Here is the replay of my office hours live-stream for this month. Thanks to all who took part…
To play old-time music, do you just need to know first position? 16:23
What are good tunes for practicing 4th finger? 19:03
How can I clean up the sound when I go from one string to another? 21:25
I'm trying to learn your version of a tune (Blackest Crow), but I hear a different version in my head. How should I proceed? 24:35
What are some good stretches and physical warmups? Fiddle yoga?! 29:36
How do you do vibrato? 34:23
Neighbors tend to nag about my practice sessions. Should I get a silent or electric violin? Will it affect my learning? 37:23
How important is the bow angle (flat or edge)? 41:20
When playing with others on a tune I don't know, how do I play the chords? 43:56
What's the best shoulder rest? 53:31
Do you have suggestions for practicing timing/counting on notes? Is a metronome helpful? 1:16:40
My bow bounces a lot. What should I do? 1:22:39
I get frustrated because there is a lot I have to remember to do at once. Do I ever get to sit back and enjoy just playing? 1:25:00
How can I keep the little finger of my left hand near the fingerboard? Are there any exercises? 1:29:50
How do you bow on just one string at a time? What are some exercises to make my bowing more precise? 1:31:22
When using finger tape, does the low second finger go between the 2nd and 3rd tapes? 1:34:21
How to practice playing with different volume levels? 1:37:52
Some questions I missed
Are there any tips/exercises you can suggest that can help in becoming fiddle-confident while starting to join in on jam sessions?
- If possible, practice any tunes you know will be played at the jam.
- Warm up on your own before playing with others.
- Stretch your body and relax your breath before sessions and shows.
Do you modify any of your bridges for faster lower string action and ease in double stops?
- I haven’t modified any bridges.
- But my electric has lower action (flatter bridge). It is easier to play.
- The answer is in your question: Separate your hands.
- Practice the bowing on open strings, then the fingering with plucking. Then integrate with small phrases and exercises.
What kind of strings do you have?
- I use Dominant strings.
Here are some links to lessons that relate to this month’s questions:
- I use a Bonmusic shoulder rest. I love how easy it is to hold the fiddle with this.
- To learn more about old-time fiddling, see the course on Appalachian Fiddle.
- I’m currently adding to this.
- Find good tunes for practicing 4th finger in these modules:
- Clean up string changes and make your playing more precise with these lessons:
- Blackest Crow – Basic
- When you don’t know the tune at a jam, you can play chords. Here is a mini-course on chord backup: How To Play Chord Backup
- To prevent bow bouncing, work on tone-building: Tone-building Exercises
- Practice Little Lift to improve fingering coordination and speed: Little Lift.
Alrighty. Play every day, have fun ? and thanks for making music ?
Now, go fiddle with it…?