This is a collection of lessons, modules, and mini-courses designed to take your fiddling to the next level. You’ll learn new scales, bowing techniques and practice strategies. You’ll also learn things that prepare you for improvisation, adding variation, playing chords and more.
No Time Like Old-time!
Here you will find lessons on old-time tunes, adding variation as well as techniques like double stops, alternate tunings and bowing. I will be slowly adding to this starting in March of 2019. Thanks for your patience 🙏
Practicing scales will accelerate your learning, help you pick up tunes and give you ideas for improvisation. But they get a bad rap. Some folks still have nightmares from childhood lessons. But scales can be fun if you approach the practice creatively. This module is packed with fun and useful lessons. It teaches you tools to invent your own variations so instead of torture, scales are transformed into a form of play. And, you’ll learn to see the connection between a tune and its scale.
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”.
Here are some playlists of older videos on variation, soloing, playing on songs and double stops. I will be adding full content versions of these as soon as I learn to clone myself 🤓
For reals, we got a lot of cool stuff coming soon here, so stay tuned…
Adding Variation to Tunes
How to Play On Songs
Art of Fiddling Technique
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 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.
Here's a newer version of the Notefinder which is based on sheet music.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!
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.