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Matt Flinner

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Save $75 on Winter Courses through 11/1! 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.            Register by November 1st and save $75!   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 November 1st for just $150!   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.       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 November 1st 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.   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.         Register by November 1st and save $75!   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 November 1st for just $150!  That's $75 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 November 1st for just $150! 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.       Register by November 1st and save $75!   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 November 1st for just $150! 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.       Save $75 when you register by November 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 November 1st for just $150; that's $75 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 November 1st for just $150! 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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Tunes for Drink Up and Stay Home Bluegrass Jam on Facebook, August 28th

By Theme Admin on July 16th, 2020 at 9:13 PM

                      Hi everyone,   Tunes are up for our weekly Drink Up and Stay Home Virtual Bluegrass Jam which happens FRIDAY, August 28th.   Click here to download the zip file of PDFs for this week: Facebook Jam 21   Each week, in addition to several bluegrass standards, 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/767491030751697   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 are $50-75 off through August 31st!   Click here for more info.


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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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