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Matt Flinner

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 by 2/25 and save $75!

 

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 by 2/25 and save $75!

 

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 by February 25th for just $150!

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 by February 25th and save $75!

 

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 by 2/25 and save $75!

 

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 by February 25th for just $150!

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 by 2/25 and save $75!

 

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 by February 25 and save $75!

 

 

 

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 by February 25th for just $150!

Register for Waltzes for Mandolin with Matt Flinner

 


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Save $75 on Spring Courses through 2/25! 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. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Register by 2/25 and save $75!

 

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 by 2/25 and save $75!

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 by 2/25 and save $75!

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 by 2/25 and save $75!

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.  Register for any course(s) by February 25th for just $150!  Go ahead and register at the link, and we’ll email you an invoice for the discounted course fee ($150 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 8-week spring courses are $225 each.  Register by 2/25 for just $150!

 

 

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.

 

 

Register by February 25th and save $75!

 

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


Continue reading

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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Celtic Mandolin with Matt Flinner Curriculum (1/3-3/2)

By Theme Admin on November 12th, 2023 at 3:32 PM

 

 

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

 

 

“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.

 

“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 Celtic Mandolin with Matt Flinner (1/3-3/2)

 

 

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

See the Fiddle Tune Harmony curriculum (1/9-3/16)

 

Celtic Mandolin returns this winter!  This course will explore techniques for playing lead and rhythm in traditional Irish fiddle tunes.   Each week, students can choose between three reels, jigs, songs or hornpipes to learn, along with several exercises to help with various aspects of technique.  During the class sessions, Matt will focus on one of the tunes each week, but students are given the option of learning one or two more if they have time, or focusing on one of the other tunes if they so choose.  Rhythm playing and picking technique on reels, hornpipes and jigs will be explored, as well as picking technique for triplets and various ways of playing ornamentations.  The course is recommended for players at an advanced beginner to intermediate level (though advanced players who want to learn some Irish tunes may enjoy it as well!).  

 

The live class sessions occur online on Monday evenings at 9 pm eastern time, and practice/review sessions take place on Saturdays from 10-10:45 am eastern time.

Students are NOT required to attend all (or any) of the live sessions; all sessions are recorded and uploaded to the class website where they can be viewed after-the-fact at the student’s leisure.  Students also have the option of downloading all class videos and practice videos, as well as all PDFs and practice mp3s for the course, so that they can revisit the materials any time.

 

Register here

 

Here is the curriculum:

 

WEEK 1 (1/3)

Picking Exercise I

Playing basic rhythm on reels

Rhythm Exercise I

A Few Scales

The Silver Spear

The Kerry Reel

The Concertina Reel

 

WEEK 2 (1/10)

Picking Exercise II

Adding some hammer-on and pull-off ornaments

Varying the octave

Rhythm Exercise II

The Maid Behind the Bar

The Earl’s Chair

The Mountain Road

 

WEEK 3 (1/17)

A few hornpipes

Adding triplets

Triplet picking exercise

The Boys of Blue Hill

King of the Fairies

The Rights of Man Hornpipe

 

WEEK 4 (1/24)

Jigs

Picking Exercise IV

Emphasizing the beat in 6/8 time

Playing rhythm on jigs

Rhythm Exercise III

The Kesh Jig

Out on the Ocean

My Darling Asleep

 

WEEK 5 (1/31)

Using chord inversions in your rhythm playing

Picking Exercise III

Pull-off ornaments

The Sally Gardens

The Pigeon on the Gate

Tarbolton Reel

 

WEEK 6 (2/7)

Jigs II

Further rhythmic ideas on jigs

Rhythm Exercise IV

Octave variations

The Cliffs of Moher

The Connaughtman’s Rambles

The Blackthorn Stick

 

WEEK 7 (2/14)

Slip Jigs

Picking Exercise V

Rhythm Exercise V

Patterns in 9/8

The Butterfly

Foxhunter’s Jig

Farewell to Whalley Range

 

WEEK 8 (2/28)

A few more reels

Tying it together: moving chords, ornaments and trills

Farewell to Ireland 

The Fisherman’s Lilt

The Fermoy Lasses

The Green Groves of Erin

 

The course fee is $225.  Register here.


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Winter Courses Are Here! Celtic Mandolin, Octave Mandolin & Fiddle Tune Harmony Start 1/3, 1/8-9

By Theme Admin on November 11th, 2023 at 5:10 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 will dive into Irish and American fiddle tunes and roots music this winter with three eight-week long courses designed to help you improve your technique, learn some tunes and help you have more fun playing the mandolin (or octave mandolin)!

 

Octave Mandolin Techniques with Matt Flinner                           Curriculum         Registration

Fiddle Tune Harmony for Mandolin with Matt Flinner                   Curriculum         Registration

Celtic Mandolin with Matt Flinner                                              Curriculum         Registration 

 

The Octave Mandolin Techniques with Matt Flinner course (January 8-March 16): this course will explore 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.  

 

The Fiddle Tune Harmony for Mandolin with Matt Flinner course (January 9-March 16): 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 or songs, 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.

Register here. 

 

The Celtic Mandolin with Matt Flinner course (January 3-March 2) will explore techniques for playing lead and rhythm in traditional Irish fiddle tunes.   Each week, students can choose between three reels, jigs, songs or hornpipes to learn, along with several exercises to help with various aspects of technique.  During the class sessions, Matt will focus on one of the tunes each week, but students are given the option of learning one or two more if they have time, or focusing on one of the other tunes if they so choose.  Rhythm playing and picking technique on reels, hornpipes and jigs will be explored, as well as picking technique for triplets and various ways of playing ornamentations.  

The course is recommended for players at an advanced beginner to intermediate level (though advanced players who want to learn some Irish tunes may enjoy it as well!).  

Register here,

 

 

Register for Octave Mandolin Techniques with Matt Flinner

Register for the Fiddle Tune Harmony for Mandolin with Matt Flinner

Register for Celtic Mandolin with Matt Flinner

 

The Octave Mandolin Techniques course (January 8-March 16) meets on Monday evenings at 9 pm eastern time, with follow-up practice sessions Saturday mornings at 11 am eastern time.  The weeks of February 19 and March 4 are off due to Matt’s tour schedule; students will have eight Monday class sessions and eight Saturday follow-up practice sessions over the course of 1o weeks.  All live sessions are recorded and uploaded to a class website, where they are viewable generally by the following day. Register here.

 

The Fiddle Tune Harmony for Mandolin course (January 9-March 16) meets on Tuesdays at 2 pm and 9 pm eastern time, with follow-up practice sessions Saturday mornings at 11 am eastern time.  NOTE: Tuesday afternoon sessions are set up as a more convenient time for our friends in the UK and Europe (and, actually for many in the U.S. as well)!  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).  The weeks of February 20 and March 5 are off due to Matt’s tour schedule; students will have eight  class sessions and eight Saturday follow-up practice sessions over the course of 10 weeks.  All live sessions are recorded and uploaded to a class website, where they are viewable generally by the following day. Register here.

 

The Celtic Mandolin course (January 3-March 2) meets on Wednesdays at 9 pm eastern time, with follow-up practice sessions Saturday mornings at 12:30 pm eastern time.    The week of February 21 is off due to Matt’s tour schedule; students will have eight class sessions and eight Saturday follow-up practice sessions over the course of nine weeks.  All live sessions are recorded and uploaded to a class website, where they are viewable generally by the following 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.   Just register for the course(s) you want to take, and we’ll send you a confirmation along with an invoice for the course fee ($225 per course).  You’ll be all set!

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 winter 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 Octave Mandolin Techniques with Matt Flinner

Register for the Fiddle Tune Harmony for Mandolin with Matt Flinner

Register for Celtic Mandolin with Matt Flinner

 

You can always ask questions about the courses via email ([email protected]), and I’ll get back to you as quickly as possible.  I hope to see you this winter!

All the best,

Matt


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Early Country Mandolin Curriculum (10/2-12/9)

By Theme Admin on September 3rd, 2023 at 5:23 PM

 

 

Your classes are moving me forward so very much. Thank you.” —Jean C.

 

“I started playing the mandolin a little over two years ago. I played the piano as a child, but having never played a stringed instrument before, my intention was to study as much as I could about technique, theory, improvisation and the various genres of music for the mandolin.  To that end, I have taken nearly every course Matt has offered, even three at a time! 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.

 

 

Register for Early Country Mandolin with Matt Flinner

 

See the McReynolds Style Mandolin with Matt Flinner curriculum (10/3-12/9)

See the Music Theory for Mandolin Players with Matt Flinner curriculum (10/4-12/2)

 

 

The Early Country Mandolin course will explore the roots of country music from the 1920s, 30s, 40s and 50s.  Students will learn melodies and rhythm for songs from early pioneers such as the Callahan Brothers, the Blue Sky Boys, the Louvin Brothers and the Monroe Brothers, along with exercises focusing on tremolo, double stops, playing in various keys, a bit of improv and more.  

The course is recommended for advanced beginner (knowledge of basic chords and at least a few songs and tunes s helpful) to intermediate players.  

60-minute class sessions take place online every Monday evening from October 2nd to December 4th at 9 pm eastern time, and 45-minute practice/review sessions take place every Saturday morning from October 7th through December 9th at 10 am eastern time.  The weeks of October 30th and November 20th are off due to Matt’s tour schedule and the Thanksgiving holiday.  

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:

 

Register here

 

WEEK 1 (10/2)

A bit of old-time mandolin

Picking Exercise I

Rhythm Exercise I

Getting better tone and volume

Ida Red (Fiddlin’ Powers & Family)

 

WEEK 2 (10/9)

The Blue Sky Boys

Tremolo Exercise #1

Double Stop Exercise #1

Hills of Roane County

The Butcher Boy

 

WEEK 3 (10/16)

Some Ragtime style 

Picking exercise #2

Double stop exercise #2

Moving smoothly between double stops

Nobody’s Business (Riley Puckett)

Just Because (Lone Star Cowboys)

 

WEEK 4 (10/23)

The Lilly Brothers

Picking Exercise #3

Double Stop Exercise #3

A few Everett Lilly licks

Bring Back My Blue Eyed Boy

Little Annie

 

WEEK 5 (11/6)

The Louvin Brothers

Tremolo Exercise #2

Double Stop Exercise #4

Cash on the Barrelhead

You’re Running Wild

 

WEEK 6 (11/13)

The Monroe Brothers

Picking Exercise #4

A few Bill Monroe licks

Goodbye, Maggie

Where Is My Sailor Boy?

 

WEEK 7 (11/27)

The Callahan Brothers

Some bluesy licks

Melodic Pattern I

Double Stop Exercise #5

Freight Train Whistle Blues

She’s Just that Kind

 

WEEK 8 (12/4)

Some more Monroe Brothers

Picking Exercises for Speed

A few more Bill Monroe licks

Have a Feast Here Tonight

Rollin’ On

 

The course fee is $225.  

Register for Early Country Mandolin with Matt Flinner

 

 


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McReynolds Style Mandolin Curriculum (10/3-12/9)

By Theme Admin on September 3rd, 2023 at 5:15 PM

 

 

“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.

 

 

 

 

“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 McReynolds Style Mandolin with Matt Flinner

 

See the Early Country Mandolin with Matt Flinner curriculum (10/2-12/9)

See the Music Theory for Mandolin Players with Matt Flinner curriculum (10/4-12/2)

 

 

 

 

This course will help you learn the basics of crosspicking on the mandolin in the style of the great Jesse McReynolds.  Material will focus on various crosspicking patterns and double stops and positions in various keys to create unique and often intricate solos on bluegrass standard songs.  Arrangements will start out fairly simple and will progress to more complex solos as we explore some of McReynolds’ approaches to playing melody, along with some other approaches to incorporating crosspicking into your playing.  We’ll also explore a couple of great “standard” picking tunes by Jesse.  It’s a great way to add some color and flair to your playing!

Classes will meet on Tuesdays at 2 pm and 9 pm eastern time from October 3 to December 5, with the weeks of October 31 and November 21 off due to Matt’s touring schedule and the Thanksgiving holiday.  Follow-up practice sessions, in which Matt will review all of that week’s material with the students, take place on Saturdays at 11 am from October 7 to December 9 (again, with November 4 and 25 off due to Matt’s touring schedule and the Thanksgiving holiday).  

Attendance to the live class and review sessions is encouraged but not essential, as all sessions are recorded and available to view on the class website by the following day. 

This course is recommended for intermediate to advanced players.

 

Register for McReynolds Style Mandolin with Matt Flinner

 

 

WEEK 1 (10/3)

Intro to cross picking

Crosspicking Pattern 1

Double Stops in the key of A

Playing cross picking patterns over double stops

Don’t Say Goodbye if You Love Me

Dixie Road

 

WEEK 2 (10/10)

The Key of D

Double Stops in D

Moving from one double stop to another

Crosspicking on the high strings

Crosspicking on the low strings

Take My Ring from Your Finger

Rabbit in the Log

 

WEEK 3 (10/17)

Key of G

Crosspicking Pattern II (DEDEADEA)

Low and high double stop positions

Sweet Little Miss Blue Eyes

Where the Soul of Man Never Dies 

 

WEEK 4 (10/24)

Adding intermediate double stops

Diatonic Double Stop Exercise in G

Varying the picking pattern (Pattern 1 and pattern 2 on same part of melody to create syncopation)

Gosh I Miss You All the Time

Deep Elem Blues

 

WEEK 5 (11/7)

Some non-cross picking McReynolds tunes 

Picking Exercise III

Minor double stops

Border Ride

Witch Grass

 

WEEK 6 (11/14)

Keys of E and B

E and B double stop exercises

Low and high positions in E and B

It’s a Lonesome Road

Alabam’

 

WEEK 7 (11/28)

More advanced tunes in G

Crosspicking Pattern 3

Throwing In Occasional Crosspicking in Solos

I Wonder Where You Are Tonight 

Stay All Night 

 

WEEK 8 (12/5)

A couple of McReynolds classics

Combining picking patterns

More double stop exercises

Changing octaves

Stony Creek

Sweet Georgia Brown

 

 

The course fee is $225.  

Register here


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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

Copyright - Matt Flinner - All right Reserved

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