Here’s a listing of newer lessons and features on FiddleHed:
Magpie – Basic
Blackest Crow – Variation
Frosty Morning – Variation
Cantina Band Theme
Frosty Morning – Basic
Shooting Creek – Intermediate
Shooting Creek – Beginner version
Fun With Call-and-response
Twenty-eighth of January – Variation
Twenty-eighth of January
Planxty – Variation
Swallowtail – Variation
Rights of Man – Fiddle Raga
Rights of Man – Variation
Melodic Variation On Tunes
Miss McCleod’s – Variation
How to play Euphoria in violin
Little Drummer Boy
The Grinch Song
Miss McCleod’s Basic
Fortnite – Squat Kick
Rolling Waves – Performance
15 Minute Bowing Practice
Chief O’Neill’s Favorite Variation
Fortnite – Flapper
Lilting Banshee – Jig to Polka!
Tennessee Waltz Duet
Mary Had A Little Lamb – triplet variation
Mary Had A Little Lamb – Cuts Variation
Kerry Polka variation
Arkansas Traveller – Duet
Foxhunter’s Basic and Variation Performance
Foxhunter’s (slip jig) – Basic Lesson
/ (exclusive to Irish Fiddle Variation course) Kerfunken Jig – Cuts Variation
Kerfunken Jig Basic and Variation – Performance
10-minute Tuning Routine
Fortnite Dances – Best Mates
Mary Had A Little Lamb Melodic Variation
Mary Had A Little Lamb – Hoedown Variation I
Mary Had A Little Lamb – Hoedown Variation II
Make Your Own Scales
The Girl I Left Behind Duet
20-minute scale practice
Fortnite Dances – Step It Up
/ Released on August 1, 2018 30-minute tune practice: Kerfunken Jig
/ Released on July 24, 2018 Separate Your Hands
/ Released on July 24, 2018 35-minute Tune Review
/ Released on July 17, 2018 Fiddling with Patterns
/ Released on July 13, 2018 Chromatic Scale
/ Released on July 10, 2018 Slur Practice
/ Released on July 6, 2018 Interval Scale
/ Released on July 3, 2018 30-minute Tune Practice
/ Released on June 29, 2018 Triad Scales
/ Released on June 26, 2018 Staccato
/ Released on June 22, 2018 Syncopated Scales
/ Released on June 19, 2018 Bouncing Bow
/ Released on June 8, 2018 Eight-note Patterns
/ Released on June 1, 2018 Jerusalem Ridge Part 2
/ Released on May 25, 2018 Jerusalem Ridge Part 1
Released on May 21, 2018 Static Drones /
/ Released May 20, 2018 Triad Exercises
/ Released on May 18, 2018 Swallowtail Jig – Easy fiddle/bass line
Practice tracking buttons and progress wheel – new feature!
/ Released on May 11, 2018 Wagoner
/ Released on May 4, 2018 Golden Slippers
/ Released on Mar 12, 2018 Blackberry Blossom
/ Released on Apr 27, 2018 Lilting Banshee
/ Released on Apr 20, 2018 Louis Louis
/ Released on Apr 13, 2018 Tam Lin – Variation
HOW TO PLAY IN TUNE – new course!
Smiling Bows 🙂
Fourth Finger Double Stops
Practice Journals – new feature
Notefinder – new feature
HOW TO LEARN TUNES MORE EASILY – COURSE
Shove That Pig’s Foot A Little Further On The Fire
Tam Lin – Basic Lesson
Interval Central – practice library
Hector the Hero
Fisherman’s Blues Solo
Bird In The Bush
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.
Last lesson completed:
Total course progress
Total modules complete:
All completed lessons
Here's a listing of all core lessons you've completed in the main course (modules 1.1 to 2.9).
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
course. Appalachian Fiddle
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.
For more scale play-along tracks, go to
30-minute Tune Routine
Tone and scale warmup: 5 minutes
Interval warm-ups: 5 minutes
Tune: 20 minutes
Find all play-along tracks for intervals here:
One Tune, One Scale, Ten Minutes
Play a scale for five minutes
Play a tune using that scale for five minutes
As a variation, just alternate between a tune and its scale for ten minutes
10-minute tuning routine
Practice individual notes with a drone: 5 minutes
So to practice D1, use an E drone. To practice, D2 use an F sharp drone
If you're unsure what note you're playing, then use the Notefinder (found in another tab with this Practice Tools section)
20-minute review routines
Review tunes that share the same drone note. So tunes in D Major, D Dorian or D Klezmer can all be practiced with a
. D drone Use the
page as your guide. Tunes Listed By Root Note Play the relevant scale before each tune you review.
This is a fun and refreshing way to review tunes.
Last 5-10 ten tunes
A simpler routine is to just review the last 5-10 tunes you've learned in a twenty-minute session.
Play the relevant scale before each tune you review.
Experiment combining or alternating routines.
Click here for more practice routines
You are a musician if you PLAY EVERY DAY
Find a consistent time and place to practice. Make it a habit, like brushing your teeth; that way you spend no energy in deciding to practice or not.
How To Practice Consistently
Listening is practice too.
This is clichÃ© music teacher advice, but it's what most students need to do.
Slow Down To Speed Up
Sing what you play.
Singing or humming (if you're shy) will help you to play in tune as well as remember melodies.
It can also be a lot of fun to alternate between singing and playing a phrase to song.
Singing and Playing Practice
Audiation is hearing music in your head. Actively practice this.
Whatever level you're at, you can benefit from looping small bits and phrases.
Not only will it help your technique, but it will unlock your creativity and bring you joy.
Learn in very small increments.
Single notes > bits > phrases > tunes
Be your own teacher.
Make up your own exercises.
Record yourself and listen back. This way you can pinpoint what's most challenging.
Be Your Own Teacher
Remember to sound good.
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.
Remember to Sound Good
Practice Just To Practice
Don't fixate on being great or perfect. Good is better than perfect.
The moment you pick up the fiddle and play you have "made it".
Practice Just To Practice
Here are a few technical reminders to remember as you practice.
Curve left-hand and right-hand fingers.
Bend right thumb.
Bend right arm and wrist.
Use minimal energy.
Left-hand fingers land on tips, not pads. This makes for more precise playing.
Take time to focus on bowing during each practice session.
Get the best possible sound on single notes using long bows, throwaway bow, rhythms. Even just a few minutes of this will drastically improve your sound.
Use less bow.
This is a rule of thumb for fiddle tunes, especially for when things are difficult.
Continue to practice long bows. This will improve your overall sound.
Play in the middle of the bow. This is the sweet spot.
Use no extra energy or force for double stops.
It's more a matter of getting the bow perfectly balanced between the two strings.
Again, playing with less bow will help with this.
Left-hand fingering tips
Keep fingers down when possible.
For example, if you are rapidly playing D1-2, it is easier if you keep D1 down while fingering D2.
Practice this on scales.
Practice Little Lift
Don't lift left-hand fingers too high. Let them just hover above the string.
This allows you to play faster, better in tune and with more ease.
Practice: two-note intervals (like D1-2), scales, tune phrases, whole tunes.
Keep your awareness on Little Lift as you practice more complex things.
Take a lesson on
Little Lift. Practice challenging intervals
Your fingers need a lot more time with things than your brain (which gets bored more easily).
Find the most challenging interval from a tune, like D3-A1 in Oh Susannah, and practice that until you can play it with ease and joy.
Use the exercises from
o go deeper with this. Interval Central t Check in with the body
Is it relaxed or tense? Are you breathing evenly?
If you notice you are tense and not breathing evenly, simply pause on what you're currently practicing and play a single note. Make it sound nice. See if your body is more relaxed now.
If you can play a single note with a relaxed body, then try more complex things: 2-note intervals, scales, simple tune phrases, whole tunes.
Keep returning to single notes as a way to center yourself, relax and enjoy the process.
If you find that sound is sloppy, try adding a little pause in between the notes. This gives your fingers time to find the next note. This is especially helpful with string crossing.
Take a short lesson:
A Little Pause Practice the "Stop n' Rock" exercises from
Apply this idea to more complex string crossings. String Crossing. Slow down
Students of all levels can do this to improve their fundamental technique.
Practice everything more slowly than you naturally would play it.
Also, slow down your consumption of new lessons, techniques and tunes. Stay with one thing until it really sinks in.
Take short breaks
It's easy to get caught up in practicing and not notice that the body is stiff and sore.
Take short breaks to move, stretch and breathe.