Fall practice challenge
October 8, 2017 at 6:30 pm #14064
I’m going to practice every day for two weeks for at least one hour per day (and as much of that unmuted as possible).
I can sort of play a rudimentary version of black mountain rag but I’m going to challenge myself to play it better and add some intermediate/advanced variations that I’ve seen people do on some youtube videos.
A secondary challenging tune that I’ll also work on improving is Tennessee Wagoner which I am just starting to figure out.
I’ll record myself a few times over the two weeks and try to improve my sound.
Anybody else doing the challenge?
October 9, 2017 at 1:35 pm #14103LisaParticipant
Yes I am going for a minimum of 30 min/day (ditto on the unmuted part, lol). I’m a beginner – working on D Major scale drills, trying to improving tone, Lazy John and Swallowtail Jig as my challenge.
October 12, 2017 at 5:45 am #14125
Jammed on fiddle tunes last night with 3 friends: another fiddler, guitar player and a mando player. Britches, Sandy Boys, Ashokan Farewell, St Anne’s, Road to Boston, Midnight on the Water, Star of the County Down, and others.
Last weekend sat in a bluegrass jam so got to do some improv.
October 12, 2017 at 5:47 am #14126
What’s with the ugly unhappy face icon attached to my post? I didn’t add that.
October 14, 2017 at 1:44 pm #14160
I practice 1-2 hours every day. When I have a jam that day sometimes I’ll just spend a 1/2 hour warming up if I’m crunched for time. Went to a (new to me) Irish tune jam last night where I had to do a lot of sight reading of tunes I did not know – quite a challenge. I’ve been doing some of my practice tunes with a metronome, which is going pretty well so far.
October 12, 2017 at 5:50 am #14127crowbar47Participant
I practice for an hour and a half m-f. Not quite that much on weekends. Trying to improve tone and intonation.currently working on Scarborough Fair. I practice scales every morning 7:30-8:00 am. I am also in the third year of violin building school. I’ll post a picture when I figure out how
October 12, 2017 at 6:00 am #14128DavidParticipant
Hi one and all. My goal is to play the D Major drone scale in a Jig 6/8 time.
I’ve practised this every day for twenty minuets, just after tea.
Recorded myself on day one, that was upsetting to hear it…….
Can’t believe how focused I am for those 20 mins.
October 12, 2017 at 6:51 am #14129fiddlerphoebeParticipant
I am finally learning Tennessee Waltz. It keeps coming up at jams and I sort of know the basic melody. I’ve got the Homespun video of Jay Unger teaching ornamentals and double stops, so that is what I’m working on. Nobody ornaments like Jay and his moving double stops are things I can use in other songs. I try to practice fiddle for two hours a day, with at least 20 minutes on a new song. This week is difficult ‘cuz we’re camping in Las Vegas for a music festival so I’ll need to find time out from jamming and listening to work on this by myself.
October 12, 2017 at 7:51 am #14131afootpathParticipant
Day 4 of challenge going well challenge goal 45 mins a day tune Black and White Rag played slow, giving myself the time and space and freedom to play slow, working on intonation since I have it to memory, recorded the first day, will record more to get over my dreaded fear of listening to my recorded self. Have Tralfalgar Hornpipe as a bowing exercise played with different bowling patterns, working on accented up bows. Thanks Jason for the practice video it was helpful and inspiring!
October 12, 2017 at 1:08 pm #14134MofergParticipant
I haven’t missed any days,but I haven’t been able t stick with the songs I put on my sheet. Went to a bluegrass festival and played different stuff.
October 12, 2017 at 3:14 pm #14135Barb_HeskettParticipant
I’ve been practicing 45-75 min each day; however, the times have varied which is not optimal. Lots of events not in my control, but I still play even if it’s late. I’m trying to improve my tone and get rid of the bow jiggle, which I think has already improved doing Jason’s bowing exercises. Playing slow so each note sounds good. Practicing some favorite songs and wanting to do some embellishments and little variations/improv with them. Reviewing some theory to remember the different keys and how to use the notes in the pentatonic scale to improvise a bit.
Playing the songs in Jason’s lessons as well as Mississippi Sawyer, June Apple and starting on Festival Waltz.
Also, my husband wants to find songs to play as a flute/fiddle duet. Should be fun!
October 13, 2017 at 1:12 am #14138DrLesleyParticipant
Playing about 45 minutes on the challenge, but play other tunes as well at other times. Usually practice the challenge after lunch and the A part of Bill Cheatham is coming on but the B part is causing me grief:) Recorded it on my phone today…abysmal sounds… however will keep the recording to compare in a few days time!
Doing Jason’s double stops lessons as well for the challenge, one day I think I have got it, the next I sound awful again. Luckily my husband happily listens to my mistakes and spurs me on. He plays mandolin/guitar/cittern among others and has taken to practising along with me a little, tho’ he doesn’t need the practice.
Am enjoying the challenge!
October 13, 2017 at 8:37 am #14139zbarbaraParticipant
I’m practicing minimum 20 mins a day, but usually an hour. Working on triads, dorian scale, Cluck Old Hen and – this is harder – Sitting on Top of the World. Haven’t missed a day yet! Staying flexible on what time I break out the fiddle – usually in afternoon or early evening.
October 15, 2017 at 2:04 pm #14162
One week check in: so far so good. Not as much unmuted playing time as I’d hoped, but I’ve been getting some in. Otherwise, I’ve met all of my goals so far. I’ve been using anytune to slow down some videos from youtube to help me figure out my tunes (thanx for the idea, fiddlehed!). And I recorded myself once and the results were typical (horrifying!).
October 17, 2017 at 3:10 pm #14177AdrienneParticipant
I’m part of the practice challenge. I’m working on 4th finger everyday for the next two weeks. Anyone have good a beginner/interm tune that uses fourth finger?
October 18, 2017 at 1:37 pm #14195nancybrownParticipant
In addition to the Fall Practice Challenge, my bigger challenge is that I’m on vacation + buying a house. But it’s been fun coming up with solutions. I tried buying a new never used, cheapo violin in craigs list before I left that I could travel with but the seller was too busy to meet me. Soooo I’ve got no instrument with me but am headed for Asheville, NC. Great place for fiddle music – I have open mic nights pegged out, a visit to a luthier, and…got tickets to see the great Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas in Asheville. I will submerge in fiddle culture. Before I took off, I was practicing Tennessee Waltz and Backup Chords. I created an even bigger & better music area in my studio. I wanted to record myself before I left and listen to those, but getting away is a busy time for this full time work gurrrrl. And the good news is that retirement from being a full-time techie ends at the end of the year…and aspiring fiddle player and hypnotherapist starts at the beginning of the year. 🙂
October 18, 2017 at 5:25 pm #14196MarParticipant
So Ive missed two days for this fall practice challenge but, I still seem to be playing Wildwood Flower better every day that I play it, thnks to the practice tips on The Fiddlehead website.
October 22, 2017 at 6:48 pm #14206
Practice challenge wrap up:
So the first week I cruised through, with the challenge being a motivator. My second week was much tougher due to a very busy work schedule and being tired. I did get in an hour every evening, but being as tired as I was, I’m not sure how productive those hours were. I slogged through because of the challenge. I had some negative thoughts this week about the fiddle (like if I had invested this much time in the guitar, piano, or mandolin, I’d already be out there jamming with folks), but after this weekend of rest, I’m feeling energized and happy with my progress again.
I made lots of progress on my two challenge tunes, one of which uses a lot of G string, which is a weakness of mine and something I need to continue to work on.
I think focusing two weeks on a single tune is too much for me. Not because I mastered the tune–I did not–but because I became a little bored with it and was not able to give it the focus that it needed. I think a week is my max for a tune and then I need to let it sit for a while and then come back to it later to work on it again.
Thanks for the inspiration, Fiddlehed. I feel like I got a lot out of the challenge!
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