Home Page for Non Logged In Forums Chatting On The Porch Spring Practice Challenge 2018

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    • #17657
      jason kleinberg
      Keymaster

      Hi Folks,

      As a way to strengthen your resolve to play every day, please leave a comment below and tell us:

      -How many minutes per day you intend to practice.
      -What tunes and/or techniques you want to learn or improve.

      If you like telling us more, than go ahead! Some other things you could share:

      -How long you’ve been playing fiddle for.
      -How much you currently practice.
      -What are your goals and dreams for playing fiddle?

      Thanks much,

      jaso’n ?

    • #17660
      castanu92
      Participant

      Hey Jason im doing the spring practice challenge. I tried to use the workbook but im not sure if it worked. It says an “oops” everytime i try to log in with my password. Anyways i started yesterday. My name is Jay im 44 years old and have been playing the fiddle since February. Iplan on practicing 30min a day. Im learning “Arkansas Traveler” and will be working on timing by using a metronome. I recorded myself playing “Arkansas Traveler” on Monday the 30th. It took me playing the song on and off from 4:30pm to 11pm to play the whole tune through so i could record it. I ended up playing in the garage when it started getting later on in the evening. I warned the family that i would be taking the practice challenge. I played through your “Arkansas Traveler” you tube video and then used your provided sheet music. My kids are helping me learn to read music since theyve been in orchestra for about five years. I cant stress enough to listen to the tune over and over and over again. Learn how to read music notation. My kids played through “Arkansas Traveler” and had it down in less than five minutes just from reading the sheet music. So Im investing a lot of time on sight reading and learning my notes. Once you learn it i think it will be a huge time saver in learning tunes. Then once you get the tune down then you can add all the extras like double stops, slurs, slides, hoe down, etc. Im really trying to stay away from all the extras right now until i have nice tone on single notes and improve my timing to find that groove. Im using the calender that i printed off fiddlehed to track my progress. Good luck “Fiddleheds”! Thank you Jason for having these practice challenges it really helps me focus and have fun.

    • #17662
      greenkl
      Participant

      Hi Jason and other challengers, I’m going to practice at least 20 minutes per day, working on Jerusalem Ridge and vibrato. Been learning/playing fiddle for 1 year. Have several years of mandolin experience, so the fingering positions were familiar, it’s just that 2 foot long pick that’s the problem sometimes! I really love the voice of the fiddle compared to the other bluegrass instruments that I pick or strum. Have been playing it in weekly bluegrass jams in Dallas area since September, would like to improve skill and confidence to band performance level.

    • #17663
      Art
      Participant

      I am doing the challenge. I intend to practice about an hour a day. That’s for focused practice. I also then have my fiddle out and about and play songs that I like and know pretty well for a reward. I am working on the various bowing rhythms and the slurX-fingerX sorts of things seeing where they work into songs. Playing Little Bertha this week after recording a perfectly horrid rendition yesterday. I don’t generalize well and don’t have a lot of musical ideas on my own so imitate lots. However, I am interested in the “call and answer” loops. I perked up when I heard the the B part referred to as the “Answer”. I have an idea that playing with some of those loops might be 1.) fun and 2.) educational. I am working on servicing a list of tunes for jams and adding to that list. After a while, a list is good since I forget what tunes I know. Trying to work double stops into songs and working on discovering how to get in and out of double stops gracefully (while sounding good). Wanting to learn how to add on to tunes on my own and I am waiting for a unit on how to improvise in familiar tunes. I am taken with the fiddling style of Chubby Wise and would like to learn how to articulate between notes as he did. I must be improving; the cows have started giving milk again. Been playing since 2012 or so.

    • #17664
      Billnagle
      Participant

      Hi good people. I will practice every day (+/-) and I’m working on tone and chords. I am also working to translate what I can hear in my head to the fiddle. I play out once weekly at various old folks homes with a group of 12 to 15 people and play the fiddle, mostly in the background, 4 all except the 2 or 3 songs that I would sing during the evening. I’ve recorded 1 minute of drone notes for all the most used keys and placed them on my computers desktop so I can also have fun working on playing in tune. Thanks to fiddlehed for the skill full teaching.

    • #17665
      JaneE
      Participant

      I keep a journal of my practising and I practise at least 20 minutes (when I have a busy day) up to a few hours, in increments of 30 minutes, an hour plus. In addition to the time spent in practise, I’ve begun to add comments on my progress. My challenges are in theory, relaxing the left hand, trying to loosen the “death grip” of my thumb. To keep even and straight bowing. Working on droning, ornaments. To try and bring “life” into my music. I really look forward to my practise time .. where “time” just disappears as I focus on these various aspects. I get a tremendous feeling of satisfaction when I have learned a tune and then I love playing it over and over and over. I’ve always loved the fiddle and I look forward to sharing this with my friends, when I have learned my songs completely and don’t have to say “oops, wait .” when I mess up! I have trouble when crossing strings, for example, Rakes of Mallow, going quickly from D3 and A1 .. it just feels awkward. But I’m working on that.

    • #17666
      crowbar47
      Participant

      Will practice at least 1hr/day. Working on better sound/tone/scratch elimination. Working to improve intonation, double stops and jig style bowing. I am going to start on Ark Travler next week

    • #17667
      banjocheryl
      Participant

      Hello Jason, First thank you for all the help you have available. I live in a very rural area with very little opportunity for music lessons. I plan on practicing 30 minutes per day. I’ve been playing for about two months. I have tried to practice every day, with pretty good success. I already play the banjo so I have pretty good practice skills. I do have to do short sessions a couple of time a day or more times. I find I am drawn back to my music room more and more. I am working on Old Susanna with double stops, Boil them Cabbage with transition runs, and Lovers Waltz. My focus for improvement is mainly in tone. My bowing hand is my biggest problem. My left hand works well from playing banjo, but my wrist does get sore. I had a double fracture in that arm as a child. I was standing on the back of a loaded hay wagon…. so you can get a bit of flavor of my personality… I LOVE the low key way you teach and I wish I had more time to dedicate. I will retire in three years and then watch out!! I’ll have time for a subscription then. Thanks again for making all this information available!

    • #17668
      mack
      Participant

      I’ll practice at least 45 min/day in three sessions, Today I have done 4 sessions, the last one just playing the Kerry polka, slowly, enjoying getting better at bowing, my main aim is to sound better ,I’VE been “playing” since feb but scales still don’t sound as good as open strings,I know it takes time and although it can be frustrating,I know I sound better tban I did last month because I started recording myself so have the proof, still trying to convince tbe neighbours tbough?

    • #17669
      Jilcice
      Participant

      Jil here. Have been playing about a year. Am able to practice one hour a day. Am working on a Klezmer tune called Dobriden not from library. Struggling with moving ahead too quickly before I master a good sound. Working on more deliberate finger placements.

    • #17670
      Struttinbuck
      Participant

      Hi Jason.
      Thanks for the work you do with everything. I’ve been fiddling since I’d say February and the bowing part seems to be the trickiest part. I’ve probably learned 8 tunes so far and decided a while back that the sound is more important than the number of tunes. I notice a lot of folks will post a video playing fiddle tunes and they will not make a single screech or hiss while playing. 🙂 So that’s what I’m working on. Thanks again Jason. Glad you are a master of the art and still working on perfection. I can already see this instrument has no end.

    • #17672
      Lin
      Participant

      Hi everyone. I am 66, so retired and can therefore spend an hour a day in the luxury of practicing my fiddle. I didn’t start playing music till I turned 52, and that was on a melodeon. I took up the fiddle 4 years later, and am completely self taught from all the many fantastic youtube videos. I play in sessions with friends at our local pub, and with a couple of close friends at the kitchen table. I love Jason’s humour and patience and have improved considerably since I started doing his course. My goal for this fortnight is to get Tam Lin to a reasonable level, to improve tone, and to try to conquer double stops, although I do find those extremely difficult. But the main thing is I just enjoy myself and love playing.

      • #18444
        AlamosFiddler
        Participant

        Hi Lin, just joined, and just getting restarted at 66. May I ask what is OAP?

      • #18445
        Lin
        Participant

        Hi Alamos OAP are the initials for Old Age Person, usually referring to someone who has retired from work and is receiving the state pension.
        Good luck with fiddling – Jason makes it fun and he has such enthusiasm it makes you want to practice.

        I have gone back to the beginning of his course because a) he has just added the ability to mark a unit when you have done it, which I thought would be cool, and b) it would be useful to go back over old ground and re inforce good habits

        keep well

    • #17673
      Patty
      Participant

      Howdy Fiddlehed-ers!!! I have been playing for the past 2 years but am still very much a beginner. I WILL practice an hour a day (and probably more!) as I do love to play. I am now retired so have the time finally to make it a big part of my day. I am struggling with double stops so have been working at least 10 minutes each session focusing on them. I have set a goal of learning The Wind that Shakes the Barley and also Mouth of Tobique in the next two weeks. I suffer from left hand death grip (gosh that’s hard to break!!!). I am focusing on taking things slowly and cleanly and totally agree that its easy to learn lots of tunes but hard to play them all well. My goal is to improve my tone and timing. After recording myself yesterday, a dreadful experience, I must say, I have a long way to go. I’m glad this is play and not work!!
      Patty

    • #17676
      claire
      Participant

      Hi from Switzerland, fiddlers of the world ! I intend to practice between 30 and 60 minutes per day. The tune I choose is Ashokan Farewell and also start working on vibrato. I’ve been working on the fiddle for a little bit more than a year now. I’m trying to relax my left hand and improve the sound. Many thanks, Jason ! You are the best teacher, ever !

    • #17678
      Hugh207
      Participant

      30 minutes a day is the goal. Working on fiddle part to Wagon Wheel

    • #17679
      StephenDeiss
      Participant

      Howdy everybody in FiddleHed Land! I am practicing about 40 minutes a day and I am focusing on learning Tam Lin. The first week I should have a good grip on the basics, and the second week I want to go through Jason’s “next step”, adding variation on Tam Lin.

      I wish everyone participating in the challenge best wishes!

    • #17680
      cathyegelston
      Participant

      Hi Jason,
      Thanks for your wonderful fiddle lessons. For the Spring Practice Challenge I am working on tone and melodic scale variations. I plan to practice 30-60 minutes a day.

    • #17681
      aladin
      Participant

      hi jason.
      your lessons are the best . im working on and “wagon wheel” “im so lonsome i could cry solo break”. i play 30-60 min a night. i’v been playing 7 years. i usually play every other day. and i hope to bee in a contry band .
      thanks, Ryan

    • #17682
      lukidog
      Participant

      Hey Y’all, I’m joining the challenge to get into a habit of practicing. I’m retired, in my late 60’s, never touched a musical instrument until I bought a fiddle on a whim about 6 years ago. Took lessons for 2 summers but that’s been all. Can’t seem to find a teacher since we moved to TN about 3.5 years ago. I’m trying to spend an hour a day practicing, mostly trying to get a better sound; I still sound very much like a beginner. I’m working on Faded Love and Jambalaya to get them sounding better and trying to put some life into them. Thanks for the challenge, Jaso’n, as well as all the great information you share with us.
      Mary

    • #17683
      zbarbara
      Participant

      Greetings from North Carolina! I’m practicing from 30 mins to an hour a day. Working on Over the Waterfall, which has always been one of my favorites. I sound rocky, but I’m the only one who has to listen and will keep working on tone! Also working on chords – the I-IV-V progression, which should help me in jams. Thanks for the challenge, Fiddlehed, I need it! Barbara

    • #17684
      Paul
      Participant

      Jason & Friends
      Very pleased to be part of the challenge. I started taking lessons in Sept2017 as therapy to get me away from cable news (its works!) I try to get in at least 30m a day sometimes an hour. Worked thru suzuki violin book 1 and Auer wookbook, but this is a lot more fun! Working on sound which goes hand-in-hand with bowing technique. This week for the challenge…working on slurring using two tunes….Britches full of stitches, and Bill Sullivan Polka

      Paul

    • #17685
      klcapell
      Participant

      Hi! I’m working on improving my bowing — bowing straight and using a more flexible wrist. My goal is 30 minutes of focused practice with exercises and The Girl I Left Behind Me, and at least another 30 minutes of just playing. When I recorded myself, my bowing looked straighter but I continue to swing the bow when I add double stops and any ornamentation! Hope it looks and sounds better next week! Thanks for encouraging me to set a goal and record my efforts. It’s also nice to hear from other adult learners. I picked up the fiddle for the first time at 60 and am now 63. Keep fiddling!

    • #17686
      Sjensens
      Participant

      Hi Jason and other fiddlers, I’m going to be working on O’Keefe Slide among others. I want to perfect that jiggy rhythm, which is what I find most challenging about fiddling – the different rhythms. I will try my hand at La Belle Catherine, maybe just be able to memorize (not perfect) or Knocknagow. Both ambitious tunes, but I am keen. We’ll see. Mostly I will perfect O’Keefe Slide. I am also taking regular violin lessons, so the stuff from that course will take up part of my practice – learning to read music and playing little Bach Minuets and such. I practice 30 minutes to two hours a day, time permitting.
      I started violin in the third grade (decades ago!) but it definitely did not stick back then. I’ve started playing in earnest again in January and my passion for the fiddle is inexplicable, except that it just makes me happy. My hope is to bring fiddle music to my little island in the Bahamas, maybe be able to fuse it with local music (my son is a musician and digs that sort of thing) and play in sessions at festivals around the world. This summer: Boston Harbor Scottish Fiddle School!
      I am so grateful to Fiddlehed and other awesome youtube teachers for the great stuff I have learned in just these four months and look forward to doing this challenge with all of you guys.
      Cheers,
      Susan

    • #17719
      jason kleinberg
      Keymaster

      Thanks everyone for chiming in! I almost missed my practice session, but got it in around 10:30pm. Maybe the best part of my day! Going to try to share a recording later…

    • #17720
      MaryLocock
      Participant

      Hi Jason,
      I’m aiming to do at least 30 minutes each day. I’ld like to improve double stops/ chords as they sound terrible still.
      I have been playing for about eighteen months, and practise every day, but still am very much a beginner.
      Your lessons and fun have really helped me. Thank you!
      From the welsh border ( English side! )
      Mary

    • #17724
      Davidn
      Participant

      I plan on practicing at least an hour a day. I have been playing the fiddle for about three years now. I will be working on East Texas Waltz by Peter Otroushko and Doc’s Rag. I am also, working on learning backup chords and would like to improve my bowing and antonation. I hope that’s not to much to work on st one time.

    • #17725
      Will
      Participant

      Hello from Mississippi! My “Spring Practice Challenge ’18” goal is one hour per day…preferably in two, thirty minute segments. I will be working on the basic and variation of tunes in the key of D Major. There is a group of dulcimer players (they tell me that their dulcimers are limited to tunes in the key of D) who jam at a local fish house on Friday evenings and I want to join in on the fun!

    • #17727
      Nancyfiddles
      Participant

      For the spring challenge l am practicing at least 40 minutes a day. I am working on Tam Lin (basic), scales, and tunes using 4th finger, Danny Boy is the main one. I find going from A3 to E4 a challenge. I have to work on breath and relax. Thanks Jason for the lessons and the challenge, you are awesome. Everyone hang in there and don’t give up!

    • #17731
      MaximusVonC
      Participant

      Oh look at this big group!

      So, I’m a bit late to the forum party, but I am also doing the spring challenge. It hit RIGHT at my change from day shift to night shift, but I managed to make the cut and keep the practice going through the worst part.

      I have been using the online practice journal, which has been pretty good at keeping me organized. Before that I used a steno pad, but would drop it for weeks at a time, because who wants to write all that out when typing is so much faster? I also started video recordings, and boy are they terrible. You would think after a year and a half I would be showing some improvement…

      If you haven’t tried the online journal, it may be worth dipping your toes in. The sign up process is free- all I did was click on the email link Jason sent out for the challenge and when I went to type something in the box for starting a journal entry a sign up screen appeared. They sent a confirmation email and POOF! I’m recording my session lists online. If you run into trouble, feel free to ask and I can see what is going on with the tech side. I’m not the best, but I am relatively savvy.

      This has gone on fairly long, so I’ll leave with this:
      I’m working on basics, but keeping a growing song repertoire going. This month I hope to learn “Hava Nagilah” and get it sounding nice up to 80bpm or so. I also am demanding myself to pay homage to scales practice. Jason says its good for you, but it seems a lot like the vegetables of the musical world… Thankfully, his melodic variation lessons add some spice. At the end of the month, I will probably post a single video here with me playing what I’ve improved on. Spoiler Alert: it’s probably “Swallowtail Jig”, “Hava Nagilah”, or “Balydesmond Polka”.

      Well everyone, Thanks for reading this whole thing! Good luck out there and in the words of Conner4real: Never stop never stopping!

      -Max

    • #17732
      crowbar47
      Participant

      I’m doing about 1-1/2 hrs practice. Working on ArkTravler, double stops and scales. Not boring the way you teach them ,it does help with intonation and the variations help with dexterity.

    • #17765
      Plormand
      Participant

      Hi All: I’m 76 and have been playing the fiddle for a few years. I live in south Louisiana and a lot of fiddlers play “tuned down” fiddles. It’s because of the C accordion in Cajun music. I go from the tuned down fiddle to the standard fiddle and it’s a lot of fun but hard. I took lessons for 2 years when I was 68 and then had extensive shoulder surgery. I quit playing for 5 years or so and am playing again. It’s like starting over but I’ve learned so much from your lessons. I practice from 1 to 3 hours a day and get lost in the moments as I love playing. I want to improve my bowing and produce better sounds and the scales have been great. I want to learn Lover’s Waltz – lol when I look at the list – I want to play them all. lol. I find myself getting lost in playing all sorts of things and must get focused on learning one thing well then moving on. Thanks.

    • #17766
      Plormand
      Participant

      I forgot – my name is Penny

    • #17805
      Mary
      Participant

      Hi everybody – I am 61 years old, I live in the East Village in NYC, and I have been playing for a year. My goal is to practice for at least 1/2 hour a day and keep a detailed journal. I am practicing Lazy John right now, and when I am able play it easily I plan to add double stops and a couple of slides. I did the exercise Jason suggested in the Lazy John video, which was to transpose it to the G string. Now I’m looking forward to taking the lesson on transposition. I am also playing Swallowtail Jig, and I pay a lot of attention to my fingering and bowing because when I play it fast, I sometimes hear a big squeak – always in the exact same place! I need to pick my finger up faster, and it may also be time for some Stop and Rock. Thanks so much for Fiddlehed, Jason. I’m learning a lot and having fun.

    • #18255
      KatiaB
      Participant

      Hey Jason,
      My name is Katia and was great to see you playing in Boulder past april and talk to you for a bit.
      I will say it again, thanks to you and your videos and now the website, I have not quit playing fiddle, and I look forward everyday to play after work.
      -How many minutes per day you intend to practice.
      I am practicing between 2 to 3 hours everyday using your videos and website, really i can see myself improving faster than practicing less time.
      -What tunes and/or techniques you want to learn or improve.
      I am trying to learn by memory the intermediate tunes you got in your website and some of the basic ones as well that i still have trouble.
      Learning chords, using pinky finger, play faster as you play in the begining of each video and keep the rhythm. Getting better using slurs and using different bowing techniques.
      -How long you’ve been playing fiddle for.
      Started like more than 5 years ago, I was practicing less time and always thinking on quitting, got a teacher but didn’t like her technique and I found your youtube videos and since then I have been practicing with your videos. Now I am dedicating more time in practicing because is fun and pretty rewarding. Amaze me about finger memory, my fingers remember the tune after playing it so many times.
      -How much you currently practice.
      I have been practicing 3 hours per day for the last 2 years. Between 2 and 3 hours now in summer.
      -What are your goals and dreams for playing fiddle?
      Having fun, learn new tunes, is a big accomplishment when you learn a new one and it sounds great, so i will keep doing it and learning more tunes.
      Cheers,
      -Katia

      • #18257
        MaximusVonC
        Participant

        Katia!
        It’s awesome to hear your have kept it up and not quit after 5 years! Jason has been doing an awesome job of trying to keep us all in the fold, I imagine it will only get better as this site grows. I also tried using a teacher, but he was a bit of a showboat and almost half of my lesson was just him letting me know how skilled he was by playing tuning and playing my violin. I think it is good to get the feedback from a one on one lesson, so I want to find another teacher, but the area I live in only has 3 or 4 that I know of.

        In any case, Keep having fun and fiddling with things! Jason is uploading videos pretty regularly covering many topics, and the song pages are being fleshed out pretty quickly for a one man show. Have a fun time!

        -Max

      • #18407
        jason kleinberg
        Keymaster

        Thanks for the kind words 🙂

      • #18405
        jason kleinberg
        Keymaster

        Nice! Thanks for writing Katia.
        Amazing that you are playing 2-3 hours a day, keep it up!

      • #18406
        jason kleinberg
        Keymaster

        Nice! Thanks for writing Katia.
        Amazing that you are playing 2-3 hours a day, keep it up!

    • #18312
      mack
      Participant

      Hi Max, I really enjoy your personality, I Have been learning the fiddle for 4 months and scales are still the bane of my life, I practice wi5out tapes or fretboards and I get the finger position automa5ically by now but then my tuner tells I’m out of tune,but my ears tell me I’m in tune,I was debating throwing the fiddle in 5he bin when I read your post, you cheered me up. Love from scotland

    • #18408
      jason kleinberg
      Keymaster

      Thanks everyone for taking part! Believe it or not, I barely made it myself…

    • #18414
      castanu92
      Participant

      I hope everyones Spring Practice challenge went great! It motivated me to work on playing and I have Arkansas Traveler down now. I did a couple jam sessions with my coworkers. Also worked on playing Arkansas Traveler with faster tempo playing to the song on a couple different versions i found on Amazon music. I noticed my tone and timing have improved over the course of the two weeks. Looking forward to the next challenge.
      Take care everyone!

    • #18426
      Lin
      Participant

      I did my best but life kept getting in the way – recorder group practices then performance, going to watch a friend play his clarinet in a concert, going to sessions to play with friends, making the most of the British short lived good weather to do the gardening, but I did manage to get some practice in, but Tam Lin is a difficult one so I am not much better than when I started

      I like to thank Jason for his enthusiasm and fun in getting us to practice more – it certainly pays off

    • #18448
      AlamosFiddler
      Participant

      Hello Jason and all you fiddlers of the world. I joined Fiddlehed yesterday so new to the site, wow, lots to,see. My goals are to get in the habit of practice! 30 plus minutes a day, 6 days a week.
      I am from USA, last lived in Tennessee, so of course got introduced to Bluegrass, love it. But now I am retired and living in Mexico, so now I hear Mariachi, but I am leaning towards popular music, such as Despacito.
      I am excited to find this site, it is exactly what I was looking for,

    • #18551
      jlmilld
      Participant

      Hi everyone. My name is Jenny and I just found the forum 🙂 I took the spring practice challenge and realized I don’t practice enough… I started playing in February and I am loving it. I live in Central Kentucky and would love to meet up with some new friends to do some playing. Also if anyone farther away is interested in a Skype/FaceTime practice accountability partner… I would be totally down for that 🙂

      • #18579
        AlamosFiddler
        Participant

        Hi Jenny, I am also looking for a practice buddy. If you could help me get started with Skype or Facetime I would be willing to give it a try. I am in Sonora, Mexico so I think we have 2 hours time difference.

      • #18580
        jlmilld
        Participant

        That would be excellent! My email is [email protected]… Either platform is easy to use. How long have you been playing? I started in February of this year. I am absolutely in love with the violin. I look forward to hearing from you 🙂

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