A great way to play better, play in tune, remember tunes and have a good time doing it
How to learn tunes more easily - lesson 5

Here’s a lesson on how to practice fiddle tunes with singing and practice singing with fiddle tunes. This will develop your ear and so help you pick up tunes more quickly. It will also prepare you for singing and playing backup.

The essential process:

  • Sing a phrase from a tune.
  • Then play it on the fiddle.
  • Keep alternating in a loop until it’s natural.
  • Move on to a different phrase and repeat the process.
  • Repeat the process using the entire tune.

Alternating between playing a tune and then singing it is extremely satisfying and fun.

This practice will develop your ear and the connection to your instrument so that the fiddle is an extension of your voice.


We start by playing the whole tune a few times. Then, set down your fiddle and sing the tune (or hum or whistle if you don’t like singing).  Let’s try this with Mary Had Little Lamb (a good beginner tune)

Mary Had A Little Lamb Basic Version


Next, let’s take the first phrase and alternate between singing and playing in a continuous loop. If at any point it becomes too much of a struggle, just pause and play a single note or two. Practice with this track:

Once you can comfortably play one phrase, start the whole process over with the next phrase. Then put the phrases together until you have the whole tune. Then try to alternate between fiddling and singing on the entire tune:


Then try to SIMULTANEOUSLY sing and play the first note, then the first two notes, first three notes, etc., until you have the whole phrase. LOOP THIS! And when you can do it without thinking too hard, move on to the next phrases in the tune or song. This is hard, so if you’re new to singing and playing at the same time, then go slow.

Actually you can do this practice with any tune. If it’s not a song with lyrics, then just sing the melody with las, ooos, or ahhs. Here are some songs on FiddleHed you can use to practice singing and playing:

Country & folk songs

Did you know that today is a holiday? It’s Thanks-fiddling-and-singing-day! Happy fiddling and singing to you!



Lessons complete in the How To Learn Fiddle Tunes More Easily module:

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