Fiddling with life and learning with the occasional dad joke thrown in…


Improvising With Melodic Chunks

Did you know that you can deconstruct existing melodies to improvise and compose new tunes?   Further learning Learning Steps Listen to this Chunk of “The Wellerman”: D0-1-1-1-1-3-A1-1-1 Loop a smaller Chunk until it starts to sound like a riff: D1-1-1-1-3 Add a little slide on D1. Then transpose it to the A string: A1-1-1-1-3 … Continued

Practice Kentucky Waltz With Alternation Games

Did you know that you can have a musical conversation by playing the same thing two different ways?   Further learning Learning Steps Let’s play this game with the first Chunk of Kentucky Waltz. Continuously alternate between: • Sing Play • Scale Song • Chords Melody Play this alternation game on each Chunk of the … Continued

Improvising Melodies On Violin

You can have hours of fun by improvising with pentatonic scales and drone notes. Learning Steps Play an E Minor Pentatonic scale with an E drone: E Minor Pentatonic: D1-3-A0-1-3-E0 Now Chain the notes at random until you find something that resonates.  A1-3-E0-A1-3-0-1 Feel free to repeat notes, change their length or add rhythms… A1-3-E0-0-A1-3-3-0-1-1-1-1-0 … Continued

What are you practicing these days?

I’m currently practicing singing and playing backup on songs like Wildflowers (Tom Petty), Don’t Think Twice (Dylan) and others. I started voice lessons and have worked a vocal warmup routine into my sessions. I also just learned a great tune called Redican’s Trip To Appalachia. What are you working on? Let us know in a … Continued

Accelerate Your Fiddle Progress: Why You Need an Audio Practice Journal

Overview Did you know that you can use audio recording to get immediate feedback on your performance? Not only that, but you can use it as a practice journal and to track your progress. I’ve done different lessons on recording, practice journaling, and progress tracking. But it recently dawned on me that there’s an easier, … Continued

Leave Her Johnny Leave Her – Sing What You Play

Overview  If you sing what you play you’ll become a better musician every day. We’ll use this powerful (and fun) strategy to practice Leave Her Johnny, Leave Her. Overview  If you sing what you play you’ll become a better musician every day. Learning Steps  Here’s how you do it  Sing the first word of this song, … Continued

Fire On The Mountain With Tresillo Rhythm

Overview  In this micro-lesson you’ll learn how to add the Tresillo Rhythm (3+3+2) to Fire On The Mountain. Learning Steps  Start by clapping or chanting the rhythm Then play it on a single string Slowly play it on A Major scale: A0-1-2-3-E0-1-2-3  Then add this bowing pattern: Slur Three-Slur Three-Separate 2.  Add Accents. Slowly play … Continued

Leave Her Johnny Leave Her – Microlesson

Overview Learn this great song in a super short lesson 🤓 Verse 1st line: (D0-0)-G0-2-D0-0-3-2 | D1-0-G2-G0 2nd line: G1-1-1-0-2-D0-0 3rd line: (D0-0)-1-1-0-G2-3-D0-G2 4th line: (G0-1)-2-D0-0-G0-1-0 Chorus 1st line: G1-1-1-0-2-D0-0 2nd line: D3-2-1-1-1-0-G2-D0 3rd line: (D0-0)-1-1-0-G2-3-D0-G2 4th line: (G0-1)-G2-D0-0-G0-1-0   Further learning Leave Her Johnny, Leave Her / This is a deep dive workshop. You’ll … Continued