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Matt Flinner

Folk & Bluegrass Mandolin Rhythm Curriculum, 1/4-3/5






“Your courses have opened my musical mind,  focused my practice and expanded my skill far beyond expectation.”-Steve F.




“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.








Register for Folk and Bluegrass Mandolin Rhythm with Matt Flinner


See the Bluegrass Mandolin 101 with Matt Flinner curriculum (1/9-3/11)

See the Advanced Bluegrass Mandolin Soloing with Matt Flinner curriculum (1/10-3/11)


This course will focus solely on playing rhythm—something we do probably 90% of the time when we’re playing with other people in a jam session or other group settings!  So why not learn some new approaches?  This course will help students learn ways of playing rhythm in bluegrass and folk music, with a bit of blues and “newgrass” mixed in.  Basic chord forms will be given, and the course will gradually build on these into chord inversions, double stops and melodic “fills.”  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.  Some of those exercises will be more basic, and as we go through the class session, the exercises will get more advanced.  Each week, students will be encouraged to focus on the exercises that best suit their ability level.  The goal will be to help students become more adept at playing rhythm in various keys and styles and develop a more solid sense of timing.  

The course is intended for beginning to intermediate-level students (though absolute beginners may find it too advanced as we’ll be moving through chord styles fairly quickly in the first few weeks), or to any students wanting to improve their backup playing. 

The course is also designed to challenge students who took the Rhythm Mandolin course in winter 2020; each week, exercises ranging from fairly easy to advanced will be given for students at various levels of experience.  

Classes meet every Wednesday at 9 pm eastern time, with practice/review sessions on Saturdays at 12:30 pm eastern time.  The week of February 22 is off, so there will be eight weeks of classes in nine weeks time.  


Register here 


Here is the curriculum: 


WEEK 1 (1/4)

Reviewing open style rhythm

Open chords

Basslines between chords

Adding dynamics between phrases

Keep on the Sunny Side of Life

If I Needed You


WEEK 2 (1/11)

Barre style chords

Minor chords in a couple of styles

Bass notes as target notes

Red Rocking Chair

Kentucky Waltz


WEEK 3 (1/18)

Bluegrass Chop chords in various keys

Using fills

More dynamics in rhythm playing

Moving between chord inversions

I’m on My Way Back to the Old Home

John Hardy


WEEK 4 (1/25)

3-note chords 

Moving between inversions

Adding 7th chords

Nine Pound Hammer

I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry


WEEK 5 (2/1)

A bit of blues rhythm

7th chords

Some double stops

Adding some more fills to your backup

See See Rider

How Long Blues


WEEK 6 (2/8)

Newgrass rhythms

Syncopated rhythms 

More double stops in backup

Going between chords and double stops

One More Love Song

White Freightliner


WEEK 7 (2/15)

More advanced chord progressions

Getting smooth transitions between chords

Mixing in different chord styles

Tricky progressions in various positions

Salty Dog Blues

Beaumont Rag


WEEK 8 (3/1)

Putting it all together

Trying various rhythm styles: folk, bluegrass, blues and rock

Adding fills and double stops in various styles

Transposing to various keys

Sittin’ on Top of the World

Trouble in Mind


The course fee is $225. 

Register for Folk and Bluegrass Rhythm Mandolin with Matt Flinner

One comment on “Folk & Bluegrass Mandolin Rhythm Curriculum, 1/4-3/5

  1. Timmons Roberts says:

    Matt happy new year. This Rhythm course is more along the lines of what I want to be able to do–looks great. I do wish the classes were a bit earlier…even an hour would help. I’m usually packing it in about 9. But all OK. Best, Timmons

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