Old-time Reel in A Dorian / Intermediate

This a great tune for learning fourth finger (pinky). I usually teach this first once a student gets stronger with fourth finger.

Learning Chunks

I’ve made some “Learning Chunks” to help you learn more easily. These focused exercises contain sheet music, tabs and mp3 snippets to guide you on your fiddle journey. The idea is to start with small musical bits, get good at those, and then put them together into bigger pieces until you have the whole tune. I call it Micro-practice.

For those of you who read (or want to read), all snippets use this key and time signature:


Warm up with A major scale using A drone.

Practice idea:

Practice the first quarter of the A part in a lower octave: D1-A0-0-1-0-D3

Then alternate between the two octaves: D1-A0-0-1-0-D3 | E0-3-3-4-3-L2

A part, third quarter

Third quarter: E0-3-3-4-3-L2-E0-3-3-4-3-L2

A part, fourth quarter


Centering on sound

Let’s pause for a moment and pay attention to how we practice. 

  • Just hold the fiddle in a relaxed manner and breathe evenly.
  • Just play an open D string. 
  • Put your full intention into relaxing your body, breath, and mind.
  • Simply enjoy the sound. 
  • Next, return to the D major scale, keeping that same good sound and relaxed feel you had on the open D until the scale sounds just as good. 
  • Review the A part, keeping that same good sound and relaxed feel you had on D major scale until the tune sounds just as good.
  • Cool, now that you’ve centered yourself, let’s continue to learn this awesome tune. ? ?

B part, first quarter

B part, second quarter

Second quarter: (D1-3)-A0-D3-A0-1-L2-3-E0-1-0-0*

*The recording has just a long E0 (half note) at the end of this phrase. It’s a little easier to split up the long note

B part, third quarter

Third quarter: A0-0-L2-1-0-D3-A1-0-1-0-D3-1

B part, fourth quarter

Further Practice

Practice the song at your own pace with this drone track.

Drone in A – No Beat

Use this to practice the whole tune.

Full Tabs, Audio & Sheet Music

A part

First quarter: E0-3-3-4-3-L2-E0-3-3-4-3-L2

Second quarter: E0-A3-E0-1-L2-1-L2-1-E0-A3-E0-1-L2-1-L2-1

Third quarter: E0-3-3-4-3-L2-E0-3-3-4-3-L2

Fourth quarter: E0-A3-E0-1-L2-1-L2-1-E0-A3-L2-0

B part

First quarter: A0-0-L2-1-0-D3-A1-0-1-0-D3-1

Second quarter: (D1-3)-A0-D3-A0-1-L2-3-E0-1-0-0*

*The recording has just a long E0 (half note) at the end of this phrase.

Third quarter: A0-0-L2-1-0-D3-A1-0-1-0-D3-1

Fourth quarter: (A0-1)-L2-1-0-L2-1-0-D3-A0-1-0-0

Play Along Track – Full Tune – 55 bpm

Play Along Track – Full Tune – 65 bpm

Play Along Track – Full Tune – 75 bpm

Play Along Track – Full Tune – 85 bpm

Play Along Track – Full Tune – 95 bpm



Sheet music video

Learn to intuitively read sheet music with this animated video. If you’re an absolute beginner, then I suggest you don’t worry about fo it for the moment.

This is here for continuing students who want to learn about sheet music. It’s part of the Note-Reading For Fiddlers course.

Continue on to Mix Up Your Music Practice With Interleaving >>

Return to top of Module 2.1 >>

Leave a Reply

7 responses to “Hobart’s Transformation

    1. Kris, great suggestion. I will add this to our request list.

      Something I find helpful to dial a bowing pattern is to initially eliminate the fingerboard hand and simply bow open strings (example for bar 1: E0 – long long short short short short, example for bar 3: E0-A0-E0-0-0-0-0-0)
      And slowing the rhythms way down and slowly working up speed as we are ready.

      Also, there are some useful bowing technique lessons you may find helpful: