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Celeste Archive

Five Exercises to Make Your Fourth Finger Behave

Five Exercises to Make Your Fourth Finger Behave

A strong fourth finger is essential for good fiddling, but often that strength is difficult to develop. Especially if you don’t often use your fourth finger or you’re new to using it, this finger may put up a fight when you try to get it to do your bidding. But don’t...

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Fiddle School’s Holiday Playlist

Fiddle School’s Holiday Playlist

As of the publication of this, it's December 20th, and that means that there's cheesy Christmas music pouring from every speaker you find. Even though I gripe about certain songs, I love the way good holiday music can set a warm, cheerful mood. That's why we put...

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The Rare Magic of Fiddle Contests

The Rare Magic of Fiddle Contests

By Celeste Johnson People often ask me why I like fiddle contests. They seem like an odd thing to many people. “So you’re telling me that you get up on stage to be judged on purpose?!” And when it’s put that way, I see how contests can be off-putting. But when I go to...

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Inside the World of Jam Sessions

Inside the World of Jam Sessions

What’s your favorite kind of jam session? Do you love playing in unison with other fiddlers or do you prefer to be the only one in the hot seat? Do you prefer taking improvised solos on the fly or playing crafted breakdowns? Do you like to sing or is that best left to...

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When Will I Get Good?

When Will I Get Good?

"When will I get good?" This is the question I dislike the most as a teacher, and yet all of us have asked it at one point or another. I’ve even had several students tell me that if they couldn’t “get good” soon, they would quit. And I get it: I often catch myself...

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American Fiddling’s Celtic Roots

American Fiddling’s Celtic Roots

In honor of St Paddy’s Day, we want to give a nod to the Irish origins of the music we love so much. Texas-style fiddle has origins around the world and owes its heritage to immigrants and enslaved people who each contributed their own rich history to the nascent...

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Returning to Your Instrument as an Adult: Facing the Fears

Returning to Your Instrument as an Adult: Facing the Fears

“What if I’m worse than when I was a kid?”“People will judge me!”“What’s the point of starting again if I can’t get good?” If you played an instrument in school as a child and then life got in the way of things, you may be coming back to music after years away. If you...

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Why I Don’t Make New Year’s Resolutions

Why I Don’t Make New Year’s Resolutions

I think new year’s resolutions are kind of crap. I’m all for self-improvement and goal-setting, but tons of research has shown us that setting resolutions is a terrible way to do both of those things. 80% of people give up on their New Year’s resolutions by the second...

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