A student named GTAYLOR1972 asked me during a recent office hours session, “How do I pull myself out of a rut with my fiddle practice?”

Tips for rut-busting

  • Connect with your sound
    • Take time to work on getting a good sound.
    • Return to very simple tunes you think are too easy and make them sound good. This will bring joy to your practice.
  • Work on fundamentals
  • Record yourself
    • This will give you better feedback on what needs work.
    • You can listen to all the recordings, and see that you’ve actually made some progress. Maybe it just feels like you’re in a rut.
  • Learn a new technique
    • Pick a technique that is challenging, and work on it every day.
    • Vibrato, double stops, Georgia shuffle, etc.
  • Play with others
    • Meet with one other person or a group on a regular basis. This will keep you moving forward. You’ll see that you are not alone in your struggle.
    • Connect with people through online forums and zoom meetings. Share your practice, your struggles, and your goals.
  • Relax the body
    • Take breaks to stretch and breathe.

There’s no single right thing to do to bust out of a rut other than this: change your approach in some way.














This micro-lesson is an excerpt from an office hours webinar I gave on April 14, 2020. View the entire live-stream with indexed questions here.

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