Welcome to FiddleHed 👋
It’s good to have you here! On this page I’ll help you understand the course so that you can achieve your fiddle goals and dreams. You’ll find things to help you on the journey in the tabs below:
Need a violin?
Click here if you don’t already have one.
FiddleHed Site Tour
Here’s a video tutorial to help you navigate the site. I’ll talk through the main elements of the home page as well as the menus.
New Student Resources
“Where the heck do I go next?!”
FiddleHed is a self-paced course for beginner, intermediate and advanced students. While that’s awesome, it can also be overwhelming. Here’s a sketch of the course content according to different skill levels:
How to Assess Your Skill Level
Here’s a video to explain the self-assessment process:
Below I talk about specific skills and tunes you learn in each phase of the journey. Use this to figure out where to start in the course. I suggest you err on the side of starting at a more beginner point, but really focus on making things sound good.
And if you’re still unsure where to start, just email us and we’ll help you figure out the best place to begin.
If you’re an absolute beginner, then start here: Module 1.1
An advanced beginner can do the following things:
- Play Little Liza Jane & Kerfunken Jig
- Get A Good Sound With The Bow
- String Crossing
- Drone tuning the notes on the D string
- Read FiddleHed Tabs
- D Major Scale
- Interval Exercises 1
- G Major Scale
- Tunes Transposed to G Major
- Interval Exercises 2
- A Major Scale
- Call-and-response Exercises 1.5
⬆️ If that sounds too advanced, then start in one of the Absolute Beginner modules (1.1-1.5).
🎯 If this sounds like you, then start here: Module 1.6.
⬇️ If that seems too easy then take a look at the Intermediate level lessons below.
An intermediate fiddler can do the following things:
- All skills previously listed for the Advanced Beginner level
- Play Swallowtail Jig & Arkansas Traveller
- The Slur
- Rhythmic Scale Variation
- Pedal Pattern Exercises I
- Low Second Finger
- D and A Dorian Scale Practice
- G and C Major Scales
- Low And High Second Finger Practice
- Major Triads
- Slur Two-Separate Two Bowing
- Call-and-response Exercises 1.10
⬆️ If that sounds too advanced, then start in one of the Advanced Beginner modules (1.6-1.10).
🎯 If this sounds like you, then start here: Module 2.1
⬇️ If that seems too easy then take a look at the Advanced Intermediate level lessons below.
An advanced intermediate fiddler can do the following things:
- All skills previously listed for Advanced Beginner and Intermediate levels
- Play Kesh Jig & Give the Fiddler a Dram
- Fourth Finger (pinky)
- Fingering and String Crossing
- Slur Across Strings
- Double Stops 1 – D and A strings
- Low First Finger and F Major Scale
- Tunes Transposed to F Major
- Fingered Double Stops
- Call-and-response Exercises 2.4
If this sounds like you, then start here: 2.5 Soldiering On
⬆️ If that sounds too advanced, then start in one of the Intermediate modules (1.9-2.4).
🎯 If this sounds like you, then start here: Module 1.9.
⬇️ If that seems too easy then take a look at the Advanced courses below.
An advanced fiddler can do the following things:
- All skills previously listed for Advanced Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced Intermediate levels
- Play Blackberry Blossom & Peacock Rag
- Major Pentatonic Scales
- Double Stops 3
- Low 4th Finger
- B Flat Major Scale (Upper Octave) Exercises
- Kerry Polka – Chord Backup
- Droning Double Stop Scale
- Minor Triads
- Fingering And String Crossing 4
- Oh Susannah – Adding Double Stops
- Raised Third Finger
- A Major (Lower Octave)
- Call-and-response Exercises 2.8
- Fingering And String Crossing 5
- Chromatic Scale on D
- Syncopated Riffs
⬆️ If that sounds too advanced, then start in one of the Intermediate modules (2.1-2.4).
🎯 If this sounds like you, then start one of the advanced courses:
In general, I suggest you start at a more beginner level than you think. Play simple tunes and exercises. Make them sound as good as possible.
Was that self-assessment overwhelming? Are you still unsure where to start in the course? If so, don’t hesitate to send us a message.
Essential Learning Strategies
Here’s a list of essential learning strategies taught in the FiddleHed course.
If you work through the course from the start (i.e. you’re a beginner), you’ll gradually learn these essentials.
But if you’ve already started to learn fiddle before coming to FiddleHed, then I highly recommend you take these lessons. These lessons will help you no matter where you’re at on the journey.
This is a method for tuning specific notes with drones (a reference tone). You can also use drones as backup when you practice: Using Drones to Create Epic Practice Sessions
Continuously play a small chunk until it sounds like music.
Much of the course is based in old-school call-and-response learning. This is a fun way to train the ear, learn music and develop creativity.
Check out the full library of these lessons: Call-and-response Central
Deliberate practice is a process which helps you to learn more efficiently. In a nutshell: Focus on hard parts that need work.
The essential idea is that when first learning a piece or skill, you’re not yet making music. You’re practicing and refining different motions.
Here’s a great strategy to help you remember songs. Take each part and distill it down to just a few notes. This little bit acts as a “mental trigger” to help you remember the song next time.
Take a piece of music and intentionally make it more difficult. The scientific term for this is “desirable difficulty”. Find the right level of challenge by working at your edge. This helps you to learn something more deeply and to better remember what you learn.
If you write about what you practiced today, you can go further tomorrow. Use a music journal to stay motivated, organized and focused.
The mission of FiddleHed is not just to teach you tunes. I want to teach you how to learn on your own. Anything.
Find Courses in the Main Menu
FiddleHed is a self-paced learning system
That’s because people enter at different stages of their fiddle journey. Below is a map of the course structure.
Notice in the diagram above that the “beginner” courses (green boxes) continue to run along the “practice” axis. That’s because you constantly return to FUNdamental skills like bowing, fingering, intonation, etc. as you progress.
Video Explainer For Courses
The first two courses are part of the “Main Course”: Beginner (Modules 1.1-1.10) and Intermediate (Modules 2.1-2.9). If you hover each of those you can see individual modules within each. Most people find success by picking a starting point and working forward from there.
There are a series of “mini-courses” which support you at any stage of the journey:
- How To Practice Music
- How To Play In Tune
- How To Play In Time
- Note-Reading For Fiddlers
- Art of Fiddling
I hope that sheds a little light on what we’re doing here. Still got questions on how courses work? If so, just email us.
Tracking Your Progress
You can track your progress by clicking the “Start Lesson” button at the top of lesson pages.
Next, you’ll see a yellow “Complete Lesson” button. Click that when you’ve finished with it. (Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect. You can return to it later):
When you’re done with the lesson, click it again to complete it:
See your progress
See your progress for each module page on its home page. Here’s an image from the middle of Module 1.4.
Finally, look at the “Your Course Progress” tab in the “Practice Toolkit” at the bottom of any lesson page. There you can see the last lesson started, last twenty lessons started, and total lessons started (organized by module). This is also visible on the Home Page.
You can mark a page as a favorite. Use this to keep track of completed lessons you want to return to in the future.
Just scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Favorite button.
All your favorite lessons are listed under the “Favorites” tab in the “Practice Toolkit” at the very bottom of the page.
Five Ways To Find Lessons
- Main Search Bar
- Tune Index
- Course Module Pages
- Core Lesson Index
I’ll talk about each method below.
Main Search Bar
You can use the search bar at the upper right hand corner to find ANY PAGE on the site.
You can also search for lessons in four ways from the Library tab:
The TuneFinder is an interactive database to help you find tune lessons.
You can search by title, genre, form, scale or skill level. There’s also tab and sheet music snippets as well as full tune audio.
In the Tune Index you’ll find tunes listed by genre and root note. It’s a good way to browse different lists of lessons.
If you simply work through the course, you’ll encounter lessons listed in each module. Here’s an example from Module 1.6.
If you want to steadily build your FUNdamentals, then I recommend working through the course. Even if you’re an intermediate player, you might find that you benefit from the progressive design of the courses.
Core Lesson Index
The Core Lesson Index is a listing of all core lessons in the course. It shows you which lessons you’ve completed as well as which are not complete. It’s a handy way to see if you’ve skipped something, or if you want to review a particular lesson.
Getting Support & Answering Questions
The fastest way to answer your questions is to refer to pages under the Support tab in the top menu (on the right).
This page is a bunch of tutorials to answer questions about the various tools and navigation of the site.
This page will help you with questions about signing up, renewing, canceling, refunds, etc.
This page answers questions about fiddling, technique, music, practice, violin maintenance and more.
If you’re still stuck on something, just email us.
Also let me know if you think this process could be improved. I seriously consider all student feedback. Thanks 🙏
Where do I go next?
Once you discover your skill level using the self-assessment tabs above, go the appropriate module. Then start learning and fiddling!