Fall Practice Challenge 2022
Thanks for signing up for the Fall Practice Challenge 2022!
From October 10-23, you and fiddle students around the world will make music a regular part of your life. How? Set an intention to play every day for 14 days in a row.
The primary goal is to establish the habit of daily practice, and have the time of your life doing it. If music is a daily part of your life, then you are a musician. If you want to do this, you can. Be a practicipant in the FPC 2022!
If you clicked the link to this page in the newsletter, then you’re already signed up. Wihoo!
If you missed that, or if someone shared this page with you, then you can sign up here.
After you officially sign up, I’ll send emails with tips, encouragement and event reminders. You don’t have to officially sign up; you can just play every day! But it will be more motivating to take part in this as a group.
Three things you need to do to PRACTICIPATE
Three things you need to do to PRACTICIPATE in th FPC
- Set goals
- Tell at least one other person
- Track your practice
I’ll go into more detail below.
Set goals 📈
How much will you practice each day?
Pick a minimum amount of time that you know you can do. I suggest at least 20 minutes a day. But if that seems like a challenge, then try two minutes a day. You can do that!
If you know in advance that you have to miss practice on a specific day, write that in your calendar or practice tracker before the challenge begins. Consider scheduling a make-up day either before (preferable) or after the challenge.
What will you focus on?
Pick 1-3 things you want to improve: a tune, bowing, playing in tune, improvising, fingering & string crossing, reviewing tunes, etc.
Whatever you pick, work on something small that you can actually accomplish. For example:
- Playing a simple tune 10% better
- Slurring on scales
- Remembering tunes
Tell at least one other person 👨👩👦👦
Telling friends, family and roommates is a public commitment that will encourage your practice. You also signal to everyone that music is important to you and to respect the time you take for it. Tell at least one non-FiddleHed person that you’re taking the challenge.
Say hello to other practicipants in a comment below! Share your FPC goals with us.
Track your practice ✍️
Take notes on how long and what you practice each day. Use “Your Practice Journal” at the bottom of the page (in the Practice Toolkit) or whatever method works for you: wall calendar, note-taking app, or spreadsheet. Make an entry for every day you practice.
Each day that you practice becomes another link in the chain. As the chain grows, you’ll get a positive emotional reward as you get closer to the goal.
Record your practice to get feedback on performance and progress. Do this for each practice item when at the at the beginning (October 10, or whenever you start that piece) and at the end (October 23) of the FPC. Share on this FPC 2022 page.
I encourage you to share what you do each day in a comment below. Include video if you like.
Use this to write down goals and track your practice: FPC 2022 Worksheet
Or, just use an index card.
Place this somewhere you’ll see it every day.
What happens during the Fall Practice Challenge?
Here are some things I’ve organized to help you get the most out of this experience:
- You’ll receive emails from me, coaching and cheering you on.
- You’ll have the opportunity to attend special group lessons and online practice periods.
- You’ll be able to connect with other friendly people learning fiddle around the world.
What Is A “Practicipant”?
A practicipant is someone who practices with others. By doing this together, we are more likely to follow through with our fiddling goals. We help each other to establish a good practice habit and become better musicians.
All you have to do is play every day. It’s good to have you on board
What if I miss a day or two of practice?
If you miss a day or two, just keep going with the challenge. If possible, make up the missed days right after the official challenge is done (since the FPC ends on Oct 23, you can make up lost days on Oct 24, 25, etc.).
Remember the point of doing the FPC is to establish a good regular practice habit that’s fun and productive. So if you get off track, just pick up the fiddle and play again today. Don’t give up.
Who can take part in the FPC?
The FPC is open to anyone. You don’t have to be a paid subscriber to the course and you don’t even have to play the fiddle.
So if you have a friend who is also learning an instrument, feel free to invite them to join in. It would help them and also help you.
Why should I bother with this??
Almost everyone who has taken part in the practice challenge has seen huge improvements in their performance, practice consistency and motivation. Moreover, people seem to have a lot of fun.
I surveyed the 2019 practicipants after it was over. Over 93% of the people said they would do it again.
Here are some anonymously submitted comments from the survey:
- “It was perfect for me because I finally nailed down HOW to practice. Each day was another very practical way of learning.”
- “It got me to practice every day for 20 minutes-a realistic goal.”
- “I established a connection with two other beginning fiddlers my age for continued exchange and support.”
- “I enjoyed the daily tips, but most surprisingly the participants page and the comments and shared struggles. The videos people posted helped tremendously.”
- “How much I improved with daily, focused practice….. you were right :)”
Here’s a playlist of Fiddleheds fiddling every day during the FPC 2020:
Deliberate Practice Planner
As part of the FPC, I encourage you to use Deliberate Practice to accelerate your learning. Below is a simple outline of deliberate practice you can use to practice anything. At the bottom of the page I include a printable deliberate practice planner.
Discovery phase 👁
- Plan: Pick a tune or skill that needs work.
- Do: Practice it slowly.
- Reflect: What was hard? Identify 1-4 chunks that need work.
Piece (Tune or skill):
|Chunk description (name, bars)||Notes (BPM, insights)|
Refinement phase 🔬
- Plan: Pick one chunk to work on.
- Do: Practice. Pay close attention
- Reflect: Do you need to dive deeper on this? Or are you ready to move on to the next chunk? Use the notes section.
- Repeat: Plan what you’ll do next (practice the same chunk or move on). Do. Reflect. etc.
Integration phase 🌳
- Plan: What surrounding parts will you add to each chunk?
- Do: Practice transitions between chunks and surrounding parts. When complete, practice the whole tune
- Reflect: Did you improve at least one small thing? What do you need to practice tomorrow?
Retrieval practice 🧠
- At the end of a session, play through all chunks from all pieces, ONCE AND ONLY ONCE.
Deliberate Practice Planner (just table) pdf
Learn to practice
Here are some key lessons to help you during the FPC 2022. These are essential lessons from the How To Practice Music course.
Let’s do it
I’m asking you to take yourself seriously as a musician. What does that mean? You are a musician if you play every day. I encourage you to approach the practice challenge with a sense of adventure and fun. What a great thing it is to play music, and you’re going to do it every day!
Thanks for taking part, now go fiddle with it…
94 responses to “Fall Practice Challenge 2022”
I usually practice every morning just after breakfast, it’s my favourite time of day 😃I enjoy all these challenges, Jason however I am a little behind schedule due to being sick with Covid for a couple of weeks, so I am extending my practice challenge into November if that’s ok 🙂 Thanks for your inspiration 😃
I was successful in the challenge in that I played everyday and I really improved. The main change I made is that I prioritized my music practice to be first thing in the day instead of waiting till the end of the day. Often at the end of the day I have a hard time sitting down and getting to my instruments. By playing first thing I actually got it done every day and played much much longer. Starting is the hard part. Also the music was in my head all day so I was likely to play later in the day as well.
I focused on memorizing several tunes that I can play in the bluegrass group I belong to. Currently I play backup guitar but would prefer to play my fiddle. In addition to memorizing them I’m at the beginning stages of chords so that I can play backup and not just the melody on those tunes.
Note – I noticed during the Oct Hootenanny that Blackberry Blossom is a really good tune to practice chords on because there are a lot of chord changes. Thanks Jason and Jocelyn – great workshops, Hootenanny and practices.
I’ve just finished my 2022 FPC, and I’m feeling very satisfied with the noticeable accomplishments. (Added on two additional days to compensate for a funeral.) The most notable lesson from this FPC is the effectiveness of Jason’s Deliberate Practice approach. I set my timer to 5 minute focused segments with great success.
I really enjoy and benefit from sticking close to Jason’s outlined lesson plan. In the past, this has been my conflicted season: feeling tugged by FPC, ongoing FiddleHed lessons, annual group Christmas project preparation, my approaching December desire to play nothing but Christmas pieces, and the sense of urgency to learn and improve jam group tunes. This year’s FPC unified these forces. I intended to work on and memorize an already-familiar fiddle tune a day, plus practice Christmas music on hammered dulcimer, playing for at least 1/2 hour per instrument per day. By incorporating 9 FiddleHed tunes (which also happen to be jam group tunes), the Christmas project song, and 3 jam tunes, I finally gathered all of my eggs into one neat basket. Very calming!
Two of the non-FiddleHed tunes still need significant work, that’s ok. I unexpectedly learned and memorized two additional tunes! So 14 tunes finally memorized in 14 days, that’s better than I expected! Can’t wait for summer…they’re ready for a festival camp jam right now! I will continue to work up the pace of these tunes with my metronome using the deliberate 5 minute approach to attain the deranged 200 beats per minute that my winter jam friends blaze with! And the Christmas violin piece is fine.
The biggest surprise was my hammered dulcimer work. I fully memorized and learned to play smoothly a complicated level 5 Christmas piece with a real sense of effortless dynamics and expression. I had just taken a class on this piece two days before the practice challenge began. In my dreams, I hoped I’d learn this by Christmas maybe, but here it is!!! Five minute segments did the trick. I also realized that just 30 minutes a day on hammered dulcimer with take me where I want to go with this. A year ago, I would have said that I’m trying to learn the dulcimer; now I solidly feel that I play the hammered dulcimer. A dream come true!
That you, Jason, for all you do!
FPC 2022 I look forward to these every year. I didn’t hit all my goals but I did learn “Whiskey Before Breakfast” by ear that I’m happy with and also “Midnight on the Water” by ear. Didn’t make a video of my starting points but will try to make a video of each of those tunes this week and post them. Wanted to work on beginnings and endings of songs but that fell by the wayside. I was nice to read about everyone’s journey through the challenge.
I thought I would check back in as I successfully completed my October practice challenge and feel I did definitely notice some improvement in my playing. Especially the songs I was working on. I just got started with some of these FiddleHed lessons and Jason ‘s tips I have tried to keep in mind with all of my practicing. Listening to drones seems to have made me appreciate each tone a lot more. I like to play the scale for each song I start to practice now. I have always done loop type practice on difficult song sections,
This is the second time I’ve participated and it’s great!! It gets me back on track after I drift away. Life can be complicated, especially summers, and this has served a much needed reset.
I used the practice period to nail down six tunes I had learned. These were tunes I could play it if I heard the tune, but nothing would come to mind when I set out to play it. I focused on memorizing the beginning of a tune, and every day I just worked on simply strengthening my recall and performance. So now I am thrilled to have six new tunes “in the can,” that I can bring to a jam.
Loved the FPC! I’ve been doing these for the past few years and always enjoyed them. I met my goals in unexpected and rewarding ways.
1. Some California fiddler friends came to town and we got together and jammed every evening for 2 to 3 hours. I played my mandolin, but practiced the pentatonic scales in the common keys we played in: G, D, A, C, and Bb. Yep, even Bb. So my time on instrument goals were definitely met.
2. I played with another jam group that was asked to play at a YMCA Senior Expo….again, I played my mandolin. Too many fiddlers already there! Again, had an opportunity to play the pentatonic scales in those keys and work on songs and scales. Loads of fun and lots of music.
3. After the guests left for California, I got back on my fiddle and worked through Jason’s rhythm workshop, which was challenging but very interesting.
4. Before we went our separate ways, three of us fiddlers created a challenge for ourselves. We each picked a song we want to learn by ear, one that will challenge us. Each of us will learn all three songs. Fiddler #1 picked Bees Wings in Bb; Fiddler #2 picked Booth (Sawmill tuning); and I picked Tam Lin (Dm to learn the string crossings). We will check in monthly via a Zoom meet to check our progress. We’ll meet in person next April to spend a week jamming once again. I plan to use deliberate practice, chaining, scales, and other learning strategies to learn these three songs. Jason’s video on bowing rhythms will also come in handy here.
A successful FPC overall, with some unexpected musical fun and challenges along the way — and some directions to go forward. I must say it was more fun playing with others than sitting here at home and playing by myself.
Mostly I’ve kept my promises to myself during this practice-fest. I even went far beyond the twenty minutes a day. What I gave up on were the three practice tunes I chose. While I did manage to lighten up on the fingering I couldn’t seem to improve the sound. I might have improved string crossing by slowing down. As well, I discovered it was much more fun to play along with the videos and audio tracks supplied with the course-supplied tunes. I hadn’t realized how much easier it would be to learn the old favourites I’ve been hearing over time.
All in all I’ve done some pretty happy fiddling during this period.
Yay! I made it through the Practice Challenge and I played every day! Most days was 60 minutes or more, a couple days was only 30 minutes. I met my goal of knowing 3 songs from memory and then I moved on to learn Whiskey Before Breakfast. I have the A part down pretty well, didn’t try the B part yet. I also worked with a metronome and it was a frustrating experience. I couldn’t hear it very well and I wasn’t sure if I was in time or not. That needs a lot more practice. Thank you Jason for having the FPC and for all of your emails and nudges!
Okay. Time for some honesty here.
I bit off more than I could chew with my FPC goals:
making double stops sound better
incorporating dips, double stops, slides
and keeping a steady speed.
I ended up just focusing on the steady speed goal. Lots and lots of practice with metronome with D scale and one tune – Arkansas Traveler (which I now officially hate). I had many issues – not being able to hear the metronome over the fiddle sound. So I muted the fiddle. But that sounded odd. None of my many exterior speaker devices wanted to pair with my phone or my computer. More frustration.
The more I practiced the worst it got – my fingers could not “remember” where the notes of the tune are. This afternoon, the worse time, I was nearly at the point of tears. The first time in my fiddle journey!
I said, “Forget this. I like playing the fiddle. I’m playing something for myself.” So I played by ear all the songs we sang at church this morning. The first time through none of them were perfect but after a couple passes I could play them. That’s an accomplishment in my book.
So, for now, I’m going to forget Arkansas Traveler and the metronome. I MAY come back to it later when my artist heart is feeling more secure.
I did play every day more than the 30 minutes. These Challenges are just that – a challenge.
Well, this challenge went by fast!! I was able to play at least 45 minutes a day, which usually ended up to be over an hour and a half. My goal was partially met… I spent most of my time working on memory and lightening up my fingering,
The best thing about this challenge for me was getting back on track after a scattered summer… I am more focused and ready to continue on my daily playing. Thank you for this, Jason… it has been a good two weeks!
These practice challenges are truly motivating. I try for one hour a day starting with bow strokes, scales, triads and string crossing exercise. Then back to whisky before breakfast. Slowly, slowly Slowly!!!
I’m reading a book called” the practice of practice”. One of the quotes says” if someone can tell what your playing, you’re going too fast”.
I became a FiddleHed early this year, so this was only my second Practice Challenge – and I loved it! I’m coming up on my first year of learning fiddle, so while I’m a uber-newbie, it’s given me a chance to actually use the ear-training skills I learned as a Music major (literally 50yrs ago!), but then didn’t use once in my marketing career (for some reason, lol!). Anyway, the 2022 FPC has helped me strengthen my ear-training even further, along with a solid comfort level using 4th finger. I didn’t spend as much time as I had planned on increasing my speed on some pieces, but I’ll keep that high up in my goals and my practice. Thanks, Jason and fellow FiddleHeds!
Flying fiddle sticks everyday! Sticking with it is what I’m working on…ear training, listening, bowing, and trying to remember…it will be a forever process for me, part of bringing joy into everyday!
I have made practicing a daily part of my life for about a year now. I used to play fiddle back in my 20s and 30s and kept developing tennis elbow. I’d heal up and then it would come back again. I think in retrospect it was my mind’s way of creating an excuse not to practice — I mean, who can argue with an injury, right? So I put my fiddle away and played very sporadically for the next few decades. Last year I read a book called Stop Doing That Shit by Gary John Bishop and it really changed my life. I learned all about the ways I sabotage my life and began to recognize that even though I really wanted to play the fiddle, I wasn’t, and only I could change that. So, I picked it up and started and haven’t looked back, despite the hard days and the days I sound so bad to myself and the days I was really tired. I’ve missed some, of course, due to illness or being out of town or what have you. But mostly I have played every day. The habit gets easier, although the challenges keep coming, and I definitely still have to talk myself into practicing on many days. Then I’ll play something that brings tears to my eyes, and I’m so glad I didn’t give up. Anyway, to the challenge…I really want to 1) improve my bowing and string crossing 2) continue to work on vibrato, and 3) get over my fear of recording myself. I hate recording myself! I’m always so afraid to listen for fear that it will sound really horrible and then I’ll feel like I’m not making any progress. Does anyone else out there have this fear? If so, do you have any suggestions? Many thanks!
I try to think of the horrible parts as prompts to show me where I need work. It will show you things that need work way better than just listening while you play.
Hi All, a bit late signing up, but I’ve decided to practice for half an hour before breakfast. Main focus on playing in tune…working my little finger in all strings…fluency and lightening up.
I’m playing Florida Blues and a Welsh tune called Machynlleth at the moment.
The idea of playing before breakfast is part of me starting lengthening the time between last meal of the day and first meal of next day, supposed to be a good thing to do! I’ll let you know at the end of October 🤗🎻💃Mary
Fun open practice session today! This is Day 5 of the Fall Practice Challenge. I worked on single note rhythms with a metronome and round peak tunes.
Some things other people worked on:
Tom: Intonation and timing
Pete: Hobart Kitchen Equipment’s Transformation
David: whiskey before breakfast, chaining try with metronome
Deborah: memorizing…and everything!
Joanne: Drops of Brandy, Trying to get it on time with a metronome – struggling with the B part!
mtroxell: something Scottish-double stops hammer ons – beginner to intermediate
Mary: Working on starting some songs, also my 3 practice songs, TN Waltz, snow deer and red wing
Jan: Sounding good, Seamus obrien
Rita: getting my skills back after shoulder surgery 3 months ago
Terri: Westering Home and TN Waltz w/metronome
Alice: blarney pilgrim
Diane: Arkansas Traveler
This challenge, 1 hour a day, I’m working on the tune Rights of Man. Adding variations to the tune.
Working on adding triplets, and rolls. Main focus is on part B of the tune so I can it
play well in tune. Warming up with a repeat of a couple of older tunes each evening too.
I’m commenting late, but so far I’ve played every day! My goal is 30 minutes a day including warmup.
I’m playing Galax Waltz and Road to Lisdoonvarna. I will:
1. Play my tunes, practice scales without open strings, and practice looser freer bowing.
2. Intentionally play a medium tempo and really get every note right where I want it, including double stops.
3. Get a smoother tone from the bow, less squeaking and accidental string touching.
4. Use consistent memorized bowing patterns for each tune.
5. Improvise melodies in Dmaj and Cmaj.
I’ve had a rough couple of years and my fiddle playing suffered because of it. (I had sick family members to care for)
My main goal for this practice challenge is to get back into the habit of playing every day. I’ll review old tunes and work on my intonation. My bow hand keeps getting stiff and starts to cramp…I’ll work on being conscious of that and try to relax.
Thank you Jason. I am going to practice at least 20 minutes per day.
I am going to work on trying to improve the speed of my playing and my sight reading speed.
Jason – Thank you for doing this!
Here’s my practice plan for the next two weeks:
– Stretch, tense/relax, and shoulder relaxation (2 min)
– Evenness in bowing: speed, pressure, soundpoint, parallel. Whole bows, slow speed (4 min)
– Shifting: 1st-2nd pos (4 min)
– Cmaj scale in 2nd pos (4 min)
– Cmaj scale in 3rd pos (4 min)
– Hand frame drill Cmaj 2nd pos (3 min)
– Sevcik shifting drill #1, meas. 1-5 (4 min)
– Octave scale, G and D string, Cmaj lower tetrachord (4 min)
– Moonlight Waltz (3 min)
– Gardenia Waltz (4 min)
– Glen Road to Carrick (5 min)
– Ave Maria (Bach-Gounod) – 10 min
I’m a couple days late to the party, but I will:
– spend 20 minutes per day on Bile ’em Cabbage Down
– work to increase my speed to 75bpm while maintaining written tune and rhythm
– practice it in fun ways by transposing, flattening, using different rhythms
I only missed one day of practice and most were for an hour or more. I gave up on “Cabbages”. I realized I didn’t like the tune well enough to spend that much time on it. I’ve since realized that I don’t have to like every tune in the lessons. I figure if I just keep on with techniques, speed will come. My new motto is “better, but slower”!
I challenge myself to
1. practice at least 30 minutes a day and focus on some part of a tune that challenges me
2. work on 1 song until I can play it with no mistakes or assistance and up to speed
3. review several songs each day
3. sing the tune and play the tune (not something I am good at)
3. work on bowing technique and variation
We’ll see how this goes. 😏
Hello all! Looking forward to setting forth new inspired practice routines! And continued enjoyment along my fiddler’s journey! Focusing on small gains. Slowing down. And non judgement of my skills and abilities as a musician. 🙂
This is my third FPC!
We play almost daily but I enjoy knowing I’m doing it with intention along with so many others.
Working on: Fairytale of New York and La Danse De Mardi Gras. Which has some fingerings I’m not familiar with. So I’m getting to know the fiddle neck better along the way as well as new notes.
I plan to practice 30 minutes each day. Work on intonation, fingering, bow crossing.
Tunes : King of the Fairies, Lament for Limerick, lament of the first generation, Paddy Fahey’s etc. 😊. 🎻
I am playing 30 mins each day. I plan to review past lessons and work on my timing.
Hi all – I am new to Fiddlehed and happy to take part in the Fiddle Challenge! Just getting going on Module 1.2 after a year squawking out too many tunes… my plan is:
– Play 30-40 min per day
– Improve tone, finger placement and bow-crossing; practice-repeat parts that are harder
-memorize correct starting note for first 6 songs and improve these songs
-Focus on tone-placement-crossing skills for a couple of easy-ish songs or song parts learned last year (prob. Barbara Allen and one other)
-Learn and memorize next song (extra goal…we shall see)
-Practice patience…this is perhaps the hardest goal…lol.
Have told my husband and warned the cats.
I will practice 45 minutes a day. Right now I am concentrating on improving tone and intonation. I am recording myself to listen to where I need to improve. I am also very interested in getting the feel of the music alternating between scale and tune. I have been slow to sign up for the challenge as I know I will be out of town for about 5 days during the month. I do travel quite a bit. So far, I haven’t brought my fiddle on the plane. Any thoughts/suggestions on traveling with an instrument. I have looked a bit at travel fiddles, but there doesn’t seem to be any good options.
I am going to practice 30 minutes a day and work on:
making double stops sound better
incorporating dips, double stops, slides
and keeping a steady speed
into tunes I already know.
Yay! FPC 2022! Have fun everyone!
1. 20min a day practice.
2. I plan to work on kick-offs and endings on tunes.
3. Learn “Whiskey Before Breakfast” by ear by just listening to song on recording without a visual.
I printed off the practice sheets and will utilize them this FPC.
Thank you for the practice challenge.
I plan to practice at least 30 minutes a day,
reviewing tunes and focusing on tone
This is a great challenge again! I’m practicing some tunes to play with my husband on his guitar & mandocello ahead of our winter playing sessions. Plus trying to slow things down for now & play with more accuracy & intonation. In the 2 weeks I’m going to learn full pentatonic scales in D, F, G , C, & A chords to help with playing along to tunes & making solos. I’m practicing a minimum 1hr per day.
I plan to practice at least 20 minutes every day. Maybe 30 minutes if possible.
I want to:
retrieve and refresh some tunes that I used to play along time ago,
work on my tone and sound
Spend time playing simple melodies while concentrating on relaxing shoulders, hands etc.
I am happy to join this group and the Challenge. I hope to get better on all the beginner tunes. I have a tendency to rush ahead. So My goal will be to not try a new tune for two weeks so I can get better with the old ones. I am at Little Liza Jane in the beginner Module 1.3.
I have no trouble practicing as my fiddling has become an obsession. I get in about an hour a day. I sneak to it instead of doing my housecleaning chores! It is my reward. It has replaced reading mystery novels and watching TV after dinner.
I hope to improve the sound of my notes, improve my bowing with less scratching and better fingering, improve the rhythm of my tunes. It is bringing new joy to an old lady!
I’ve gotten away from playing unfortunately, even tho once I pick up the fiddle I have fun and find it a great escape. So this is good for me. 30 minutes a day and hopefully I’ll just keep on going. Thanks for this Jason.
Hi Jason and fellow fiddlers,
I started my fiddle journey just a few weeks ago and I’m so glad I did. I know I have come to the right place and found my people! I commit to practicing at least 30 minutes a day duirng this challenge. I am just finishing up Module 1.2, and will continue to work on hitting the right notes using the drones, overall quality of sound, and string crossing while playing the beginner tunes. I look forward to better sound quality soon and so does my dog who dutifully hangs in there through my practices.
This is always a great challenge. Practicing 30 minutes a day sounds reasonable while working on:
Learning two new Irish fiddle tunes focusing on difficult measures. Try to loop difficult measures three times in a row without error.
Review list of past recorded tunes and try to play from memory one or two each day.
Try to increase tempo of best known fiddle tunes.
Sharing with my Wednesday practice group.
Ready for the FPC!
My general goals are to become better with intonation, timing, and speed. I plan to apply my fiddle learning to my mandolin along the way. Here’s what I’m thinking:
1. Play 30 minutes a day on songs I’ve learned for review, improvement, and fun. Just trying to make them sound better with more flow and listening for possible variations.
2. Play 30 minutes a day learning triads and pentatonic scales for keys of G, D, A, C, [F, E]. (Lessons are on the site.)
3. Start learning chords and work on double stops (from the site). Incorporate in songs where I can.
4. Keep a practice journal of daily accomplishments and reflections.
5. I’m telling my Strung Along group and everyone here.
I do practice fiddle for several hours every day, so that’s not an issue here. I’ll set a low bar of 1/2 hour per day on fiddle and 1/2 hour per day on hammered dulcimer.
My 2022 Fall Practice Challenge is about What I will practice. On fiddle I intend to:
– Smooth out
– Tweak the tempo
on tunes I’ve already worked on significantly. I plan to visit a tune a day. My tune list consists of 9 FiddleHed tunes, 3 jam tunes, 1 Christmas project piece, and 1 song for a friend. Whiskey Before Breakfast, St. Anne’s Reel, Danny Boy, Flop Eared Mule, Out on the Ocean, Harvest Home, Kesh Jig, Bill Cheatham, Over the Waterfall, Butchers Row, Fig for a Kiss, High Road to Linton, Wexford Carol, Seminole Wind.
On hammered dulcimer, I intend to work on Christmas Carols.
I’m telling my husband, my fiddle friend, and of course, you FiddleHed folks.
I’m committing to 15 minutes each day. I want to learn the time Squirrel Hunters Reel, brush up a couple others. I’ve told my daughter and I’m excited to start!
Hi everyone! I have so enjoyed all the wonderful Fiddlehed content but am a little shy about engaging online. This is a perfect opportunity for me to devote more time to fiddling and meet all of you. I happily accept this challenge. I plan to work on intonation, timing and memorizing more tunes. My ultimate goal is to jam with the local Old Time fiddle group. Practice time will be at least 20 a day. I shared this with my husband. We are wrapping up a road trip this week. I do have my fiddle to start today but may need to postpone some if needed. Thank Jason for putting this together for us.
Hello fellow fiddle-friends 🌝 I‘m quite new to this, just joined last week. Here‘s my plan for the challenge:
40 mins – 1 h practice per day
I‘m going continue working on module 1.5 and besides this I really need to fix my A-string-game 😄 Don‘t know why, l never had the slightest struggle with my E-string sounding bad, but the A-string is horrible. (Tips are welcome!)
Thank you Jason! And happy fiddleling to all of you!
By „tips“ I meant suggestions, not money 😀 Sorry, I‘m from Germany.
So glad for the fall challenge! I’ve practiced an hour today. I know I can improve my playing if I practice.
I’ll miss Friday-Saturday because I’m at Spirit of Suwannee Roots festival. Hope to be inspired by some great fiddlers. I plan to take a workshop on Friday while there.
I’ll double up on practice before and after going.
My practice routine doesn’t change a lot, though the tunes do as I learn new ones. I practice bowing, then scales in different keys, then some drills I borrowed from piano lesson decades ago that include arpeggios so I must work back and forth across strings and get the intervals right. I then move to tunes and try to do songs in different keys, tempos and styles. I break out the hard bits and try your micro-practice and looping with them. I try to play every day but must confess to missing once in a while. The sessions are 1/2 to one hour. Progress is slow, yes, but steady and so gratifying. Your insights about adult learning and focused listening have made it easier to acquire new tunes, so thanks!
I need this challenge sooo much! Thank you Jason! I’ve been a beginner for almost 10 years because I keep quitting and not touching my fiddle for (sometimes) a year at a time! If I have someone to play with, I keep with it but for the last 3 years have had nobody around to play with so it’s hard to motivate myself.
I printed Jason’s calendar and I’ll use it. I told my husband and a friend (neither are musicians). My goals are to pick 3 tunes which I kinda know and really learn them so that I can hear them in my head and I know just how to start them. Getting a tune started is hard for me.
I wanted so much to join the Student session last night but I couldn’t get my computer to behave and couldn’t get any sound to work! Hoping I can get into a beginner group???
Practice 30 minutes a day.
Review my beginner lessons.
Work on bowing using drones.
I need to slow down and be more consistent.
It’s been quite a few years since I bought my fiddle/violin. I’ve had a few teachers and many lapses along the way. For about five years now I’ve worked mostly on my own. I don’t have a problem committing to regular practice. The thing is … I want to sound good. I know I need help with this. I believe that help is to be found here at fiddlehed.com.
Learning to play tunes without sheet music has been a real challenge. So far I can do only three from memory: Un Canadien Errant, Molly Malone and The Black Rogue.
So … I will commit to:
Improving the three tunes I already know.
Practicing at least one chunk of 20 minutes per day between 4 and 5 pm.
Slowing down and paying close attention to string crossings.
I’ve told my husband (an awesome guitar player who is so patient and encouraging that he doesn’t mind if I practice even if it’s 4 am.)
Thank you Jason for this great opportunity.
Thanks for doing this Jason! Hello to all the other Fiddleheds out there!
I’m going to practice for at least 15 mins per day. Going to continue to work with metronome/ getting a more consistent, steady beat, playing at different speeds.
Going to work on memorizing two new songs and go over some hard parts of other songs.
Thanks, Jason for the opportunity to participate in the FPC 2022!
I aim to practice for at least 30 minutes each day and focus on relearning some old time tunes in the key of C that I haven’t really got under my belt – Texas Gals, Little Rose and Lonesome Blues. I will also review some other tunes and work on improving flow in what I play.
I have told my wife that I am doing this, and am looking forward to starting a good practise habit.
Best wishes to all others participating.
I will practice at least 25 minutes per day. (If I was a therapist that would be a half hour.)
I plan to do deliberate practice on clean string crossing and the hard bits of tunes I’m working on. The tunes include core tunes from lessons and some Cajun tunes I am working on.
I told my wife and son I will be doing this. If I wanted everybody to know I guess I could call my former secretary and tell her.
Happy to join in on this – I will practice at least 20 minutes per day. I will learn the Lonesome Moonlight Waltz, and review at least 2 tunes I already know well, and 1 that I learned recently, focusing on good intonation, and practicing the appropriate scale first.. I will finish Module 1.3.
Oh, and I am telling my Facebook Fiddlng group!
I have been sick with covid for what feels like forever, but finally well enough to start playing again, so want to re-establish my daily routine. 20 minutes a day sounds about right. I want to review my memorized irish tunes (about 5 of them) and mess around with bowings to see what sounds good as I play them differently. I also want to practice vibrato every day, and pick one of my slow tunes to practice including it. I also have two easy classical pieces I love to play to mix up the sound. And relax the left hand! New to the challenge but love all things fiddlehead so far!
Well, here I go again, trying to be disciplined for 15 minutes a day for two weeks with a focus on reviewing Cajun tunes and memorizing them. Thanks for the challenge! I’m telling my husband (who has no problem playing music every day) and my grandson (who is a high school senior teaching himself piano and he’s starting out very well, so I hope to inspire him to keep going a little every day). 🙂
Time: Two different blocks of 10 minutes each day (total 20 minutes)
Goal: By the end of 14 days, I will have reviewed scales and learned a new tune.
Breakdown: 5 min (scale or theory) & 5 min (new tune), repeat 2x every day
Hello! This seems like fun and will be my first-ever FPC so I’m excited! What will I try to improve on? Here is my list:
1. Slowing down on songs for quality rather than quantity
2. Being consistent in my practice
3. Will try to practice at minimum, 15 minutes a day
Fiddlehed and Friends:
I will practice at least 20 min a day in the afternoon.
I will work on my community orchestra pieces using listening and playing along.
I will continue to work on my 3 sets of fiddle contest tunes.
I will tell my husband about the challenge
I will track my practice by using an old school paper calendar and Fiddlehed weekly practice planner.
Bonus: I’d like to get a time together with my jam buddy’s for at least one jam. Finding a convenient time for everyone has been challenging.
I’m going to practice at least 15 minutes each day and I want to focus on recording myself playing tunes and practicing in front of a mirror to better self monitor. I also want to record tunes all the way through to post for video feedback, because I definitely find myself going on to a different song at times before the one I’m working on sounds any good. I’ve been subscribed to Fiddlehed for a few months now, but I’m a special education teacher and just started a new job, so I didn’t have much time to really participate in this awesome community! Looking forward to learning with y’all! 🙂
Good morning, Musicians!
1. I will work on sounding good.
2. I will learn one new old time fiddle tune, which I will choose this morning.
3. I have told my husband, which is going to have a ripple effect for his practicing guitar.
4. I will practice 20 minutes each morning at 10 am.
I’m very glad for this challenge. 🎻
My goals for the 2022 challenge are:
1. Improve intonation – in particular A1-A4 and E1-E4.
2. Improve timing and speed – “Flowers of Michigan” and “The Pilgrim” both have long runs and I plan to use a metronome to play slow then gradually speed up.
3. Practice for at least 5 minutes each day – I know it doesn’t sound like much but if I tell myself that I need to practice for only 5 minutes there is a better chance that I’ll pick up the instrument and play than if I think I have to practice for 20 minutes. Besides, once I start I usually get into it and end up playing 30+ minutes anyway.
Hello Fellow Fall FiddIers! I participated in the spring practice challenge and loved it. Certainly improved my violin playing tremendously, so of course I’m all in for the fall challenge.
Here’s my plan-
– practice 30 minutes per day (at least)
– improve tone
– improve string crossing
– learn double stops
I also want to learn a duet with my husband who plays banjo. We’ve picked Girl I Left Behind Me. My husband knows about the challenge since he’s participating in one of my goals.
FPC great! I need this a huuuge Thank you again Jason! Plan is to practice 10 -20 each day! And work on my bowing which is all over the place, tune will be Rueben’s Train. Also older tunes I learned and get more confident to play at jams. Loved the group song last time which was the sea shanty, Farewell and Adieu to you dear Spanish Ladies.
Great thanks again for the sessions! Fell out of practice over the weekend, but the FPChallenge was great! Awaiting the next one. Thanks Jason, good luck in your new home, enjoy winter, and applesauce!
Looking forward to learning some new tunes.
I’m glad you asked for goals. I will focus on lightening my left hand touch, better double stops and chords and reviewing tunes. I usually practice for 1hour every day but since I will be at someone else’s house I hope I can get at least 30 minutes. If I can’t play I can go through my cards and hum the tune to help with memory. I’m telling the Strung Along group and everyone here! Thanks Jason!
I didn’t play for a few months this summer because we were transient while waiting to move into our new home. I’ve been practicing pretty regularly since then. I’m committing to practice for 20 minutes a day for the next 2 weeks. I will be reviewing tunes I’ve already learned, specifically working on intervals for Little Liza Jane and Wildwood Flower in order to improve those tunes, and working on playing Mary Had a Little Lamb (Hoedown var. 1) faster. Longer term goal– I’d love to complete modules 1.3 (I’m halfway through it) and 1.4 before this year is over!
I am excited to join this challenge. I ahve been playing Cello so playing Violin is a challenge in itself. But I plan to dedicate at least 15 min a day. Id like to learn scales, and some jigs. I am still trying to figure out where to start. I am checking out the fiddlehed site right now.
I am looking for some pdf fiddle tunes to print out and some scales. Oh and I told my daughter. She plays violin and she will keep me accountable 🙂
I found 15 short beginner fiddle tunes and I will learn a tune a day. They are all like 4 lines each. This will be fun !!! By the end I will have a small packet of learned beginner fiddle tunes !!!
I will not be close to my fiddle until Thursday, so I can’t join your group. However, when I get back Thursday, I will be practicing at least 30 minutes a day. Trying to perfect Tam Lin using double stops (a weak spot) and triplets. Also a tune called “The Morning Dew”. Thanks for the lessons.🎻🍀
I started playing just one year ago with my grandkids in a small homeschool group violin lesson. I had to practice pretty hard to improve at all and stay up with this group. I am motivated to keep moving on past just being a beginner and on into intermediate playing. I have been averaging about 2 hours a day I believe. and I am going to commit to practicing at least 2 hours a day for this challenge. I have a lot of goals. I wrote an ambitious list for this month of October. I have about 10 fiddle tunes I am working on speeding up, playing with tracts, and other family, and working on back up chords for those as well. I am starting to learn Westphalia waltz, and would like to get into Arkansas traveler too. I also have three pieces for a classical Christmas concert I need to polish. and I am looking forward to doing your FiddleHed lessons. Well I better get going!
Well, I’ve not been playing much recently and so this challenge has come along just when I need it.
Goals: I plan to play for 30 mins every morning,
I’m planning to focus on memorising a tune, playing it in tune and constant tempo.
Told my kids, 🙂
Hi fiddle friends :)…I’m joining to work on developing more structured and hopefully progressive practice habits! My 3 areas to work on are 1) bow techniques to improve tone, 2) string crossings, and 3) using these to improve the opening set of tunes that are always played at our local Irish sessions (Southwind/Planxty Irwin/Planxty Fanny Power). I have told my hubby and all of you! I plan to practice 20 mins after work/before dinner. Thanks for this challenge, Jason!
Whoo-Hoo!!! I’m so ready to take on this challenge!!!
My goal is to practice no less than 30 minutes a day – which hopefully turns into an hour or more….
I have told my husband and the Strung Along group so I KNOW I’ll have to be accountable!!
I will work on being light-fingered (in the musical sense only!!!) memorizing better tunes I know, double stops and adding triads as an embellishment in tunes.
This will be fun!!
I am committing to 5 minutes everyday, I will memorize Twinkle Twinkle and learn how to read tab and basic music when not playing.
I have established a daily practice schedule with two other friends on zoom for 2 hours. I work on a different scaled every day from A to G. Friday is my Fiddle Friday when I spend most of my time on Fiddlehed.
I am using the drones to help with my scales every day.
I’ve been waylaid with other commitments so this is the PERFECT challenge at the right time to get my practice rolling again. I commit to a minimum of 10 minutes each morning, to revisit and memorize at least two tunes on my list of “Old Time tunes to know by heart” and to find a bowing module to work on.
Thank you, Jason… and that Michigan tree is gorgeous. Just returned from visiting family in Columbia, TN and the colors were just starting to turn.
Hi Jason and everyone at FH . Glad to be part of the FPC once again . My goals for 2022 challenge are:
-30 minutes minimum daily
-working on my rhythm and building speed
( just a little at a time)
-trying to get my list of new tunes a little bit smaller and still sound good, maybe learn 3 new tunes well.
-work on my bow hold and wrist, try to relax more and maybe it will help my speed on tunes
And I have just told my husband, my daughter and all of you.
Good luck everyone and have fun 🎻
Here’s my plan for the FPC:
Practice for at least 20m in the afternoon.
* I want to establish this as a habit.
* I still have the option to practice later that night.
What I’ll work on:
* Reviewing old-time tunes
* being able to recall the melodies from seeing the title
* Deliberate practice on 1-2 hard parts from each tune
Rhythm rabbit hole
* working on rhythms on single notes, building speed
Playing songs just for fun, as a way to break up more focused practice.
Glad to be taking part with you all!!!!
Yay to Jason & The Famous Fall Fiddlers of FiddleHed! Perfect timing to step up our daily practice — Love the Danse de Mardi Gras tune— Thanks for keeping things lively in the FiddleHed Universe…from PacNorth West: Sandra & Forrest
Nice! What will you work on? How much time will you spend practicing each day?
I usually practice every day because I enjoy it so much. I did some videos yesterday and boy did I sound terrible. I’m just beginning. Completed module1.1 .2 and .3. But have gone too fast I think.
Good that you’ve noticed you’re going fast. Slow down and see if you can make each simple thing sound good.
What will you work on during the FPC? How much time will you spend practicing each day?
So this is the last day of the challenge. I have practiced minimum of 45 minutes per day. I told my husband. I have been working on making my beginner tunes better. Angiline the Baker I thought was going to be my brick wall but after I battled my way across the first quarter of Part A and realized the rest was similar I have just about managed it. I have been videoing some tunes and comparing… I can see a difference. (yay) and I am trying to SLOW DOWN! Today I plan on doing call and response exercise for Angiline. Hope you all had as much fun as I did these past two weeks.
Hi all – this looks fun! I’ve been trying to practice every day, but somehow it often turns out to be piano practice! I think I can commit to practicing fiddle every day too. I get so much joy from trying to memorize tunes, so that is my goal. Memorize two new tunes in two weeks.🎻✨
Memorizing 2 tunes is a great goal. You can also choose to practice piano during the challenge too.
Very excited about this, especially since I just “graduated” from Beginner to Intermediate on the FiddleHed lessons track! (Though I’ll always be a Beginner in spirit and intent, and I’m glad of that!) 🙂
Great! What will you work on? How much time will you spend practicing each day?
Yep, two immediate things I want to focus on: (1) building accuracy and strength in my fourth finger; and (2) increasing speed by at least 10% consistently in at least five tunes (such as O’Keefe’s Slide, Wildwood Flower, and Kerry Polka). I aim to spend at least 30min average each day practicing.