Here is a lesson on how to add simple accents when fiddling. 

Accents are a form of expression in which we emphasize certain notes, adding a rhythmic texture. They help your playing to sound more musical.

As I see it, there are Three Phases of Learning a Tune.

  • The first phase is just learning how to play it start to finish.
  • The second is making it sound better.
  • The third is expression, which includes things like accenting, adding variation, dynamics and improvisation

As you enter each new phase, you approach the tune with a beginner’s mind using micro-practice, looping, call-and-response and other practice techniques.

The lesson will cover the basic technique applied to simple accents on beats one and three. In later lessons, we’ll apply accents to more complicated rhythms.

If you practice these simple exercises, you’ll find that you naturally start to add accents to the tunes and songs you play on the fiddle. 

 We’ll start out very slow so that you can do it with ease.

Video downloads are available to paid subscribers


First, let’s work on the sound of the accent. Add a little extra weight at the beginning of a bow stroke. Think of it as a little grit. Practice this downbow and upbow in free time (without a beat). 

Next, try to do this with quarter notes. This is a key step. You’re now playing a simple rhythmic texture.

Once you can do that, we’ll just practice it with variations.

Quarter notes open D 

Quarter notes D major

Further Practice

Tucka on open D

The rest of the exercises are available to paid subscribers, along with full sheet music. Thanks for your support ?

If you find this to be helpful, then add it to your Master Practice List so that you’ll remember to practice it tomorrow.

Two ways I can help you level up your fiddling

  1. Sign up for the FiddleHed newsletter below.
  2. Sign up for the Free Two-week Trial. You’ll get full access to all courses and group lessons. Plus, I’ll send you some free lessons tailored to your current skill level.

Thanks for being here 🙏

Return to Fiddle Questions >>