facebook twitter youtube
join the email list.

Matt Flinner

Music Theory for Mandolin Players Curriculum (9/30-11/21)




“Thanks for the terrific class! I had my mandolin lurking in the corner for 9 months before I took this class. I played with it now and then but felt out of my depth, having only played piano in the past. A few weeks into your class, I couldn’t put down my mandolin, practicing far more than my kids want me to. In addition to the wonderful tunes we learned in class, I started to pick out other melodies like Christmas carols, simple gifts, harry potter, star wars; anything I hear I want to find it on the mandolin.”—Randy R.





“Your classes are the best and most successful learning approach for me, Thank you.”—-Eric B.  







Register for Music Theory for Mandolin Players 


See the Folk and Bluegrass Mandolin Rhythm curriculum

See the Swing Mandolin Rhythm curriculum



Welcome to the Music Theory for Mandolin Players online course!  This course is intended to help students learn more about the mandolin fretboard and learn some music theory along they way as they progress through a series of exercises week by week.  Students will be given a mix of scale, arpeggio, chord, transposition and ear training exercises each week to help them find their way around the fretboard in various keys.  We’ll also do a bit of musical analysis on some familiar melodies and chord progressions from folk and rock/pop music (leaning heavily toward the Beatles).  Students at all levels are encouraged to participate, though the course will likely be most beneficial to students at an upper beginner to higher intermediate level. 

Class sessions meet every Wednesday evening from September 30th to November 18th at 9 pm eastern time, and practice/review sessions meet every Saturday from October 3rd to November 21st at 12:30 pm eastern time.  

Students are encouraged to attend the live sessions to be able to interact more directly with the instructor, but live attendance is NOT required.  Students will be able to view the recordings of all of the sessions any time afterward as often as they want through the class website.

Students are encouraged to prioritize certain exercises according to their ability level, and are given the option of adding to many of the exercises in order to further challenge themselves if they wish to.  Part of the intent of the course is to challenge students at a variety of levels, and to help students advance their playing, learn new musical ideas and have more fun playing the mandolin regardless of their ability level.


Register for Music Theory for Mandolin Players



WEEK 1 (9/30)

Major Scales

Numbering notes in the scale

Transposing melodies

Chord study #1 

I-IV-V Progressions 

Melodic exercise I: You Are My Sunshine


WEEK 2 (10/7)

Minor Scales

Chord study #2

Ear training exercise #1

Scale exercise I

Melodic Exercise II: Shady Grove


WEEK 3 (10/14)


Diatonic chord exercise

Closed position scales

Scale Exercise II

Chord study #3

Melodic Exercise III: Eleanor Rigby


WEEK 4 (10/21)

Chord Inversions

Chord tones as melodic devices

Chord tones as improv devices

Arpeggio Exercise I

Melodic Exercise IV and analysis: The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down


WEEK 5 (10/28)

Interval studies

Double stops as chord tones

Ear training exercise #2

Scale Exercise III

Arpeggio Exercise II

Melodic Exercise V: Layla (outro)


WEEK 6 (11/4)

Dominant 7 chords

Types of cadences

Voice leading in cadences

Secondary dominants

Ear training exercise #3

Melodic Exercise VI: Something 


WEEK 7 (11/11)


Common tones in chords

Chord exercise #3 (using common tones to find chords)

Scale Exercise III

Arpeggio Exercise III

Melodic Exercise VII: Penny Lane


WEEK 8 (11/18)


More with modulation

Scale and arpeggio review

Ear Training Exercise #4

Melodic Exercise VIII: Yesterday


The course fee is $175.  

Register here.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Other news

Selected Discography

The View From Here

The View From Here

Walking on the Moon

Walking on the Moon



Music du jour

Music du jour

Copyright - Matt Flinner - All right Reserved

Skype Me