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Matt Flinner

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Bluegrass Mandolin Jamming II Curriculum (Sept 9-Oct 5)

By Theme Admin on June 19th, 2019 at 7:06 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 stude           “I have to say that making everything available online is a great convenience for me. Being able to stop and return to a more challenging exercise or a newer phrase is a great for learning. I also really appreciate your availability to answer questions offline. This is a great course, and I feel as though I’m improving daily because of it.”—Joe C., Bluegrass Mandolin 101 student     Register for Bluegrass Mandolin Jamming II with Matt Flinner       This course is intended to help the aspiring mandolinist build up repertoire and find ways of creating new solos over commonly played standards; it’s also designed in the hope that it will encourage students to get out and jam with other players! Each week, we’ll look at four bluegrass standard tunes.  Students will be given lead sheets (in standard notation and tablature) for each song, as well as a few exercises to help them learn more about the fretboard and start incorporating new ideas into their solos.  Concepts and tunes will be taught during the class session, and all tunes will be revisited during Saturday practice sessions in a “jam session” format, where each song is played several times though, and students have the opportunity to try out some of the week’s concepts on the tunes (with guidance from Matt). While this course is a continuation of the Bluegrass Mandolin Jamming course which completes in early July, it is not necessary for students to have taken the first course to be able to take the second course.  The Bluegrass Mandolin Jamming II course is intended to reinforce many of the concepts taught in the previous course, while expanding the student’s knowledge of the fretboard beyond where the first course left off. The course begins September 9 and runs through October 5.  Class sessions will meet on Wednesdays at 2 pm eastern time (7 or 8 pm in the UK and most of Europe) and 8 pm eastern time.  Practice/review sessions meet every Saturday from 10-10:45 am 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.   The course fee is $125.  Register for $100 through August 1st! Register for Bluegrass Mandolin Jamming II with Matt Flinner   Here is the curriculum:   WEEK 1 (September 9) Key of C Various Positions in C Using Open Strings C Chord Tones and Double Stops The Walls of Time Way Downtown I Ain't Gonna Work Tomorrow Tennessee Waltz       WEEK 2 (September 16) Key of E    Position Playing in E  E Chord Tones and Double Stops Octave Changes Hold Whatcha Got The Last Thing on My Mind In the Pines Why You Been Gone So Long?   WEEK 3 (September 23)   Key of F Positions in F Chord Tones in F Using Two Chord Styles in Backup Once More Memories of Mother and Dad Rank Strangers Won't You Come and Sing for Me?   WEEK 4 (September 30) Key of B Positions in B B Chord Tones and Double Stops Chop Chords and “Open” Style Chords in B Dooley Love, Please Come Home I Cried Again Rain, Please Go Away     Register here. Questions?  Email Matt at [email protected]  


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Bluegrass Jamming, Scale and Arpeggio Intensive and Double Stops Intensive Start 6/10!

By Theme Admin on April 24th, 2019 at 4:40 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 summer with three four-week long intensive courses designed to help you improve your technique, learn some tunes and help you have more fun playing the mandolin!   Bluegrass Jamming with Matt Flinner                         Curriculum         Registration  Scale and Arpeggio Intensive with Matt Flinner        Curriculum         Registration Double Stops Intensive with Matt Flinner                   Curriculum         Registration   The Bluegrass Mandolin Jamming with Matt Flinner course (June 10-July 13) is intended to help students play bluegrass music with other people.  Each week, students will receive four new tunes (from beginner to advanced level) along with ways of playing rhythm, approaches to creating variations on the tune, and some exercises to help with fundamental technique.  The goal is to help students learn more tunes, learn practical approaches to playing those tunes, and get out and play with other people!  Register here.    The Scales and Arpeggios Intensive Course (June 11-July 13) will help students learn the fundamental building blocks of melody, harmony and improvisation.  The course is intended for students at an intermediate to advanced level, and will use swing and well as bluegrass material as examples in conjunction with exercises in scales and patterns, modes and arpeggios.  Students will get a lot of material to help them learn the fretboard, and will learn one song per week with some suggestions on how to incorporate that week's exercises and concepts into creating new solos and improvising over chord progressions.  Register here.     The Mandolin Double Stops Intensive Course (June 12-July 13) is intended to help students with the fundamentals of tone and picking technique while learning the fretboard.  Double stops in various keys will be looked at, along with picking exercises (which will sometimes incorporate those double stops) to help improve efficiency and speed.  And we’ll focus quite a bit on improving our tone and getting the most sound out of our instruments that we can.  Each week, we’ll also learn a tune (sometimes bluegrass or folk, sometimes Beatles, sometimes Bob Dylan) and look at various ways of using double stops either as part of the melody or as a way of varying the melody.  The course is intended for players of all levels who want to go deeper into the fundamentals of playing the mandolin, especially tone, picking ability and, of course, double stops.  Register here.    Register for Bluegrass Mandolin Jamming with Matt Flinner Register for the Scale and Arpeggio Intensive with Matt Flinner Register for the Double Stops Intensive with Matt Flinner   The Bluegrass Mandolin Jamming course takes place on Monday afternoons and evenings at 2 and 8 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 June 10, 17, 24 and July 8, and Saturday follow-up practice sessions will take place June 15, 22, 29 and July 13.  The week of July 1 is off due to Matt’s tour schedule.  All live sessions are recorded and uploaded to a class website, where they are viewable generally by the following day (in the case of Saturday practice sessions, they’re usually available to view later that day). Register here.   The Scales and Arpeggios Intensive Course (June 11-July 13) meets on Tuesday evenings at 8 pm eastern time, with follow-up practice sessions Saturday mornings at 11 am eastern time.  The week of July 2 is off sue to Matt’s tour schedule; students will have four Tuesday class sessions (June 11, 18, 25 and July 9) and four Saturday follow-up practice sessions (June 15, 22, 29 and July 13).  All live sessions are recorded and uploaded to a class website, where they are viewable generally by the following day (in the case of Saturday practice sessions, they’re usually available to view later that day). Register here.   The Double Stops Intensive Course (June 12-July 13) meets on Wednesday evenings at 8 pm eastern time, with follow-up practice sessions Saturdays at 12:15 pm eastern time.  The week of July 3 is off sue to Matt’s tour schedule; students will have four Wednesday class sessions (June 12, 19, 26 and July 10) and four Saturday follow-up practice sessions (June 15, 22, 29 and July 13).  All live sessions are recorded and uploaded to a class website, where they are viewable generally by the following day (in the case of Saturday practice sessions, they’re usually available to view later that day). Register here.   ALL class materials (PDFs, practice mp3s, short practice videos and class session videos) are available for students to download and keep for future use.     The course fee for each course is $125.  Sign up for two courses by May 13th and save $50!  Just sign up for the courses you want to take, and we'll send you a confirmation along with an invoice for the course fees ($200 for both courses).  You'll be all set! All students access to the live sessions as well as all materials (PDFs, mp3s, practice videos and class session videos), which they can download for future use.     Here’s a little more info about the Bluegrass Mandolin 101 online experience that I hope will give you a good idea of how the program works.   BLUEGRASS MANDOLIN 101  Matt Flinner started the Bluegrass Mandolin 101 program in the fall of 2013.  Along the way, the program has helped hundreds of students improve their mandolin playing in a wide variety of styles.  The program offers a unique approach to online mandolin lessons that gives students the best of both live lessons as well as recorded mandolin instructional videos, audio recordings and written materials.  The courses focus on helping mandolin students get to the next level in their playing and broaden their understanding of a variety of American musical traditions.    A UNIQUE APPROACH: LIVE INSTRUCTION AND INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEOS Part of what makes the Bluegrass Mandolin 101 program unique is the fact that students follow a step-by-step program of live lessons over a four or eight week course.  The courses follow a carefully planned curriculum in the given style or area of technique, and the live lessons get a little more challenging each week as the course progresses.  Classes meet twice per week: on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday evening, depending on the course, and on Saturday morning/afternoon, when students can join a follow-up practice session to review that week’s material.  Students can view the live lessons via their computer, iPad or smart phone.  Students are encouraged to ask questions during the class sessions via a chat window and/or their external or built-in microphone (this microphone is muted unless the student requests to use it).  And students do not need a webcam.   All live sessions are also recorded so that students can review them any time if they are unable to make it to the live sessions; this also gives students the added convenience of going through the material as many times as they want to.  Students are given access to a private class website where they can find these recorded sessions and they can also view and download all PDFs of the materials and several practice mp3s of that week’s song(s) recorded at various tempos.  Students will also be given download links for all class videos so that they can view them offline at their convenience on into the future.  In essence, all materials from the course are for the students to keep.   One aspect of the live class schedule that makes the program so effective is that students are generally more encouraged to practice in order to keep up with the schedule.  Students are given a list of suggested priorities each week, depending on their ability level and amount of practice time, and all material is then reviewed in the Saturday practice session so that students get another chance to run through it with the instructor.  Just by showing up, students will run through the material twice each week—for many of us, that’s already an improvement!     HOW INTERACTIVE ARE THE COURSES? All live sessions are interactive; students can ask questions and/or demonstrate tunes or exercises via live microphone or telephone, or via a chat window (most students opt for this approach).  The instructor is able to immediately respond and demonstrate the answers for the whole class.  Another form of interaction comes via mp3 recordings; students can record mp3s on their own time of themselves playing the material (or anything else they want to send in) and send it to the instructor for feedback, which is also recorded in mp3 form and sent back to the student.  Students can post their mp3s on the class site (and likely get encouraging feedback from other students in addition to the instructor) or email them privately to the instructor.   HOW MUCH DO I NEED TO PRACTICE? That is completely up to the student.  While, say, 30 minutes per day might be a good recommendation for practice time, students can make whatever they choose of this course based on their own schedule and aspirations.  Practicing week to week (again, say 30 minutes per day) will help students keep up with the week’s lessons and concepts, but the instructor knows that people have busy lives!  This is why all instructional material is archived and available for download so that students can learn on their own time after the course has finished as well as during the eight weeks of classes.  However, one advantage to the four-week scheduled course is that by practicing at least somewhat regularly, students are more able to be prepared for the following week’s lessons and therefore take full advantage of the live and recorded mix of lesson material. Students can decide whether to practice along with the class session or with the shorter individual videos (or both), depending on what they want to focus on for that week.  Material is given each week that is targeted toward various ability levels; a song is given which is playable for beginning to intermediate players (or intermediate to advanced, depending on the course), and various concepts relating to that song are also given to educate and challenge players at beginning, intermediate and even advanced levels.  The student essentially decides how much they want to take on for the week (and the course) based on their ability level and how much practice time they have.  Any material they were unable to get to during the week and want to revisit later will be available in the archived videos and PDFs.  The instructor will also give students a recommended list of priorities each week to help students take the best advantage of their practice time.   THE CLASS WEBPAGE This is the virtual gathering place for the courses, where students can view the instructional videos, view and/or download all written materials, listen to mp3s of Matt playing the tunes, get listening recommendations, ask questions, submit their own mp3s for feedback and generate forum discussions.  It’s a great place to drop by any time and explore, learn and discuss.     REGISTRATION FEE Fees for the 4-week summer courses are $125 each.       Here are a few quotes from some past students about their experiences in the Bluegrass Mandolin 101 program: "I've participated in many online learning programs, but so far, your format is the best I've ever seen. I am so pleased I happened upon your courses."---Gina M. “I’ve practiced more in two weeks than I have in months!  Really enjoying how it’s going.”—Donna O. “I have to say that making everything available online is a great convenience for me. Being able to stop and return to a more challenging exercise or a newer phrase is great for learning. I also really appreciate your availability to answer questions offline. This is a great course, and I feel as though I’m improving daily because of it.”---Joe C. “The level was perfect. Mentally I understand many things that have opened up the fingerboard a lot; now I need some quality time to get it under my hands. I found things challenging without feeling out of reach.”—Stan M. “I’m really enjoying the course. The first time I’ve actually practiced an instrument in my 60 years!”—Skip H.   To visit the registration pages, click one of these links:   Register for Bluegrass Jamming with Matt Flinner Register for the Scale and Arpeggio Intensive with Matt Flinner Register for the Double Stops Intensive with Matt Flinner   You can always ask questions about the courses via email ([email protected]), and I’ll get back to you as quickly as possible.  I hope to see you this summer! All the best, Matt


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Scale and Arpeggio Intensive with Matt Flinner Curriculum (June 11-July 13)

By Theme Admin on April 18th, 2019 at 5:51 PM

    "I've participated in many online learning programs, but so far, your format is the best I've ever seen. I am so pleased I happened upon your courses."---Gina M.       "All your courses are really good, very well designed, and you have a great teaching style and a relaxed, open, while also serious, approach - which really comes across with the live lessons - thank you for being so encouraging always!"---Penny J.      "I’m loving the instruction and all the materials, it's got me playing my mandolin constantly!"---James M.          Register for the Scale and Arpeggio Intensive with Matt Flinner   See the Bluegrass Jamming curriculum (June 10-July 13) See the Double Stops Intensive curriculum (June 12-July 13)     The Scale and Arpeggio Intensive course is intended to give students a more solid understanding of the fretbaord while getting ideas of the "tools" used in soloing and improvisation.  Each week, students will be given a handful of exercises using various types of scales and arpeggios in various keys, along with a tune from either the bluegrass or swing/jazz repertoire as a vehicle for using ideas from that week's exercises in creating solos.  The goal is to help students gain a better understanding of how music works, and to get ideas to help them advance more quickly and have more fun playing with others.  The course is intended for students at an intermediate to advanced level.   Classes meet every Tuesday from June 11 to July 9 (with the week of July 2 off due to Matt's tour schedule) at 8 pm eastern time, with practice/review sessions every Saturday from June  15 to July 13 at 11 am eastern time.  Students are encouraged to attend the live sessions, but will be able to view the sessions afterwards on the class website in the event they cannot attend live.         WEEK 1 (June 11) The Circle of Fifths Major Scales in All Keys Major Scale and Pattern in Thirds I Major Arpeggio Exercise I Major Arpeggio Exercise II Leather Britches as Improv Landscape   WEEK 2 (June 18) Mixolydian Scales in All Keys Mixolydian Scale Exercise I Major Scales in Thirds II Dominant 7 Arpeggio Exercise I Dominant 7 Arpeggios from the 3rd Sweet Georgia Brown as Improv Landscape   WEEK 3 (June 25) The Modes Dorian Scales in All Keys Dorian Scale Pattern I Minor 7 Arpeggio Exercise I Using Alternate Chord Tones The Kitchen Girl   WEEK 4 (July 9) The ii-V-I Dorian, Mixolydian and Major Scales in a Chord Progression ii-V-I Arpeggio Exercises Some More Scale Patterns Chord Tones as Target Notes in ii-V-Is Whisperin’   The course fee is $125.   Register for the Scale and Arpeggio Intensive course    Questions?  Email Matt Flinner at [email protected]


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Mandolin Double Stops Intensive Curriculum (June 12-July 13)

By Theme Admin on April 18th, 2019 at 5:13 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 the Double Stops Intensive course with Matt Flinner   See the Bluegrass Jamming Curriculum (June 10-July 13) See the Scale and Arpeggio Intensive Curriculum (June 11-July 13)   This course is intended to help students with fundamentals while learning the fretboard.  Double stops in various keys will be looked at, along with picking exercises (which will sometimes incorporate those double stops) to help improve efficiency and speed.  And we’ll focus quite a bit on improving our tone and getting the most sound out of our instruments that we can.  Each week, we’ll also learn a tune (sometimes bluegrass or folk, sometimes Beatles, sometimes Bob Dylan) and look at various ways of using double stops either as part of the melody or as a way of varying the melody.   The course is intended for players of all levels who want to go deeper into the fundamentals of playing the mandolin, especially tone, picking ability and, of course, double stops.     Here is the curriculum:   WEEK 1 (June 12) Picking Exercise I Double Stop Exercise in G Double Stop Exercise in A Moving Smoothly Between Double Stops Chord Forms in G and A You Ain’t Going Nowhere   WEEK 2 (June 19) Picking Exercise II Moving Between Double Stops on a Chord Progression Double Stop Exercise in C Chord Forms in C and D I Ain’t Gonna Work Tomorrow   WEEK 3 (June 26) Picking Exercise III Tremolo and Double Stops Diatonic Double Stops in G Double Stop Exercise in D Three Chord Inversions  You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away   WEEK 4 (July 10) Picking Exercise IV More with Tremolo Open Style Double Stops Using the b7 in Double Stops 7th Chord Inversions Dig a Hole in the Meadow   The course fee is $125.   Register for the Double Stops Intensive course with Matt Flinner    


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Bluegrass Mandolin Jamming Curriculum (June 10-July 13)

By Theme Admin on April 17th, 2019 at 5:05 PM

      "I started playing the mandolin a little over two years ago. I played the piano as a child, but having never played a stringed instrument before, my intention was to study as much as I could about technique, theory, improvisation and the various genres of music for the mandolin. To that end, I have taken nearly every course Matt has offered, even three at a time! Matt is a brilliant teacher. Every course is deep and rich with information. The material is thoughtfully explained, allowing a student to slowly transform the class material into music. I can't imagine this journey without Matt Flinner.  His courses are a true life changing musical experience!"---Lisa S.       “Your courses have opened my musical mind, focused my practice and expanded my skill far beyond expectation.”—-Steve F.           Register for Bluegrass Jamming with Matt Flinner   See the Scale and Arpeggio Intensive Curriculum See the Mandolin Double Stops Intensive Curriculum       This course is intended to help the aspiring mandolinist build up repertoire and find ways of creating new solos over commonly played standards; it’s also designed in the hope that it will encourage students to get out and jam with other players!   Each week, we’ll look at four bluegrass standard tunes (including one waltz) in a particular key.  Students will be given lead sheets (in standard notation and tablature) for each song, as well as a few exercises to help them learn more about the fretboard and start incorporating new ideas into their solos.  Concepts and tunes will be taught during the class session, and all tunes will be revisited during Saturday practice sessions in a “jam session” format, where each song is played several times though, and students have the opportunity to try out some of the week’s concepts on the tunes (with guidance and suggestions from Matt).     Register here   Here is the curriculum:    WEEK 1 (June 10) Key of G Warmup Picking Exercise Positions in G G Scale Exercises My Long Journey Home Who Will Sing for Me? My Little Girl in Tennessee A Good Woman's Love   WEEK 2 (June 17) Key of D Moving Between Positions in D D Scale and Patterns Changing Octaves in a Tune Gotta Travel On Deep Elem Blues Paradise Tear My Stillhouse Down   WEEK 3 (June 24) Some Minor Key Tunes A Variety of Minor Chords E Minor Scales and Patterns Throwing in Some Minor Double Stops Shady Grove Wayfaring Stranger With a Vamp in the Middle Jerusalem Ridge   WEEK 4 (July 8) Key of A Some Positions in A Using Open Strings A Major Scale and Patterns Mixing in Licks and Double Stops I'll Go Stepping Too Walk Softly on This Heart of Mine Don't Give Your Heart to a Rambler Stone Walls and Steel Bars   Live class sessions take place Mondays at 2 pm eastern and 8 pm eastern time from June 10 to July 8 (the week of July 1 is off due to Matt's tour schedule).  Both class sessions are the same, and are offered at two different times to accomodate students in other time zones (including Europe, the UK, Australia etc.).  Follow-up practice sessions occur on Saturdays at 10 am eastern time.   All of the live sessions are recorded so that students who are unable to attend a live session (or two, or all!) can view them later on the class website.     The course fee is $125.     Register for Bluegrass Jamming with Matt Flinner      


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Swing Mando 101, Mando Chord Melody and Western Swing Start 4/1!

By Theme Admin on February 11th, 2019 at 12:37 AM

      "I have done some online courses, some one-on-one instruction and some camps.  The course I just finished with you has been the most useful by a pretty large margin.  Thanks for both the thought and effort that went into the design and material preparation and for the personal presence you bring to it."---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.               Swing Mandolin 101                      Curriculum               Registration Mandolin Chord Melody                 Curriculum               Registration Western Swing Mandolin               Curriculum               Registration     New online courses for spring of 2019 are coming April 1-3!  Swing Mandolin 101 (Mondays), Mandolin Chord Melody (Tuesdays) and Western Swing Mandolin (Wednesdays) will delve into various aspects of swing and jazz at various levels.       Swing Mandolin 101 is an introduction to swing and jazz on the mandolin which will give students the basics on how to solo and play chord progressions on several jazz standards.  Scales, arpeggios and chord inversions will be explored in-depth to give students the vocabulary they need to play melodies, improvise, play rhythm and, in general, have more fun playing the mandolin at swing jam sessions.  This course is recommended for students at an advanced beginner to intermediate level.   The Swing Mandolin 101 course takes place on Mondays at 9 pm eastern time, with follow-up practice sessions on Saturdays at 10 am eastern time.   See the Swing Mandolin 101 curriculum Register for Swing Mandolin 101 with Matt Flinner     The Mandolin Chord Melody course goes more in-depth with chords.  Chord inversions will be explored around the fretboard in various keys, and students will learn how to play melodies using those chord inversions as melodic and harmonic foundations.  Students will also be given tips on using these chords to accompany other soloists, as well as ways of using chord inversions and chord melody technique in improvisation.   It’s a great way to become not only a better solo mandolinist, but a much better accompanist as well!   This course is intended for students at an intermediate to advanced level.   The Mandolin Chord Melody course takes place on Tuesdays at 9 pm eastern time, with follow-up practice sessions on Saturdays at 11 am eastern time.   See the Mandolin Chord Melody curriculum Register for Mandolin Chord Melody with Matt Flinner     Western Swing Mandolin (April 3-June 8) will explore the music of Texas dance halls in the 1930s and 40s.  Drawing mostly from the music of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, but also the likes of Milton Brown, Hank Thompson and Spade Cooley, the course will introduce students to the unique combination of early country music and jazz that became Western Swing.  Besides learning standard songs, students will be given exercises to help them play lead and backup as well as transcribed solos by some of the masters of the style.  This course is intended for intermediate-level students, though students at all levels who are intersted in Western Swing may find it helpful.  A minimum rudimentary knowledge of chords and some fiddle tune melodies is recommended.   The Western Swing Mandolin course takes place on Wednesdays at 9 pm eastern time, with follow-up practice sessions on Saturdays at 12:15 pm eastern time.   See the Western Swing Mandolin curriculum  Register for Western Swing Mandolin with Matt Flinner     The registration fee for each course is $225.     Questions?  Email Matt at [email protected]


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Mandolin Chord Melody Curriculum (April 2-June 8)

By Theme Admin on February 10th, 2019 at 8:13 PM

  “After buying six mandolins and umpteen books…I am convinced your course is best $100 I have invested in my mandolin journey to date.  Finally, I’m getting the discpline I need with your exercises to learn scales, arpeggios, double stops, fingering techniques, learn the fretboard (the essential tools I need)…and most importantly to learn how those things fit into playing tunes.”—Rick D., Bluegrass Mandolin 101 student       “I have to say that making everything available online is a great convenience for me. Being able to stop and return to a more challenging exercise or a newer phrase is a great for learning. I also really appreciate your availability to answer questions offline. This is a great course, and I feel as though I’m improving daily because of it.”—Joe C., Bluegrass Mandolin 101 student             Register for Mandolin Chord Melody with Matt Flinner   See the Swing Mandolin 101 curriculum See the Western Swing Mandolin curriculum     This course is all about chords!  Chord inversions will be explored around the fretboard in various keys, and students will learn how to play melodies using those chord inversions as melodic and harmonic foundations.  Each week, two solo arrangements of swing/jazz standard tunes will be given in which the melody is played as the top note (or often passing notes) of the chord; as the melody moves, the chord inversions move accordingly, creating a full, rich sounding solo arrangement on, of all things, the mandolin.  Students will also be given tips on using these chords to accompany other soloists, as well as ways of using chord inversions and chord melody technique in improvisation.   It's a great way to become not only a better solo mandolinist, but a much better accompanist as well!   This course is intended for students at an intermediate/advanced level.     Mandolin Chord Melody Curriculum (April 2-June 8)   WEEK 1 (April 2) Intro to Chord Melody Starting with the Blues Dominant 7 Chord Inversions Scales over dominant 7 chords Route 66 Things Ain't What They Used to Be   WEEK 2 (April 16) Major 7 chord inversions  Scales over major 7 chords All of Me Sweet Lorraine   WEEK 3 (April 23) Minor 7 chord inversions Scales over minor 7 chords Moving from minor 7 to dominant 7 chords Blue Skies Georgia on My Mind   WEEK 4 (April 30) A Couple of Waltzes More moving chord inversions Someday My Prince Will Come Ugly Beauty   WEEK 5 (May 7) Putting it together Some 4-note Chords They Can't Take That Away from Me Someone to Watch Over Me   WEEK 6 (May 21) Common tones in chords Diminished Chords Diminshed chords as substitutions Scales over diminished chords Moonglow Stompin' at the Savoy   WEEK 7 (May 28) Moving double stops  Double stop exercises in various keys Adding some augmented chords If I Had You Do Nothing 'Til You Hear from Me   WEEK 8 (June 4) Starting to improvise chord melody Further use of chord inversions ii-V-I inversions Adding melodic lines between chords Sweet Georgia Brown Night and Day   The course fee is $225.   Register here for Mandolin Chord Melody with Matt Flinner         


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Western Swing Mandolin Curriculum (April 3-June 8)

By Theme Admin on February 10th, 2019 at 8:10 PM

      "I started playing the mandolin a little over two years ago. I played the piano as a child, but having never played a stringed instrument before, my intention was to study as much as I could about technique, theory, improvisation and the various genres of music for the mandolin. To that end, I have taken nearly every course Matt has offered, even three at a time! Matt is a brilliant teacher. Every course is deep and rich with information. The material is thoughtfully explained, allowing a student to slowly transform the class material into music. I can't imagine this journey without Matt Flinner.  His courses are a true life changing musical experience!"---Lisa S.   "Your classes are moving me forward so very much. Thank you." —Jean C.           Register for Western Swing Mandolin with Matt Flinner   See the Swing Mandolin 101 curriculum See the Mandolin Chord Melody curriculum     New this spring, Western Swing Mandolin with Matt Flinner will take students on a journey through the music of Texas dance halls in the 1930s and 40s.  Drawing mostly from the music of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, but also the likes of Milton Brown and Hank Thompson, the course will introduce students to the unique combination of early country music and jazz that became Western Swing.  Students will learn one (or two if they choose) standard song per week, and will be given exercises to help them play lead as well as backup, all with the intent of getting more familiar with the harmonically rich vocabulary of Western Swing Music.  We'll also look at at least one solo per week by one of the greats (Johnny Gimble, Tiny Moore, Leon McAuliffe, etc.) in this style.   This course is intended for intermediate-level students, though students at all levels who are intersted in Western Swing may find it helpful.  A minimum rudimentary knowledge of chords and some fiddle tune melodies is recommended.     Here is the curriclum:    WEEK 1 (April 3) Simple chord progressions Looking at chord tones A few melodic lines Melodic Pattern 1 Yearning Take Me Back to Tulsa   WEEK 2 (April 17) Extensions: 9 and 13 chords Melodic Pattern 2 Sugar Moon Corrine, Corrina Miss Molly   WEEK 3 (April 24) Using arpeggios Major, Dominant and Minor arpeggio exercises Melodic Pattern 3 Steel Guitar Rag Taking Off   WEEK 4 (May 1) More with chord tones Some more melodic lines Melodic Pattern 4 Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette Driving Nails in My Coffin   WEEK 5 (May 8) I-VI-II-V Progressions Lines over the I-VI-II-V progression I Hear You Talking’ Roly Poly   WEEK 6 (May 22) A bit of twin fiddle harmony Creating harmonies based on chord tones Faded Love San Antonio Rose   WEEK 7 (May 29)  Diatonic arpeggio lines Fat Boy Rag Three Guitar Special   WEEK 8 (June 5) Tying it all together Arpeggios, melodic lines, chord tones, extensions Yellow Rose of Texas Remington Ride   The course fee is $225.   Register here for Western Swing Mandolin with Matt Flinner    


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Swing Mandolin 101 Curriculum (April 1-June 8)

By Theme Admin on February 10th, 2019 at 7:14 PM

  "All your courses are really good, very well designed, and you have a great teaching style and a relaxed, open, while also serious, approach - which really comes across with the live lessons - thank you for being so encouraging always!"---Penny J.       "I got a lot out of it! Everyday I have a practice routine based on the summer intensive. You have helped me by leaps and bounds."---Sandy N.             Register for Swing Mandolin 101 with Matt Flinner   See the Mandolin Chord Melody curriculum See the Western Swing Mandolin curriculum     Explore the wonderful world of swing mandolin with Grammy-nominated mandolinist Matt Flinner.  Learn a new swing tune (or two) each week and get pointers on how to play chords and backup as well as approaches to improvising.  This course will be very much into chord voicings, scales, arpeggios and how they all relate to one another.  It’s a great way to expand your playing and musicianship (and learn some great tunes)!    The course takes place on Monday evenings at 9 pm eastern time, with practice/review sessions on Saturdays at 10 am eastern time.  The course is recommended for advanced beginner to intermediate students, and assumes some knowledge of chords and the ability to play some melodies.  Rudimentary knowledge of scales and arpeggios is also helpful.    SWING AND JAZZ MANDOLIN 101 CURRICULUM: Week 1 (April 1): The Blues Dominant 7 Chords Blues Scales C Jam Blues Bonus Tune: Route 66   Week 2 (April 15): The ii-V-I progression Major Scales and patterns in a few keys Two ways of playing ii-V-Is Major 7 Arpeggios in all keys Sweet Sue Bonus tune: How High the Moon   Week 3 (April 22): The Blues II (adding the ii-V-I) Dominant 7 chord inversions Dominant 7 arpeggios Mixolydian Scales and patterns Blues Walk Bonus tune: Cool Blues   Week 4 (April 29): Some more ii-V-Is A couple of ii-V-I licks Two more ii-V-I inversions Minor 7 arpeggios Dorian scales and patterns Honeysuckle Rose Bonus tune: Ain’t Misbehavin’   Week 5 (May 6): Going Around the Circle of 5ths Patterns around the circle Arpeggiating through chord progressions Seven Come Eleven Bonus tune: Sweet Georgia Brown   Week 6 (May 20): Target notes Some more ii-V-I licks and patterns Using target notes over chord changes Scale exercises and ii-V-Is All of Me Bonus tune: Back Home Again in Indiana   Week 7 (May 27): The I-VI-ii-V-I progression Two ways of playing the I-VI-ii-V-I progression Finding smooth chord tones from chord to chord Blue Moon Bonus tune: Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off   Week 8 (June 3): Rhythm changes Tying it all together: inversions, chord tones, arpeggios and scales I Got Rhythm Bonus tune: Oleo     The course fee is $225.   Register here for Swing Mandolin 101 with Matt Flinner


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Mando Europe Is Back! Bluegrass Mandolin 101 and American Roots Mandolin at Europe-friendly Times

By Theme Admin on December 18th, 2018 at 1:36 AM

We ring in the New Year with music to help bring us together, not just as Americans but as citizens of the world.  I'm always amazed at how bluegrass music crosses so many boundaries---economic, religious, racial and international---and how people from these disparate corners can find common ground in something they love and can all relate to.  So I'm hoping the Bluegrass Mandolin 101 program can perhaps help bring us together next year, at least in some small way!   Many folks in the UK and various parts of Europe have taken part in the Bluegrass Mandolin 101 program, but often the class times are inconvenient for them, to say the least.  Two courses coming this winter will be offered at more Euro-convenient times---the Bluegrass Mandolin 101 course and the American Roots Mandolin course.  Class sessions for the Bluegrass Mandolin 101 will take place live online on Mondays at 2 pm eastern time in the U.S., which is 7 pm in the U.K. and 8 pm in most of Europe, and sessions for the American Roots Mandolin course will take place on Wednesdays at the same time (and we're not forgetting about you Aussies---it's 6 am there, but we know you're hardy folks who've probably already accomplished more than the rest of us will all day!).  Students in any time zone are welcome to join these sessions as well as the 9 pm eastern time sessions on Mondays (for the Bluegrass Mandolin 101 course) or Wednesdays (for the American Roots Mandolin course).  Both class sessions will essentially be the same, but some students enjoy attending both in order to get a couple of run-throughs for that week's material.  One of the sessions will be posted to the class website by the following day, so if you can't make either one, not to worry: you can view it any time at your convenience (and even download it).    We will also have practice/review sessions for each course on Saturdays.  For the Bluegrass Mandolin 101 course, this will take place Saturdays at 10 am eastern time (3 or 4 pm in the U.K. and Europe) and for the American Roots Mandolin course, this will take place at 12:15 pm eastern time (5:15 or 6:15 pm in the U.K. and Europe).   Click on these links to get some more information:   The Bluegrass Mandolin 101 curriculum The American Roots Mandolin curriculum The Advanced Bluegrass Mandolin curriculum (sadly, this only takes place at 9 pm eastern time on Tuesdays, but the practice review sessions are at 11 am eastern time on Saturdays---which is 4-5 pm in the U.K. and Europe)   You can register for the courses here: Bluegrass Mandolin 101 registration American Roots Mandolin registration Advanced Bluegrass Mandolin registration   Course fees are US $225.   Email [email protected] with any questions.  And Happy New Year!


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