Alrighty. Thanks for taking part in the first-ever FiddleHed group lesson.

You can view a video replay here.

Feel free to use the comments below to say hi to other FiddleHeds. In the same way that you’re learning the fiddle, we are learning how to teach you in new ways.

Student questions

How to improve my bowing technique?
Does quality of sound just take a while to come after working out the “how” of doing stuff?
How important would you rank doing all the nitty-gritty instead of looking for new stuff. Do I need more discipline to improve faster, or just go ahead and have fun?
I’d be interested to hear your views on worrying so much about correct posture. Does it matter so much?
Should the primary focus be on learning tunes or learning technique?
How to develop the ability to be able to jump in and play a tune that I don’t know in a jam situation?
When do you put slurs in….which aren’t in the sheet music. I use slurs to aid speed but it often sounds wrong.
I’m not learning note reading yet but why are some dots solid black and others are white in the center?
How to play double stops?
How do you play harmony?
What strings do you use?
What is an intermediate level player?


Relaxing routine in D Major

Use this to warm up, or even as a second practice in the evening.

Breathe and stretch

Open string notes / D drone

  • quarter notes
  • throw-away bow
  • tucka, loud and soft
  • peri-diddle

Slow scale

  • Little lift, light pressure
  • quarter notes
  • Tremolo scale

Call-and-response practice

More of these exercises: Call-and-response Central

Play an easy tune 

  • This gives you confidence before doing more challenging things. As my student Fiona said, “It makes you feel like a fiddler.”

Let me know what you think of the Relaxing Warmup Routine in a comment.

Leave a Reply

27 responses to “Group Lesson / Modules 1.5-1.10 / August 25, 2020

  1. I’m Bettina Steffen, based in San Francisco, CA. I have been learning with FiddleHed since the March Shelter-in-Place, so approximately 5 months. I have played the piano and clarinet as a kid into my 20’s, but ALWAYS wanted to learn the fiddle. I want to develop my playing-by-ear skills, learn to harmonize, and be able to play along with other instruments.

    Music has been one of our family’s saving graces during the pandemic.

    I have to thank my teenage son, who 3 years ago inspired me to do this by picking up a guitar and learning at first by internet tutorials.

  2. This is Patrice- and I’ve already said hi , but just adding a bit more detail- I’m English ( well half French, half English) , living in North of England- so it will be 7pm for me when we met up for this group lesson . I’ve been learning the fiddle for 8 months now and the last 2 of them with fiddlehed. I’ve been skipping the note reading as I only play by ear
    Looking forward to meeting fellow students

  3. Hi Mary Reid,

    You might be pressing too hard on the strings but that’s just a guess. You really don’t have to press hard to get the notes to ring. Slowly increase and decrease the pressure on a string while bowing or plucking it until the note rings clear. This helped me find the right amount of pressure needed in the beginning though I never got callouses.

    Playing my acoustic guitar with .013 gauge strings makes callouses. 😉

    Hope that helps,

  4. Hello everyone,

    I’m Mary and I’ve been playing the fiddle for about a year now. Have played piano and sung for as long as I can remember.

    Just purchase my first fiddle (I’ve been renting one) and bow. I think the bow needs to be re-haired.

    Anyone else have sore fingertips from playing? I have callouses but they still hurt.

    Looking forward to the lesson tomorrow.


    1. My first fiddle was a (very) homemade (1949) freebie. I put synthetic core strings on it and, as it had low action, it was very easy to note and prompted me to order a new fiddle outfit. I’ve played the banjo for 8 years but mostly with nylon strings so didn’t have much for calluses.

      The new fiddle had extremely high action at the nut and scoop and came with steel strings. That hurt. I ordered a fiddle from someone who knew what they were doing when setting up a fiddle and the action was perfect and very easy to play. I modified the first fiddle to copy the second one and it worked out great.

      I have steel strings (Prim mediums) on both fiddles and some calluses on my finger tips (mainly left index??) and no comfort problems. Concentrating on minimum finger pressures has helped a bit, too.