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Selecting Online Lessons
Your recommendations for online fiddle lessons
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MoonShadows
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February 5, 2019 - 5:03 am
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I want to get started with online lessons. My interest at this time is old time fiddle. I have looked at many online courses, both free and paid subscription. I have three on my short list, but I would like to hear from others who started with online lessons. Any recommendations?

Here are the three on my short list:

ArtistWorks Fiddle with Darol Anger - https://artistworks.com/fiddle.....arol-anger

Learn Old Time Fiddle – The Brainjo Method for Fiddle - https://oldtimefiddle.net/

Fiddlehed - https://fiddlehed.com/

I would appreciate any feedback from folks who have taken/are taking online lessons.

Thank you.

Jim

Fiddling for Older Folks - Learning to Play the Fiddle as an Adult

The Friends of the Sons of Liberty - Three Inspiring Young Men playing Early American Fiddle Music 

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
February 5, 2019 - 6:05 am
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Hi @MoonShadows - I didn't sign up for lessons, but I learned a lot (and quickly) from the FiddleHed videos ( J'son Kleinberg ).  I know a lot of his content is freely available, but I suspect he is more and more "commercializing" his enterprise ( and that's absolutely fair enough, it wasn't a criticism ).  I specifically appreciated his slow play-throughs of simple forms of a tune, then advancing on to more complex versions in a subsequent video.

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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MoonShadows
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February 5, 2019 - 6:11 am
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Thanks @BillyG. I watched a few of his videos on YouTube and also saw on his website that portions of his (paid) lessons are looped (usually the most difficult parts), so you can keep playing it over and over. It is annoying to have to manually backup and reply videos I have been watching until I understand or can do it.

Jim

Fiddling for Older Folks - Learning to Play the Fiddle as an Adult

The Friends of the Sons of Liberty - Three Inspiring Young Men playing Early American Fiddle Music 

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mookje
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February 5, 2019 - 7:58 am
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I’m only familiar with FiddleHed. You can sign up for free for the first few lessons so  you can see how he build up the lessons. Many technique videos are freely available. 

 Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about dancing in the rain!!

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MoonShadows
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What do you think of FiddleHed @mookje ?

Jim

Fiddling for Older Folks - Learning to Play the Fiddle as an Adult

The Friends of the Sons of Liberty - Three Inspiring Young Men playing Early American Fiddle Music 

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BillyG
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February 5, 2019 - 12:57 pm
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MoonShadows said
Thanks @BillyG. I watched a few of his videos on YouTube and also saw on his website that portions of his (paid) lessons are looped (usually the most difficult parts), so you can keep playing it over and over. It is annoying to have to manually backup and reply videos I have been watching until I understand or can do it.  

  Ahhhh, yes - good point - when I started following FiddleHed (hmmm - 4 years back) virtually all his videos featured the "looping" idea quite heavily - sometimes with actual  looping, sometimes (in the earlier ones) with a hint to "pause the video" and loop/repeat on your own - and the looped parts were always short - like 1 or 2 bars - and never more than 4 - easy to remember, and, of course, in these early vids he also had a simple notation (not a full score, just the notes) in the comment section below the video - so that helped for me (especially on tunes I didn't know - I seem to be able to recall the rhythm, better than the tune itself, if you get what I mean, so just seeing the notes (names) got me up-and running).   

Yeah - I think he's on to a good thing with that and now with his work being commercialized, maybe that's only present in, as you say, "paid" versions.   I found that (the looping) quite valuable as a beginner, and had a few email interchanges with him regarding some (incredibly minor, but potentially confusing points in a couple of his videos - he's a good lad !) .

Well, I guess that's almost a recommendation - but make your own decision !!!! 🙂  

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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mookje
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February 5, 2019 - 1:45 pm
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@MoonShadows  I’m very positive about his way of teaching, just as Billy said, the slow-play- through, building up phrase by phrase. I still practice by this way and it really helps. His information is very clear and step by step.  I still have a membership but I don’t use it much now, I’ve ‘completed’ the modules I did want to learn. 

During my violin journey I mostly use the information and videos from Fiddlerman and FiddleHed. 

 Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about dancing in the rain!!

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MoonShadows
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Thank you @BillyG and @mookje. I watched a number of his free videos today, and I like what I saw. In my first couple of days I mainly have been practicing holding the fiddle and the bow (with the help of a lot of videos), and bowing EADG and back GDAE, working on just playing one string at a time. Today, I tried doing scales for a while 🙁 Right now, I already feel like I have my hands full, so I am in no rush to pick out an online course, but I am leaning towards Fiddlehed.

Jim

Fiddling for Older Folks - Learning to Play the Fiddle as an Adult

The Friends of the Sons of Liberty - Three Inspiring Young Men playing Early American Fiddle Music 

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damfino
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February 5, 2019 - 3:57 pm
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I'm not familiar with the others, but I am with Fiddlehed, and I like his method of teaching. I would often use his videos to help me remember how a tune went that I was working on. I do have a bit of a short attention span, so I would find myself fast-forwarding through a good bit of the videos until he was playing a bigger chunk (like Billy said, early videos he looped everything to teach you little bits of the tune at a time), but that is just me and how I learn.

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MoonShadows
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@damfino I can relate to a short attention span and wanting to skip ahead, and I know that is probably the worst thing I can do if I want to learn and enjoy the fiddle. While it is tough for me when I am learning something new, I know repetition is one of the main keys to learning, and that certainly will be the case learning the fiddle.

Jim

Fiddling for Older Folks - Learning to Play the Fiddle as an Adult

The Friends of the Sons of Liberty - Three Inspiring Young Men playing Early American Fiddle Music 

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damfino
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With me, my fiddle teacher got me going with playing through the whole piece all together, and then learning to return and loop the parts my fingers had a little trouble with, and then get back to playing the tune as a whole as quickly as possible. For me, that worked, for others, maybe not (the teacher I had got easily distracted about as much as I do, haha, so we worked good together). So I think that's why I have trouble paying attention to his early videos where he looped so many small bits of the tune before getting on to a substantial chunk. But overall I like the idea of his teaching method, and I really like the videos where he breaks down different techniques, jamming, playing backup, etc, and I'm glad it's getting popular enough for him to commercialize it. 

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GregW
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I take private lessons once or twice a month and found fiddlehed teaches tunes pretty close to how my private teacher does.  Ian Walsh from onlinelessonvideos.com has some good stuff too. He teaches Individual tune videos that run around 5 to 14 dollars.  You also might want to checkout a CD I found on amazon from the Reiner family called 52 fiddle tunes from fiddle he'll.  Sorry autocorrect is changing stuff and I don't know how to stop it..hopefully you get that title.  Its a hot place.  Also..Even though you're just starting I'd also suggest finding an old time jam group or club close by.  hopefully your experience can be like mine and you'll find a bunch of awesome people that welcome and encourage new players no matter the skill level.  Even if you don't do any playing, I've found most people don't mind the tunes being audio recorded during a jam.  Then you can slow those down when practicing later.  Just some extra ideas you might use.

Happy fiddling! 

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MoonShadows
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Thanks for the added suggestions @GregW I signed up for a month with Fiddlehed yesterday, and I already know I am going to like him. He seems really good in understanding how people learn and breaks down his lessons that way. 

Jim

Fiddling for Older Folks - Learning to Play the Fiddle as an Adult

The Friends of the Sons of Liberty - Three Inspiring Young Men playing Early American Fiddle Music 

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MoonShadows
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@GregW I just purchased the mp3 download of the Reiner Family 52 Tunes from Fiddle Hell from Amazon. I thought it was strange that they don't have them in order with the slow version first and then the regular speed version with accompaniment, but a few minutes of renaming the files to take the lead file numbers out quickly put them in that order. This is going to be very helpful.

Jim

Fiddling for Older Folks - Learning to Play the Fiddle as an Adult

The Friends of the Sons of Liberty - Three Inspiring Young Men playing Early American Fiddle Music 

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GregW
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Great!  Glad it can help.  I seem to remember the track listings being somewhat odd in their layout as well.  

The Portland selection play along cd's and books are another great resource.  I think I saw them mentioned here already.  The cd's contain a bunch of tunes from the books.  They are not always fiddle though and don't have a slower version so I have to use software to get them to a tempo I can play with.  The tunes on that particular set of cd's are short performance versions of several tunes from the books.  Good stuff.

Just sharing what I've ran across.  I know you asked about online sites not books or cd's but those came to mind and thought it was useful info.

Greg

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MoonShadows
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GregW said
 
Just sharing what I've ran across.  I know you asked about online sites not books or cd's but those came to mind and thought it was useful info.

Greg  

@GregW By all means...I am looking online, but I appreciate hearing what has helped others as well.

I also think I need a real live teacher, at least from time to time to check in with, but have been unable to find one in my area. Does it really matter if the teacher is a classic violinist teacher when I am really interested in Old Time and am thinking I need to find a teacher, even if classically trained, who has a bent towards and is familiar with Old Time and what seems like a different method of teaching beyond the basics...at least to me? Hope that makes sense.

Jim

Fiddling for Older Folks - Learning to Play the Fiddle as an Adult

The Friends of the Sons of Liberty - Three Inspiring Young Men playing Early American Fiddle Music 

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cid
February 11, 2019 - 8:06 am
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I was told you don’t need classical. I am a mix, as far as what I want to do. My instructor plays classical, but asked what I wanted to play.

I am trying to find someone to help with knitting machine. Not many people do it. Online checking does not find anyone or any group in my area. I don’t know if you have or had Pennysavers in your area, but we don’t anymore and it is sorely missed. Eveything is online and it simply does not work for specific small areas when those people do not advertise online.

My solution to my knitting machine predicament is to advertise is the classified of the local newspaper. I am going to put an ad in the classifieds around May, asking if there is a machine knitter willing to provide machine knittinf classes for me anf for how much.

If I ever have to get a new violin instructor, I will advertise that way, also. Rather than to find one by searching violin teachers in my area online (always gives me links to over the internet instructors), rather than ask the two music stores (not orchestral - rock band type instruments), I will post an ad asking for any to contact me. 

Sure, I might not get a classically trained, an experienced teacher (not impressed with any of those I have had), etc. I might end out with a college student looking for extra money, and as far as I am concerned, if you have learned the violin since a young age and still play it when in college, you probably know quite a bit and it is worth a shot to check that avenue for an instructor.

So, why not place an ad in your local paper(s) and see if anyone who plays violin is willing to work with you? You might find a fiddle player who really wants to pass what (s)he knows along. Many are self taught and don’t have that classical conservatory training. I think the movements (body movements) of classical is a little stiff and mechanical for the freedom based fiddle style. This is from watching the two. Inprefer watching a fiddle player and their joy and freedom. violin-1267

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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damfino
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MoonShadows said

Does it really matter if the teacher is a classic violinist teacher when I am really interested in Old Time and am thinking I need to find a teacher, even if classically trained, who has a bent towards and is familiar with Old Time and what seems like a different method of teaching beyond the basics...at least to me? Hope that makes sense.  

My fiddle teacher was a classically trained violist who switched to fiddle at some point in her music career, and she teaches all styles. She asked me what I was interested in learning, and we worked from there, but she did introduce a lot of things into the lessons that maybe someone who wasn't classically trained wouldn't have. She had me doing etudes and difficult scale and bow exercises, but all with fiddling in mind. She'd pick an etude based off what I needed to strengthen (a bowing trick, or getting my pinky some exercise) or just because the pattern in it was a common fiddling one. I think this was all a big help in my playing. 

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GregW
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In case you haven't thought of this..Also search for old time sessions, irish sessions, contra dances, bluegrass associations in your area That advertise.  Musicians that play may know of instructors or teach themselves.  I would think a classical trained violin teacher that plays and loves old time would be awesome.  Both worlds.  If you only had a classical teacher close I would use them.  The old time tunes when you get down to it are simple.  Its the instrument that's hard.  I think, from my own experience, that someone there to help you will be a real plus whatever style they specialize in on violin.  Just stick with it..what usually happens with me is I'll progress then seem or feel like I'm going backwards..then progress past where I was..plateau..then something gets easier.  Then I'll hit a wall again.  Don't get discouraged I think that where being with other players helps..

Greg

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MoonShadows
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Thanks for all those recommendations!

@cid I never thought about a local ad seeking a fiddle player who might be willing to work with me.

@damfino I sent an email last night to a local violin shop asking if they know of any violin teachers who may be willing to work within my interests

@Greg I did find a group that's in my area (The Pocono Bluegrass and Folk Society). They have events with stage events and casual jams. I am going to attend one of their events and start to get to know some other fiddlers.

Once again, thanks.

I've been practicing tempos and rhythms via Fiddlehed the past 2 days. He has a good amount of bowing practice exercises with MP3s tracks to play along with simple rhythms that start off at 60 BPM and progress to 120 BPM at intervals. 

I tried to find a "progressive" metronome that would change BPM at intervals so I could practice other rhythms, but was unsuccessful, so I emailed Jason, that's Fiddlehed, and asked him if he knew where I could find one, either a physical one or a software download. He wrote back within a couple of hours and attached a customized MP3 for me he created with just beats that I can practice my own rhythms to. How cool was that?

Jim

Fiddling for Older Folks - Learning to Play the Fiddle as an Adult

The Friends of the Sons of Liberty - Three Inspiring Young Men playing Early American Fiddle Music 

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