Do you want to make your fiddling sound more like fiddling?

My Irish Fiddling course will help you to get the feel of Irish music. You’ll learn how to add variation to tunes, which makes practicing music a heck of a lot more fun.

But more importantly, you’ll learn how to be a creative musician. A lot of people have the self-limiting belief that they are not creative. This course will help you to unlearn this as you have fun making music.

In this course I’ll show you how to add traditional Irish ornaments:

  • Triplets
  • Grace notes
  • Cuts
  • Mordents
  • Rolls
  • Slides

You’ll learn simple versions of tunes, and then learn variation versions which I have arranged, I’ll also show you alternate ways to play the same thing. This skill of adding variation can be applied to any other style: old-time, bluegrass, Cajun, jazz and in some ways, even classical music.

The course is for intermediate players who should be able to:

  • Easily play the basic finger positions along with the fourth and low first finger
  • Play simple double stops.
  • Play at least 30 tunes.

If you’re an absolute beginner, I don’t recommend this course…yet. I just don’t want you to get discouraged. It’s important for you to get the fundamentals down and gain confidence with simple tunes.

Get excited! More to come on this soon, and thanks for watching.

Adding variation makes practice fun

Do you want to learn more about how to add variation to fiddle tunes? Do you want to develop a better feel for playing Irish tunes? Would you like to be a more creative musician?

In this course, you’ll do a deep dive into adding variation to Irish and Celtic tunes. This carries over to adding variation to any fiddle style, as well as prepares you to improvise or compose your own melodies. The key thing you will learn is how the process of adding variation works. How to make good decisions so that the tune is interesting but not cluttered with too much variation. How to practice adding variation by developing a “growth mindset”.

Progressive approach

A key practice you will learn in this course is alternating between a basic version of a phrase and a simple variation.

In true FiddleHed form, we’ll learn how to be creative with music in very small steps. We’ll start by learning the variation techniques on single notes:

D0-1-0 {D0-1mord}D0-0-0

And then shift to practicing the variations on scales:

{D0-1mord}0-0 {1-2mord}1-1 {2-3mord} 2-2 {3-4mord}3-3 {A0-1mord}0-0 {1-2mord}1-1 {2-3mord} 2-2 {3-4mord}3-3

Finally, we’ll take this approach and apply it to tunes:

Miss Monaghan’s – triplet example

First quarter: D0-2-1-2-A0-A0-A3 | D0-[2-1-0]-2-A0-A0-A3

This constant practice of alternation will teach you to add this variation to other tunes which I haven’t taught. I want you to learn and understand this amazing process of adding variation. And I want you to be a curious and creative musician. That way, you will naturally want to pick up the fiddle and practice instead of saying “I really should practice today.”

Want to see what else is in the course?

I made three “appetizer” lessons on the process of adding variation which I’m giving away to whoever is interested.

Click to receive appetizer lessons through email

Scroll below to see the course syllabus 👇

The concepts will be taught in a friendly, intuitive manner:

We can create a simple rhythmic variation by substituting two sixteenth notes for the middle eighth note.

Repetition makes it easier to learn

Similar to the main course, I arranged the tunes with lots of repetition so that you can easily learn them. For example, the first quarter will often be the same as the third:

Lilting Banshee – variation Lesson, A part:

First quarter: D1-A0-0-D1-A0-0-1{3cut}1-0-1-{D2}3-A0

Second quarter: A1-E0-0-{1cut}0-A3-1-3-{1-3-1}-0-D3-{1-3-1}-0

Third quarter: D1-A0-0-D1-A0-0-1{3cut}-0-1-{D2}3-A0

Fourth quarter:  A1-E0-0-{1cut}0-A3-1-3-{1-3-1}-0-0

Once you get a feel for how adding variation works, you can start to tinker with the tunes. For example, you can make the third quarter a little different than the first.

What skill level is this course?

This course is recommended for intermediate level fiddlers. Anyone can benefit from the basic principles of variation and creativity that are taught in the course. But I think it’s best that you have the basics down before starting with Irish variation:

  • 1st, 2nd, 3rd, low 2nd and 4th finger
  • Ability to slur notes easily
  • You already have learned about thirty tunes

Subscription details

You can buy lifetime access to the Irish fiddle variation course from this page. Or you can buy an Ultimate Subscription which includes the Irish Fiddle Variation course for one year (along with access to the main course, Art of Fiddling and all practice materials).

So if you are only interested in the Irish fiddle variation course, you would want to just get that. If you want access to all the other lessons and materials in the course, you’d want to get the Ultimate Subscription.

You may be thinking, “This sounds confusing. Why did you set it up that way?” Good question! The reason for this setup is that I’d like different people to be able to use FiddleHed in a way that best suits them.

Some intermediate players may not need the main FiddleHed course. They may only want the Irish Fiddle Variation course, or the upcoming Improvisation course.

Other people may want full access to the course and all new lessons. For instance, they might want to learn about Irish fiddle variation but then apply it to other styles of music I teach, like old-time or klezmer.

Do you have any more questions about the course?

If so, please leave in a comment below. Lots of other people might have the same question.

Money-back Guarantee

Try out the course, and if you’re not satisfied, just email me within thirty days of purchase and I’ll refund your money  👍

Course Syllabus

Module 1: The Trill Is Not Gone

  • Trills variation – lesson
    • Trills exercises
  • Melodic Variation On Scales
    • Melodic Scale Variation Exercises I
    • Rhythmic Scale Variation Exercises I
  • Mary Had A Little Lamb – melodic variation 

Learn/review at least three of the following:

  • Kerry Polka
  • Britches Full of Stitches
  • Ballydesmond Polka – upper octave – basic
  • John Ryan’s Polka – basic
  • Dennis Murphy’s Polka – basic 

Module 2: Tripping With Triplets

  • Triplet variation – lesson 
    • Triplets Exercises
    • Melodic Scale Variation Exercises II
    • Fiddling With Patterns
  • Mary Had A Little Lamb – triplet variation 

Learn/review at least two of the following:

  • Lilting Banshee – basic
  • Kerfunken jig – basic
  • Rolling Waves – basic
  • Miss McCleod’s – basic

Review tunes practice in Module 1, trills and melodic variation exercises.

Module 3: On The Jig Swing

  • Jig Swing variation – lesson 
    • Jig Swing Exercises
    • Melodic Scale Variation Exercises III

Learn/review at least two of the following:

  • Boys of Bluehill – basic
  • Chief O’Neill’s Favorite – basic
  • Rights of Man – basic

Review tunes learned in Module 2, triplet exercises.

Module 4: Cutting The Rug With Cuts

  • Cuts variation – lesson
    • Cuts Exercises
    • Melodic Scale Variation Exercises IV
  • Mary Had A Little Lamb – cut variation 
  • Kerfunken Jig – cuts variation

Learn/review at least two of the following:

  • Foxhunter’s slip jig – basic
  • Tam Lin – basic
  • Hector the Hero – basic
  • Ballydesmond Polka – upper octave

Review tunes learned in Module 3, jig swing exercises.

Module 5: The Grace Is Greener

  • Grace Notes variation – lesson
    • Grace Note Exercises
    • Melodic Scale Variation Exercises V

Learn at least one of the following:

  • Kerry Polka – Adding Double Stops
  • Miss McCleod’s – variation
  • Kesh Jig – variation 

Module 6: Mordents In Your Car

  • Mordents variation – lesson
    • Mordents Exercises
  • Kerry Polka – variation

Learn at least one of the following:

  • Lilting Banshee – variation
  • Rolling Waves – variation 

Module 7: Sixteenth Note Duplets For Peace

  • 16th Note Duplets variation – lesson
    • 16th Note Duplet Exercises

Learn at least one of the following:

  • Chief O’Neill’s Favorite – variation
  • Rights of Man – variation 
  • The Butterfly – variation

Module 8: Roll With It

  • Rolls variation – lesson
    • Rolls Exercises
  • Mary Had A Little Lamb – rolls variation 
  • Kerfunken jig – rolls variation
  • Wassail – variation 

Learn at least one of the following:

  • The Banshee – variation
  • Clare Reel – variation
  • Miss Monaghan’s Reel – variation 

Module 9: Further, Farther

  • Melodic Variation On Tunes 
    • Melodic Variation On Tunes – exercises 
  • Lilting Banshee – Jig to Polka! 

Learn at least one of the following:

  • Tam Lin – variation
  • Foxhunter’s slip jig – variation
  • Hector the Hero – variation
  • Planxty Irwin – variation


Hope you’re enjoying music as much as I enjoy teaching it to you!

Thanks for fiddling with me  🙏 🎻


10 responses to “Irish Fiddle Variation Course

  1. Jason i was automatically signed up for the annual subscription which i wanted, but on second thought i was thinking about the Ultimate subscription as it includes the Irish Variation course. Does the Irish course included in the Ultimate subscription last a lifetime or is that only if purchased separately?

    1. Good question Nettie. The Irish course bought separately is a lifetime subscription. The Ultimate subscription includes it for the duration of the subscription (one year). Does that make sense? Let me know if you have more questions. 

  2. Hi Jaso’n,

    I’m having the same issue as Joel. When I apply the coupon code “LiltingMagic” the price resets to $120, but I get a red error code saying “ERROR: Your coupon code is invalid” and I’m prevented from moving to the payment page until I remove the code (upon doing so the price returns to $150.)

    Seems like a bug?



  3. Hello Jason,
    the 19 august I’ve been automatically registered for another year of courses( I had the premium yearly subscription) but he problem is that I would like very much to take the irish courses,I would like to know what I’ve to pay for this,is it the difference between a premium yearly subscription and a premium yearly subscription ? I’m an intermediate player who plays mainly irish tunes,do you think it’s necessary for me to continue with the premium yearly subscription ? And what means “lifetime ” ? Sorry I don’t speak English very well …

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