advanced course outline

here is a course outline for more advanced students who have already learned the basic technique and many of the tunes in the beginner and intermediate courses.

in this course we'll learn some harder tunes as well as how to add variation to tunes using what I call the fiddler's toolbox: accenting, bowing patterns, double stops, slides, the trill family (grace notes, mordents, turns), as well as rhythmic and melodic variation.


more challenging tunes

blackberry blossom

blackberry blossom play along track

der badken freylakh upper octave

der badken freylakh play along track

dill pickle rag

dill pickle rag play along track

devil’s dream

devil’s dream play along track

drowsy maggie

drowsy maggie play along track

fisher’s hornpipe

fisher’s hornpipe play along track

irish washerwoman

irish washerwoman play along track

gypsy hora

gypsy hora play along track

king of the fairies

king of the fairies play along track

o’keefe’s in b minor (aka black friday rule by flogging molly)


how to play back-up on the fiddle

This is a series of lessons on chords, chord progression and rhythm back-up for fiddlers.


fiddle variation

here are some lessons on the different types of things you can do to add variation to fiddle tunes. these lessons are also helpful if you're interested in learning to improvise.

accent patterns

georgia shuffle

jig bowing

single-double stop alternation

swing feel


third position

trill family:

grace notes

16th note triplets


there is a full playlist called adding variation to tunes on the fiddlehed youtube channel.

here are some easier lessons on how to add variation to a specific tune:

angeline the baker

arkansas traveller

berdichiever khosid

britches full of stitches

danny boy

give the fiddler a dram

hava negilah

john ryan’s polka

kerfunken jig

kesh jig

kerry polka

ode to joy

oh susannah

old joe clarke, intermediate variations

old joe clarke, advanced variations

paddy on the turnpike

perpetual motion

planxty irwin

red haired boy

red Rriver valley

sally goodin

simple gifts

southwind with irish embellishment

southwind with double stops

swallowtail, intermediate variations

swallowtail jig, advanced variations

whiskey before breakfast

will the circle be unbroken

yankee doodle

you are my sunshine


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