Fiddle Coach Manifesto

Don’t Delay Your Fiddling Fun by Learning the Hard Way

You could be on any one of the many web sites that deal with fiddling. Why be on Fiddle Coach instead?

There are three good reasons. Fiddle Coach stands for 3 things above all else. There are 3 elements in my fiddler’s journey that have been super helpful and inspiring for me to move ahead in my fiddle performance and teaching.

This post is about those 3 elements or principles.

Get into the fiddling fun zone ASAP

Principle 1. To get the full personal satisfaction from your fiddling, you must enjoy it. It’s not about making money or winning the admiration and approval from others. Not that it’s difficult to have approval from other fiddlers. I’ve noticed how encouraging and accepting fiddlers can be of the efforts of other fiddlers. It’s a very supportive group.

The joy you get playing a fiddle tune is unique to the performance of music. There is self esteem and happiness to be had when you play a tune you like and enjoy it. 

You also open social possibilities of playing with others in a string band, in a fiddle circle, in a folk music gathering, and in gospel music as performed at some churches. Playing fiddle tunes and folk songs raises your personal vibration to a happy zone of danceable rhythm and melody.

I encourage my beginning students to appreciate their performance and enjoy their playing as soon as things begin to come together, usually just a matter of weeks. It usually does not take long. 

I also encourage playing in the tuning of A-432Hz, as that frequency is a natural harmonic of the earth and is a healing frequency.

You don’t have to figure out those little dots

Principle 2. You can have rapid progress and achieve your goals most rapidly if you learn the easiest and most natural way to play the fiddle. By using fiddle tab charts which take only minutes to learn how to read, you won’t lose time struggling with the mastery of standard music notation. Not that I’m against learning to read sheet music. You are best served by postponing that learning curve until you can actually play some tunes on your fiddle.

You will move ahead wisely by using specific practice techniques that are the coveted secrets of advanced fiddlers. There are only a handful of definite music practice techniques that you need to learn to blast away all difficulties that may cross your path.

Later, when you get to the intermediate stage of learning to play fiddle, I share with you a very easy way to learn music notation that relates to the Suzuki Method books of violin instruction. I’ve used this for many youngsters who studied with me at Music Matters in New Port Richey. They learn to read music quickly and easily.

Good fiddle practice eliminates frustration

Principle 3. Fiddling is a complex skill that is composed of many simpler, basic skills. You will learn each of these skills at the right time. Some take only seconds to master. some take minutes, maybe longer. You will learn by practicing a particular skill until you can do it without too much distraction from your effort. Then you are ready to move ahead to another key skill. 

A good way to do this is to learn new tunes. Using certain practice techniques takes pressure off of you, eliminating frustration and failure.

How will you know you are learning? A convenient milestone for the beginner is when you can play a fiddle tune without error by memory. You will learn to really hear the sound that is coming from your fiddle and compare it with the sound you want to hear. That may be from your teacher’s fiddle or a sound recording you are using for teaching purposes. Learning to use a metronome is also a crucially valuable skill and usually only takes one lesson to get started. 

To Summarize. Fiddling makes you feel good, learning is doable, specific instruction makes everything easier and faster.

Attitudes associated with these principles are, 1 enjoyment of your own fiddling, 2 Learning and understanding musical skill and knowledge, 3 Letting go of self judgement while maintaining the music student’s discipline of conscious practice.

A good move: check the Start Here Now page.