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

How to get rid of unwanted bow bouncing?

 At the FiddleHed monthly hour hours, Mike said, “Bow bounce has reared its ugly head again. Mostly on down strokes.” Practice tone-building with the bow to overcome unwanted bouncing Throwaway bow Saw bows Volume: Soft-loud-soft Use deliberate practice to discover where the bounce happens. Drill down on that spot. Some counter-intuitive advice: Try to … Continued

Fall Practice Challenge 2022 Recap

This year we had 305 practicipants sign up for the Fall Practice Challenge 2022! I am so proud of all of you who did this. The comments had me on the verge of tears (the good kind). It’s like you guys have become fiddle teachers. I pasted a few highlights below, followed by my comments … Continued

Fiddling With Desirable Difficulty

You’ll see more results if you learn to practice well.  One way is to take a piece of music and intentionally make it more difficult. The scientific term for this is “desirable difficulty”. Find the right level of challenge by working at your edge. It helps you to learn something more deeply and to better … Continued

Fiddling With Deliberate Practice

You’ll see more results if you learn to practice well. Deliberate practice is a process which helps you to learn more efficiently. In a nutshell: Focus on hard parts that need work.  5 things to remember about Deliberate practice Improve One Small Thing The Plan-Do-Reflect Process Practice the Hardest part of the hardest part Embrace mistakes Document … Continued

How To Sing And Play Backup

In this lesson, I’ll show you how to sing while playing backup with an instrument. I’m going to break it down into a step-by-step process for anyone who wants to sing and play backup at the same time. Here’s the take-home message up front… Four Steps to Singing and Playing Backup Practice just the vocal … Continued