So many people tell me that they have long dreamed of playing fiddle.
- “My grandpa left his fiddle to me and it’s been sitting in my closet for years. I wish I knew how to play it.”
- “I always wanted to play violin as a kid, but I ended up in marching band instead.”
- “My kids play and I’d love to be able to join in with them.”
Often, as soon as someone tells me they’re interested in playing, they add something like, “Oh well. It’s too late and I’m not musically inclined anyway, so it’ll never happen.”
Let me tell you: it’s not too late and you don’t have to be “musically inclined” to learn how to play an instrument.
To show you how simple it is to begin fiddling, here’s list of everything you’ll do in your first month on the instrument. This is all it takes to start fiddling (and yes, starting is the hardest part):
1. Get an instrument (if you don’t already have one)
It’s easy to get a solid beginner instrument if you don’t have one yet. Click here to see our fiddle options. Once you choose one, we’ll ship it right to your door.
If you do have a fiddle but it’s been sitting under the bed for years and needs some TLC, take it to your local music store or violin luthier (both of these are just a quick Google search away) and ask for a tune-up.
2. Hold the bow.
To learn your bow hold, you’ll learn where to place each of your fingers and how to angle your right hand and wrist. We’ve got plenty of simple, step-by-step video guidance on Fiddle School to help you develop a correct (and comfortable) bow hold.
You can get a basic bow hold going in a few minutes or less when you start fiddling.
3. Hold the fiddle.
When you learn how to hold the fiddle, you’ll learn some basics about posture and how to position your head and your left hand. Again, we’ve got plenty of videos to help you learn how to balance your fiddle. You’ll also learn rest position in this step, which is how you’ll hold your fiddle when you’re not playing.
You can learn how to hold your instrument in playing position in under ten minutes.
4. Draw your first bow strokes.
Once you learn how to hold your fiddle and your bow, you can play your first notes—how exciting! By placing the bow on the string and opening and closing your right arm from the elbow joint, you’ll draw your first bow strokes. This lays the foundation for everything you’ll do on the fiddle going forward. You’ll find tons of videos on bowing in Fiddle School, starting with beginner concepts and moving all the way up to advanced bowing techniques.
You can draw your first bow strokes in the short time it takes you to get your fiddle into playing position and set up your bow hold—a couple minutes at most.
5. Place your fingers on the strings.
Once you know how to bow, you’ll add your left fingers to the mix to create different notes. When you begin fingering, you’ll have tape on your fingerboard to show you where to place your fingers (no guesswork!) As you continue to play, you’ll develop more and more strength in your left hand. When you know how to finger and bow, you’re well on your way to learning any song.
It takes a couple minutes to place your fingers on the strings for the first time.
In Fiddle School, you’ll find each lesson is built around sequential tunes to help you build skills and grow your repertoire as you progress. When you join Fiddle School as a beginner, you get access to tons of beginner support, including Starter Kits that walk you through the absolute basics of the instrument. If you’ve never touched the fiddle before but you’re ready to get started, this is the perfect way to jump in and learn at your own pace.
Just remember: it’s never too late. You—yes, you—can learn to fiddle if you have the desire. Click here to join Fiddle School and start fiddling now.
Psst: if you’re a beginning fiddler who wants some extra guidance and accountability to help you on your journey, click here to get the inside scoop on our Mastery 1 program.
“But do you know how old I will be by the time I learn to [play the fiddle]?”
Yes . . . the same age you will be if you don’t.”
-Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way