Covid Meets Online Fiddling

For years, we have been meeting online at www.fiddle-online.com to bring together learners from all over, people who have no teacher, or who like what we do, or who need to or prefer to stay home, or who want to meet and learn from great players from afar. Now the Covid virus is forcing us to stay home and do just that.  We’re responding by offering a new feature:  live concerts!

Fiddle-online.com is a great resource for those who need to be home, those who play or want to play fiddle music. Over 100 blog articles about a huge variety of topics to do with learning the fiddle, over 100 tunes to learn, over 60 technique videos, over 100 workshops with Ed Pearlman, some 20 guest fiddlers presenting concert/workshops — and all of these events have materials that are available to everyone — performance and teaching videos, audio, and fiddle-online’s unique interactive sheet music.

Of course we also feature unique live workshops, where learners can meet each other and the instructor, play with and for the instructor, and earn lots of points (you’ll have to attend one to understand about these!). There are also weekly online classes progressing from fiddle basics to intermediate level. If you would enjoy such a class, get in touch with me to learn about what’s available. If enough are interested in a beginner class, we’ll start one!

Now we offer a new resource — live concerts. In response to the Covid19 virus, and the cancelling of all gigs and income for so many musicians, we’re trying a series of concerts featuring many of our guest instructors. They’re free, and yet they allow those who can to donate to the musicians who are so hurting for income in these strange times of a pandemic. As I write this, the Covid Concerts begin tomorrow, with a daily fiddle concert online and free to all, from March 23 to April 4, 2020.

I hope you’ll listen to some or all of these concerts, and let them lift your spirits! If you can, please support the musicians who are donating their time to play for us.

If you would like to hear about future live concerts on fiddle-online, join our special concert email list, and feel free to pass the word to friends who might not be learners but enjoy hearing the music!  Just use or pass along this URL — http://eepurl.com/bifEmD — to subscribe to this special list, which will be used only for concert announcements.

We’re here 24/7 with lots of resources for you to enjoy, as well as fun live workshops where you can meet and get to know other learners from near and far.

Stay safe, stay healthy, and keep up your music!

©2020 Ed Pearlman

Tricks & Tips: Personal Home Page

When you log in to fiddle-online.com, you are taken directly to your own personal home page. You’ll see your name listed, your current number of credits, and a number of other features:

    • Green box — shows links to the materials you are currently signed up for and their expiration dates.
    • Pink box — shows expired links — clicking on any of these will renew those materials at a 1/3 discount.
    • Chatbox* — chat with everyone or anyone and view messages from others. More details below!*
    • Pitchpipe — use it to tune your fiddle! Just click on the letter of the string to hear an endless loop of a fiddle playing that string until you click “stop”.
    • Supporter link — click this to donate $ or credits to help support the site, and receive occasional emails (2-3 per year) about what’s going on behind the scenes with an invitationto provide any feedback you may have.

Links in the Top area:

Continue reading Tricks & Tips: Personal Home Page

Live Workshops — what to expect!

Fiddle-online.com has pioneered a mix of live online workshops with interactive sheet music — if you haven’t tried a live event, here’s what to expect.

We use Zoom to connect; you can learn more about it at this link. It’s high quality and easy to use. Once you sign up for an event, you’ll have access to a link, as well as learning materials. At class time, you’ll simply click to join the group.

Types of Live Events

There are several kinds of live events on fiddle-online.com — the monthly Sunday guest concert/workshop featuring top players from around the world, the Thursday tunelearning workshops with Ed Pearlman, which are centered around a monthly topic (see the past workshops page for a list of monthly topics), and the Wednesday classes which are 8-week sessions aimed at particular levels (starting with beginners in Sept and progressing to Intermediate level 2 in the spring).  When a new session is available for signup, there is an info button on the Current Workshops page.

Live Event vs Materials-Only

Learning materials for workshops are available 24/7 online, starting from the moment you sign up and lasting until at least 30 days after the live event. After a live workshop is over, a teaching video is posted for review, and for those who missed the live event. A performance video is also available from the concert/workshop. In addition to these videos, of course, you have access to

Continue reading Live Workshops — what to expect!

Please let me know what you think!

Now that there are about 100 articles available to you here, I’d love to hear from you about the fiddle-online blog.  I tried that “surveymonkey” thing, which theoretically is great because it’s easy for people to submit answers to me — but nobody (not one person!) actually tried it!  (If you want to try it, here’s the link.)

So just email me!  Please take a moment to let me know your thoughts.

–How often do you read these articles?

–What topics have you found most helpful or thought-provoking?

–Have you used the Search box or the Archives to find past articles?  Or the recent links in the column at the left?

–Any suggestions for topics you’d like to read about or other ideas about the blog?

Many thanks!

–Ed

Guest Treasures

Without much fanfare, fiddle-online makes available performances and teaching 24/7 of some of the top contemporary fiddlers. As with everything at the site, it’s available a-la-carte and at a very low cost (80% of which goes to the guest artist, so an excellent cause!). See below for info about cost and logging in, etc.*

Below are some descriptions and links to more info about guest workshops by great players with varying styles of expertise: Scottish, Cape Breton, Irish, Quebecois, Old-timey, gypsy jazz and klezmer.

For the list and links, click Continue! —

Continue reading Guest Treasures

Links to Learning Tunes – part 2

Last time we talked about finding the support materials you’re looking for to learn different styles of tunes on fiddle-online.com with a bunch of links to the Scottish tunes you can find here.

This time we’ll provide easy links to find lots of other styles of tunes.  When you look at the Past Workshops, you can also check out tunes based on the types and purpose of tunes, such as tunes to help you learn by ear, tunes to help learn ornamentation, a set of tunes teaching higher finger positions, and a group of tunes focused on syncopation.

Below are links for audio and info about learning Irish, Old-timey & other American trad tunes, jazz fiddle, Scandie, Quebecois, Cape Breton, and klezmer tunes!

Don’t forget that the guest workshops include a concert video as well.

Looking for Irish tunes?  Check out the following: Continue reading Links to Learning Tunes – part 2

Finding your style among over 150 choice tunes!

The support materials from our live workshops are extensive — performance and teaching videos, interactive sheet music with self-repeating audio for each phrase, a listening track, a playalong track, and often, additional information, audio and links. All of this is always available, whether you were there for the workshop or not.

As of the end of 2019 there are 36 past monthly workshop topics, each presenting 3-6 tunes and techniques for learning and playing them. There are also 28 past guest workshops presented by 18 different instructors.

We’ve covered many different kinds of tunes — slow airs, marches, strathspeys, reels, jigs, waltzes, mazurkas, jazz standards, klezmer ballads, hornpipes, polskas, and polkas.

Fiddling is fascinating because it is local music from around the world, and our workshops have addressed a variety of styles, often presented by guest experts — including Scottish, Irish, old-timey, Cape Breton, Shetland, Québécois, jazz, klezmer, contradance, Swedish, Danish, plus original contemporary tunes taught by the composers.

Below are some links to help you get more info and audio samples about these offerings.  Continue reading Finding your style among over 150 choice tunes!

Holiday Gifts & Tune for You

Holiday gifts are available from fiddle-online (see below), but the best gift might be to play a fiddle tune for family and friends!

One place with a strong fiddle holiday tradition is Shetland, a fiddle stronghold halfway between Scotland and Norway. According to an observer writing about it in 1809, “long before daylight, the fiddlers present themselves at the doors of the houses, playing a tune called the Day-Dawn, the interesting association of which thrills every soul with delight … This tune has long been consecrated to Yule day, and is never played on any other occasion.” (Sir Arthur Edmonstone, View of the Ancient and Present State of the Zetland Isles)  The tune he refers to is still played today, and is still called “Da Day Dawn.” We’ll have to learn it some time in a fiddle-online workshop! Here is a recording of it I made for this blog:

“Da Day Dawn” traditional Shetland holiday tune, played by Ed Pearlman

If you’d like to give the gift of learning and playing more fiddle, here are some options for you!

  1. Without even visiting the fiddle-online site, you can get a fiddle-online gift certificate at the Paddledoo Online Store which will give your recipient 10, 20, or 30 credits when they register or update their profile on fiddle-online using a registration code you’ll  receive. (The Paddledoo Online Store contains many other surprises too!)
  2. If you have or wish to purchase credits on fiddle-online, you can use the Credits Store to purchase gifts from 5 to 30 credits, including CDs, January live workshops, materials from past workshops with Ed or with any of our world-class guest fiddlers, or a Finger Finder slide rule for finding fingering in any key, or a T-shirt that says “I played it better at home”! You can even order a private lesson for 15, 30, or 60 minutes to be scheduled at the convenience of your recipient.

Have a wonderful Christmas, New Year’s, winter break, or whichever holidays you plan to enjoy! I hope it includes lots of music!

—Ed

©2018 Ed Pearlman

Hidden Tips

Here are some tips for you about Fido (fiddle-online), including some “hidden” bits as well as a few basics worth keeping in mind.

Privacy

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 Continue reading Hidden Tips

60 Interactive Tunes in the Tune Groups

When you click on “Sheet Music” on the home page, you are taken to the world of the Tune Groups. Each of these gives you interactive sheet music and audio for a dozen tunes for 3 months. If you learn all 12 tunes, that’s a tune a week!

I’ll describe below how these work, but keep in mind that this interactive sheet music format can be found in all of the Workshop materials as well! A sample of this kind of sheet music is linked prominently in pink on the Tune Groups information page.

What tunes will you find in these tune groups? Tune Group 1 offers a nice mix of Celtic, American, and Canadian tunes, and also is good for beginners because it’s the only group that offers both the sheet music and music by numbers. Tune Group 2 continues with a nice variety of tunes — Scottish, Irish, American, and Quebecois. Tune Group 3 is all about Scottish tunes, and Tune Group 5 contains popular Irish tunes. Tune Group 4, Shetland tunes, is currently only available on my old site and works great but only if you can use flash media; it will eventually be added to fiddle-online so it can be used by all devices.

Here’s how it works. With each Tune Group, you get access to that tune group’s home page, with links to each of the 12 tunes in that group. When you visit one of the tunes,

Continue reading 60 Interactive Tunes in the Tune Groups