We’re so excited to release our newest lesson on August 24th. This is one of the most jam-packed, content-rich lessons we’ve ever released in Fiddle School. It’s a goldmine of information to improve your musicianship and technical ability. Here are some FAQs and our answers about Lesson 23.

What is Lesson 23 about? 

Lesson 23 is totally focused on interval and ear training. It builds on your innate knowledge of music to help you better learn by ear, play in tune, and become more confident on the fingerboard.

What does it contain? What tunes are taught? 

Lesson 23 contains eight core concept videos, two fiddle tunes taught by ear, and play-along tracks, listening examples, and sheet music for each tune. The tunes in Lesson 23 are some of my favorites yet: Rye Straw and Kentucky Waltz. Among the concept videos in this lesson, you’ll find:

  • 5 ways to improve your intonation
  • Interval training
  • Dissonant and consonant intervals
  • How to play in tune
  • How to use scales to practice intonation
  • Practice Pal #17, a guided warm-up customized to this lesson’s skills

What skills will I gain in lesson 23?

At its heart, Lesson 23 is designed to help you play more in tune. But the benefits also include:

  • more ease when learning by ear
  • more fingerboard awareness (knowing where to find the notes you want)
  • a better understanding of musical structure and music theory
  • better tone (when intonation improves, so does tone)

 What is interval and ear training? How can it help me?

An interval is the space between two notes. Interval training teaches your ear to recognize those spaces when it hears two notes. It’s music theory with an immediate, practical application you can hear. You can use interval training to:

  • check your intonation by adjusting the interval of the note you’re playing. No more search and destroy; understand the note you want to produce and find it easily on the fingerboard
  • transcribe pieces of music you hear by learning them on your own instrument
  • write songs by turning the melodies and chords you hear in your head into something you can play on your instrument

I’ve tried everything to play in tune. What makes this different?

In our newest lesson, Katie talks directly about this issue. If you’ve done the exercises and put in the practice time but you still struggle to play in tune, we see you and it’s normal. The difficulty can come from inconsistency, musical myopia (zooming in too close to what you’re working on), or difficulty telling when you’re truly playing in tune and when you’re just close. This lesson addresses all three of those issues. 

If you struggle with inconsistent intonation, you’ll learn how to make it more predictable in “Five Ways to Improve Your Intonation” and “How to Play in Tune.”

If you’re a person who hyperfocuses on one issue until tension and tunnel vision get the best of you, you’ll learn a lot from “How to Play in Tune” and “Practice Pal #17,” where Katie helps you get a broader, more musical perspective on intonation.

If you have trouble hearing when a note is in tune or not, “Five Ways to Play in Tune,” “Interval Training,” and “Consonant and Dissonant Intervals” will be eye-openers for you. Remember, the ability to hear whether a note is in tune or not isn’t something you just have to be born with. It can be learned, and that’s what these videos help you to do.

What is the format of the lesson? Do I work on it by myself?

When it releases on August 24th, Lesson 23 will be available for you to work on 24/7/365. It’s asynchronous, so you can use any of the materials any time. You won’t get graded or tested for the lesson and there are no time limits to how long you can use it. Just watch the videos, do the exercises in them, rinse and repeat. 

While you watch and rewatch the concept videos, you’ll also work on learning the tunes in the lesson (one  at a time). Similar to the concepts in the lesson, the tunes are taught in bite-sized videos you can learn at your own pace. Katie breaks down the bowing, fingering, timing, harmony, and more in each tune so that you leave with all your questions answered. And of course, if you do have more questions, you can always visit our active, worldwide community forum for Fiddle School students and teachers or get a private lesson for additional support.

This lesson is so valuable for players at all levels. In it, you’ll find a step-by-step road map that will make you sound like a different person by the end of a month. We can’t wait to welcome you into Lesson 23 and see what it does for you!