Here are some tips for you about Fido (fiddle-online), including some “hidden” bits as well as a few basics worth keeping in mind.
As far as your internet privacy goes, there is only one person (myself, Ed Pearlman) who designs, publishes and runs this site, so if you send a message or fill out a form, it doesn’t go anywhere else; there are no employees or third-party companies involved. When you send info about your interests, for example, not much happens with the information — for new people I try to look at their interests and recommend places on the site that can help them.
There is also privacy in the live workshops — when you learn specific things from the teacher, mikes are muted so that you hear the teacher to play along with, but nobody else hears you unless you choose to play a phrase or two for the class in order to get some comments. This allows people of all levels to take class because nobody can compare folk to each other; everyone is focused on improving their own playing.
Two Different Home Pages – Site and Personal
The site home page shows 4 choices – Workshops, Articles, Technique, and Sheet Music. Click on Workshops to view info about upcoming live workshops as well as info about materials available to you from past workshops. Articles takes you to this blog. Techniques takes you to info about 5 video groups of 10 videos each, a treasury of learning options to be used at your own pace for improving ergonomics, bowing, fingering, note patterns, ornamentation. Sheet Music gives you a listing of Tune Groups with 12 tune in each, for you to learn from (many tunes are also available from past workshop materials).
The site home page also has a green button for joining, sort of a registration form. Anonymous lurkers and freeloaders are not appreciated here, it’s more of a small international community of learners. The red button is for logging on, once you’ve joined. This takes you to your own personal home page, which gives you direct links to any resources you are currently subscribed to, shows their expiration date, tells you how many credits you have, offers an online pitchpipe for tuning, and explains the menu items at the top of each page. There’s also a link there to the supporters page, where those who wish to contribute funds or credits to the site are able to do so, and have access to occasional reports on what goes on behind the scenes.
Another item on the site home page is the tune index, which lists most of the tunes available on the site. At some point, this list will be linked to the locations of each tune on the site.
Use the Quick Guide to answer questions such as pricing — learn about credits, how to purchase them for your account and spend them to make use of resources on the site. Note that Fido is all a-la-carte; if you get a subscription it simply automatically adds credits to your account each month for you to use as you see fit.
Your personal home page is, as noted above, where you are taken when you log in, or when you click on the green My Home Page button available from most of the site’s pages.
One resource not linked on the site home page is a set of individual tune videos. Once you’ve logged in, hover over Tunes/Technique in the top menu of any page (other than the site home page), and you’ll see on the dropdown menu the option for “Tune Videos.” This is a list of over 30 individual tunes with audio samples for each so you can choose which ones you want to learn. By clicking on the title of one of the tunes, you’ll have access for two weeks to learn the tune, for only 2 credits. Each tune page has two videos, one for learning the basic tune, and other with advanced musical and technical ideas to aim for. At some point these individual videos may be incorporated into another part of the site, but make use of them while they’re available!
Credits are fiddle-online currency; read about them in the Quick Guide on the site home page. Since the site is a-la-carte, the credits make it easy to make use of whatever resources you want, and there are times when you get them free, as when you subscribe and get monthly bonuses. Note that the Credits page (link in top menu of most pages), has lots of information — take some time to get familiar with it!
Fido tries to stay fairly consistent but improvements continue to take place — always happy to hear your suggestions or questions — on the site home page click “Contact Ed” at the bottom of the Quick Guide; on any other page just click “Info/Contact” at the upper right.
Enjoy and keep in touch!
©2018 Ed Pearlman