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Matt Flinner

Octave Mandolin Techniques with Matt Flinner Curriculum, 3/31-5/29



“Your method, approach, pace and materials are the best I’ve seen in my years of perpetual learning.”—Jim H.


“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 course was exactly what I have been looking for.  It was well structured with a ton of good material.  I like that fact that we were given tunes to learn but also tools that allows me expand the lessons beyond the course tunes to others that I already know.”—Todd M.








Register for Octave Mandolin Techniques with Matt Flinner


See the Fiddle Tunes for Mandolin 101 curriculum

See the Advanced Fiddle Tunes for Mandolin curriculum


Join Matt Flinner for an online course exploring the wonders of that rare but fun-to-play instrument, the octave mandolin.  This course will teach students how to play backup in various keys plus lead on fiddle tunes, folk melodies, Irish tunes and more.  Hints on how to get around on this bigger instrument will help students play melodies and backup with more facility and flexibility.  Each week, students will be given two songs or tunes to learn lead (if they want to) and backup to, along with exercises to help make more sense of the fretboard and help students make the most of this beautiful instrument.  

The course is intended for students of all ability levels.  Exercises will be given at a variety of levels each week, and students will be encouraged to focus on the exercises and/or tunes that are best suited to their level.  Students do not necessarily need to have an octave mandolin to take the course; all exercises and tunes can be played on a regular mandolin—though the fingering will be different.  

Here is the curriculum for the Octave Mandolin Techniques course: 



WEEK 1 (3/31)

Playing basic chord progressions in G, D and A

Using open chords and some variants

Adding basslines in rhythm playing

Nine Pound Hammer

When You and I Were Young, Maggie


WEEK 2 (4/7)

Using a capo for difficult keys

Fingering melodies I

Scales in G, D and A

Using open strings and chords

Sweet Sunny South

Billy Gray


WEEK 3 (4/14)

Three note chords

Adding some minor chords

More basslines

Cold Frosty Morning

Rights of Man Hornpipe


WEEK 4 (4/21) 

A couple of fiddle tunes

Adding slides to melodies

Crosspicking patterns

Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine

Elk River Blues


WEEK 5 (5/5)

Double stops in lead and backup

Double stop exercise in D

Getting up the neck a little

If I Had a Boat

Poor Ellen Smith


WEEK 6 (5/12)

Irish tunes

Playing lead and rhythm on jigs

Picking Exercise II

Strumming patterns on jigs

Double stops in backup II

Tripping Up the Stairs

Merrily Kiss the Quaker


WEEK 7  (5/19)

Irish Tunes II

Double stops in backup III

Using chord substitutions

The Musical Priest



WEEK 8 (5/26)

Tying it all together

More advanced fingerings

Double stops and 3-note chords in lead playing

Ships Are Sailing

Arthur McBride


The course fee is $225.  Register here.

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