Swallowtail Blues

Did you know that you can take an Irish tune like Swallowtail Jig and turn it into a blues song? I played it with a 4/4 beat (1-2-3-4) instead of a jig beat (1-2-3-4-5-6).  And instead of a heavy triplet feel, I played with a swing feel. I also added a lot of slowwwww slides … Continued

Old Tune, New Song!

Did you know you can craft new songs from snippets of existing melodies?  Take the first quarter of “Whiskey Before Breakfast” for instance. I borrowed a fragment, then reshaped it into a blues tune. Further learning Whiskey Before Breakfast Blues Fiddle Workshop Hesitation Blues Workshop Return to the Fiddlosophy Blog >>

How To Play Chord Backup On Fiddle And Violin

Overview Did you know that you can play chord backup on the fiddle and violin? This is a role normally played by the guitar, mandolin or piano. But you can do it on fiddle with two-note double stops chords. Why learn chord backup? Knowing how to play chord backup will help you to play with … Continued

Setting Up Audio for Interactive Fiddlehed Lessons

Introduction Fiddlehed offers a range of live lessons and student meet-ups. The audio setup varies depending on the event. For workshops and office hours, students are not be audible. However, for Student Groups and online private lessons, you’ll want to be heard clearly. Here’s how to optimize your audio setup in three simple steps: Use … Continued

Learn Violin With Familiar Songs

Overview An easy, familiar song like Twinkle Little Star is not only good for beginner violinists, but it’s also a good practice tool for more advanced players. In this lesson, I’ll give you some ideas for taking these timeworn songs an re-inventing them.   Beginner Practice With Familiar Songs Familiar songs are a great way … 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

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

Improve Your Fiddling Through Listening Practice

Improve Your Fiddling Through Listening Practice If you’re a fiddler, then you’re probably fairly familiar with the way that learning a new piece of music can feel like trying to keep your balance on a moving train. But if you want to really improve your fiddling skills and become a better performer, you don’t have … Continued

14 Ways To Practice Whiskey Before Breakfast

practice variations
 Once you learn a tune, take a journey by adding practice variations. This adds Desirable Difficulty which helps you learn it more thoroughly. But mainly it’s fun. We’ll mostly work with the first quarter of the tune: G1-2-D0-1-0-0-1-2-A1-D2-A0-1-0-D2 And A Part, Second Quarter D3-A1-D3-2-A0-D2-1-0-1-2-1-0-G2-0 14 Practice Variations Chaining Looping chain sections Adding texture to … Continued

There’s No Time Like Old-time

Written by Jim Guinn A Brief Overview of Old-Time Music Old-time music is a unique form of North American folk music with its roots tracing back to the traditional folk music of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Africa and to the immigrants that brought their tunes and rich cultures to America as far back as the … Continued