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Matt Flinner

Swing Mandolin Rhythm Curriculum (9/29-12/5)






“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., Bluegrass Mandolin 101 student



“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 a 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., Bluegrass Mandolin 101 student





Register here


See the Folk and Bluegrass Mandolin Rhythm Curriculum

See the Music Theory for Mandolin Players Curriculum


New this fall is a course focusing solely on playing rhythm in swing and jazz—something we do probably 90% of the time when we’re playing with other people in a swing jam session or other group setting!   This course will help students learn how to play backup on 16 swing/jazz standards, using various chord forms in various keys to get a handle on how to play rhythm smoothly and learn more of the fretboard along the way.  Basic chord forms will be given, and the course will gradually build on these into chord inversions, extensions, typical movement within common progressions and, eventually, even a bit of chord melody playing  Songs will be taught in several keys to help students get more comfortable with the fretboard and gain more confidence to be able to play more effectively in jam sessions.  Each week, students will be given chord exercises and rhythm exercises along with two or more songs to practice.  The goal will be to help students become more adept at playing rhythm, develop a more solid sense of timing, and to be able to add chords into melodic soloing.  

The course is intended in general for intermediate-level students, or to any students wanting to explore various styles of backup playing. 

Classes meet every Tuesday at 9 pm eastern time, with practice/review sessions on Saturdays at 11 am eastern time.  The weeks of November 3 and 24 are off, so there will be a total of eight class sessions and eight practice/review sessions over the course of 10 weeks.  


Register for Swing Mandolin Rhythm with Matt Flinner



WEEK 1 (9/29)

Basic swing rhythm

Major chord inversions

Dominant 7 inversions

Moving between inversions in your backup playing

The Sheik of Araby

Sweet Georgia Brown


WEEK 2 (10/6)

Minor chords

Minor chord inversions

Major 6 and Major 7 chords

St. James Infirmary

St. Louis Blues


WEEK 3 (10/13)


ii-V-Is in a couple of positions

Minor 7 chord inversion exercise

Lady Be Good



WEEK 4 (10/20)

Adding some diminished passing chords

Continued work on ii-V-Is in various keys

Moving ii-V-I inversions

Honeysuckle Rose

Night and Day


WEEK 5 (10/27)

Diatonic chord movement

Adding extensions on Dominant 7 chords

ii-V-Is using extensions

Pennies from Heaven

This Can’t Be Love


WEEK 6 (11/10)

Minor ii-V-is

Adding extensions continued

Half-Diminished chord inversions

Autumn Leaves

How High the Moon


WEEK 7 (11/17)


Various inversions in I-VI patterns

Variations and chord substitutions

Stormy Weather

Just You,  Just Me


WEEK 8 (12/1)

Working toward chord melody

Using inversions to create melody

Improvising with chord inversions

Satin Doll

Rose Room



The course fee is $225.  

Register here.



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