Category: Exercises & Practice

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…

Fall Practice Challenge

FiddleHed is running a Fall Practice Challenge. As Jason says, “It’s the time of year when fiddlers fall in love with practice by playing every day for two weeks.” From October 7-20, fiddle students around the world will make music a regular part of their lives. The primary goal is to establish the habit of daily…

First Position Scales

Recorded scales to practice and play along with are not always easy to find. Sure, you can find them set to piano, or even worse, midis, but to find a whole set played by the same fiddler, at the same pace, has been a challenge. However, today I found a YouTube video recorded by Dr.…

Repeat a Thousand Times

I am always looking for ways to improve my fiddle playing. (Aren’t we all?). One thing I run into time and time again is the advice of accomplished musicians who give basically the same advice which boils down to repeat a thousand times. One such musician is my favorite banjo player, an icon by the…

Practice Toolkit

A few months back, FiddleHed created a Practice Toolkit section for his students which I have bookmarked and find very helpful. It was only today that I realized FiddleHed has made this section available to anyone, not just his paid subscribers. Since I refer to this practice area quite often, I decided to create this…

Straight Talk

It’s been eight days since my last post! The reason for this hiatus is twofold. After a ten day bout with an upper respiratory infection which seemed to zap so much of my strength and energy, today is the first day I am feeling somewhat better. I have had more days without practice during this…

Fiddle Tune Tabs

I added a new section to the main menu above called Fiddle Tune Tabs. When I learn a new tune, I learn in tab notation. If you have read my page in Practice Resources – Reading Tabs, you already know that tabs is a form of musical notation that was invented to make reading music…

Make Fiddle Practice Fun!

Fiddle practice needs to be fun and interesting for me. If it isn’t, I find it difficult put my heart, soul and concentration into it, and that means a disappointing or poor practice session. Yesterday, I decided to practice earlier in the afternoon so I’d be sure to get my full practice time in. I…

Little Lift

Today, I watched Fiddlehed’s lesson called Little Lift. As Jason put it, this is a little lesson on a big technique. Most beginners lift their fingers too high off the strings and press too hard on the strings. Neither is necessary. This lesson is a meditative practice lesson to help play more easefully, more accurately…

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

If you don’t have a teacher, or are practicing at home, it is essential that you have a wall or floor mirror to watch yourself practice. A mirror can be a “silent teacher”, even better than a video recording of yourself playing, because it gives immediate feedback. It allows you to NOT have to scrunch…