NEW HOMEPAGE LANDING PAGE Forums Student Videos First Video From Raw Beginner

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    • #46456

      I’ve been with Jason’s site 3 months. I feel a certain amount of progress, however, I’m a little surprised how negatively family views it. “Terrible” is the key feedback word I get. I imagine this is accurate but hey, first video, completely, utterly raw beginner. Looking for tips how to make it less terrible, and look forward to posting something better soon, like monthly?

    • #46457

      As a mere 6-monther, I would say that your family don’t have a clue! I think you have great tone, flow & musicality. Recording yourself is a great way to monitor your progress and hear what others are hearing. I guess practise, practise practise is our new mantra! I look forward to hearing more.

    • #46460

      Hey Charles,

      Stick with comments from other learning fiddler’s! Not bad at all, and smooth bowing for such a beginner. I think you are going to be quite good! It’s your journey, enjoy it; practice often and video once per month, sounds great!!

    • #46464

      Thanks 😊! Violin learning has certainly been different! Since lessons are not in person, it’s difficult to assess progress.

      So the videos are important. What I can see is uneven rhythm, a few out of tune notes of course.

      Anything else that jumps out? I’m not shy about getting specific tips.

      I think the family (and cousins) stuff is unhelpful only because of the lack of specific tips.

      “Terrible” is, ha! not practical or actionable criticism. 9ne daughter who plays piano has been good. Takes a musician for sure to give advice.

      I’m amazed at the quality I hear from you all!

      • #46465

        If I can offer one suggestion, Charles, it might be about holding the bow. Jason has some good start-up lessons on the site at

        I know there are different bow holds people use successfully, but I think your hold in the video is a bit rigid and perhaps forces your elbow to be higher than necessary. It may also make for a difficult transition to your future leaning where more control and flexibility are required.

        I think it’s better to start with a traditional hold early and avoid planting any deep habits that may be more difficult to change later on.

    • #46468
      Nick Wilkins

      Hey, Charles, great video! Keep them coming – I need you to encourage me!

      I’m WAY more experienced than you [six months 9 days in total on the fiddle trail] 🙂 and I haven’t posted yet.

      I think that’s going well, really. I’m no-one to offer advice, but I wonder if that chair is helping you to be flexible with your bow arm? Maybe try a stool or standing up?

      I think your rhythm is coming along nicely. I still can’t find the right place to support my violin, so tell straight away if you crack that nut and find the sweet spot.

      I was talking with @kaceysmith2 the other day and she reminded me to ‘Play it a thousand times, we ain’t just a jokin’. Of course, Kay’s right.

      • #46873

        Thanks! I watched the bow holding video again. Very helpful!

    • #46469
      jason kleinberg

      Good bow sound Charles!

      Just curious: the fiddle sounds like it’s tuned low. Is that so? If not intended, you might want to check the tuning with an electronic tuner.

      keep on keeping’ on…

      • #46871

        Yes. A big Viola tuned low on purpose for trying to sing an octave down. Re listening to it I perceive it as more of a mess and actually I drifted away from the song to an unintentional medley.

    • #46685

      Hey, I think you are playing with great gusto! I can’t remember where I heard or read this but it goes something like this, maybe it was Jason “the fiddle should be played with passion, go for the notes, don’t be afraid to make a noise” This has stuck in my head for some reason and I think you are on the right track. Keep going!

      • #46872

        Thanks! I do this on other endeavors too….try to “own it” no matter what it looks or sounds like. Hahahaha 🤣

    • #46800

      Cool slides and really liked the sound you made and groove you had. I didn’t recognise it as Will the Circle be Unbroken, but that may be because of the tuning of your violin. Next time record yourself playing along with the track so when you listen back you can identify the parts you need to work on. I’ve been playing 18months now and have improved so much using Fiddlehed – practice everyday and then some more. There’s so much you need to work on when you first start, but I like how Jason breaks into small parts. Start playing slow, and keep listening. I think you’re great for a beginner! I was far more scratchy when I started. I sent my family crazy,so I’d have to practice when they weren’t around. Now they are starting to compliment me, but it took a while!

      • #46874

        Thanks! You are correct. I drifted away from the song! I will be confined to my “cave” out back for some time!

    • #46869

      Thanks everyone! Yes the instrument I was playing in that video was a Viola tuned way low because I was trying sing with it. I have other violins tuned correctly.

      • #46870

        Ha! You’re right it’s not Circle be Unbroken! It’s an unintended medley, on a big Viola tuned low. I think I mixed it up with Poor Wayfaring Stranger.

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