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Matt Flinner

Tunes for Drink Up and Stay Home Virtual Thanksgiving Bluegrass Jam, 11/27/20

By Theme Admin on October 30th, 2020 at 7:53 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi everyone,

 

Tunes are up for our weekly Drink Up and Stay Home Virtual Bluegrass Jam which happens FRIDAY, November 27th, the day after Thanksgiving here in the U.S.

 

Click here to download the zip file of PDFs for this week: Facebook Jam 34

As always, we’ll play one Norman Blake song, one John Hartford song, one song from the psychedelic rock era, and, new this week, something from the great bluegrass singer Hylo Brown.  And lots of songs of thanks and home.  The jam will take place on Facebook Live at 8 pm eastern time.  Feel free to bring a mandolin, or guitar, or banjo, or accordion, spoons, autoharp.  Or just hang out and listen.  

 

Here’s where you can find the event: https://www.facebook.com/events/225830528891462

 

We’ll play for about an hour.  Bring a beverage and comfy chair and we’ll try to ease our sense of isolation at least for a bit.  

 

And donations are welcome!  

Paypal: [email protected]  or  

Venmo: @Matt-Flinner-Mando 

 

Hope to see you on Friday!

Thanks,
Matt

 

Need more mandolin?  Winter courses are on sale at $50 off through December 1st!  Check them out here: https://www.mattflinner.com/2020/10/4014/


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Sale extended! Save $50 on Winter Courses through 12/1! Bluegrass Mandolin 101, Advanced Bluegrass Soloing and Newgrass Mandolin Start 1/4-6

By Theme Admin on October 25th, 2020 at 9:01 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. 

 

 

 

 

 

Sale extended!  Register by December 1st and save $50!

 

The Bluegrass Mandolin 101 online lessons program continues this winter with courses intended to help students improve their skills in bluegrass mandolin playing and perhaps branch out into some other related styles.  Bluegrass Mandolin 101, Advanced Bluegrass Soloing and Newgrass Mandolin will help students improve their fundamentals, learn the fretboard, improve their rhythm playing as well as soloing—all while learning a couple of new tunes each week.  And all with the goal of having more fun playing the mandolin!

 

Bluegrass Mandolin 101 with Matt Flinner                Curriculum         Registration 

Advanced Bluegrass Soloing with Matt Flinner          Curriculum         Registration

Newgrass Mandolin with Matt Flinner                      Curriculum         Registration

 

The Bluegrass Mandolin 101 course (January 4-March 6): this course will introduce students to the use of double stops and various positions on the neck, as well as various picking and fingerboard exercises to help develop good mandolin technique and knowledge of the fretboard.  Each week, students are given two standard bluegrass tunes (and encouraged to learn at least one of them); that weeks exercises are correlated to the tunes during the week’s practice session so that students find practical ways of using the exercises in their playing. 

The course is intended for players at a beginning to intermediate ability level (though absolute beginners will have a difficult time keeping up—knowledge of basic chords and rhythm playing will help!).  Register here. 

 

The Advanced Bluegrass Mandolin Soloing course (January 5-March 6): in this course, we’ll examine the mandolin styles of many of the bluegrass masters: Bill Monroe, Jesse McReynolds, Doyle Lawson, Adam Steffey and many others. Each week, students will look at two recorded solos by one of the greats, along with some related exercises to help both improve technique and find ways of using melodic ideas in other solos.

The course is recommended for intermediate to advanced players.  Register here.  

 

The Newgrass Mandolin course (January 6-March 6): this course leads students from the world of modern bluegrass mandolin into some other “newgrass” styles, giving them a broad variety of approaches to soloing and playing backup.  Following the example of players like Sam Bush and David Grisman, the course will explore ways of adding new elements to the students’ playing in both lead and backup, from bluegrass to some Rock & Roll influence to a bit of jazz and more.  Expand your horizons, and learn some new tunes along the way!  In addition to the above mentioned titans of mandolin, we’ll also look at some solos by the likes of Tim O’Brien, John Duffey, John Reischman and others.    

The course is intended for intermediate to advanced players.   Register here. 

 

 

The course fee for any winter course is $225.  Register by December 1st for just $175!

 

Register for Bluegrass Mandolin 101 with Matt Flinner

Register for Advanced Bluegrass Mandolin Soloing with Matt Flinner

Register for Newgrass Mandolin with Matt Flinner

 

The Bluegrass Mandolin 101 course takes place on Monday 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 from January 4-March 1, and Saturday follow-up practice sessions will take place from January 9-March 6.  The week of January 18 will be off, so students will have a little extra time to review!  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 Advanced Bluegrass Mandolin Soloing course (January 5-March 6) meets on Tuesday evenings at 9 pm eastern time, with follow-up practice sessions Saturday mornings at 11 am eastern time.  Students will have eight Tuesday class sessions (January 5-March 2) and eight Saturday follow-up practice sessions (January 9-March 6).  The weeks of January 19 will be off, so students will have a little extra time to review!  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 Newgrass Mandolin course (January 6-March 6) 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 (January 6-March 3) and eight Saturday follow-up practice sessions (January 9-March 6).  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 any winter course is $225.  Save $50 when you register by December 1st!

 

 

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

The course fee for any winter course is $225.  Register by December 1st for just $175!

 

 

 

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 Mandoin 101 with Matt Flinner

Register for Advanced Bluegrass Mandolin Soloing with Matt Flinner

Register for Newgrass Mandolin with Matt Flinner


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Newgrass Mandolin with Matt Flinner Curriculum (1/6-3/6)

By Theme Admin on October 25th, 2020 at 8:16 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.

 

 

“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.

 

 

 

 

Sale extended!  Register by December 1st and save $50!

 

Register for Newgrass Mandolin with Matt Flinner

 

See the Bluegrass Mandolin 101 curriculum

See the Advanced Bluegrass Mandolin Soloing curriculum

 

Newgrass Mandolin with Matt Flinner returns!  This course leads students from the world of modern bluegrass mandolin into some other “newgrass” styles, giving them a broad variety of approaches to soloing and playing backup.  Following the lead of players like Sam Bush and David Grisman, the course will explore ways of adding new elements to the students’ playing in both lead and backup, from bluegrass to some Rock & Roll influence to a bit of jazz and more.  Expand your horizons, and learn some new tunes along the way!  In addition to the above mentioned titans of mandolin, we’ll also look at some solos by the likes of Tim O’Brien, John Duffey, John Reischman and others.  

The course runs from January 6-March 6, and is intended for intermediate to advanced players.  Classes take place Wednesday evenings at 9 pm eastern time, and practice/review sessions take place on Saturdays at 12:30 pm eastern time.  

 

Register by December 1st for just $175!  That’s $50 off the normal course fee of $225.

 

Newgrass Mandolin with Matt Flinner curriculum: 

 

Week 1 (1/6)

Bluegrass just outside the box

Melodic Exercise I

A few Sam Bush licks

Dancin’ with the Angels

Prince of Peace

 

Week 2 (1/13)

Some John Duffey rock and roll licks

Blues licks in a few keys

Using different chord forms

Lay Down Sally

Breaking New Ground

 

Week 3 (1/27)

Rock & Roll grooves

The Rock & Roll chop feel

Adding ornaments in backup playing

Some more bluesy licks

Me and My Guitar

Funk 55

 

Week 4 (2/3)

Some more advanced progressions 

Picking Exercise I

A few David Grisman licks

Chord tones in solos

Plastic Banana

West Bank of the Eno

 

Week 5 (2/10)

More advanced harmony

Some picking exercises

Using double stops on advanced chord progressions

A bit of crosspicking

In the Plan

Wild Horses

 

Week 6 (2/17)

Jazz influenced progressions

A couple of chord forms

More work with chord tones

Arpeggio Exercise I

Swing 51

EBA

 

Week 7 (2/24)

More work with target notes

Picking Exercise II

A few Tim O’Brien licks

Brother Wind

Hey Joe

 

Week 8 (3/3)

Tying it all together

Varying grooves on the same tune

Approaches to improv: double stops, positions, scales and arpeggios

Pack of Fools

Bonus tune: Goin’ to the Fair

 

The course fee is $225.  Register by December 1st for just $175!

Register for Newgrass Mandolin with Matt Flinner


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Advanced Bluegrass Mandolin Soloing Curriculum (1/5-3/6)

By Theme Admin on October 25th, 2020 at 8:13 AM

 

 

 

 

“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.

 

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

 

 

“It was nice there were various assignments which pushed my ability. Never felt I had “mastered” ALL the homework so never got bored. Always something to work on or do next.”—Joe S.

 

 

 

Sale extended!  Register by December 1st and save $50!

 

Register for Advanced Bluegrass Mandolin Soloing with Matt Flinner

 

See the Bluegrass Mandolin 101 with Matt Flinner curriculum (1/4-3/6)

See the Newgrass Mandolin with Matt Flinner curriculum (1/6-3/6)

 

Join Grammy-nominated mandolinist Matt Flinner for a look into the mandolin styles of many of the bluegrass masters: Bill Monroe, Jesse McReynolds, Doyle Lawson, Adam Steffey and many others. Each week, students will look at two recorded solos by one of the greats, along with some related exercises to help both improve technique and find ways of using melodic ideas in other solos.

The course is recommended for intermediate to advanced players.

 

Week 1 (1/5)

Bill Monroe 

Melodic Pattern I

Chord Tone Exercise in a Few Keys

Rhythms using down-strokes

Picking Exercise I

Travelin’ Down this Lonesome Road

In Despair

 

Week 2 (1/12)

Doyle Lawson

Melodic development in a couple of positions

A few triplet licks

Picking Exercise II

Chord Tone Exercise II

Mighty Mississippi

Redwood Hill

 

Some in-between tunes:

Ira Louvin: Let Her Go, God Bless Her

Nate Bray: East Virginia Blues

 

Week 3 (1/26)

Bobby Osborne 

A few syncopated bluegrass licks 

Switching positions in various keys 

Open style double stop licks

My Cabin in Caroline

Once More 

 

Week 4 (2/2)

Roland White 

Slides within positions

Double Stop Exercise II

Connecting chord tones with chromatic runs

If I Should Wander Back Tonight 

Head Over Heels

 

Week 5 (2/9)

Buck White

Picking Exercise III

Closed position playing

Connecting double stops

Each Season Changes You

Buck’s Run  

 

Week 6 (2/16)

Jesse McReynolds

Crosspicking Exercises I and II

Double stops up the neck in the keys of G and F 

How to create crosspicking solos

Where the Soul Never Dies

Better Times a-Coming

 

Week 7 (2/23)

David McLaughlin

More licks in chop chord position

Shifting between positions continued

Using chord tones in soloing

Unwanted Love

Long Journey Home

 

Week 8 (3/2)

Adam Steffey

Picking Exercise IV

Open strings in various keys

Chromatic runs in B

Every Time You Say Goodbye

No Place to Hide

 

 

The course fee is $225.  Register by December 1st for just $175!

Register for Advanced Bluegrass Mandolin Soloing with Matt Flinner

 


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Bluegrass Mandolin 101 Curriculum (1/4-3/6)

By Theme Admin on October 25th, 2020 at 8:09 AM

 

 

 

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

 

 

“I’ve learned so much from your courses and have improved greatly due to learning some basic skills and music theory.”—Jamie J. 

 

 

“Your method, approach, pace and materials are the best I’ve seen in my years of perpetual learning.”—Jim H.

 

 

 

 

Sale extended!  Save $50 when you register by December 1st!

Register for Bluegrass Mandolin 101 with Matt Flinner

 

See the Advanced Bluegrass Mandolin Soloing with Matt Flinner curriculum (1/5-3/6)

See the Newgrass Mandolin with Matt Flinner curriculum (1/6-3/6)

 

Bluegrass Mandolin 101 will start at a beginning/intermediate level and progress to a solidly intermediate level.  This course will introduce students to the use of double stops and various positions on the neck, as well as various picking and fingerboard exercises to help develop good mandolin technique and knowledge of the fretboard.  Each week, students are given two standard bluegrass tunes (and encouraged to learn at least one of them); that weeks exercises are correlated to the tunes during the week’s practice session so that students find practical ways of using the exercises in their playing.

Classes take place Monday evenings at 9 pm eastern time, and review sessions take place on Saturday mornings at 10 am eastern time (note: the week of January 18th is off)

 

Register by December 1st for just $175; that’s $50 off the normal course fee! 

Register for Bluegrass Mandolin 101 with Matt Flinner

 

Bluegrass Mandolin 101 with Matt Flinner curriculum:

 

Week 1 (1/4)

Three warmup exercises

Intro to position playing

Intro to double stops

Will the Circle Be Unbroken

Bonus Material: Down to the Valley to Pray

 

WEEK 2 (1/11)

Moving to the key of A

Some tag licks to add to your solos

Backup playing and fills

I’ll Fly Away

Bonus Material: Long Black Veil

 

WEEK 3 (1/25)

Small position shifts

Adding some more licks to your solos

Double stop exercises in D

Gotta Travel On

Bonus material: Keep on the Sunny Side of Life

 

WEEK 4 (2/1)

Position playing II

Three different kickoffs

Chord tones in position playing

Man of Constant Sorrow

Bonus Material: Evening Prayer Blues

 

WEEK 5 (2/8)

Shifting from Position I to Position II

Transposing to other keys

Bury Me Beneath the Willow

Bonus Material: You Are My Sunshine

 

WEEK 6 (2/15)

More position shifts

Turnarounds: I-V-I progressions

Double stop exercises in C

Sittin’ On Top of the World

Bonus material: Gold Watch and Chain

 

WEEK 7 (2/22)

Moving double stops around to create melody

An approach to improvising

Soldier’s Joy

Bonus material: Panhandle Country

 

Week 8 (3/1)

Tying it all together

Adding some licks and improvising

Combining double stops and licks

My Home’s Across the Blue Ridge Mountains

Bonus tune: Foggy Mountain Top

 

The course fee is $225.  Register by December 1st for just $175!

Register for Bluegrass Mandolin 101 with Matt Flinner

 


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Tunes for Drink Up and Stay Home Virtual Bluegrass Jam, 10/23/20

By Theme Admin on October 9th, 2020 at 6:49 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi everyone,

 

Tunes are up for our weekly Drink Up and Stay Home Virtual Bluegrass Jam which happens FRIDAY, October 23rd.

 

Click here to download the zip file of PDFs for this week: Facebook Jam 29

This week, we’ll be playing tunes related to rain and snow (including the actual song “Rain and Snow”) in hopes we can collectively send some good vibes to our friends in Colorado and elsewhere out west who are being threatened and even displaced by wildfires.

As always, we’ll play one Norman Blake song, one John Hartford song, one song from the psychedelic rock era, and one song from the repertoire and/or pen of Curly Ray Cline (the great fiddler and longtime member of Ralph Stanley’s Clinch Mountain Boys).  

The jam will take place on Facebook Live at 8 pm eastern time.  Feel free to bring a mandolin, or guitar, or banjo, or accordion, spoons, autoharp.  Or just hang out and listen.  

 

Here’s where you can find the event: https://www.facebook.com/events/839680190173863

 

We’ll play for about an hour.  Bring a beverage and comfy chair and we’ll try to ease our sense of isolation at least for a bit.  

 

And donations are welcome!  

Paypal: [email protected]  or  

Venmo: @Matt-Flinner-Mando 

 

Hope to see you on Friday!

Thanks,
Matt

 

Need more mandolin?  Fall courses in rhythm playing and music theory for mandolin players have started, but you can still get caught up!   Click here for more info.


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Fall Courses Start 9/28-30! Folk & Bluegrass Mandolin Rhythm, Swing Mandolin Rhythm and Music Theory for Mandolin Players

By Theme Admin on August 24th, 2020 at 5:08 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. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bluegrass Mandolin 101 online lessons program continues this fall with more three eight-week long courses focusing on rhythm playing (something we tend to neglect in our practice!) and music theory.  All three courses are designed to give students practical tools they can use in playing music with other people and/or to better understand melody and harmony as they relate to the mandolin fretboard—all with the goal of having more fun playing the mandolin.  

 

Folk and Bluegrass Mandolin Rhythm with Matt Flinner               Curriculum         Registration 

Swing Mandolin Rhythm with Matt Flinner                                 Curriculum         Registration

Music Theory for Mandolin Players with Matt Flinner                  Curriculum         Registration

 

The Folk and Bluegrass Mandolin Rhythm course (September 28-December 5): this course will help students learn ways of playing rhythm in bluegrass and folk music, with a bit of blues and “newgrass” mixed in.  Basic chord forms will be given, and the course will gradually build on these into chord inversions, double stops and melodic “fills.”  Songs will be taught in several keys to help students get more comfortable with the fretboard and gain more confidence to be able to play more effectively in jam sessions.  Each week, students will be given chord exercises and rhythm exercises along with two or more songs to practice.  Some of those exercises will be more basic, and as we go through the class session, the exercises will get more advanced.  Each week, students will be encouraged to focus on the exercises that best suit their ability level.  The goal will be to help students become more adept at playing rhythm in various keys and styles and develop a more solid sense of timing.

The course is intended for players at a beginning to intermediate ability level (though absolute beginners will have a difficult time keeping up—knowledge of basic chords and rhythm playing will help!), or for players at any level who are looking to improve their chord vocabulary and rhythm playing.  Register here. 

 

The Swing Mandolin Rhythm course (September 29-December 5): this course is intended to help students learn how to play backup on 16 swing/jazz standards, using various chord forms in various keys to get a handle on how to play rhythm smoothly and learn more of the fretboard along the way.  Basic chord forms will be given, and the course will gradually build on these into chord inversions, extensions, typical movement within common progressions and, eventually, even a bit of chord melody playing.  Songs will be taught in several keys to help students get more comfortable with the fretboard and gain more confidence to be able to play more effectively in jam sessions.  Each week, students will be given chord exercises and rhythm exercises along with two or more songs to practice.  The goal will be to help students become more adept at playing rhythm, develop a more solid sense of timing, and to be able to add chords into melodic soloing.  

The course is intended in general for intermediate-level students, or to any students wanting to improve their swing backup playing.  Register here.  

 

The Music Theory for Mandolin Players course (September 30-November 21): this course is intended to help students learn more about the mandolin fretboard and learn lots of music theory along they way as they progress through a series of exercises week by week.  Students will be given a mix of scale, arpeggio, chord, transposition and ear training exercises each week to help them find their way around the fretboard in various keys.  We’ll also do a bit of musical analysis on some familiar melodies and chord progressions from folk and rock/pop music (leaning heavily toward the Beatles).  Students at all levels are encouraged to participate, though the course will likely be most beneficial to students at an upper beginner to higher intermediate level.   Register here. 

 

The course fee for the Folk and Bluegrass Rhythm and Swing Rhythm courses is $225.  The course fee for the Music Theory for Mandolin Players course is $175.  

 

 

Register for Folk and Bluegrass Mandolin Rhythm with Matt Flinner

Register for Swing Mandolin Rhythm with Matt Flinner

Register for Music Theory for Mandolin Players with Matt Flinner

 

The Folk and Bluegrass Mandolin Rhythm course takes place on Monday afternoons and evenings at 2 and 9 pm eastern time.  We’ll also have practice/review sessions on Saturdays at 10 am eastern time.  NOTE: Monday 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 Monday sessions each week (they will be essentially identical to one another in content).  Monday class sessions will take place from September 28-November 30, and Saturday follow-up practice sessions will take place from October 3 to December 5.  The weeks of November 3 and November 24 will be off, so students will have a little extra time to review!  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 Swing Mandolin Rhythm course (September 29-December 5) meets on Tuesday evenings at 9 pm eastern time, with follow-up practice sessions Saturday mornings at 11 am eastern time.  Students will have eight Tuesday class sessions (September 29-December 1) and eight Saturday follow-up practice sessions (October 3-December 5).  The weeks of November 3 and November 24 will be off, so students will have a little extra time to review!  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 Music Theory for Mandolin Players course (September 30-November 21) 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 (September 30-November 18) and eight Saturday follow-up practice sessions (October 3-November 21).  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 the Folk and Bluegrass Rhythm and Swing Rhythm courses is $225.  The course fee for the Music Theory for Mandolin Players course is $175.  

 

 

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

The course fee for the Folk and Bluegrass Rhythm and Swing Rhythm courses is $225.  The course fee for the Music Theory for Mandolin Players course is $175.  

 

 

 

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 Folk and Bluegrass Mandolin Rhythm with Matt Flinner

Register for Swing Mandolin Rhythm with Matt Flinner

Register for Music Theory for Mandolin Players with Matt Flinner


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Music Theory for Mandolin Players Curriculum (9/30-11/21)

By Theme Admin on August 24th, 2020 at 4:39 PM

 

 

 

“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 for Music Theory for Mandolin Players 

 

See the Folk and Bluegrass Mandolin Rhythm curriculum

See the Swing Mandolin Rhythm curriculum

 

 

Welcome to the Music Theory for Mandolin Players online course!  This course is intended to help students learn more about the mandolin fretboard and learn some music theory along they way as they progress through a series of exercises week by week.  Students will be given a mix of scale, arpeggio, chord, transposition and ear training exercises each week to help them find their way around the fretboard in various keys.  We’ll also do a bit of musical analysis on some familiar melodies and chord progressions from folk and rock/pop music (leaning heavily toward the Beatles).  Students at all levels are encouraged to participate, though the course will likely be most beneficial to students at an upper beginner to higher intermediate level. 

Class sessions meet every Wednesday evening from September 30th to November 18th at 9 pm eastern time, and practice/review sessions meet every Saturday from October 3rd to November 21st at 12:30 pm eastern time.  

Students are encouraged to attend the live sessions to be able to interact more directly with the instructor, but live attendance is NOT required.  Students will be able to view the recordings of all of the sessions any time afterward as often as they want through the class website.

Students are encouraged to prioritize certain exercises according to their ability level, and are given the option of adding to many of the exercises in order to further challenge themselves if they wish to.  Part of the intent of the course is to challenge students at a variety of levels, and to help students advance their playing, learn new musical ideas and have more fun playing the mandolin regardless of their ability level.

 

Register for Music Theory for Mandolin Players

 

 

WEEK 1 (9/30)

Major Scales

Numbering notes in the scale

Transposing melodies

Chord study #1 

I-IV-V Progressions 

Melodic exercise I: You Are My Sunshine

 

WEEK 2 (10/7)

Minor Scales

Chord study #2

Ear training exercise #1

Scale exercise I

Melodic Exercise II: Shady Grove

 

WEEK 3 (10/14)

Modes

Diatonic chord exercise

Closed position scales

Scale Exercise II

Chord study #3

Melodic Exercise III: Eleanor Rigby

 

WEEK 4 (10/21)

Chord Inversions

Chord tones as melodic devices

Chord tones as improv devices

Arpeggio Exercise I

Melodic Exercise IV and analysis: The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

 

WEEK 5 (10/28)

Interval studies

Double stops as chord tones

Ear training exercise #2

Scale Exercise III

Arpeggio Exercise II

Melodic Exercise V: Layla (outro)

 

WEEK 6 (11/4)

Dominant 7 chords

Types of cadences

Voice leading in cadences

Secondary dominants

Ear training exercise #3

Melodic Exercise VI: Something 

 

WEEK 7 (11/11)

Modulation

Common tones in chords

Chord exercise #3 (using common tones to find chords)

Scale Exercise III

Arpeggio Exercise III

Melodic Exercise VII: Penny Lane

 

WEEK 8 (11/18)

Chromaticism

More with modulation

Scale and arpeggio review

Ear Training Exercise #4

Melodic Exercise VIII: Yesterday

 

The course fee is $175.  

Register here.

 


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Swing Mandolin Rhythm Curriculum (9/29-12/5)

By Theme Admin on August 24th, 2020 at 4:18 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 here

 

See the Folk and Bluegrass Mandolin Rhythm Curriculum

See the Music Theory for Mandolin Players Curriculum

 

New this fall is a course focusing solely on playing rhythm in swing and jazz—something we do probably 90% of the time when we’re playing with other people in a swing jam session or other group setting!   This course will help students learn how to play backup on 16 swing/jazz standards, using various chord forms in various keys to get a handle on how to play rhythm smoothly and learn more of the fretboard along the way.  Basic chord forms will be given, and the course will gradually build on these into chord inversions, extensions, typical movement within common progressions and, eventually, even a bit of chord melody playing  Songs will be taught in several keys to help students get more comfortable with the fretboard and gain more confidence to be able to play more effectively in jam sessions.  Each week, students will be given chord exercises and rhythm exercises along with two or more songs to practice.  The goal will be to help students become more adept at playing rhythm, develop a more solid sense of timing, and to be able to add chords into melodic soloing.  

The course is intended in general for intermediate-level students, or to any students wanting to explore various styles of backup playing. 

Classes meet every Tuesday at 9 pm eastern time, with practice/review sessions on Saturdays at 11 am eastern time.  The weeks of November 3 and 24 are off, so there will be a total of eight class sessions and eight practice/review sessions over the course of 10 weeks.  

 

Register for Swing Mandolin Rhythm with Matt Flinner

 

 

WEEK 1 (9/29)

Basic swing rhythm

Major chord inversions

Dominant 7 inversions

Moving between inversions in your backup playing

The Sheik of Araby

Sweet Georgia Brown

 

WEEK 2 (10/6)

Minor chords

Minor chord inversions

Major 6 and Major 7 chords

St. James Infirmary

St. Louis Blues

 

WEEK 3 (10/13)

ii-V-Is

ii-V-Is in a couple of positions

Minor 7 chord inversion exercise

Lady Be Good

Broadway

 

WEEK 4 (10/20)

Adding some diminished passing chords

Continued work on ii-V-Is in various keys

Moving ii-V-I inversions

Honeysuckle Rose

Night and Day

 

WEEK 5 (10/27)

Diatonic chord movement

Adding extensions on Dominant 7 chords

ii-V-Is using extensions

Pennies from Heaven

This Can’t Be Love

 

WEEK 6 (11/10)

Minor ii-V-is

Adding extensions continued

Half-Diminished chord inversions

Autumn Leaves

How High the Moon

 

WEEK 7 (11/17)

I-VI-ii-Vs-Is

Various inversions in I-VI patterns

Variations and chord substitutions

Stormy Weather

Just You,  Just Me

 

WEEK 8 (12/1)

Working toward chord melody

Using inversions to create melody

Improvising with chord inversions

Satin Doll

Rose Room

 

 

The course fee is $225.  

Register here.

 

 


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Folk and Bluegrass Mandolin Rhythm Curriculum (9/28-12/5)

By Theme Admin on August 24th, 2020 at 3:59 PM

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

“This was the best online learning experience I’ve ever had.  And, for the time and money, the best music learning experience in any format: DVD, video, group, or individual live lessons.”—Christine R.

 

 

 

 

 

Register for Folk and Bluegrass Mandolin Rhythm with Matt Flinner

 

See the Swing Mandolin Rhythm curriculum

See the Music Theory for Mandolin Players curriculum

 

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

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

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

Classes meet every Monday at 2 pm and 9 pm eastern time (both classes are the same—the 2 pm class time is there for folks across the Atlantic and anyone else who might prefer an earlier class time!), with practice/review sessions on Saturdays at 10 am eastern time.  The weeks of November 2 and 23 are off, so there will be eight weeks of classes in 10 weeks time.  

 

Register here 

 

Here is the curriculum: 

 

WEEK 1 (9/28)

Reviewing open style rhythm

Open chords

Basslines between chords

Adding dynamics between phrases

Hard Times

You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away

 

WEEK 2 (10/5)

Barre style chords

Minor chords in a couple of styles

Bass notes as target notes

Fall on My Knees

Tennessee Waltz

 

WEEK 3 (10/12)

Bluegrass Chop chords in various keys

Using fills

More dynamics in rhythm playing

Moving between chord inversions

Blue Ridge Cabin Home

Way Downtown

 

WEEK 4 (10/19)

3-note chords 

Moving between inversions

Adding 7th chords

Freight Train

Blues Stay Away from Me

 

WEEK 5 (10/26)

A bit of blues rhythm

7th chords

Some double stops

Adding some more fills to your backup

Stormy Monday

Bring It on Home

 

WEEK 6 (11/9)

Newgrass rhythms

Syncopated rhythms 

More double stops in backup

Going between chords and double stops

White Freightliner Blues

Watermelon Man

 

WEEK 7 (11/16)

More advanced chord progressions

Getting smooth transitions between chords

Mixing in different chord styles

Tricky progressions in various positions

Just Because

Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone

 

WEEK 8 (11/30)

Putting it all together

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

Adding fills and double stops in various styles

Transposing to various keys

Make Me a Pallet on Your Floor

Trouble in Mind

 

The course fee is $225.

Register for Folk and Bluegrass Rhythm 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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