A game to develop your ear

How this works:

  • In these progressive call-and-response exercises, I’ll play something and then leave a space for you to play the same thing. Try to get in the mindset of a little kid playing a game of Simon and having fun.
  • Each exercise will start simply with single notes and then develop into more complex patterns. But pay attention! I will return to single notes here and there to keep you on your toes.
  • These exercises will improve your ear, train you to pick up tunes more quickly and pave the way towards adding variation and improvising.
  • All exercises can be practiced with bowing, plucking singing or humming. In some cases, I’ll specifically suggest doing it a certain way.

Here is a video lesson on how this works: Fun With Call-and-response

Exercise 1: D string

Exercise 2: A string

Exercise 3: D and A strings

Exercise 4: E string

Exercise 5: A and E strings

Exercise 6: D, A and E strings

Exercise 7: G string

In this next exercise, you will practice throwaway bow.

Exercise 8: G and D strings

Exercise 9: G, D, and A strings

Exercise 10: G, D, A, and E strings


All exercises can be practiced with plucking, bowing, singing or humming.

Unless this is extremely easy for you, I recommend practicing each of these exercises at least twice. The more you practice this way, the more the fiddle will become an extension of your body and your voice.

Lessons complete in Module 1.1: 

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