Paul Pruett – Saltillo, Tennessee

Paul Pruett – Saltillo, Tennessee

I currently reside in the rural west Tennessee community that I grew up in. We raised cotton, hogs, and a large garden. We were poor people like most in the community. We had music and making music to fill the hours that chores and the cotton patch didn’t require....

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Camille Arnold-Mages – 16 Years Old – Boston, MA

Camille Arnold-Mages – 16 Years Old – Boston, MA

I started playing the violin with the Suzuki method when I was 6 years old. When I was 10, I had joined a local youth orchestra, but I was always interested in more kinds of music than classical. At a summer camp I learned about fiddling.  At about that age, I...

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How to let go of left hand tension

How to let go of left hand tension

Practicing fiddle is like stretching your muscles: it lets you notice areas that need attention and give them extra care until you notice improvement. For many people, the area that needs a lot of special attention is their left hand, where tension commonly builds up....

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Six Ways to Energize Your Playing from Home

Six Ways to Energize Your Playing from Home

by Celeste Johnson   Let me guess: you’re reading this from home.  Hopefully, you’re also wearing your favorite pair of slippers and sipping a good cup of something. But even if you’re happy to hibernate at home for a while, some of the changes in our routines...

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Chance Happenings: How Fiddle Found Me

Chance Happenings: How Fiddle Found Me

You know the little forks in the road that completely change the course your life? Crossroad moments that, if they hadn’t happened the way they did, would have left you a completely unrecognizable person? Maybe it’s the story of how you found the love of your life at...

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Origins of the Melody

Origins of the Melody

Over the next three weeks, I'm going to explore the fascinating topic of fiddle tune variations, of course in the context of Texas-style fiddling. The three topics I'll cover are: Origins of the Melody, How to Learn Variations, and How to Build Variations. So, keep...

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How to use a practice journal

How to use a practice journal

It’s a challenge to practice regularly, and if you do, you might still feel like you’re not getting the most out of your practice. Students often go home from their lesson with a long list of things to work on and as soon as they sit down to play, they either can’t...

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To rosin or not to rosin?

To rosin or not to rosin?

I love rosin, and lots of it, so you’ll have to excuse me if I get a little sappy here. But folks often have lots of questions about this topic: When should you rosin? How much is too much? What’s the point of rosin, anyway? Never fear! I’m here to answer all your...

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4 things to know when you’re thinking of hosting a jam

Jam sessions are one of the best perks of being a fiddler. Whether you’re a seasoned jam veteran or you’ve never experienced a jam, there’s always something to be gained from a jam session, even if you don’t play in it yourself. How do you find a jam session to...

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How can I play better at my lessons?

"I swear I could play this at home when I was practicing by myself! I don't know why I can't do it in my lesson." Sound familiar? It's common to practice hard all week, play well at home, and then fall apart at lessons. But you can avoid this pitfall! Read through...

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