Welcome to the Irish Fiddle Journeys course!

You’ll find a progressive course outline below. It’s organized in “mini-modules” so that you move from easier to more challenging lessons. Think of this as a suggested path to follow. I say it’s a suggestion because I’ve learned that each person learns in a unique way.

That said, I strongly encourage you to dive deep into one tune and one technique at a time. Otherwise, you might fall into what I call The Ultimate Pitfall for Beginning Fiddlers.

I made an overview lesson and video for the course. This goes into the preparation, strategy, and fiddlosophy which will make your Irish fiddle journey fun, productive, and rewarding.

Progressive course outline

Below is a suggested order for you to take the lessons in this course.

Module 1: The Trill Is Not Gone

Core lessons

Core tunes

I’ll teach basic and variation lessons for core tunes. Think of these as old friends that teach us new things when we re-visit them.

Learn or review at least two of the following core tunes:

Bonus tunes

The bonus tunes will help to expand your fiddle vocabulary. They are also a way to experiment with adding variation on your own.

Module 3: On The Jig Swing

Core lessons

Learn or review at least two of the following tunes (or other jigs and slip jigs you know). Then try to add the jig swing variation.

Bonus tunes

Interlude 1: Renew With Review

Now that you’ve learned a bit about Irish fiddling, take some time to review and refine what you’ve learned. This attention to good sound will bring joy to your practice.

Use fingerprinting to help you remember tunes better. Learn more in this lesson: How to remember fiddle tunes. 

Remember, there are three phases of learning a tune.

  • Learning a basic version
  • Making it sound better
  • Adding expression

Learn more in this lesson: Three Phases of Learning a Tune

  • Review tunes learned in modules 1-4. Also, review any other Irish tunes you know.
  • Review all technique exercises: triplets, jig swing, trills, melodic¬†variation.

Do you remember all the tunes you learned?

This review can be done in one or two practice sessions. What do you need to go over? Just be honest with yourself.

Interlude 2: Like Deja Vu All Over Again

How To Practice Sets Of Tunes

As you learn more tunes and variations, older things might start to slip from your memory. So take some time to strengthen things you’ve recently learned. Making and practicing sets of tunes is a good way to approach them with a fresh perspective.

You can also continue these other review practices. They’ll help you remember what you’ve learned in a fun and productive way.

  • Keep a list of tunes you’ve learned.
  • Practice “review sets” of 4-10 songs.
  • Practice “fingerprinting each song”.
  • If possible, transpose tunes to other strings.
    • This helps form a better mental map of the tune. (And it’s fun).
  • Learn more about his process:¬†Renew With Review.

Review all the tunes that you liked.

Review all technique exercises: triplets, jig swing, trills, melodic variation. This can be done in one or two practice sessions.

Did you skip any of the core tunes? If so, consider re-visiting them.

What techniques are still difficult? How can you reinvent your approach to practicing them?

Index of Lessons

Here’s a listing of all the tunes in the course, organized by type of lesson rather than the suggested learning path of the Progressive Outline above. Some fun ways to practice using the index:

  • Play all the tunes you know of a certain type (reels, jigs, etc.).
  • Make sets of two or more tunes.
  • Play all the tunes you know with a particular drone note (D, G, A or E).

Variation Technique Lessons

This is a progressive series of lessons, starting with easier¬†variations like jig swing and moving towards more challenging¬†variations like rolls. We’ll start by practicing each technique very slowly and then gradually speeding up.

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