In the text below, I’ll give you a rough breakdown of the skills and techniques learned in each part of the course. If you’ve already started to learn, you may have to do a little trial-and-error to find the best starting point. As usual, I suggest erring on the side of starting with more “beginner” lessons. The word “beginner” is in quotes because you can always approach learning as a beginner.
Modules 1.1 through 1.5.
At each step of the way you’ll learn tunes that help you practice the specific techniques you’re working on:
The first, second and third left-hand finger positions for the G, D, A, and E strings.
How to play in tune using drones.
Ear training with call-and-response exercises
Transposing tunes to other strings
How to practice
Maybe the most important thing you’ll learn from FiddleHed
Modules 1.6 through 1.10:
This is bowing more than one note per bow. You’ll practice different slur patterns in each module: slur two, slur three, slur four, slur two-separate two.
Singing and playing
This is a progressive series of left-hand exercises.
Low second finger
D, E and A Dorian scales
The upper octave of the G Major scale and C Major scale
Transposing tunes to other octaves
Modules 2.1 through 2.4
Moving on to the Intermediate course. These are the big things you’ll learn:
Fourth finger (pinky)
Advanced fingering and string crossing
Double stops (playing two strings at once)
Low first finger
F Major scale
Modules 2.5 through 2.9:
Low fourth finger
B flat Major, Upper Octave
Chord progressions and comping
Double stop scales
Raised Third Finger
A Major Scale, Lower Octave
How to Build Chords
For a more detailed breakdown, view the Beginner and the Intermediate course pages. And for an even more detailed breakdown, view the individual module pages. For example, on the 1.2 Lingering with Fingering page, you’ll see a listing of core lessons and practice. This can help you to figure out if you need to take these lessons.
If you’re still unsure where to start, just email me. I’ll do my best to find a good starting place for you in the course.
Here is a quick way for you to access the essential practice tools you need. Under each tab you'll find play-along tracks, tabs and condensed teachings to help you as you practice. This is an evolving idea, so let me know in a comment below if it could be better.
Here's a newer version of the Notefinder which is based on sheet music. If you're interested in learning to read, this will be an invaluable reference. I'll be posting lessons on this in 2020.
Note: the brackets indicate notes that are the same pitch but spelled differently. For example, AH3 (D#) sounds the same as AL4 (Eb). Without going into too much teory detail here, this will be determined by the key of the tune or piece you are playing.
Here's he original table version of the Notefinder. Sometimes people learn in different ways...
Sawmill tuning Notefinder
This is used to find notes in Sawmill tuning (when the G string is tuned up to A and the D string is tuned up to E). If you're a beginner...best to ignore this! Learn more about sawmill tuning in the Appalachian Fiddle course.
Here are some common scales used in fiddle tunes. Each runs through a series of variations: two bows legato, two bows staccato, four bows, tucka (4 shorts, two longs), hoedown (1 long, two shorts), throwaway bow, triplets, tremolo.
G Major, starting on D3
Practice a tune with its scale (Kerry Polka is in G major, so practice a G major scale). Practice scales before, during and after practicing tunes.
Always return to a good sound, even if it means playing quarter notes on the D string. You can do this! You just have to remember to pause on practicing the challenging thing and just get a good sound on single notes.
Why do this? Because it will bring you deep joy. And it will build your confidence which will inspire further practice.