It’s hard to learn the fiddle on your own.

With FiddleHed as your guide, you’ll learn fun tunes which help you develop specific skills. With our “Small Steps Small Wins” fiddlosophy, you’ll have fun as you make measurable progress.



Beginner Fiddle Skills You’ll Learn

Here are some of the FUNdamental skills you’ll learn in the Beginner Fiddle Course:

  • Getting a good sound with the bow on open strings
  • String crossing
  • Left-hand fingering
  • Ear-training with call-and-response games
  • Drone-tuning
  • Note-reading
  • Major and minor scales
  • Adding variation to tunes
  • Transposing tunes
  • How to remember fiddle tunes

Beginner Fiddle Songs And Tunes

As you learn each of the skills listed above, you’ll learn specific tunes and songs to practice those skills.

  • Bile ’em Cabbage Down
  • Wildwood Flower
  • Blackest Crow
  • Auld Lang Syne
  • The Girl I Left Behind Me
  • Shady Grove
  • I’ll Fly Away
  • Road to Lisdonverna
  • Swallowtail Jig
  • Arkansas Traveller

And more! In the beginner course you’ll learn forty core tunes. You’ll also have the option to supplement your learning with 50 Bonus tunes, all presented in order of difficulty. See the full course lower down the page. ⬇️

  • All-access Monthly
  • Full access to all courses, lessons & content
  • Live Group Lessons
  • Download Audio and Sheet Music
  • FiddleHed Tune Book
  • Save $78
Best deal

Songs are broken down into bite-sized chunks


All songs are broken into a series of smaller and smaller chunks. This helps you learn new songs more easily. But even better, you learn how to learn new songs by breaking them into smaller chunks.

For example, Kerry Polka has an A and a B part. We can break the A part into quarters:



Then we break the first quarter down even further. This helps you to master every challenge.

Kerry Polka, A Part, First Quarter



First quarter: A1-D0-1-0-A1-D0-1-0

The color-coded tabs tell you that the first quarter of the A part is the same as the third:

A part

First quarter: A1-D0-1-0-A1-D0-1-0

Second quarter:D3-A0-1-0-D3-1-0

Third quarter: A1-D0-1-0-A1-D0-1-0

Fourth quarter: D3-A0-1-0-D3-3

B part

First quarter:A1-3-1-1-0-D3-1-0

Second quarter: D3-A0-1-0-D3-1-0

Third quarter: A1-3-1-1-0-D3-1-0

Fourth quarter: D3-A0-1-0-D3-3

What other repetition can you observe in this song? Noticing this makes it easier to learn 🤓

Not yet ready to dive into a trial subscription?

Receive fiddle tips, free lessons, giveaways  and other fun stuff by signing up for our newsletter. Plus I’ll send you “A Little Guide to Becoming a Fiddler.”

Where do I start?

If you’re not an absolute beginner, it can be tricky and overwhelming finding a place to start in the course. Here’s a visual guide. I made a more involved self-assessment tool on the Getting Started page.

Beginner Course Outline

You can see all Beginner modules by going to the main menu, then hover over courses, then hover over “Beginner Fiddle Lessons”.

1.1 Start Fiddling Now!

Go to Module 1.1

I’m excited for you! ✨ You’re about to learn the essential skills of playing the fiddle. This is where you start if you’re an absolute beginner. 🐣

You’ll learn FUNdamentals like posture, bowing, fingering, and more. Whew! And you’ll practice these new found skills with four tunes that present you with the perfect challenge. 💪🏽


  • How to hold the fiddle and bow
  • Right-hand plucking
  • Using the bow
  • Left-hand fingering
  • Ear-training with call-and-response
  • Learning tunes in small steps
  • Combining bowing and fingering


  • Bile ’em Cabbage Down
  • Mary Had A Little Lamb
  • Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
  • Fiddle Fiddle Little Star

For now, here’s the main thing you have to remember…


“Play Every Day” is your mantra.

No matter how far you go, consistent daily practice is the single most important thing for you to do.

Go to Module 1.1

1.2 Lingering with Fingering

Go to Module 1.2

🎻 Get ready for a fun journey 🤩 through this beginner fiddle course module! You’ll sharpen your skills by playing in tune using tools like drones, electronic tuners, and finger tape 🎵 , while also learning to 📖 read fiddle tabs and mastering the Little Lift technique. Engage in 📞 call-and-response exercises and put your 🆕 talents to the test with 4️⃣ entertaining tunes: Freres Jacques, Fais Do Do, When The Saints Go Marching In, and a hoedown version of Mary Had A Little Lamb. Let your fiddle skills flourish 🌸 !


  • Playing better in tune with tools like drones, electronic tuners and finger tape
  • How to Read Fiddle Tabs
  • Little Lift
  • Call-and-response 1.2


  • Freres Jacques
  • Fais Do Do (Cajun waltz)
  • When The Saints Go Marching In
  • Mary Had A Little Lamb – Hoedown version

The Perfect Challenge

Look for “The Perfect Challenge” or the “Goldilocks Point” between too easy and too hard.

Go to Module 1.2

1.3 One Small Giant Step for Mankind: The D Major Scale

Go to Module 1.3

I can’t wait for you to start playing on the A string notes 🎵 ! This will enable you to play the D Major scale 🎼 . You’ll also explore simple two-note intervals and adding variation to scales. With 💪 power practice strategies like 📓 music journaling and 📞 call-and-response, you’ll have a  blast practicing your new skills on 4️⃣ catchy tunes: Oh Susannah, Little Liza Jane, Wildwood Flower, and Angeline The Baker (A Major). Let the 🎻 fiddling fun begin!


  • Drone Tuning A String Notes
  • D Major Scale
  • Simple Intervals
  • Adding Variation to Scales
  • Music journaling
  • Call-and-response 1.3


  • Oh Susannah
  • Little Liza Jane
  • Wildwood Flower
  • Angeline The Baker (A Major)

Use a music journal

If you take a note about you practice today, you can go further tomorrow. We have an online journal integration called “Your Practice Journal” in the Practice Toolkit at the bottom of lesson pages. Or use your own journal system.

Go to Module 1.3

1.4 More Scales, More Tunes, More Fun, More or Less

Go to Module 1.4

Get ready for a thrilling fiddle adventure in Module 1.4 , where you’ll expand your skills to include G string notes and the G Major scale! You’ll discover the art of transposing tunes to G Major, delve further into intervals, and try your hand at staccato bowing, all while engaging in lively call-and-response exercises. 📈 To top it all off, you’ll practice these newfound skills with four fun tunes: Kerry Polka, Shooting Creek, Kerfunken Jig, and Ballydesmond Polka, before reaching your exciting first review point 🏆  Happy fiddling 🎻


  • Drone Tuning G String Notes
  • G Major Scale
  • Transposing tunes to G Major
  • Intervals 2
  • Staccato bowing
  • Call-and-response 1.4


  • Kerry Polka
  • Shooting Creek – Beginner version
  • Kerfunken Jig
  • Ballydesmond Polka – Lower Octave
  • First Review Point

Go to Module 1.4

1.5 A Major Step Forward

Go to Module 1.5

Congrats! You’re now at the “Advanced Beginner Level” 🏆

Now you’ll conquer the E string notes and the A Major scale, while also learning to transpose tunes to A Major and producing a great sound. 🔔 As you explore pentatonic scales and dive deeper into intervals, you’ll enjoy interactive call-and-response exercises and practice your growing skills with four of my favorite tunes: Blackest Crow, Britches Full of Stitches, Cripple Creek, and O’Keefe’s Slide. Let’s get those fiddles singing! 🎻


  • Drone Tuning E String Notes
  • A Major Scale
  • Transposing tunes to A Major
  • How to Get a Good Sound
  • Pentatonic Scales
  • Intervals 3
  • Call-and-response 1.5


  • Blackest Crow
  • Britches Full of Stitches
  • Cripple Creek
  • O’Keefe’s Slide

Adopt a Beginner’s Mind

A growth mindset is the belief that you can improve and learn new things through effort and dedication. Knowing this helps you overcome emotional challenges.

Ask questions as you practice. Write them down and wait for answers to emerge.

Let go of negative self-talk. When you notice that you’re thinking, “I can’t do it,” edit that thought to “I can’t do it yet.”

See mistakes are opportunities. They are vital information telling you exactly what to practice.

Go to Module 1.5

1.6 Living in the Ear Now

Go to Module 1.6


  • Slur Two Bowing
  • Singing and Playing
  • Intervals 4
  • Pedal Exercises 1
  • Rhythmic Scale Variation
  • Transposing Challenge
  • Call-and-response 1.6


  • Bile ’em Cabbage Down – Variation 1
  • Joy to the World
  • Auld Lang Syne
  • Fire On The Mountain

🎻 Get ready to master beginner fiddle Module 1.6! Hone your skills with Slur Two Bowing, 🎤 Singing and Playing, Intervals 4, and more. Practice your 🆕 techniques with 4️⃣ tunes: Bile ’em Cabbage Down – Variation 1, Joy to the World, Auld Lang Syne, and Fire On The Mountain.

Adding variation is the art and practice of fiddling 🎻

Go to Module 1.6

1.7 The Power of the Low Second Finger

Go to Module 1.7

🌟 Get ready for another great fiddle milestone in Module 1.7! You’ll learn essential skills like Low Second Finger🤌🏽, D and A Dorian Scales 🎶 , Slur Three, and more. Practice your 🆕 techniques with 4️⃣ tunes: Shady Grove, Cluck Old Hen, I’ll Fly Away, and Drunken Sailor, before reaching your exciting Second Review Point 🏆


  • Low Second Finger
  • D and A Dorian Scales
  • Slur Three
  • Pedal Exercises 2
  • Fiddling With Rhythmic Patterns
  • Call-and-response 1.7


  • Shady Grove
  • Cluck Old Hen
  • I’ll Fly Away
  • Drunken Sailor
  • Second Review Point

Go to Module 1.7

1.8 The High Road and the Low Road

Prepare for an amazing adventure in fiddle Module 1.8! Master skills like C Major and G Major Scale Upper Octave, 🎵 Slur Four, and Intervals with Low and High Second Finger which will open up new vistas for your fiddle career 🎻. Apply your 🆕 techniques with 4️⃣ awesome tunes: Old Joe Clarke, Soldier’s Joy, Road to Lisdonverna, and Girl I Left Behind Me.


  • C Major and G Major Scale Upper Octave
  • Slur Four
  • Intervals with Low and High Second Finger
  • Transposing Tunes to Upper Octave of G Major
  • Call-and-response 1.8


  • Old Joe Clarke – Basic Version
  • Soldier’s Joy – Beginner Version
  • Road to Lisdonverna
  • Girl I Left Behind Me

Strive to improve by 10% each month

You can do it with intentional daily practice.

Go to Module 1.8

1.9 Trying Out Triads

Go to Module 1.9

Get ready for Module 1.9: the next chapter in your fiddle career 📖. You’ll learn essential skills like Triads 🔺, Adding Slurs to Tunes, Lifting The Bow, and more. Apply your 🆕 techniques with 4️⃣ tunes: Tobin’s Jig, Swallowtail Jig, Whiskey Before Breakfast, and Fisher’s Hornpipe.


  • Triads
  • Adding Slurs to Tunes
  • Lifting The Bow
  • Slur Two-Separate Two Bowing
  • Going From Bowing to Plucking
  • Call-and-response 1.9


  • Tobin’s Jig
  • Swallowtail Jig
  • Whiskey Before Breakfast
  • Fisher’s Hornpipe

Don’t forget the FUNdamentals 🌱

Always have at least one skill that you’re learning or refining. It may seem counterintuitive, but you’ll have more fun if you work on the FUNdamentals. Good sound = happiness!

Go to Module 1.9

1.10 The Way of Fiddling

Go to Module 1.10

Congratulations 🥳, you made it to the last module in the Beginner Fiddle Course 📈.

Now you’ll master skills like G Major Scale in Two Octaves 🪜, Chaining, Slur Two-Separate Two Bowing in Tunes, and more. Practice your 🆕 techniques with 4️⃣ tunes: Arkansas Traveller, Old Joe Clarke (Variation 1), and The Banshee, before reaching your thrilling Third Review Point.


  • G Major Scale in Two Octaves
  • Chaining
  • Slur Two-Separate Two Bowing in Tunes
  • Practice Loops
  • How To Remember Fiddle Tunes
  • Call-and-response 1.10


  • Arkansas Traveller
  • Old Joe Clarke – Variation 1
  • Banshee
  • Third Review Point

Learn new skills, refine existing ones

Always have skills and tunes in each column. Don’t let too much pile up in the middle “can do with effort” column. Learn more here.

Go to Module 1.10

  • All-access Monthly
  • Full access to all courses, lessons & content
  • Live Group Lessons
  • Download Audio and Sheet Music
  • FiddleHed Tune Book
  • Save $78
Best deal

Love your fiddle guarantee™ 

Try out the course, and if you’re not satisfied, just email us within thirty days of purchase for a full refund. No questions asked. ☺️

Frequently Asked Questions

How much time per day will it take?

I recommend that you play at least 20 minutes a day, six days a week.

The great thing about FiddleHed is that you can learn and practice at a time that best fits your schedule. Early morning, during a lunch break, after dinner or at 3 AM (use a practice mute if you have roommates!)  😎

If you’re unsure whether or not you’ll have time, start with just two minutes a day ⏲. Learn more about the Two-Minute Rule.

What’s included in an All-Access subscription?

You get full access to all courses and live workshops with an All-Access subscription. Yearly subscribers also get the FiddleHed Tune Book.

Do I need to know how to read sheet music?

The short answer is no. Our call-and-response teaching and color-coded tabs have helped thousands to learn the fiddle without sheet music.

What if I want to learn to read sheet music?

Being able to read sheet music is a great tool for learning. That said, if you are an absolute beginner, I recommend you wait to learn reading. Start by focusing on learning technique, tunes and having fun. You want to be able to play before you add the additional challenge of note-reading.

I created the course to help people read sheet music in an intuitive way. Students learn to tap into their natural reading ability without getting bogged down in rules and theory. You can either take these lessons as you work through the main course, or you can learn note-reading all at once with the stand-alone course.

Here’s what FiddleHed Joanne has to say about this:

I think your note reading course is fantastic, I can’t think of any improvements to make. I started from absolute scratch, couldn’t read a note and a sheet of music meant absolutely nothing.
I can now look at a new tune and work out the notes and play them (still takes me a little time), then work out the timing and rhythm.
If I look at the sheet music for a tune I know, I can see and hear the notes and rhythm patterns. I got a lot of encouragement & confidence from your mystery tune exercises.

To be clear, the Note-reading for Fiddlers course is included in the All-access subscription.

Can I download the lessons?

Paid subscribers can download audio and sheet music. At this time you can’t download most of the video lessons.

Download the audio clips by clicking the red down arrow.

You can download pdf files of sheet music by opening the pdf and then clicking the download button:

I know I want to sign up for a paid subscription now. How do I do that?

Click here to sign up for a monthly or yearly subscription. It will be good to meet you!

Can I go beyond beginner level with FiddleHed?

Where do you go after the Beginner course? The Intermediate Course, of course 🤓.

The journey doesn’t end there. We also have more advanced courses:

We also give live workshops which will help you to expand your knowledge and make new connections. My students find these to be super valuable. Sometimes I teach a tune by ear. Sometimes we dive deep into a skill like chord backup. And sometimes we take a “Practice Journey” in which we explore different ways to creatively practice a tune.

Click here to check out the replay of the Practice Journey With Bill Cheatham.

Got more questions?

If this doesn’t make sense, just email me. Don’t be shy! I love to hear from new students because it helps me improve the course.