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Matt Flinner

Old-Time Mandolin 101: Old-Time Songs and the Carter Family Curriculum (1/11-3/12)





“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.




“This is the best learning format ever and I like your approach very much.”—Marty C.







Register for Old Time Mandolin 101: Songs and Rhythm with Matt Flinner


See the Old Time Mandolin 102: Tunes and Techniques curriculum (Jan 12-March 19)

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


This course will focus on getting students more familiar with Appalachian old-time songs and help them improve their mandolin fundamentals along the way.  Students will get pointers on how to maximize their tone, various approaches to rhythm playing and chords, making use of open strings, double stops as well as learning a new song (or two or three!) each week.  Each week, we’ll look at two standard songs from the old-time repertoire, plus one song from the Carter Family (some of which are also part of the old-time repertoire).  We’ll learn ways of playing lead starting with simple melodies, then gradually progressing to more advanced concepts such as adding double stops, changing octaves, stepping away from the melody and more.

The course is intended for students at a beginner to intermediate level.  More advanced students may benefit from the tone exercises and focus on fundamentals (plus learn some great tunes!).  


60-minute class sessions take place online every Monday evening from January 11th to March 7th at 9 pm eastern time, and 45-minute practice/review sessions take place every Saturday morning from January 16th through March 12th at 10 am eastern time.  The week of February 7th is off due to Matt’s tour schedule.  

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 (1/10)

Backup in D

Picking Exercise I

Getting a full tone with open strings

Been All Around this World

I Wish I Was a Mole in the Ground

Fond Affection


WEEK 2 (1/17)

Backup in G

Drone strings in G

Picking Exercise II

Peg and Awl 

Way Down in North Carolina

Cannonball Blues


WEEK 3 (1/24)

Using some double stops in lead and backup

Double Stop Exercise I

Mixing lead and backup

Chilly Winds 

I Truly Understand 

When the Springtime Comes Again 


WEEK 4 (1/31)

Backup in A

Getting some blue notes in your playing

Double Stop Exercise II

Old Jaw Bone 

Skillet Good and Greasy 

Broken Hearted Lover 


WEEK 5 (2/14)


Waltz time backup

Double Stop Exercise III

The Blackest Crow 

Jack of Diamonds 

Beautiful Isle o’er the Sea


WEEK 6 (2/21)

Playing in C

Open drone strings in C

Double Stop Exercise IV

Say Darling Say 

Rove Riley Rove 

Faded Flowers 


WEEK 7 (2/28)

Getting the tempo up

Picking exercises for speed

Backup on faster tunes

The Coo-Coo

Fall on My Knees

Little Joe


WEEK 8 (3/7)

Tying it all together

Drone strings, octave changes and blues

More double stops in backup

Way Down the Old Plank Road 

Hop High My Lulu Gal 

 When Silver Threads Are Gold Again 


The course fee is $225. 

One comment on “Old-Time Mandolin 101: Old-Time Songs and the Carter Family Curriculum (1/11-3/12)

  1. Jack Brull says:

    Hey matt, i am thinking of joining the old time 101 class. I am pretty new to mandolin and have mostly been playing chords and trying to learn more about single note and double stops and learning melodies? i am not all that familiar with old time songs but i guess this may be more approachable than jumping into bill monroe type playing? i waws wondering if you think this class would meet my needs- i jam with buddies but my mando playing leans more to folk rock stuff but at this point (atlantic city, wagon wheel, oh la la, I’ll fly away etc). i am hoping to learn more fiddle songs and learning to move past simple melody playing on songs like soldiers joy, salt creek etc). Let me know if you think this class would be a decent fit? Thanks Jack

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