Art Of Fiddling
This is a collection of lessons, modules, and mini-courses designed to take your fiddling to the next level. You’ll learn new scales, bowing techniques and practice strategies which will help you to add variation to tunes. You’ll also learn things that prepare you for improvisation, playing chords and more.
How To Make Scales Fun
The secret to practice is enjoyment, and the secret to enjoying music more is to practice.
Let’s learn how to make scales SUPER-FUN. Scales are like simple tunes. If you practice adding variation and expression to these, then it will be natural for you to do this on tunes, songs, and whatever you play.
Here are some introductory lessons for this course:
- How To Make Scales Fun – Introduction
- Make Your Own Scales
- My basic fiddlosophy on adding variation to music
Sliding the left-hand fingers
Here’s a mini-course on sliding the left-hand fingers.
Preparation for sliding:
Here are the sliding lessons:
- [SLF: 1] Introduction To Sliding On The Fiddle
- [SLF: 2] Adding Slides to Tune Phrases
- [SLF: 3] Downward Slides
- [SLF: 4] Super-Fun Sliding Exercises
Rhythmic scale variation
Melodic scale variation
Melodic scale variation is the addition of little patterns to scales. This will better your technique, allow you to learn tunes more easily and give you ideas for improvisation. If you practice melodic variation, you’ll start to hear the scale in the tune.
- Interval Scale / A good warmup scale for beginners
- Melodic Variation On Scales – Introduction
- This lesson is a simple summary of melodic variation.
- Melodic Scale Variation 1
- Melodic Scale Variation 2
- Melodic Scale Variation 3
- Whiskey Before Breakfast
- This tune is a good example of the 1-3 pattern from MSV 3
- Melodic Scale Variation 4
- Melodic Scale Variation 5
- Blackberry Blossom
- The A part of this tune is an example of the 1-2-3-1 pattern from MSV 5
- Arkansas Traveller
- The B part of this tune is an example of the 3-2-1-3 pattern from MSV 5
- Melodic Variation On Tunes
Bowing and textural variation
Here are some tuneful fiddle exercises. The idea is to work on a specific technique, but to do it in a more musical and fun way.
Adding Variation to Tunes
Once people get a little more advanced, they tend to look down on beginner tunes like Mary Had A Little Lamb and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. But these tunes are a golden opportunity to practice more challenging things, like transposition, new fingers, and challenging new techniques like double stops and vibrato.
In the lessons below, you’ll start with a simple melody and embark on a fiddle journey that will unleash your creativity.
Mary Had A Little Lamb series
- Mary Had A Little Lamb – basic
- Mary Had A Little Lamb – hoedown variation 1
- Mary Had A Little Lamb – hoedown variation 2
- Mary Had A Little Lamb – melodic variation 1
- Mary Had A Little Lamb – triplet variation
- Mary Had A Little Lamb – Cuts Variation
Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
- Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
- Fiddle Fiddle Little Star – hoedown variation
- Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star – melodic variation
- Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star – sawmill Tuning