matt at [email protected]
View curricula for each course here: