Art of Fiddling > How To Make Scales Fun


Another way to add variation to scales, tunes and solos is to change the texture, or the quality of the sound.

Think of this of how the sound feels.

This lesson is just an overview of different textures you could add to scales. There are specific and in-depth lessons on for each texture.


First texture we will add is plucking. This might be the easiest texture to add.

You can practice it in violin position plucking with the index finger. Or practice in guitar position, plucking with the thumb.

It’s also very useful as a practice technique. If you’re struggling to play something, set down your bow and just pluck it. {insert pluck it clip}.


Another texture you can add to scales, is staccato, or bow stopping.

This is not really used in fiddle and folk music too much. But I think it’s an excellent thing to practice because it increases your precision.


Tremolo is light fast bow strokes done near the tip of the bow.

It will help you play with a lighter touch. It can also help you to get your wrist moving and involved.

Bow Bouncing

Bow bouncing, or spiccato, is a fun bowing texture, though it’s a bit more challenging.

Start by practicing it on just open strings.

When you can do it easily, try it on the first two notes of a scale with four bows per note.

Then try it on the first four notes, then on the whole scale.


Vibrato is probably the most challenging texture mentioned in this lesson.

If you are a beginner, I recommend completing the first two FiddleHed courses before trying to learn it.

Vibrato is an even, rhythmic bending of the pitch up and down. This is done by rocking the finger forward and backwards. Now, go fiddle with it.