In this lesson, I demonstrate 17 ways to practice the tune Jenny Lynn. This will make your sessions fun and productive. You’ll learn the tune at a deep level as you improve various aspects of your technique.
Before we get started, here are lessons I’ve made on this:
Once you can play the basic version, you’ll be ready to learn these variations, which will only deepen your
- Alternate between the scale and the tune
- Add variation to the scale.
- Looping smaller and larger sections
- Learn more 👉 Practice Loops.
- Slowly build up a tune, note by note, phrase by phrase.
- Play the first note, then the first two, then the first three.
- Do this until you have you can play a larger piece.
- Then do the same process for the next piece.
- Then put pieces together.
- If you already have learned to tune, you may want to start by changing phrases instead of notes.
- In addition to moving in a forward direction, you can start at the end of the tune. This is called backwards chaining.
- Learn more 👉 Backwards Chaining.
- Pluck it in violin position
- Plucking helps you to focus on the left hand.
- Here’s a trick for rolling the bow into your hand so you can pluck (without setting down the bow) 👉 Going From Bowing to Plucking.
- Close your eyes while playing
- In this way you focus more on the sound and feel of the music.
- Only do this once you’ve learned the tune well
- Work on consistent timing
- Use an external beat: a metronome, play along track or drum machine.
- Find a comfortable tempo and try to continuously play it with a beat.
- This is a great thing to practice every time you play.
- Learn more 👉 Practice journeys: Timing Workshop.
- Work on speed
- Once you can play at a consistent tempo, work on slowly speeding it up.
- Find your slowest and fastest tempo.
- You slowest tempo.
- Play quietly with small light bows (whisper).
- Play loud.
- Quiet to loud (crescendo).
- Loud to quiet (decrescendo).
- Transpose down a fifth, from A to D Major
- Same fingering, start G1-D0-2-1-0-1-2-0.
- Use a D drone.
- Learn more 👉 Joy To The World of Transposition!
- Transpose down a whole step, from A to G Major
- This is harder, because you’ll use completely different fingering.
- G Major scale: G0-1-2-3-D0-1-2-3 | D3-A0-1-L2-3-E0-1-L2.
- Here’s how it will begin: D0-3-A1-0-D3-A0-1-D3-A0-1-D3-1.
- See if you can figure out the rest! You’ll need to deeply learn the original tune. But that’ll be fun!
- Learn more 👉 Tunes Transposed to G Major.
- Droning double stops
- Play the open A string when playing E string notes.
- When do you use double stops in a tune?
- Alternate between singing and fiddling a phrase
- Strum and sing the melody
- The easiest way to do it for this song is to just play and A chord throughout the entire tune.
- Here’s how you play an A chord: G1D1A0E0
- Learn more 👉 Chord Backup Central
- Add slur two-separate two to groups of 4 eighth notes.
- Learn more 👉 Slur Two-Separate Two Tune Exercises
- Practice note-reading
- Play the first without reading (learn it with tabs). Learn it well.
- Then listen to it and look at the sheet music.
- Then read and play at the same time
- Keep repeating these steps.
- Learn more here: Note-reading for Fiddlers course
- Do it in a minor mode!
- This is weird, but fun!
- Play an A Aeolian scale: A0-1-L2-3-E0-L1-L2-3
- When playing the tune, do the following substitutions:
- D2 > DL2
- A2 > AL2
- E1 > EL1
With a creative mindset, you can play the same tune for hours on end practicing different things.
It may seem boring, but once you get into this kind of creative practice, you’ll find it to be incredibly fun.
If you discover a fun way to practice this or any tune, please let me know!
OK, go fiddle with it.
17 responses to “17 Ways To Practice Jenny Lynn”
the klezmer way is totally cool
Love all these suggestions! Have done a lot of them, but I need to practice playing things way over there in the minor key more.
I’m sure you talk about this somewhere else, but I also love to swing the beat when I’m trying to wrap my head around a new tune… sometimes I just like them better that way anyway.
Thanks so much!! Some of these things I’ve done, but not all! I love your lessons!!
Jason, You are awesome, and you make learning fiddle fun, and this video made me smile. Timing is my biggest challenge, so I will try the metronome…. Thank you! 🙂
My practice creatively is
#1 grabbing my mandolin to learn the fingering and possible double stops. Then I transition back to the fiddle and find the fingering more easily, plus it’s on key.
#2 I happen to have more speed for fire bluegrass tunes on the mandolin, so I play that till I’m comfortable then transition back to the fiddle. It works to get past mental blocks/plateaus when picking up the speed on the fiddle and playing clean!
Ginger on Ruby Road
Great tone from that beautiful fiddle.
Just finished watching the video. Excellent suggestions! Even though I’ve been playing flute, piano for decades (teach and perform both), practicing does seem like ‘work’ sometimes, especially now when we can’t play with live people -although we’re starting to see a light at the end… Yay! Now I’m going to try them out.🎶😊
You can apply this creative practice approach to any instrument. Have fun 🕺🏾
FiddleHed Group 1 Intermediate ( 3 members created during the first breakout group session) are practicing this tune, some suggested variants, and / eventually the variations with double stops, etc. It is quite fun and quite challenging! We are going to continue next week.
Thanks, Jason and team!!!!!
I wanna hear what you guys come up with 🎻
I’ve started using these techniques in my practice. Please consider doing a lesson on transposing to a minor key. I need some help with that one!
Good idea @debhill
Here’s a quickie lesson on how to do it.
-Play a major key tune.
-Play its major scale.
-Play the minor (Aeolian) scale (lower the third, sixth, seventh steps)
-Sub out those notes as they fall in the tune.
Thanks for the help with the minor key transposition.
Thanks for your help!
That is awesome.