Category: Learning to Play the Fiddle

Learning to play the fiddle

Wax On, Wax Off

Attaining flexible and loose bow fingers and wrist It’s been over 35 years since the movie, The Karate Kid, was released. In the movie, Mr. Miyagi teaches young Daniel the art of Karate. When his training begins, Daniel doesn’t understand what he is being shown. Mr. Miyagi seems more interested in having Daniel paint fences,…

Remembering Fiddle Tunes

Learning how to play fiddle tunes is one thing; remembering how to play them is another. Now that I am approaching the completion of my first year, I have learned how to play a number of tunes. Some I play better than others, but one thing is common, if I don’t play a particular song…

Tilting My Fiddle

My original title for this blog post was Tilting My Fiddle for Better Left Arm Position, Creating Less Upper Arm Tension, Allowing My Fingers to Better Cover the Strings, and Not Feel Pain in My Neck, but I thought it might be a tad too long, so I shortened it to Tilting My Fiddle. When…

Fixing Squeaky, Airy, and Scratchy Sounds

We all know them, and they can set our teeth on edge. Squeaky, airy, and scratchy sounds are all too familiar to new fiddle players. These sounds indicate bow hair that is not properly gripping and vibrating the strings. There are six common reasons why a new fiddler may be hearing these awful sounds, rather…

Practice Motivation and Excuses

Sometimes I have no motivation to practice. I can offer a lot of excuses. I’ll do it after this. I just don’t feel like it. I’m feeling frustrated. I’m feeling discouraged. I’m tired. My body aches. I’m too busy. I have other things to do. I can’t get to it. I just can’t seem to…

Trigger Finger

A few weeks ago I woke up and noticed the middle finger on my left hand was bent as if I was bent playing an F# on the D string. I had to consciously straighten it out, and with that it clicked back open. I bent it again and it stayed in that position until…

Learning a Fiddle Tune by Ear

In some of my recent posts, I’ve been writing about learning a tune using tabs versus being able to read traditional music notation. Today, I want to write about learning a fiddle tune by ear, because that is my ultimate goal. I wrote about learning music theory only because so many fiddle tunes I find…

Jessica’s Waltz

In my last fiddle lesson with my teacher, I began learning one of the lesser-known waltzes, Jessica’s Waltz, called by some just Jessica Waltz or The Jessica Waltz. Here’s a nice, simple, unadorned fiddle version. One of the things I like to do when learning a new tune is to try and learn about it’s…

Theory for Mandolin and Fiddle

The other day, I wrote a post about a course I signed up for at Peghead Nation called Old Time Fiddle with Bruce Molsky. As I mentioned in that post, one of the drawbacks for me in taking this course is the notation for each tune is standard notation, not tablature. In an effort to…

Bruce Molsky on Peghead Nation

I really admire and enjoy watching Bruce Molsky play the fiddle. I have watched and studied a number of his videos, and have even used a couple in my blog posts: It’s All in the Bowing, Playing Faster – Part 2, and Old Time Bow Holds. Not only does the way he convey how to…