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Matt Flinner

Old-Time Mandolin 102: Tunes and Techniques with Matt Flinner Curriculum (1/12-3/19)




“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.



“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 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.





Register for Old-Time Mandolin 102: Tunes and Techniques with Matt Flinner


See the Old-Time Mandolin 101: Old-Time Songs and the Carter Family with Matt Flinner curriculum (Jan 10-March 12)

See the Advanced Fiddle Tunes and Improvisation for Mandolin curriculum (Jan 11-March 19)


This course will be heavy on fundamentals: getting students to improve their picking skills, learning double stops in various keys, and improving tone and speed along the way.  Each week, we’ll look at three or four old-time fiddle tunes at various levels of difficulty; students can decide which tune(s) to focus on based on their ability level and interest.  We’ll add various exercises each week to help with difficult picking passages, help students get better tone, and add drone strings and double stops for a fuller sound.  We’ll also look at the similarities between playing lead and rhythm in old-time music, and talk about the mandolin’s unique role as a lead and/or rhythm player; we’ll even blur the lines between lead and backup and find ways of playing in an old-time jam where we can maximize the mandolin’s unique sound.  

The course is intended for students at an intermediate level, but more advanced students may benefit from the picking and tone exercises and the focus on other fundamentals (plus learn a whole lot of great tunes!).  


60-minute class sessions take place online every Wednesday evening from January 12th to March 16th at 9 pm eastern time, and 45-minute practice/review sessions take place every Saturday afternoon from January 16th through March 19th at 12:30 pm eastern time.  The weeks of February 2 and March 9 are off due to Matt’s tour schedule and some family events.  

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.  Here is the curriculum:




WEEK 1 (1/12)

Getting the groove

Picking Exercise I 

Double Stop Exercise I

Rhythm playing in D

Maximizing Your Tone


The Boatman Tune

New Five Cents

Sugar Hill


WEEK 2 (1/19)

Tunes in G

Picking Exercise II

Double Stop Exercise II

Rhythm playing using double stops

Incorporating double stops into your melodies

Corn in the Crib

Lost Girl

Sail Away Ladies


WEEK 3 (1/26)

Making the most of open strings in A

Picking Exercise III

Double Stop Exercise III

Adding Some Notes and Runs in Backup Playing

Using octave changes

Blind Steer in a Mud Hole

Red Steer

Old Greasy Coat


WEEK 4 (2/9)

Tunes in C

Picking Exercise IV

Double Stop Exercise IV

Rhythm options in C

Old Mother McCarthy

Georgia Wagoner

Tennessee Mountain Fox Chase


WEEK 5 (2/16)

Some tunes in minor keys

Minor double stop exercise

More octave changes

Lady of the Lake

Cold Frosty Morning

Cousin Sally Brown


WEEK 6 (2/23)

Going further with octave changes

Double stop transitions between lead and rhythm playing

Picking Exercise V

Double Stop Exercise V

Apple Blossom

Five Miles Out of Town

Johnny Don’t Get Drunk

Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine


WEEK 7 (3/2)

Some more advanced tunes

Further lead/rhythm transitions

Brushy Run


Icy Mountain


WEEK 8 (3/16)

Tying it all together

Octave changes, double stops, drifting in and out of lead and backup

Speed Exercises

Picking Exercise VI

Double Stop Exercise VI

Ida Red

Walk Along John to Kansas

Lost Indian 

John Brown’s Dream


The course fee is $225. 

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