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Matt Flinner

Octave Mandolin Techniques with Matt Flinner Curriculum (1/8-3/16)



“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 Tune Harmony with Matt Flinner curriculum (1/9-3/16)

See the Celtic Mandolin with Matt Flinner curriculum (1/3-3/2)


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.  


Register here.


Here is the curriculum for the Octave Mandolin Techniques course: 



WEEK 1 (1/8)

Basics of playing in open keys

Rhythm Exercise I

Fingerings for melodies

Picking Exercise I

Sail Away Ladies

Sweet Sunny South


WEEK 2 (1/15)

Waltz time

Rhythm Exercise II

Using a capo for various keys

3-note chords

Green Grown the Laurel

Paddy’s Green Shamrock Shore


WEEK 3 (1/22)

Songs in minor keys

Picking Exercise II

Rhythm Exercise III


Graycoat Soldiers (Norman Blake)


WEEK 4 (1/29)

Irish tunes

Rhythm on reels

Double stops in backup playing

Double Stop Exercise I

My Love Is in America

The Wind that Shakes the Barley

Ships Are Sailing


WEEK 5 (2/5)

Arpeggiating chords in rhythm playing

Picking Exercise III

Adding basslines

Farewell to Ballymoney

As I Roved Out


WEEK 6 (2/12)

Irish tunes II

Rhythm on jigs

Picking Exercise IV

Tripping Up the Stairs

Blarney Pilgrim

The Queen of the Rushes


WEEK 7 (2/26)

Contemporary songs

More advanced chord progressions

Adding counterpoint lines

It All Comes Down to Love

Don’t Let Me Come Home a Stranger


WEEK 8 (3/11)

Tying it all together 

Picking Exercise IV

Using a mix of double stops and single lines in soloing & backup

More with double stops and counterpoint

The Good Ship Kangaroo

Si Beag, Si Mohr

Thousands Are Sailing to Amerikay




The course fee is $225. 

Register for Octave Mandolin Techniques with Matt Flinner

4 comments on “Octave Mandolin Techniques with Matt Flinner Curriculum (1/8-3/16)

  1. Kevin Thomas says:

    Matt, I am in the UK and your teaching session times may be difficult for me, but your course sounds very attractive. More details on timing, please?

    • Hi Kevin,

      The class times are Monday evenings at 9 pm eastern time in the U.S., is understandably prohibitive for you in the U.K. (I believe that would be 2 am for you!). The practice/review sessions take place on Saturdays at 10 am eastern time, which should be 3 pm for you—hopefully that would work for you! All of the class sessions and practice/review sessions are recorded and uploaded to the class site as soon as possible so that students can review them at their convenience and re-watch them as much as they’d like. I do have several students who cannot make many of the class sessions for various reasons (being in the U.K. and Europe among them) who use the recorded sessions, and it seems to work well for them. The disadvantage is not being there to be able to ask questions on the spot—though there is a class website where you can ask questions and start discussions, and you can also email me directly.
      I hope that helps! Please let me know if you have any other questions.
      Thank you, Kevin!

  2. Don McBride says:

    Not sure if I did this correctly. I clicked a link and registered for the January octave classes and got a confirmation email but didn’t get a way to pay for it. Trying this link and hoping I don’t duplicate efforts.

    • Hi Don,

      You are all set! You should have received an invoice via PayPal not long after you registered. Let me know if you have any other questions for now. Looking forward to having you in the class!

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