Practice string crossing patterns. Use two simple blocks to create longer patterns. These can be reversed, inverted and combined.
Inverse re-order: ADA
Make up your own.
D minor pentatonic
Practice improvising with D pentatonic. Use the D drone tracks.
Full Range: G0-1-3-D0-L2-3-A0-L2-3-EL1-L2-3
D drone, no beat
D drone, simple beat
D to G hoedown groove
Finally, try improvising over this groove. Start by playing the groove. This is hoedown on D chord twice followed by twice on G.
D0A0 hoedown (2x) / D0A1 hoedown (2x)
Bile ’em Cabbage Down improv
Here’s a play-along track to practice improvising with this tune. You will play one cycle and then improvise for three cycles. In the first track, you will improvise over a repeating D chord. In the second, you will improvise over the chord progression of the song:
D G/ D A/ D G/ D A D /
Bile ’em Cabbage Improv – just D chord
Bile ’em Cabbage Improv – chord progression
Let me know in a comment below what tracks you like. Also let me know if they could be improved in any way (arrangement, duration, etc.) Feel free to add questions or any other comment about the course. You can also email me if you prefer.
Just trying to find ways to make this fun for you to practice on your own.
Thanks ? ?
Here is a quick way for you to access the essential practice tools you need. Under each tab you'll find play-along tracks, tabs and condensed teachings to help you as you practice. This is an evolving idea, so let me know in a comment below if it could be better.
Here's a newer version of the Notefinder which is based on sheet music. If you're interested in learning to read, this will be an invaluable reference. I'll be posting lessons on this in 2020.
Note: the brackets indicate notes that are the same pitch but spelled differently. For example, AH3 (D#) sounds the same as AL4 (Eb). Without going into too much teory detail here, this will be determined by the key of the tune or piece you are playing.
Here's he original table version of the Notefinder. Sometimes people learn in different ways...
Sawmill tuning Notefinder
This is used to find notes in Sawmill tuning (when the G string is tuned up to A and the D string is tuned up to E). If you're a beginner...best to ignore this! Learn more about sawmill tuning in the Appalachian Fiddle course.
Here are some common scales used in fiddle tunes. Each runs through a series of variations: two bows legato, two bows staccato, four bows, tucka (4 shorts, two longs), hoedown (1 long, two shorts), throwaway bow, triplets, tremolo.
G Major, starting on D3
Practice a tune with its scale (Kerry Polka is in G major, so practice a G major scale). Practice scales before, during and after practicing tunes.
Always return to a good sound, even if it means playing quarter notes on the D string. You can do this! You just have to remember to pause on practicing the challenging thing and just get a good sound on single notes.
Why do this? Because it will bring you deep joy. And it will build your confidence which will inspire further practice.