A blog about music, practice and life with the occasional dad joke thrown in…

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Fiddling With Mental Triggers To Aid Song Memory

A lot of students say to me, “I can’t remember songs. How can I get better at recalling what I’ve learned?” Here’s a great strategy to help you remember songs. Take each part and distill it down to just a few notes. This little bit acts as a “mental trigger” to help you remember the song … Continued

Fiddling With A Music Journal

If you write about what you practiced today, you can go further tomorrow. Use a music journal to stay motivated, organized and focused. The Three Basic Steps For Using A Music Practice Journal Plan Do Reflect The Plan-Do-Reflect process is the essence of Deliberate Practice. Learn to do this multiple times during a single practice … Continued

Fiddling With Daily Listening

You can actively build mental models of songs through daily listening. It’s a way to practice without your instrument. Doing this allows you to learn tunes more quickly. But more important than that, with daily listening, your music will sound more like music. You’ll naturally add more feeling and expression when you listen. Steven King … Continued

Find The Fun In Fiddling

  I’ve been meeting with two coaches to help me develop the Play Every Day game and course. I mentioned that I was anxious about a lot of the logistics. How to print cards? How to promote the product? When to do what? Coach Dave advised me to “Find the fun in it.” The Fun … Continued

The Creative Act (of Fiddling)

I’m reading Rick Rubin’s new book The Creative Act. I thought it was going to be an autobiography, but it reads more like a spiritual text. It’s hard to overstate how much it resonates with me. He connects the creative process to meditation, awareness, relationships, animals, the creative side of AI, communing with nature, overcoming … Continued

How to keep up with a jam group?

  At the FiddleHed monthly Office Hours, FiddleHed Sue says: I have joined a new jam group recently and they play really fast. They encourage me to join in but I really don’t keep up with them well. How can I keep up? Six Things To Help You Keep Up In A Jam Group Prepare … Continued

How can I stay in time with a metronome?

At the monthly office hours session, FiddleHed David said, “I can play one tune with a metronome, but on others I can’t do it.” Here are some tips to help you stay in time with a metronome. Simplify to stay in time with a metronome Master the metronome by starting simply with single notes. Start with … Continued

Frailin’ with Folk Legend Obrah Ramsey

Here’s a cool YouTube documentary on a banjo player named Obray Ramsey. Gotta love the title: “This Mountain Man Singing Banjo Picker Makes Me Dance & Sing. & He will Do That To You As Well” Obray Ramsey was a master of the banjo and a major player in the world of folk music. Born … Continued

Will slurring help me to play faster on violin?

At the FiddleHed monthly office hours, FiddleHed Mary asked, “Will slurring help me to play faster on violin?” Short answer: Yes. Longer answer: it depends on the situation.  Slurring notes, which involves playing two or more notes without lifting the finger(s) in between, can help with playing faster on the violin by allowing for smoother … Continued

FiddleHed End-of-Year Review for 2022

Use this super-simple end-of-year review for your music practice: What were three wins you had this year? What are three things that can use improvement? What three things will you concentrate on next year? Use this to gain awareness of where’ve been and where you want to go. This will help you to make the … Continued