FiddleHed is committed to protecting your privacy and the security of your Personally Identifiable Information. Personally Identifiable Information is information that can be used to identify you personally, such as your full name and email address.

We think that learning music should be safe, fun, and worry-free. We never sell your information to third parties or use third-party advertising services to show ads on our website. We only collect the Personally Identifiable Information you choose to share with us, and allow you to modify it or have it removed from our database at any time.

This privacy statement discloses how we collect and use your Personally Identifiable Information.

Accounts and Mailing List

When you create a FiddleHed account, you provide us with your full name and email address. We also collect other, non-personally identifying information such as your country and the time you signed up. This information is stored with ConvertKit, a third party email service, for the sole purpose of enabling FiddleHed to better create, manage, and send emails to you. ConvertKit does not share your information with any other entities, nor does it use that information to contact you in any way. Please see ConvertKit’s privacy policy here for more details.

All information you enter on our website is safely encrypted using SSL (Secure Socket Layer). Only a few individuals on our staff are allowed access to the Personally Identifiable Information that we collect, and it is always kept in a secure location.

This information is used to send you our monthly newsletter and marketing emails. You can ask to stop receiving these emails at any time. You can also have your information removed from our database by clicking a link found at the bottom of each email we send to you, or by emailing support@fiddlehed.com and requesting that we remove your information.

Financial Transactions

When you make a purchase on our website, you have the choice of paying with a credit card  through a secure payment service provided by Stripe or using PayPal. We use these third party service providers to handle your financial information in the most secure way possible. FiddleHed does not collect or store your financial information.

Please review the privacy policies of our third party service providers, PayPal here and Stripe here, to understand how they collect and use your Personally Identifiable Information.

How We Use Your Information

Personally Identifiable Information. We may use your personally identifiable information to: (i) provide products and services; (ii) resolve disputes, calculate and collect fees, and troubleshoot problems; (iii) verify your identity and the information you provide; (iv) encourage a safe online experience and enforce our policies; (v) customize your experience, analyze usage of the Website, improve and measure interest in our products and services, and inform you about the Website, services, products, and updates; (vi) provide you with information that may affect your use of the Website, the products and services; (vii) communicate marketing and promotional offers; (viii) provide customer service, including receipts; and (ix) perform certain other business activities.

During the course of our business, we may use your personally identifiable information to deliver information to you that is targeted to your interests. Upon receipt of the first communication of this type, you will have the opportunity to opt-out of future communications by clicking on unsubscribe link or by following unsubscribe instructions described within the communication or otherwise notifying us at support@fiddlehed.com. We may, however, send you messages through email, text message, or other means of communications as part of our services regarding administrative matters, updates, disputes, and customer service issues regarding the products or services, and you will not be able to opt out of receiving such messages.

From time to time, we may implement solutions designed to more efficiently capture your communications preferences. In any such event, we will strive to reflect any previously stated communicated preferences within such solutions.

We may also use your personally identifiable information as we believe necessary or appropriate, in any manner permitted under applicable law, including laws outside your country of residence to: comply with legal process; respond to requests from public and government authorities, including public and government authorities outside your country of residence; enforce our terms and conditions; protect our operations; protect our rights, privacy, safety or property, and/or that of our affiliates, you, or others; and allow us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain.   

Non-Personally Identifiable Information. We may use your non-personally identifiable information for any purpose, including, but not limited to, for our own internal purpose to measure traffic patterns; to understand demographics, customer interest, and other trends among our users; to provide, improve, and modify the Website; and for promotion and marketing purposes.

HOW WE MAY DISCLOSE YOUR INFORMATION

Personally Identifiable Information. We may disclose and you hereby consent to our disclosing of your personally identifiable information to: (i) service providers and others who help with our business operations and assist in the delivery of our products and services including, but not limited to, application development, Website hosting, maintenance, data analysis, infrastructure provision, IT services, customer service, email delivery services, payment processing, marketing, analytics, and enforcement of our Terms of Service Agreement and other agreements; (ii) third parties in the event of an reorganization, merger, sale, debt financing of assets, joint venture, assignment, transfer, or other disposition of all or any portion of our business or assets (including in connection with any insolvency, bankruptcy, receivership, or similar proceeding); (iii) a ConvertKit subsidiary, affiliate, or business partner; (iv) other users of the site to identify you to anyone to whom you send messages or make comments through the Website; (v) persons or entities with whom you consent to have your personally identifiable information shared; (vi) third parties in order to prevent damage to our property (tangible and intangible), for safety reasons, or to collect amounts owed to us; (vii) merchants and payment processors; and (viii) third parties as we believe necessary or appropriate, in any manner permitted under applicable law, including laws outside your country of residence to: comply with legal process; respond to requests from public and government authorities, including public and government authorities outside your country of residence; enforce our Terms of Service Agreement and other agreements; protect our operations; protect our rights, privacy, safety or property, and/or that of our affiliates, you, or others; and allow us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain.   

We will not sell, rent, or lease your personally identifiable information to a third party without your express permission, unless required by law.

Non-Personally Identifiable Information. We may disclose non-personally identifiable information for any purpose. Remember, non-personally identifiable information cannot be used to identify you or another person.

Third Party Links

We occasionally post links to third party products or services on our website, such as links to relevant products on amazon.com. These third parties have their own, independent privacy policies which we are not responsible for. We do strive to only recommend websites that are trustworthy. If you have any comments or concerns about the websites that we link to, please contact us.

Cookies

What Are Cookies?

As is common practice with almost all professional websites this site uses cookies, which are tiny files that are downloaded to your computer, to improve your experience. This page describes what information they gather, how we use it and why we sometimes need to store these cookies. We will also share how you can prevent these cookies from being stored however this may downgrade or ‘break’ certain elements of the sites functionality.

For more general information on cookies see the Wikipedia article on HTTP Cookies…

How We Use Cookies

We use cookies for a variety of reasons detailed below. Unfortunately in most cases there are no industry standard options for disabling cookies without completely disabling the functionality and features they add to this site. It is recommended that you leave on all cookies if you are not sure whether you need them or not in case they are used to provide a service that you use.

Disabling Cookies

You can prevent the setting of cookies by adjusting the settings on your browser (see your browser Help for how to do this). Be aware that disabling cookies will affect the functionality of this and many other websites that you visit. Disabling cookies will usually result in also disabling certain functionality and features of the this site. Therefore it is recommended that you do not disable cookies.

The Cookies We Set

When you submit data to through a form such as those found on contact pages or comment forms cookies may be set to remember your user details for future correspondence.

In order to provide you with a great experience on this site we provide the functionality to set your preferences for how this site runs when you use it. In order to remember your preferences we need to set cookies so that this information can be called whenever you interact with a page is affected by your preferences.

Third Party Cookies

In some special cases we also use cookies provided by trusted third parties. The following section details which third party cookies you might encounter through this site.

This site uses Google Analytics which is one of the most widespread and trusted analytics solution on the web for helping us to understand how you use the site and ways that we can improve your experience. These cookies may track things such as how long you spend on the site and the pages that you visit so we can continue to produce engaging content.

For more information on Google Analytics cookies, see the official Google Analytics page.

From time to time we test new features and make subtle changes to the way that the site is delivered. When we are still testing new features these cookies may be used to ensure that you receive a consistent experience whilst on the site whilst ensuring we understand which optimisations our users appreciate the most.

More Information

Hopefully that has clarified things for you and as was previously mentioned if there is something that you aren’t sure whether you need or not it’s usually safer to leave cookies enabled in case it does interact with one of the features you use on our site. However if you are still looking for more information then you can contact us through one of our preferred contact methods.

Email: jason@FiddleHed.com

Google Analytics

When you visit our website, we use Google Analytics to collect data about your interaction with our website. This data includes your country, language, the kind of browser or device you are using, and your behavior on our website. Google also collects non-personally identifying demographic information about internet users who have Google accounts or who use any Google services. Google Analytics shares this demographic information with us as it pertains to our visitors, though not in a way that we can identify this demographic information with any individual visitor to our site. We use this data only to improve your experience on our website.

Please review the privacy policy posted by Google Analytics here for more information.

FiddleHed Blog and WordPress

Our website and blog are supported by WordPress. Please view their privacy policy here.

When you leave a comment on our blog you are required to enter a name and email address. This information is not used for any purpose other than to maintain the integrity of our site. We will never use this information to contact you.

Fair Information Practices

We are committed to keeping your Personally Identifiable Information as secure as possible, but no one can guarantee 100% safety from hackers. Should a data breach occur, we will notify you by email and by posting a notice on our website within seven business days

Policy Updates

We may need to change this policy from time to time to comply with new regulations or to reflect changes in our website or the third party service providers we use. When we make changes to this policy we will notify you by posting the date of the most recent change at the top of this document.

Contact Information

If you have any questions concerning this policy, you may contact us at:

FiddleHed

1431 Castro Street

San Francisco, California 94114

jason@fiddlehed.com


Practice Toolkit

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 are drones for the most common fiddle keys. A D drone can be used to practice tunes in D major or D minor (Dorian or Aeolian).

D drone


A drone

G drone

E drone


For drones in different keys as well as different textures and beats, go to: Drone Central.

Learn more about how to play in tune with drones here: Drone tuning the notes on the D string.

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.

D Major

G Major, starting on D3

A Major

D Dorian

A Dorian


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 Scale Central.

Rhythms

Tucka 

Short-short-short-short-long-long. Practice on D string:

Practice more: Fingering with Bowing Exercises


Hoedown 

Long-short-short. Practice on D string:


Triplets 

1-2-3 notes per step. Practice D0-0-0-A0-0-0 with plucking:

Practice more: String Crossing Exercises


Swing 

Long-short.  Practice G0-0-2-2-D0-0-3-3-3-3-0-0 with the 'swing double' rhythm:


Slur pattern

Slur two

Here we play two notes per bow. Practice D0-1-1-0 with slur two:

Practice more: Slur Two Exercises


Slur three

Here we play three notes per bow. Practice D0-1-2-2-1-0 with slur three:

Practice more: Slur Three Exercises


Slur four

Here we play four notes per bow. Practice with D0-1-2-3, first time downbow, then upbow:

Practice more: Slur Four Exercises


Slur two-separate two 

This forms a hoedown pattern (long-short-short). Practice it with D0-1-1-1:

Practice more: Slur Two-Separate Two Exercises

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: Interval Central


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)
  • Practice intervals with a drone: 5 minutes

    • Pick a focus note to use as the drone
    • So if you are practicing D3-A0, play along with a G drone (for D3); this will help you tune that note

20-minute review routines

  • Single-drone routine
    • 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 Tunes Listed By Root Note page as your guide.
    • 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

It takes a minute for the notefinder image to appear. Thanks for your patience 🙏

  • 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.
    • Learn more: How To Practice Consistently
  • Listening is practice too.
  • Slow down.
    • This is cliché music teacher advice, but it’s what most students need to do.
    • Learn more: 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.
    • Learn more: Singing and Playing Practice
  • Practice audiation.
    • Audiation is hearing music in your head. Actively practice this.
    • Learn more: Audiation
  • Loop it.
    • 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 more: Looping Practice
  • Micro-learning.
    • Learn in very small increments.
    • Single notes > bits > phrases > tunes
    • Learn more: Micro-learning
  • Drone on.
  • Be your own teacher.
    • Make up your own exercises.
    • Record yourself and listen back. This way you can pinpoint what’s most challenging.
    • Learn more: 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.
    • Learn more: 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".
    • Learn more: Practice Just To Practice

Here are a few technical reminders to remember as you practice.

Posture reminders

  • 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.

Bowing tips

  • 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.
    • 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 Interval Central to go deeper with this.

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.

Little lift

  • Don't lift your left-hand fingers too high off the fingerboard. You only need to lift them about a millimeter.
  • This saves energy and will allow you to play with more ease and speed.
  • 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 short lesson: Little Lift

Little pauses

  • 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 String CrossingApply this idea to more complex string crossings.

Slow down

  • Students of all levels can do this to improve their technique.

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.