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Matt Flinner

Bluegrass Mandolin Jamming Curriculum, 6/10-7/13

By Theme Admin on April 20th, 2024 at 10:35 PM

MattFlinner_pic-202x300.jpg

 

 

“After buying six mandolins and umpteen books…I am convinced your course is best $100 I have invested in my mandolin journey to date.  Finally, I’m getting the discpline I need with your exercises to learn scales, arpeggios, double stops, fingering techniques, learn the fretboard (the essential tools I need)…and most importantly to learn how those things fit into playing tunes.”—Rick D., Bluegrass Mandolin 101 student

 

 

 

 

“I have to say that making everything available online is a great convenience for me. Being able to stop and return to a more challenging exercise or a newer phrase is a great for learning. I also really appreciate your availability to answer questions offline. This is a great course, and I feel as though I’m improving daily because of it.”—Joe C., Bluegrass Mandolin 101 student

 

 

 

 

Register by 5/19 and save $25!

Register for Bluegrass Mandolin Jamming with Matt Flinner

 

See the Mandolin Tune Studies Curriculum (6/11-7/13)

See the Mandolin Picking Intensive Curriculum (6/12-7/13)

 

 

This course is intended to help the aspiring mandolinist build up repertoire and find ways of creating new solos over commonly played standards; it’s also designed in the hope that it will encourage students to get out and jam with other players!

Each week, we’ll look at four bluegrass standard tunes.  Students will be given lead sheets (in standard notation and tablature) for each song, as well as a few exercises to help them learn more about the fretboard and start incorporating new ideas into their solos.  Concepts and tunes will be taught during the class session, and all tunes will be revisited during Saturday practice sessions in a “jam session” format, where each song is played several times though, and students have the opportunity to try out some of the week’s concepts on the tunes (with guidance from Matt).

Classes meet every Monday evening from June 10 to July 8  (the week of July 1 is off due to Matt’s touring schedule) at 9 pm eastern time.  There will also be 45-minute practice/review sessions every Saturday at 10 am eastern time.

 

 

The course fee is $125.  Register by 5/19 and save $25!

Register for Bluegrass Mandolin Jamming with Matt Flinner

 

 

Here is the curriculum:

 

WEEK 1 (6/10)

Key of G

Positions in G

Double stops in G

Going between single notes and double stops

On and On

I’ve Lived a Lot in My Time

Stony Point

Before I Met You

 

WEEK 2 (6/17)

Adding some blues

Using bluesy double stops

A few bluesy licks

I Am a Pilgrim

Freeborn Man

Carroll County Blues

Mr. Engineer

 

WEEK 3 (6/24)

Tunes Using Minor Chords

A Variety of Minor Chord shapes

E Minor Scales and Patterns

Throwing in Some Minor Double Stops

500 Miles

Friend of the Devil

Foggy Mountain Breakdown

One More Dollar

 

WEEK 4 (7/8)

Some more challenging chord progressions

Finding double stops in chord progressions (r-3 as a starting point)

Using chord tones in soloing

I Know What It Means to Be Lonesome

Midnight Moonlight

Cuckoo’s Nest

Raised By the Railroad Line

 

 

The course fee is $125.  Register by 5/19 for just $100!


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Mandolin Tune Studies Curriculum (6/11-7/13)

By Theme Admin on April 20th, 2024 at 10:34 PM

MattFlinner_pic-202x300.jpg

 

 

 

“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’ve practiced more in two weeks than I have in months!  Really enjoying how it’s going.”—Donna O.

 

“I have to say that making everything available online is a great convenience for me. Being able to stop and return to a more challenging exercise or a newer phrase is great for learning. I also really appreciate your availability to answer questions offline. This is a great course, and I feel as though I’m improving daily because of it.”—Joe C.

 

 

 

 

 

Register by 5/19 and save $25!

Register for Mandolin Tune Studies with Matt Flinner 

 

See the Bluegrass Mandolin Jamming with Matt Flinner curriculum (6/10-7/13)

See the Mandolin Picking Intensive with Matt Flinner curriculum (6/12-7/13)

 

This course will get in-depth in helping students create variations and improvise on fiddle tunes and bluegrass songs—though the concepts will apply to any style of music.  Upon registering, students will receive PDFs in tablature and standard notation for two tunes:  “Gold Rush” and “Old Greasy Coat,”  along with mp3s of each tune and links to videos of the tunes played slowly.  During the four-week course, we’ll look at various ways of playing the melodies to both tunes as well as various ways of getting outside the melodies using double stops, positions up the neck, blues ideas and different rhythms and licks.  Each week, we’ll explore a different approach to soloing and talk about how to use these approaches on our two tunes and relate these concepts to other tunes and songs students may already know.  The goal is to create more possibilities in our soloing and to have more fun playing music with other people—and to learn two tunes REALLY well!

The course is intended for students at an intermediate to advanced level.  Exercises at a variety of levels will be given each week; students will be encouraged to focus on the exercise(s) that they feel best suits their ability level and/or interest.  

Class sessions will take place on Tuesdays at 2 pm and 9 pm eastern time from June 11 to July 9 (with the week of July 2 off due to Matt’s touring schedule).   We’re hoping the 2 pm time will be more convenient for students in the UK and Europe, as well as anywhere else in the world that might benefit from an earlier time (and students in the U.S. who prefer an afternoon time slot).  Both sessions will essentially be the same, and students are welcome to attend either class session (or both)!  Additional practice/review sessions will take place on Saturdays at 11 am eastern time from June 15 to July 13 (again, with the week of July 6 off).  Students are encouraged to attend the live sessions, but they can also review the recordings of any and all sessions at their convenience.  

 

The course fee is $125.  Register by 5/19 and save $25!

Register for Mandolin Tune Studies with Matt Flinner

 

 

 

TUNE STUDIES CURRICULUM

The Road to Columbus

Old Greasy Coat

 

WEEK 1 (6/10)

Octave Variations

Blue notes

Throwing in some blues licks

Picking Exercise I

 

WEEK 2 (6/17)

Double stops

Adding open strings

Double Stop Exercise I

Double Stop Exercise II

 

WEEK 3 (6/24)

Chord tones

Arpeggio Exercise I

Creating musical lines using chord tones

Eighth note triplet rhythms

Adding some more licks

 

WEEK 4 (7/8)

Getting up high on the neck

Positions II, III and IV in A

Licks in various positions

Combining blues, double stops and rhythms

 

The course fee is $125.  Register by 5/19 for just $100!


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Mandolin Picking Technique Intensive Curriculum (6/12-7/13)

By Theme Admin on April 20th, 2024 at 10:32 PM

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“Thanks for the terrific class! I had my mandolin lurking in the corner for 9 months before I took this class. I played with it now and then but felt out of my depth, having only played piano in the past. A few weeks into your class, I couldn’t put down my mandolin, practicing far more than my kids want me to. In addition to the wonderful tunes we learned in class, I started to pick out other melodies like Christmas carols, simple gifts, harry potter, star wars; anything I hear I want to find it on the mandolin.”—Randy R.

 

 

 

 

“Your classes are the best and most successful learning approach for me, Thank you.”—-Eric B.  

 

 

 

 

 

Register by 5/19 and save $25!

Register for the Mandolin Picking Technique Intensive course with Matt Flinner

 

See the Bluegrass Mandolin Jamming Curriculum (June 10-July 13)

See the Mandolin Tune Studies Curriculum (June 11-July 13)

 

This course is intended to help students with the fundamentals of tone and picking technique while learning the fretboard.  Various picking exercises will be looked at, along with double stop exercises (which will incorporate concepts from the picking exercises) to help improve efficiency and speed.  And we’ll focus quite a bit on improving our tone and getting the most sound out of our instruments that we can.  Each week, we’ll also learn a tune and focus on the various aspects of picking technique we’ve been looking at as applied to that tune.  The course is intended for players of all levels who want to go deeper into the fundamentals of playing the mandolin, especially tone, picking ability and double stops.  

Class sessions will take place on Wednesday evenings from June 12 to July 10 (with the week of July 3 off due to Matt’s touring schedule) at 9 pm eastern time, and practice/review sessions will take place on Saturdays from June 15 to July 13 (again, with the week of July 6 off) at 12:30 pm eastern time.  

Register for the Mandolin Picking Intensive Course  

 

The course fee is $125.  Register by 5/19 and save $25!

 

Here is the curriculum:

 

WEEK 1 (6/11)

Picking Exercise I on single strings

Picking Exercise I on double strings

Double Stop Exercise I in D

Double Stop Exercise II in D

Practicing with a metronome

Bonaparte’s Retreat 

 

WEEK 2 (6/18) 

Picking Exercise II on single strings

Picking Exercise II on double strings

Double Stop Exercise I in A

Double Stop Exercise II in A

Moving between double stops to create solos

Devil’s Dream 

 

WEEK 3 (6/25)

Tremolo Exercise I 

Tremolo Exercise II

Picking Exercise III on double strings

Double Stop Exercise I in G

Double Stop Exercise II in G

Evening Prayer Blues

 

WEEK 4 (7/9)

Speed exercise I 

Picking Exercise III on single strings

Moving double stops to change positions

Double Stop Exercise I in C

Double Stop Exercise II in C 

Boston Boy

 

The course fee is $125.  Register by May 19 for just $100!

Register for the Mandolin Picking Technique Intensive course with Matt Flinner


Continue reading

Save $25 on Summer Online Courses through 5/19! Bluegrass Jamming, Mandolin Tune Studies and Picking Intensive Courses Start 6/10-12

By Theme Admin on April 20th, 2024 at 10:32 PM

 

 

 

 

“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. 

 

 

“After buying six mandolins and umpteen books…I am convinced your course is best $100 I have invested in my mandolin journey to date.  Finally, I’m getting the discpline I need with your exercises to learn scales, arpeggios, double stops, fingering techniques, learn the fretboard (the essential tools I need)…and most importantly to learn how those things fit into playing tunes.”—Rick D. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Register by 5/19 and save $25!

 

The Bluegrass Mandolin 101 online lessons program continues this summer with three four-week long intensive courses designed to help you improve your technique, learn some tunes and help you have more fun playing the mandolin!

 

Bluegrass Mandolin Jamming with Matt Flinner                           Curriculum         Registration 

Mandolin Tune Studies with Matt Flinner                                Curriculum         Registration

Mandolin Picking Technique Intensive with Matt Flinner               Curriculum         Registration

 

The Bluegrass Mandolin Jamming course (June 10-July 13) is intended to help students play bluegrass music with other people.  Each week, students will receive four new tunes (from beginner to advanced level) along with ways of playing rhythm, approaches to creating variations on the tune, and some exercises to help with fundamental technique.  The goal is to help students learn more tunes, learn practical approaches to playing those tunes, and get out and play with other people!  Register by 5/19 and save $25!  

Register for Bluegrass Mandolin Jamming with Matt Flinner. 

 

The Mandolin Tune Studies course (June 11-July 13) is intended to help students create variations and improvise on fiddle tunes and bluegrass songs—though the concepts will apply to any style of music.  Upon registering, students will receive PDFs in tablature and standard notation for two tunes: Old Greasy Coat and the Road to Columbus, along with mp3s of each tune and links to videos of the tunes played slowly.  During the four-week course, we’ll look at various ways of playing the melodies to both tunes as well as various ways of getting outside the melodies using double stops, positions up the neck, blues ideas and different rhythms and licks.  Each week, we’ll explore a different approach to soloing and talk about how to use these approaches on our two tunes and relate these concepts to other tunes and songs students may already know.  The goal is to create more possibilities in our soloing and to have more fun playing music with other people—and to learn two tunes REALLY well!  Register by 5/19 and save $25!  

Register for Mandolin Tune Studies with Matt Flinner 

 

The Mandolin Picking Technique Intensive course (June 12-July 13) is intended to help students with the fundamentals of tone and picking technique while learning the fretboard.  Various picking exercises will be looked at, along with double stop exercises (which will incorporate concepts from the picking exercises) to help improve efficiency and speed.  And we’ll focus quite a bit on improving our tone and getting the most sound out of our instruments that we can.  Each week, we’ll also learn a tune and focus on the various aspects of picking technique we’ve been looking at as applied to that tune.  The course is intended for players at all levels who want to go deeper into the fundamentals of playing the mandolin, especially tone, picking ability and double stops.  Register by 5/19 and save $25!  

Register for the Mandolin Picking Intensive course with Matt Flinner 

 

Register for Bluegrass Mandolin Jamming with Matt Flinner

Register for Mandolin Tune Studies with Matt Flinner

Register for the Mandolin Picking Technique Intensive with Matt Flinner

 

The Bluegrass Mandolin Jamming course (June 10-July 13) takes place on Monday afternoons and evenings at 9 pm eastern time.  We’ll also have practice/review sessions on Saturdays at 10 am eastern time.  Monday class sessions will take place July 6, 13 20 and 27, and Saturday follow-up practice sessions will take place July 11, 18, 25 and August 1.  All live sessions are recorded and uploaded to a class website, where they are viewable generally by the following day (in the case of Saturday practice sessions, they’re usually available to view later that day). Register here.

 

The Mandolin Tune Studies course (June 11-July 13) meets on Tuesday evenings at 2 and 9 pm eastern time, with follow-up practice sessions Saturday mornings at 11 am eastern time.  NOTE: Tuesday afternoon sessions take place at 2 pm eastern time—a more convenient time for our friends in the UK and Europe!  2 pm eastern time translates to 7 or 8 pm in the UK and most of Europe.  Students are welcome to join in on either or both of the Tuesday sessions each week (they will be essentially identical to one another in content).  Tuesday class sessions will take place June 11, 18, 25 and July 9, and Saturday follow-up practice sessions will take place June 16, 23, 30 and July 13.  All live sessions are recorded and uploaded to a class website, where they are viewable generally by the following day (in the case of Saturday practice sessions, they’re usually available to view later that day). Register here.

 

The Mandolin Picking Technique Intensive course (June 12-July 13) meets on Wednesday evenings at 9 pm eastern time, with follow-up practice sessions Saturdays at 12:15 pm eastern time.  Students will have four Wednesday class sessions (July 8, 15, 22 and 29) and four Saturday follow-up practice sessions (June 16, 23, 30 and July 13).  All live sessions are recorded and uploaded to a class website, where they are viewable generally by the following day (in the case of Saturday practice sessions, they’re usually available to view later that day). Register here.

 

ALL class materials (PDFs, practice mp3s, short practice videos and class session videos) are available for students to download and keep for future use.  

 

The course fee for each course is $125.  Register by May 19 for just $100!  Just register at the link(s) for the course(s) you want to take, and we’ll email you an invoice via PayPal for the course fee(s) ($100 per course).  

All students access to the live sessions as well as all materials (PDFs, mp3s, practice videos and class session videos), which they can download for future use.  

 

Here’s a little more info about the Bluegrass Mandolin 101 online experience that I hope will give you a good idea of how the program works.

 

BLUEGRASS MANDOLIN 101 

Matt Flinner started the Bluegrass Mandolin 101 program in the fall of 2013.  Along the way, the program has helped hundreds of students improve their mandolin playing in a wide variety of styles.  The program offers a unique approach to online mandolin lessons that gives students the best of both live lessons as well as recorded mandolin instructional videos, audio recordings and written materials.  The courses focus on helping mandolin students get to the next level in their playing and broaden their understanding of a variety of American musical traditions. 

 

A UNIQUE APPROACH: LIVE INSTRUCTION AND INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEOS

Part of what makes the Bluegrass Mandolin 101 program unique is the fact that students follow a step-by-step program of live lessons over a four or eight week course.  The courses follow a carefully planned curriculum in the given style or area of technique, and the live lessons get a little more challenging each week as the course progresses.  Classes meet twice per week: on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday evening, depending on the course, and on Saturday morning/afternoon, when students can join a follow-up practice session to review that week’s material.  Students can view the live lessons via their computer, iPad or smart phone.  Students are encouraged to ask questions during the class sessions via a chat window and/or their external or built-in microphone (this microphone is muted unless the student requests to use it).  And students do not need a webcam.  

All live sessions are also recorded so that students can review them any time if they are unable to make it to the live sessions; this also gives students the added convenience of going through the material as many times as they want to.  Students are given access to a private class website where they can find these recorded sessions and they can also view and download all PDFs of the materials and several practice mp3s of that week’s song(s) recorded at various tempos.  Students will also be given download links for all class videos so that they can view them offline at their convenience on into the future.  In essence, all materials from the course are for the students to keep.  

One aspect of the live class schedule that makes the program so effective is that students are generally more encouraged to practice in order to keep up with the schedule.  Students are given a list of suggested priorities each week, depending on their ability level and amount of practice time, and all material is then reviewed in the Saturday practice session so that students get another chance to run through it with the instructor.  Just by showing up, students will run through the material twice each week—for many of us, that’s already an improvement!  

 

HOW INTERACTIVE ARE THE COURSES?

All live sessions are interactive; students can ask questions and/or demonstrate tunes or exercises via live microphone or telephone, or via a chat window (most students opt for this approach).  The instructor is able to immediately respond and demonstrate the answers for the whole class.  Another form of interaction comes via mp3 recordings; students can record mp3s on their own time of themselves playing the material (or anything else they want to send in) and send it to the instructor for feedback, which is also recorded in mp3 form and sent back to the student.  Students can post their mp3s on the class site (and likely get encouraging feedback from other students in addition to the instructor) or email them privately to the instructor.

 

HOW MUCH DO I NEED TO PRACTICE?

That is completely up to the student.  While, say, 30 minutes per day might be a good recommendation for practice time, students can make whatever they choose of this course based on their own schedule and aspirations.  Practicing week to week (again, say 30 minutes per day) will help students keep up with the week’s lessons and concepts, but the instructor knows that people have busy lives!  This is why all instructional material is archived and available for download so that students can learn on their own time after the course has finished as well as during the eight weeks of classes.  However, one advantage to the four-week scheduled course is that by practicing at least somewhat regularly, students are more able to be prepared for the following week’s lessons and therefore take full advantage of the live and recorded mix of lesson material.

Students can decide whether to practice along with the class session or with the shorter individual videos (or both), depending on what they want to focus on for that week.  Material is given each week that is targeted toward various ability levels; a song is given which is playable for beginning to intermediate players (or intermediate to advanced, depending on the course), and various concepts relating to that song are also given to educate and challenge players at beginning, intermediate and even advanced levels.  The student essentially decides how much they want to take on for the week (and the course) based on their ability level and how much practice time they have.  Any material they were unable to get to during the week and want to revisit later will be available in the archived videos and PDFs.  The instructor will also give students a recommended list of priorities each week to help students take the best advantage of their practice time.

 

THE CLASS WEBPAGE

This is the virtual gathering place for the courses, where students can view the instructional videos, view and/or download all written materials, listen to mp3s of Matt playing the tunes, get listening recommendations, ask questions, submit their own mp3s for feedback and generate forum discussions.  It’s a great place to drop by any time and explore, learn and discuss.  

 

REGISTRATION FEE

Fees for the 4-week summer courses are $125 each.   Register by May 19 for just $100!

 

 

Here are a few quotes from some past students about their experiences in the Bluegrass Mandolin 101 program:

“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’ve practiced more in two weeks than I have in months!  Really enjoying how it’s going.”—Donna O.

“I have to say that making everything available online is a great convenience for me. Being able to stop and return to a more challenging exercise or a newer phrase is great for learning. I also really appreciate your availability to answer questions offline. This is a great course, and I feel as though I’m improving daily because of it.”—Joe C.

“The level was perfect. Mentally I understand many things that have opened up the fingerboard a lot; now I need some quality time to get it under my hands. I found things challenging without feeling out of reach.”—Stan M.

“I’m really enjoying the course. The first time I’ve actually practiced an instrument in my 60 years!”—Skip H.

 

To visit the registration pages, click one of these links:

 

Register for Bluegrass Mandolin Jamming with Matt Flinner (6/10-7/13)

Register for Mandolin Tune Studies with Matt Flinner (6/11-7/13)

Register for the Mandolin Picking Technique Intensive with Matt Flinner (6/12-7/13)


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Swing Mandolin Basics with Matt Flinner Curriculum (4/1-6/8)

By Theme Admin on February 18th, 2024 at 7:26 PM

 

 

 

 

“All your courses are really good, very well designed, and you have a great teaching style and a relaxed, open, while also serious, approach – which really comes across with the live lessons – thank you for being so encouraging always!”—Penny J.

 

 

 

“I got a lot out of it! Everyday I have a practice routine based on the summer intensive. You have helped me by leaps and bounds.”—Sandy N.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Register for Swing Mandolin Basics with Matt Flinner

 

See the Chord Melody Mandolin with Matt Flinner curriculum (4/2-6/8)

See the Waltzes for Mandolin with Matt Flinner curriculum (4/3-6/8)

 

 

Explore the world of swing mandolin with Grammy-nominated mandolinist Matt Flinner.  Learn a new swing tune (or two) each week and get pointers on how to play chords and backup as well as approaches to improvising.  This course will be very much into chord voicings, scales, arpeggios and how they all relate to one another.  It’s a great way to expand your playing and musicianship (and learn some great tunes)! 

 

The course takes place on Monday evenings at 9 pm eastern time, with practice/review sessions on Saturdays at 10 am eastern time.  The course is recommended for advanced beginner to intermediate students, and assumes some knowledge of chords and the ability to play some melodies.  Rudimentary knowledge of scales and arpeggios is also helpful. 

 

Register here

 

SWING MANDOLIN BASICS CURRICULUM:

Week 1 (4/1)

Some basic chord shapes

The ii-V-I chord progression

Two ways of playing ii-V-Is

Some simple melodies

Playing “around” the melody

Sweet Sue

I’m Sitting on Top of the World

 

Week 2 (4/8)

The ii-V-I progression in more keys

The Dorian and Mixolydian modes

Dominant 7 arpeggios 

It’s Only a Paper Moon

Sentimental Journey

 

WEEK 3 (4/15) 

The Blues

Dominant 7 Chords

Basic blues progressions

Blues Scales

A few blues licks

Route 66

Don’t Get Around Much Anymore

 

Week 4 (4/29)

Going Around the Circle of 5ths

Minor 7 Arpeggios

Making use of 3rds and 7ths

Using chord tones in soloing

Sweet Georgia Brown

Bonus tune: Up a Lazy River

 

Week 5 (5/6)

Modulating

Finding common tones in chord changes

Voice leading

Blue Moon

They Can’t Take That Away from Me

 

Week 6 (5/20)

Minor ii-V-is 

Notes to emphasize in minor progressions

Using target notes over chord changes

How High the Moon 

Autumn Leaves

 

Week 7 (5/27)

Minor keys

Different scale possibilities in minor keys

Some more blues licks

Summertime

Bonus tune: I Love Paris 

 

Week 8 (6/3)

Tying it all together: inversions, chord tones, arpeggios and scales

Practice tips going forward

Satin Doll

Bonus tune: Pennies from Heaven

 

 

The course fee is $225.  

Register here for Swing Mandolin Basics with Matt Flinner


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Chord Melody Mandolin with Matt Flinner Curriculum (4/2-6/8)

By Theme Admin on February 18th, 2024 at 7:18 PM

 

 

 

 

 

“After buying six mandolins and umpteen books…I am convinced your course is best $100 I have invested in my mandolin journey to date.  Finally, I’m getting the discpline I need with your exercises to learn scales, arpeggios, double stops, fingering techniques, learn the fretboard (the essential tools I need)…and most importantly to learn how those things fit into playing tunes.”—Rick D., Bluegrass Mandolin 101 student

 

 

 

“I have to say that making everything available online is a great convenience for me. Being able to stop and return to a more challenging exercise or a newer phrase is a great for learning. I also really appreciate your availability to answer questions offline. This is a great course, and I feel as though I’m improving daily because of it.”—Joe C., Bluegrass Mandolin 101 student

 

 

 

 

Register for Chord Melody Mandolin with Matt Flinner

 

See the Swing Mandolin Basics with Matt Flinner curriculum (4/1-6/8)

See the Waltzes for Mandolin with Matt Flinner curriculum (4/3-6/8)

 

This course is all about chords!  Chord inversions will be explored around the fretboard in various keys, and students will learn how to play melodies using those chord inversions as melodic and harmonic foundations.  Each week, two solo arrangements of swing/jazz standard tunes will be given in which the melody is played as the top note (or often passing notes) of the chord; as the melody moves, the chord inversions move accordingly, creating a full, rich sounding solo arrangement on, of all things, the mandolin.  Students will also be given tips on using these chords to accompany other soloists, as well as ways of using chord inversions and chord melody technique in improvisation.   It’s a great way to become not only a better solo mandolinist, but a much better accompanist as well!  

This course is intended for students at an intermediate/advanced level.  

 

Register here

 

Mandolin Chord Melody Curriculum (April 2-June 8)

 

WEEK 1 (April 2)

Intro to Chord Melody

Major chord inversions in a few keys

Scales over major chords

Some simple melodies using major chord inversions

Down By the Riverside 

Sentimental Journey

 

WEEK 2 (April 16)

Dominant 7 Chord Inversions

Scales over dominant 7 chords

Bye Bye Blues

Bill Bailey

 

WEEK 3 (April 23)

Minor 7 chord inversions

Scales over minor 7 chords

Moving from minor 7 to dominant 7 chords

Blue Skies

The Best Things in Life Are Free

 

WEEK 4 (April 30)

ii-V-I Progressions

ii-V-Is using various inversions

More moving chord inversions

It’s Only a Paper Moon

Solitude

 

WEEK 5 (May 14)

More workouts with ii-V-Is

Some 4-note chords

Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams

I’m Confessin’

 

WEEK 6 (May 21)

Minor ii-V-is

Common tones in chords

If I Had You

Angel Eyes

 

WEEK 7 (May 28)

Extensions

More major scales over chords

Mood Indigo

I Can’t Give You Anything but Love

 

WEEK 8 (June 4)

Starting to improvise using chord melody

Further use of chord inversions

Adding melodic lines between chords

What a Wonderful World

Moonglow

It Had to Be You

 

The course fee is $225.  

Register for Chord Melody Mandolin with Matt Flinner

 


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Waltzes for Mandolin with Matt Flinner Curriculum (4/3-6/8)

By Theme Admin on February 18th, 2024 at 6:16 PM

 

 

 

 

“Being able to stop and return to a more challenging exercise or a newer phrase is great for learning. I also really appreciate your availability to answer questions offline. This is a great course, and I feel as though I’m improving daily because of it.”—Joe C.

 

“The level was perfect. Mentally I understand many things that have opened up the fingerboard a lot; now I need some quality time to get it under my hands. I found things challenging without feeling out of reach.”—Stan M.

 

“I’m really enjoying the course. The first time I’ve actually practiced an instrument in my 60 years!”—Skip H.

 

 

 

Register for Waltzes for Mandolin with Matt Flinner

 

See the Swing Mandolin Basics with Matt Flinner curriculum (4/1-6/8)

See the Chord Melody Mandolin with Matt Flinner curriculum (4/2-6/8)

 

 

Join Matt Flinner for an 8-week online course focusing on waltzes for the mandolin.  Students will be taught tunes that are quickly accessible to players of all ability levels, and they’ll also get exercises to help with fundamentals of picking, tremolo, double stops, chord positions, and various positions around the neck.

The course runs from April 3 to June 8; class sessions take place on Wednesday evenings from 9-10 pm eastern time, and follow-up practice sessions take place on Saturdays from 12:30-1:15 pm eastern time.

The course is intended for students at a beginner to intermediate level.

 

Register here

 

 

 

THE CURRICULUM:

 

WEEK 1 (4/3)

Getting started with melody and chords

Open style chords

Picking Exercise I

Rhythm Exercise I

Tennessee Waltz

My Own House Waltz

 

WEEK 2 (4/10)

Using tremolo

Tremolo Exercise I

Some more chord shapes

The Ash Grove

Sheebeg and Sheemore

 

WEEK 3 (4/17)

Using double stops

Tremolo Exercise II

Rhythm Exercise II

Kentucky Waltz

Ashokan Farewell

 

WEEK 4 (5/1)

Minor keys

A few minor double stops

Tremolo Exercise III

Boda Waltz

Flatbush Waltz

 

WEEK 5 (5/13)

Waltzing with chords

Chord Inversions

Blue River Waltz

Heart of the Heartland

 

WEEK 6 (5/22)

Moving double stops

Double Stop Exercise in A

Double Stop Tremolo Exercise

Festival Waltz

Margaret’s Waltz 

 

WEEK 7 (5/29)

Positions up the neck

G and D Positions

Moving between double stops up the neck

Lover’s Waltz

Grand Valley Waltz

 

WEEK 8 (6/5)

Tying it all together

Moving Double Stops, Positions, and Chords

Roxanna Waltz (C)

Royal Box Waltz (D)

Miss the Mississippi and You

 

The course fee is $225. 

Register for Waltzes for Mandolin with Matt Flinner

 


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Swing Mandolin 101, Chord Melody for Mandolin and Waltzes for Mandolin Start 4/1-3!

By Theme Admin on February 17th, 2024 at 5:35 AM

 

 

 

 

“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. 

 

 

“After buying six mandolins and umpteen books…I am convinced your course is best $100 I have invested in my mandolin journey to date.  Finally, I’m getting the discpline I need with your exercises to learn scales, arpeggios, double stops, fingering techniques, learn the fretboard (the essential tools I need)…and most importantly to learn how those things fit into playing tunes.”—Rick D. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bluegrass Mandolin 101 online lessons program continues this spring with three eight-week long courses in swing and jazz as well as waltzes and picking technique.  Courses for a variety of levels from advanced beginner to intermediate to advanced students will be offered on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, with follow-up practice sessions on Saturdays from early April through early June.  Show up live for the streamed sessions on Zoom or stream them later on the class website.  Or both!  

 

Swing Mandolin Basics with Matt Flinner                                                          Curriculum         Registration

Chord Melody Mandolin with Matt Flinner                                                         Curriculum         Registration

Waltzes for Mandolin with Matt Flinner                                                             Curriculum         Registration

 

The Swing Mandolin Basics course (April 1-June 8) will dive into the wonderful world of swing mandolin.  Students will learn a new swing tune (or two) each week and get pointers on how to play some basic chords and backup as well as approaches to improvising.  This course will be very much into chord voicings, scales, arpeggios and how they all relate to one another.  It’s a great way to expand your playing and musicianship (and learn some great tunes)!  

The course is recommended for advanced beginner to intermediate students, and assumes some knowledge of basic chords and the ability to play some melodies. 

Register here. 

 

The Chord Melody Mandolin course (April 2-June 8) is all about chords!  Chord inversions will be explored around the fretboard in various keys, and students will learn how to play melodies using those chord inversions as melodic and harmonic foundations.  Each week, two solo arrangements of swing/jazz standard tunes will be given in which the melody is played as the top note (or often passing notes) of the chord; as the melody moves, the chord inversions move accordingly, creating a full, rich sounding solo arrangement on, of all things, the mandolin.  Students will also be given tips on using these chords to accompany other soloists, as well as ways of using chord inversions and chord melody technique in improvisation.   It’s a great way to become not only a better solo mandolinist, but a much better accompanist as well!

The course is intended for intermediate to advanced level students.  

Register here.  

 

The Waltzes for Mandolin course (April 3-June 8) will focus (as the name implies) on waltzes for the mandolin—some of the most fun and laid-back tunes to play!  Students will be taught tunes that are quickly accessible to players of all ability levels, and they’ll also get exercises to help with fundamentals of picking, tremolo, double stops, chord positions, and various positions around the neck.

The course is intended for players at a beginner to intermediate level, or to players at any level who want to improve their tremolo skills!

Register here. 

 

 

The Swing Mandolin Basics course (April 1-June 8) course takes place on Monday evenings at 9 pm eastern time, with follow-up practice/review sessions on Saturdays at 10 am eastern time.  Students will have eight Monday class sessions (April 1, 8, 15, 29, May 6, 20, 27 and June 3) and eight Saturday follow-up practice sessions (April 6, 13, 20, May 4, 11, 25 and June 1 and 8).  All live sessions are recorded and uploaded to a class website, where they are viewable generally by the following day (in the case of Saturday practice sessions, they’re often available to view later that day). Register here.

 

The Chord Melody Mandolin course (April 2-June 8) meets on Tuesday afternoons and evenings at 2 pm and 9 pm eastern time, with follow-up practice sessions Saturday mornings at 11 am eastern time.  NOTE: Tuesday afternoon sessions take place at 2 pm eastern time—a more convenient time for our friends in the UK and Europe!  2 pm eastern time translates to 7 or 8 pm in the UK and most of Europe.   Students are welcome to join in on either or both of the Tuesday sessions each week (they will be essentially identical to one another in content).  Tuesday class sessions will take place April 2, 9, 16, 30, May 14, 21, 28 and June 4, and Saturday follow-up practice sessions will take place April 6, 13, 20, May 4, 18, 25 and June 1 and 8.  All live sessions are recorded and uploaded to a class website, where they are viewable generally by the following day (in the case of Saturday practice sessions, they’re usually available to view later that day). Register here.

 

The Waltzes for Mandolin course (April 3-June 8) meets on Wednesday evenings at 9 pm eastern time, with follow-up practice sessions Saturdays at 12:30 pm eastern time.  Students will have eight Wednesday class sessions (April 3, 10, 17, May 1, 13, 22, 29 and June 5) and eight Saturday follow-up practice sessions (April 6, 13, 20, May 4, 18, 25 and June 1 and 8).  The weeks of April 24 and May 8 will be off due to Matt’s tour schedule, and the Week 5 class session will take place on Monday, May 13 (also due to Matt’s tour schedule).  All live sessions are recorded and uploaded to a class website, where they are viewable generally by the following day (in the case of Saturday practice sessions, they’re often available to view later that day). Register here.

 

ALL class materials (PDFs, practice mp3s, short practice videos and class session videos) are available for students to download and keep for future use.  

 

The course fee for each course is $225.  Go ahead and register at the link, and we’ll email you an invoice for the course fee.  

All students access to the live sessions as well as all materials (PDFs, mp3s, practice videos and class session videos), which they can download for future use.  

 

Here’s a little more info about the Bluegrass Mandolin 101 online experience that I hope will give you a good idea of how the program works.

 

BLUEGRASS MANDOLIN 101 

Matt Flinner started the Bluegrass Mandolin 101 program in the fall of 2013.  Along the way, the program has helped hundreds of students improve their mandolin playing in a wide variety of styles.  The program offers a unique approach to online mandolin lessons that gives students the best of both live lessons as well as recorded mandolin instructional videos, audio recordings and written materials.  The courses focus on helping mandolin students get to the next level in their playing and broaden their understanding of a variety of American musical traditions. 

 

A UNIQUE APPROACH: LIVE INSTRUCTION AND INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEOS

Part of what makes the Bluegrass Mandolin 101 program unique is the fact that students follow a step-by-step program of live lessons over a four or eight week course.  The courses follow a carefully planned curriculum in the given style or area of technique, and the live lessons get a little more challenging each week as the course progresses.  Classes meet twice per week: on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday evening, depending on the course, and on Saturday morning/afternoon, when students can join a follow-up practice session to review that week’s material.  Students can view the live lessons via their computer, iPad or smart phone.  Students are encouraged to ask questions during the class sessions via a chat window and/or their external or built-in microphone (this microphone is muted unless the student requests to use it).  And students do not need a webcam.  

All live sessions are also recorded so that students can review them any time if they are unable to make it to the live sessions; this also gives students the added convenience of going through the material as many times as they want to.  Students are given access to a private class website where they can find these recorded sessions and they can also view and download all PDFs of the materials and several practice mp3s of that week’s song(s) recorded at various tempos.  Students will also be given download links for all class videos so that they can view them offline at their convenience on into the future.  In essence, all materials from the course are for the students to keep.  

One aspect of the live class schedule that makes the program so effective is that students are generally more encouraged to practice in order to keep up with the schedule.  Students are given a list of suggested priorities each week, depending on their ability level and amount of practice time, and all material is then reviewed in the Saturday practice session so that students get another chance to run through it with the instructor.  Just by showing up, students will run through the material twice each week—for many of us, that’s already an improvement!  

 

HOW INTERACTIVE ARE THE COURSES?

All live sessions are interactive; students can ask questions and/or demonstrate tunes or exercises via live microphone or telephone, or via a chat window (most students opt for this approach).  The instructor is able to immediately respond and demonstrate the answers for the whole class.  Another form of interaction comes via mp3 recordings; students can record mp3s on their own time of themselves playing the material (or anything else they want to send in) and send it to the instructor for feedback, which is also recorded in mp3 form and sent back to the student.  Students can post their mp3s on the class site (and likely get encouraging feedback from other students in addition to the instructor) or email them privately to the instructor.

 

HOW MUCH DO I NEED TO PRACTICE?

That is completely up to the student.  While, say, 30 minutes per day might be a good recommendation for practice time, students can make whatever they choose of this course based on their own schedule and aspirations.  Practicing week to week (again, say 30 minutes per day) will help students keep up with the week’s lessons and concepts, but the instructor knows that people have busy lives!  This is why all instructional material is archived and available for download so that students can learn on their own time after the course has finished as well as during the eight weeks of classes.  However, one advantage to the four-week scheduled course is that by practicing at least somewhat regularly, students are more able to be prepared for the following week’s lessons and therefore take full advantage of the live and recorded mix of lesson material.

Students can decide whether to practice along with the class session or with the shorter individual videos (or both), depending on what they want to focus on for that week.  Material is given each week that is targeted toward various ability levels; a song is given which is playable for beginning to intermediate players (or intermediate to advanced, depending on the course), and various concepts relating to that song are also given to educate and challenge players at beginning, intermediate and even advanced levels.  The student essentially decides how much they want to take on for the week (and the course) based on their ability level and how much practice time they have.  Any material they were unable to get to during the week and want to revisit later will be available in the archived videos and PDFs.  The instructor will also give students a recommended list of priorities each week to help students take the best advantage of their practice time.

 

THE CLASS WEBPAGE

This is the virtual gathering place for the courses, where students can view the instructional videos, view and/or download all written materials, listen to mp3s of Matt playing the tunes, get listening recommendations, ask questions, submit their own mp3s for feedback and generate forum discussions.  It’s a great place to drop by any time and explore, learn and discuss.  

 

REGISTRATION FEE

Fees for the 8-week spring courses are $225 each.  

 

 

Here are a few quotes from some past students about their experiences in the Bluegrass Mandolin 101 program:

“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’ve practiced more in two weeks than I have in months!  Really enjoying how it’s going.”—Donna O.

“I have to say that making everything available online is a great convenience for me. Being able to stop and return to a more challenging exercise or a newer phrase is great for learning. I also really appreciate your availability to answer questions offline. This is a great course, and I feel as though I’m improving daily because of it.”—Joe C.

“The level was perfect. Mentally I understand many things that have opened up the fingerboard a lot; now I need some quality time to get it under my hands. I found things challenging without feeling out of reach.”—Stan M.

“I’m really enjoying the course. The first time I’ve actually practiced an instrument in my 60 years!”—Skip H.

 

 

 

To visit the registration pages, click one of these links:

 

Register for Swing Mandolin Basics with Matt Flinner

Register for Chord Melody Mandolin with Matt Flinner

Register for Waltzes for Mandolin with Matt Flinner


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

By Theme Admin on November 12th, 2023 at 3:42 PM

 

 

“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

Kilkelly

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


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

By Theme Admin on November 12th, 2023 at 3:37 PM

 

 

 

“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 really enjoy your courses and your teaching style. It works for me nicely.  You obviously put a great deal of effort and thought into the classes.”—Mike B.

 

 

“I have to say that making everything available online is a great convenience for me. Being able to stop and return to a more challenging exercise or a newer phrase is great for learning. I also really appreciate your availability to answer questions offline. This is a great course, and I feel as though I’m improving daily because of it.”—Joe C.

 

 

 

Register for Fiddle Tune Harmony for Mandolin with Matt Flinner

 

See the Octave Mandolin Techniques with Matt Flinner curriculum (1/8-3/16)

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

 

This course will teach students how to create the happiest sound in the world—two mandolins playing in harmony!  Each week, students will learn two standard fiddle tunes, along with ways of constructing harmony parts to those tunes.  Exercises will be given each week to help students learn more about the fretboard, get more adept at playing scales and double stops in the common keys of G, D, A and C, and find chord tones more easily in all keys.  Besides being able to create harmony parts, students will come away from the course with a stronger understanding of how melodies are created and how they relate to chords and chord tones.  The goal of the course is to give students a broader understanding of music theory and help them learn melodies more quickly (as well as create the happiest sound in the world…).

The course is intended for students at an intermediate to advanced level.  The course will start out fairly easy (lower intermediate?), and will gradually progress to a more advanced level.

The course runs from January 9-March 16.  Classes take place online on Tuesday afternoons at 2 pm and 9 pm eastern time, and practice/review sessions take place on Saturday mornings at 11 am eastern time.

 

Register here

 

 

 

THE CURRICULUM:

Week 1 (1/9)

Some vocal songs

Twin mandolins as lead and tenor harmony

Harmonizing Major Scales

Using 3rds and 4ths to create harmony

Bury Me Beneath the Willow

Wildwood Flower

 

Week 2 (1/16)

Harmony in G

G Major Scales

Chord Tones in G

Finding 3rds and 4ths

The Girl I Left Behind

Down Yonder

 

Week 3 (1/23)

Harmony in D

D Major Scales

Chord Tones in D

Harmony on the I Versus the V Chord

Soldier’s Joy

Forked Deer

 

Week 4 (1/30)

Harmony in A

A Major and Mixolydian Scales

Chord Tones in A

Positions up the Neck

Liza Jane

A Red Prairie Dawn

 

Week 5 (2/6)

Minor Keys

Minor chord tones and arpeggios

Minor chord inversions

Lonesome Moonlight Waltz

Cold Frosty Morning 

 

Week 6 (2/13)

Fast Moving Chord Progressions

Identifying chord tones on down beats

Arpeggio Inversions

Big Sandy River

Boston Boy

 

Week 7 (2/27)

Harmony in C

More Positions up the Neck

Double Stop Harmony

Denver Belle

Texas Gaks

 

Week 8 (3/12)

Three Part Harmony

Creating Baritone parts

Chord Tone Exercise in All Keys

Scotland

Big Mon

 

 

The course fee is $225.  

Register for Fiddle Tune Harmony for Mandolin with Matt Flinner

 


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Selected Discography


The View From Here

The View From Here

Walking on the Moon

Walking on the Moon

Latitude

Latitude

Music du jour

Music du jour

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