What I’m practicing now…

Here’s some things I’m currently practicing. I’m sharing this as part of the Fall Practice Challenge 2020. My intention is for you go deep with whatever you’re doing: learning to bow on an open string, practicing vibrato, improvising, working on 4th finger, etc. How can it be fun and productive at the same time?

For those of you taking part, I encourage you to keep track of what you do. However, if you do nothing but play every day for 14 days, then you successfully complete the challenge.

For now I track what I practice in an online journal (I used to use Evernote but recently switched to Roam). It’s nerdy but works for me 🤓. I also like using paper journals to take notes.

My fiddle practice: October 5-18, 2020

  • Scales and warmups (G, D, A, F major scales)
    • Warmup: 0-1-2-3-2-1 slur 12
    • “Hummingbird” – Fast slurred scale warmup
      • landing on notes
    • Single finger on scales and tunes
      • This gives melodies an Indian raga sound.
    • 2-4-3-1 up / 1-3-4-2 down, pattern on diatonic scales
      • This is a melodic variation pattern that I’ve been tinkering with. Here are some simpler melodic patterns:
      • Sliding first finger
      • Staying in first position
      • Moving up the neck on each string
      • Accent each note
      • Building speed on single reps
        • Using a metronome for this.
        • Current fastest: 90 bpm
    • Songs
      • Emphasis on:
        • Remembering lyrics
        • Composing fiddle breakdowns
      • Have you ever seen the rain?
      • Trouble
      • Don’t Think Twice
      • Your song
      • No Expectations
      • Redemption song


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6 responses to “What I’m practicing now…

  1. Thanks for the inspiration. I split my practice into two sessions a day. I’m doing 25 in late morning. Musical scales, open string bowing double stop bowing and then working on a new tune for me with lots of micro practice( Harvest Home because it’s challenging and has lots of cross string). Late night is pick a major scale. Open bowing. Trying to make Ashokan Farewell flow. And then an improvised tune I made up with Klezmer scale. I love to practice. I’m having trouble all of a sudden with keeping my bow straight so it’s my primary focus on all the practice. Night practice 20 to 25 minutes. Fiddling is important for relaxing. When I’m fiddling anxiety goes away.👍🏽

  2. I echo what LisaB said! That’s cool though! I like people to go over the top to pull me a bit more. I appreciate you, Jason.
    With working 16+ hours a day and working out, getting in 5 -10 minutes of practice consistently this month is grand for me!
    Just working in my oversll sound, D scales and Swallowtail Jig. 🎻💚😁

    1. “I like people to go over the top to pull me a bit more.” EXACTLY! Need a little “boost up the hill” so to speak.
      Just recently learned that if you are doing the ‘chop” on the fiddle, it’s supposed to be on the syncopated (or upbeat). That;s so H-A-R-D! lol
      Off to practice!

  3. Wow! That’s dedication! I tried having an outline of consistency; but family didn’t share my passion for practice. The thing I’m liking about this challenge, is that it’s self paced. One day, I hope to get back to intense and consistency.
    You’re a WONDERFUL inspiration to us!

      1. Thanks, Jason 🙂
        What works for me? I honestly don’t know. My time is not my own 🙁 Part of my downfall is–and I’m not whining, just making observances about myself–but I give so much to my work (Elementary school teacher), then my family… at the end of the day, I have nothing left to give myself. I’m hoping… HOPING that this challenge will change that.
        So, what works for me? We’ll see. Hopefully it’ll come to me.