Scale playalong tracks: VIP area (password: violinviola)

Fri 14th Jan 2022

C major scale and arpeggio

  • Play the scale with even notes (play G major with even notes now too). Don’t forget this will affect the pairing in your slurs.
  • Work even harder on keeping your 1st and 2nd fingers close together.
  • Keep your fingers relaxed in the arpeggio.
  • Add 3 note slurs to the arpeggio.


  • Careful of the tuning on Fs and Cs.
  • Try not to have a big rest at the end of each section.

Have a go at Double Decker this week.

What’s in your Sandwich

  • Have another go at the writing exercise with notes of the arpeggio.

The New Harp

  • Watch out for even more low 2nd fingers!
  • Slurs: try not to add them where they aren’t written!
  • Watch out for rhythm, especially when you have slurred crotchets.
  • Try not to have a gap between the first and second bars.

Sun 12th Dec 2021

Mock Grade 1 Merit 120/150 πŸ₯³

Wed 8th Dec 2021

Keep practising those scales and be super careful about whether it’s slurred or separate bows! Try not to use too much bow – keep it nice and neat!


  • Make sure you start in the middle of your bow for a neat up bow – think about this in your 2 bar’s rest at the beginning.
  • Try this a little faster and try to keep going!

Ode to Joy

  • Violin up, wrist down please – this is the easiest piece, so the one you can think about this the most in!
  • The icing on the cake would be your slurs!

Drunken Sailor

  • Please look at the music!
  • Work on doing the right bowing in 13, 15 and 17.

Wed 24th Nov 2021

Practice one sight reading exercise every time you practice. Why not record yourself and play them to me next lesson?

Drunken Sailor

  • Practice the new bowing in the middle.
  • Practice your crescendo near the end.


  • Aim to make the weak bits just as string as the strong bits!

Check all your metronome marks!

Wed 17th Nov 2021


  • Practice bars 8 and 9 so they get more reliable.
  • Work on the 2nd half of this for bar 17. Keep your eyes on the music, and stand far enough back from the stand so that your bow can travel in a straight line!

Wed 10th Nov 2021


  • Practice an open string version of your G major arpeggio to help with a clear bow (GGDDAAEAADDGG)
  • Practice the top of your G major arpeggio to keep your 2nd finger curved, back next to your 1st finger.

Drunken Sailor

  • Keep looking at your music!
  • Remember your 4th fingers.
  • 1st finger on both strings at the start.

Wed 3rd Nov 2021

Scales – keep your left wrist down and watch out for 2nd finger placements, especially in E minor. Also think about trying to keep your head straight and your violin up.


  • Practice bars 8 and 9 the most in the first half.
  • Start working on the section after the 2nd time bar.

Ode to Joy

  • Keep your eyes peeled for those slurs!
  • Practice the bars before your tied Fs.

Drunken Sailor

  • Practice the whole of this piece now – you’ve learnt it all!
  • Try not to play this too fast as it will be neater slightly slower – we can always speed it up nearer the time of your mock exam!

Fri 22nd Oct 2021

Ode To Joy

  • Great work! Add the dynamics now.


  • So impressed with your work on bar 8 in today’s lesson!

Wed 13th Oct 2021

Ode to Joy

  • Check the tuning of the fingers on the D string before you start playing using the piano.
  • Keep reminding yourself about the slurs.
  • Keep remembering to keep your head straight.
  • Hold your last note for 2 whole beats.


  • Start by playing a D major scale and stop at the top, ready with the first note and an up bow.
  • Keep an eye out for slurs, and quavers without slurs.
  • Play up until and including the first time bar.

Drunken Sailor

  • Try to put your 1st finger on both strings at the start.
  • The first 2 bars use odd number fingers. The next 2 bars use even number fingers.
  • Make sure the quavers are double the length of the semiquavers.

Fri 8th Oct 2021

Practice your scales using your purple envelopes. Pick 3 to start each practice. Work on being gentler with your bow.

Ode to Joy

  • Keep working on those slurs!
  • Work on getting bar 14 right 3 times in a row each practice. Remember that it starts up bow and that you need your 1st finger on both strings.

Wed 29th Sep 2021

Li’l Liza Jane

  • Warm up with A major, thinking about keeping your head straight and your left wrist down.
  • Think lots about your tuning.
  • Listen for good sound quality (not too close to the bridge).
  • Count your beats in the longer notes.

E minor

  • Start using your 4th finger.
  • Can you get the arpeggio from memory?

Ode to Joy

  • Warm up with a D major scale and arpeggio.
  • Work on the slurs and 4th fingers.

Wed 22nd Sep 2021

Li’l Liza Jane

  • Read ahead, especially at the end of each line.
  • Try to stand up as straight as you can, without resting your elbow on your side.

Wed 15th Sep 2021

Li’l Liza Jane

  • Try to look ahead – maybe even ask someone to cover up the bar you’re playing!
  • Think about your posture – violin on your shoulder and standing back from the music so your bow has room to be straight.

Flying High

  • Practice this for a smooth straight bow.

Keep practising your scales.

Thu 22nd Jul 2021

Fiddle Time Joggers

  • Calypso Time: Well done with how you worked on this in your lesson today, you showed real patience and concentration! You can leave this piece now.
  • Rocking Horse: Look through the structure of the piece first, then count yourself in before you start. We just did up to line 3 but start looking at lines 4 and 5 too. Keep your bow flowing all the time.
  • Start looking at Patrick’s Reel.

Thu 1st Jul 2021

Start every practice with scale pick’n’mix.

Fiddle Time Scales

  • In E minor, make sure the 1st finger is high enough on the A string.
  • Somerset Folk Song: make sure you start with an up bow. If you like you can still start with crotchets on the first line, but then try it with the dotted rhythm. Watch out for the slurs and remember the 4th fingers. Try to keep your bow halfway between the bridge and the fingerboard.

Fiddle Time Joggers

  • Whenever you play an old favourite that doesn’t take up too many brain cells, try to focus on things like using a straight bow with a curved little finger.
  • Calypso Time: Try not to make up the notes from bar 19! Playing it a few times (3 times right in a row?) will help with this.
  • Knock Knock: Make sure you’re not playing a minim in bar 2! Practice the last line for confidence.

Thu 24th Jun 2021

Fiddle Time Joggers

  • Calypso Time: Make sure bar 14 is just a 2 beat note to give you time for the retake. Work with the backing track for one more week on this.
  • Knock Knock: Retake in the crotchet rests and see if you can keep your 2nd finger on the string in bars 3 and 7. Try not to hesitate for your quavers! Practice this without the track first, then with it once you’ve got more familiar with the notes. Dig your accents at the end!

Fiddle Time Scales

  • In your arpeggios, make your last note 3 beats long.
  • In your scales, remember to make the first note long. These can be a bit faster now.
  • Somerset Folk Song: Practice the first line starting up bow all crotchets. Try the last line like this too (starting with the upbeat at the end of line 3).

Thu 27th May 2021

Keep an eye this week on keeping your violin up on your shoulder properly and your left wrist down.

Fiddle Time Scales

  • You can play your scales a little quicker now.
  • See if you can play E minor arpeggio without the book!
  • Somerset Folk Song: start in the the middle of your bow with an up bow. Try to stay mainly in the lower half and learn as much of it as you can!

Fiddle Time Joggers

  • Keep playing old pieces with the backing tracks!
  • Calypso Time: Careful of rhythm in 13 and 18, and keep an eye out for rests! Start putting this with the backing track now, always remembering to look ahead so you know what’s coming.
  • Start looking at Knock, knock!

Tue 18th May 2021

Great work on your scales! Focus on getting your arpeggios just as good as your scales.

Fiddle Time Scales

  • French carol: Keep practising this to make sure it’s all the same speed with no hesitations.
  • Somerset Folk Song: start talking yourself through the notes of this one.

Fiddle Time Joggers

  • Playing with the backing tracks has really helped your overall playing! So make sure you pick one piece each pactice to “perform” (not always the same one though!).
  • Calypso Time: Play A major to warm up for this piece. Count to 4 before you start to help with your rhythm, watching out for the minims in particular.

Well done on some great work this week!

Thu 13th May 2021

Keep a special eye on your left wrist this week!

Fiddle Time Scales

  • G major 2 octaves: think about low 2 on tha A string before you even start playing.
  • Think through all your scales and arpeggios before you play them to try and get them as good as possible first time.
  • French Carol: Practice this with the repeat and see how flowing you can get it. Think about the “Andante” tempo before you start, and the C natural in bar 4. Learn the 2nd line in little chunks before putting it all together.

Fiddle Time Joggers

  • Lazy Scale: Practice the first 3 bars with the piano a few times before you play with the backing track.
  • Feel free to start looking at any other pieces too – we’re getting close to the end of the book!

Tue 4th May 2021

Excellent job on your scales! Just remember about low 2s on the A&E strings before you start playing G major.

Joggers: Try to do more work with the backing tracks in general.

Tue 27th Apr 2021


  • Practice your scales without slurs this week. Try to keep your bow straight, especially at the tip.
  • A job for Mum – make sure there isn’t a gap between Merryn’s neck and the violin. A reminder to put it on her shoulder should fix it.
  • French Carol: Think about your 2nd finger’s journey before you start – when is it high and when is it low? Work on your 4th finger tuning at the start of line 2. Try not to change the rhythm with your bow as you reach for the E. Get to know the 2nd line better.

Joggers: Try to do more work with the backing tracks in general.

  • In The Groove: Get used to playing this with the backing track.
  • Lazy Scale: Put your bow on the string ready, then count 12341. Careful to get the slur in the right place!

Tue 20th Apr 2021

Check your bow hold at the start of everything you do this week – rest the bow on the string and tap your little finger on its tip. Hold you violin up nice and high, on your shoulder and not on your front and keep your left wrist down.

Fiddle Time Scales

  • Play a different scale and arpeggio each practice: D major 1 octave, A major 1 octave, E minor 1 octave or G major 2 octaves.
  • Fast Food: Great 2nd fingers in the 1st half today! Can they be just as good in the 2nd half? Remember the retake at the end of line 2.
  • E natural minor scale and arpeggio: this sounded great today! Remember to keep your violin up nice and high.
  • French Carol: Remember when you count yourself in that the beat is quite slow. Use an open A at the end of bar 1. Practice the first line in 3-bar chunks and the 2nd line in 4-bar chunks. Watch out for the slurs! The play the first line all together and we’ll look at the second line next lesson.

Fiddle Time Joggers

  • In the Groove: After all the low fingers in your Scales pieces, make sure your tuning is nice and high in this piece. Retake your bow in every minim rest.
  • Lazy Scale: Keep pratising this, counting carefully “12341” at the beginning.

Tue 23rd Mar 2021


Fiddle Time Scales

  • G major scale – careful of the low 2 on the A string.
  • G major arpeggio – practice the top 3 notes up and down a few times to get the top feeling more secure.
  • Fast Food: work on line 2 for a quick string crossing, practice the retake at the end of line 2 and the 2nd half for low 2s and bowing.
  • E natural minor: nice and high with 3 and 4 on the A string. The high 3 will help the 4th finger’s tuning.
  • French Carol: C naturals on the A string here too. Start adding slurs.

Fiddle Time Joggers

  • In the Groove: Great work on this! Get used to playing it with the track this week.
  • General Joggers practice: play as many pieces as you can from this book with the backing tracks.
  • If you have time, start looking at Lazy Scale (p.26).

Tue 16th Mar 2021

Fiddle Time Scales

  • Don’t forget G major has 5 minims in it!
  • Try the G major arpeggio slower. The maximum it ever needs to be is crotchet=104, but why not practice it even slower for now.
  • Fast Food: Low C naturals! Try not to have a gap between bars 6 and 7. Work on lines 3 and 4 so they flow (looking at the music helped a lot!).
  • What’s in your sandwich? Watch out for the low Cs at the start of bar 3.
  • Keep practising E natural minor. Someone could play it on the piano for you first so you get used to the sound.

Fiddle Time Joggers

  • In the groove: Use a 4th finger at the start of line 2. Start putting this with a backing track or the piano part.

Look at P.15 and have a go at playing a duet with yourself.

Tue 9th Mar 2021

Fiddle Time Scales

  • Please practice these with the tracks linked above.
  • Keep think about a nice straight bow in your scales.
  • Fast Food: Spend quite a bit of time on tuning in bars 1, 5 and 6. Make sure the second half is the same speed as the first half.
  • What’s in your Sandwich? Use your scale hand shape to help you get the first note in tune. Spend some more time on the middle line.
  • Add E minor to your scale practice. Remember to watch out for the tuning on the A string, just like the 2nd line of Fast Food.

Fiddle Time Joggers

  • Start looking at In The Groove (p. 24)

Fri 5th Mar 2021

Fiddle Time Scales

  • Every scale you play: how straight can your bow be?
  • Work hard on making sure you’re slurring only 2 notes maximum in the scales.
  • FAB arpeggio practice! Keep up the good work. If you’re stumbling a little, just slow it down a bit so you can think ahead.
  • Fast Food: Think about finger spacing before you start. Low 2nd fingers, and practice the recorder stretch to help reach your 4th finger. Add the rest of the piece.
  • What’s in your sandwich? Practice this now you have your composition written in.

Tue 23rd Feb 2021


  • Keep working on a straight bow at the tip when doing long bows.
  • Watch out for 2nd finger positions in G major 2 octaves.
  • Practice your scales without slurs sometimes – why not flip a coin to decide whether to slur or not?
  • Log in to my VIP area with the password violinviola to find play-along tracks for all your scales.

Ring My Number

  • Careful not to slur this!
  • Careful not to add a G in the 3rd bar of line 4!
  • Great work on this piece Merryn πŸ™‚

Fast Food (p.9)

  • Question before you start: what’s special about 2nd fingers on the A string?
  • 4th finger in bar 6 – practice the first two bars of this line up and down a few times to strengthen your pinkie. Feel free to practice the same finger pattern on other strings too!
  • Learn the second half, and have a look at the next piece too if you get time.

Sat 13th Feb 2021

General technique – try to keep your left wrist away from the violin.


  • In G major, remember your low 2nd fingers on the A and E strings.
  • Memorise the G major arpeggio Loch Ness Monster.

Fiddle Time Scales

  • Have a go at recording yourself playing Follow me, then play along with your video as a round.
  • Keep learning Ring My Number. Remember that Da Capo means back to the beginning!
  • Start looking at the pieces on page 9.

Fiddle Time Joggers

  • Cattle Ranch Blues – Hold the minims nice and long so that bar two starts up bow. Well done with your backing track playalong!!
  • Keep practising Rocking Horse and pick another one or two pieces too.

Remind yourself of Hornpipe as we’ll start looking at this again after half term.

Tue 2nd Feb 2021


  • Practice your straight bow in these, remembering your elbow needs to come forwards from the middle to the tip.

Fiddle Time Joggers

  • Cattle Ranch Blues – Practice the last two bars for long minims and “shivering” at the tip. Start practising it with the accompaniment.
  • Rocking Horse – remind yourself of the structure before you start. Because of the slurs, you only need to change bow on the barlines.

Fiddle Time Scales

  • Practice the pieces on page 7.

Tue 26th Jan 2021

Fiddle Time Joggers

  • WOW Stamping Dance was great!!
  • Cattle Ranch Blues – practice the second line first, trying not to hesitate between the bars. Try singing it too! Then put the whole piece together, also with no hesitiations. Play the tremolo in the upper half.

Tue 19th Jan 2021

I think Merryn’s violin might need a bit of a tune!

Fiddle Time Joggers

  • Stamping Dance: With the track, so remember the repeat! Well done for all your work on this πŸ™‚
  • Summer Sun: Remember you don’t need any 3rd fingers! Hold the semibreves for 4 full beats. Make sure the first note of bar 10 isn’t too long. Start putting pairs of lines together.
  • Cattle Ranch Blues: Warm up with D major.

Tue 12th Jan 2021


  • These can go a little faster now.
  • Careful when you’re slurring that you slur the right notes!

Fiddle Time Joggers

Use two stars and a wish when you’re practising: two things you did well and one thing you’d like to do better next time through.

  • Stamping Dance – Practice this with the backing track now. Keep your eyes on the music! Be ready for line 2 by making sure you retake your bow.
  • Summer Sun – Practice this with the track too.

Tue 5th Jan 2021


  • Aim for a straight bow at the very tip in D major. Imagine you’re making it wonky the other way and this will help it be straighter.

Fiddle Time Joggers

  • Lazy Scale – we used this as a sight reading piece. Work on it again, noticing the slurs, but also pick another sight reading piece. Play the relevant scale before you try each sight reading piece.
  • Ready Steady Go Now – Try to keep your left wrist low to help with your tuning. Add the second half. Careful to play the crotchets in 10 and 14 nice and long.

Tue 15th Dec 2020

We Wish You a Merry Christmas

  • Sing each line of the carol before playing it.
  • When you’re happy with putting it all together, add the piano accompaniment!

Fiddle Time Christmas

Some more to try: 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 10, 12, 16, 18.

Sight Reading

To help improve this, work through the string sheets, especially the G and D string ones. Also try a different piece from Fiddle Time Joggers each practice.

Tue 8th Dec 2020

Deck the Halls

  • After your official warm-up, play the first bar plus 1 note 3 times in a row to make sure you won’t get in a muddle when you go over onto the D string!


  • Keep practising them all, but especially G major 2 octaves, including the arpeggio.
  • Keep the top note of the arpeggio nice and low.

Follow Me

  • Build the fingers up from the D string before you start to help with tuning.


  • Start up bow.
  • Keep 2nd fingers nice and high.
  • 4th finger on the 2nd line! It’s best to learn this as soon as you can.

Tue 1st Dec 2020

Deck the Halls

  • Warm up with a G major scale.
  • Before you play the piece, do this warm up:
  • Start practising Away in A Manger.
  • Keep playing your scales and Fiddle Time Joggers pieces!
  • Start practising Away in A Manger.
  • Keep playing your scales and Fiddle Time Joggers pieces!

Tue 24th Nov 2020


  • G major scale 2 octaves. Don’t worry about the slurs! Try to get the minims and crotchets precise and think lots about your 2nd finger being close to the 1st on the A and E strings. (This will mean there needs to be a big gap between 2 and 3 on the A string).

Deck the Halls

  • To warm up, practice C A F# A a few times, like we did in the lesson (A2, A0, D2, A0). Play with the piano to get tuning really good.
  • Another good warm up would be to play the first bar plus one note and someone can join in on the piano with octave Gs at the start of bar 2.
  • When you’re ready to play the piece, get your hand ready by playing ABCD on the A string.

Distant Bells

  • Switch the bowing switch in your head! Separate bows for bars 1 and 2, slurs for bars 3 and 4 on each line.
  • Practice singing the finger numbers of bar 4, then playing the notes to get used to missing out the F#. Can you then play bars 3 and 4 right 3 times in a row?
  • Practice with the track/piano accompaniment.

Tue 17th Nov 2020

Watch my posture video – might help with the neck issue…


  • Now you’re familiar with the notes, think about your sound quality. Are you bowing straight? And is your first note just a little too long?
  • Careful with tuning of 2nd fingers.
  • Try the rhythm game at the bottom of the G major scales page. Can you make up some rhythms and write them in the box?

Follow Me

  • Practice this and have a go playing it as a round.
  • Make sure you start bar 6 with an up bow!

Distant Bells

  • Add the slurs.
  • Add the dynamics.
  • Can you name the finger numbers in the last bar of the line? That will help you get the notes right every time. Can you see it’s a D major scale with one note missing?


Practice the piece I send you on Thursday! Think about your violin hold (low left wrist) and bow hold, as you’ll want it to be good when you’re watching yourself back on camera!

Tue 10th Nov 2020

Scales – try to play them without the book! Try to keep your right elbow at the right level for each string to avoid tickling the other strings.

Super Sprinter – it’s sounding great! One last thing to fix – 4th fingers in bar 2.

Start looking at Distant Bells in Fiddle Time Joggers. How many D major scales can you spot in this piece?

Hornpipe – add the slurs and see how much further you can get.

Tue 3rd Nov 2020

Scales – Keep up the good work on these! Remember there’s one thing to focus on in each hand, and your 2nd fingers could go higher – keep listening out for the tuning.

Super Sprinter – Don’t forget the 4th finger, and see if you can up it to 100!

You could start having a look at the pieces on p. 7 too.

Listen to the rhythm – Careful that all the note lengths are right, especially semibreves, and crotchets that happen before rests.

Stamping Dance – Higher 2nd finger in bar 5, and keep the bow on the string after the crotchets in bars 9, 10, 13 and 14.


  • Start at the tip for your up bow slur.
  • Work in little chunks of about 2 bars.
  • Once you’re happy with the notes in one chunk, see if you can spot the slurs and add them too!
  • If you find it hard to get your brother’s hornpipe out of your head, look your piece up on YouTube and sing along following your music.

Great work today, well done!! πŸŽ»πŸ‘

Tue 27th Oct 2020


  • Keep left wrist down to help with 2nd finger tuning;
  • Don’t let the bow go wonky at the tip (thinking of the hand extending in front of the body might help).

Super Sprinter

  • Same point as in scales for tuning of 2nd fingers;
  • Can you get it up to crotchet = 80 this week?

Step, Skip, Jump

  • Keep tempo on the 2nd and 4th lines – careful with the crotchet rests and rhythm of the last bar!

Revise the names of the dynamics, including the word dynamics.

Stamping Dance

  • Practice with the track to make sure you are keeping the 1st line’s tempo throughout.
  • Long crotchets in bars 9, 10, 13 and 14 (so don’t take your bow off the string!).
  • Remember to play the 4th line!

Mon 19th Oct 2020


  • A Major – WELL DONE on putting the slurs in today! Flip a coin to decide whether to play it slurred or separate bows each time you practice.
  • Your C#s could have been a little higher.
  • Think your way through your arpeggio before you play it to avoid false starts.

Super Sprinter

  • Use shorter bows to help you play faster.
  • Play at crotchet = 60 now, and if it goes well, try even faster!
  • Try not to pause before bar 2.
  • Check out this tool for helping to bow straight and see if you can make one out of a loo roll tube!

Step, Skip, Jump

  • Can you spot where the arpeggio is?
  • Careful to make the last bars of lines 2 and 4 different rhythms.

Fri 9th Oct 2020


  • Remember to use the upper half for the crotchets on the way up, and the lower half for the crotchets on the way down. I think it would be good to put that marker back on your new bow (the little piece of string).
  • Don’t worry about slurs this week – I’ll help you with that again next time you’re here.

Low D High D

  • Read last week’s notes again. Keep looking at the music and aim for a performance of this next lesson!

Super Sprinter

  • Try to keep your bow cleanly on the A string for the first 5 bars.
  • Don’t forget your 4th finger in bar 2!
  • Start to practice it with a metronome, starting at crotchet=50. If it goes well, push yourself up to 60!

Fri 2nd Oct 2020

Hooray for your bigger violin! Hold it up nice and high and remember to stride with your fingers to make them in tune.

General reminder: left wrist down. This will help with finger tuning.

Straight bow warm-up – Nice long down bows on your open strings to practice straight bowing. Stop in the middle and at the tip to do a seesaw and check it’s straight. Your hand should travel out in front of you to help this.

D Major Scale and A Major Scale

  • Practice separate bows for tuning
  • Then practice with slurs – nice long bows! And don’t panic if the tuning goes off when you’re concentrating on your bowing.

Low D High D

  • 3rd finger ready before you start!
  • Don’t forget up bows on the harmonics on the 3rd beat of the bar.
  • When playing harmonics, rest the thumb against the body of the violin.

Super Sprinter

  • Be brave! You can play this!
  • Remember to keep your bow working well even when going tricky things with your left hand.
  • 4th finger is a tone away (a gap) from your 3rd finger.

Learn Stamping Dance in Joggers.

Fri 25th Sep 2020

General reminder: left wrist down. This will help with finger tuning.

Listen to the Rhythm – Sing the song first. When playing it, careful to use a straight bow for the semibreves (bow hand out in front of you). Pick another piece in this book (using 3rd fingers).

Scales – both D and A major keys. In arpeggios, think before you start, especially about what your 2nd note is!

Fingertips – Hold last note for 4 full beats with a straight bow.

Low D High D

  • Take a moment to read pencil markings before starting;
  • Remember the 2nd half uses harmonics! Try not to take the bow off the string, so the harmonics in bars 9, 11 and 13 are on up bows.

Super Sprinter

  • Start by describing it to Mum or Dad: what note patterns are there?
  • Learn the notes – no need to worry about using the metronome yet, unless you get really good at it!

Fri 18th Sep 2020

D Major Scale – great work using the middle marker! Make sure your violin is a bit further back on your shoulder, elbow is off your side and left wrist is straight, not scrunching up against the body of the violin. Why not turn over and try the A Major scale and arpeggio too?

Fingertips – also think about your left wrist here. Again, keep up the good work!

Low D High D

  • Again, think about left wrist.
  • 3rd finger on before you start
  • Use swinging elbow to move your fingers over other strings
  • If you have trouble finding the harmonics in the 2nd half, they are exactly half way between the bridge and the nut! Hardly touch the string – it shouldn’t dip under the weight of the finger at all.

Fiddle Time Joggers

  • Work on Listen to he Rhythm in particular, and you could try singing it to help understand what’s going on in the music.
  • Also play some other pieces in the 3rd finger section for sight reading.

Here are my mandolin videos!

Friday 11th September 2020

D Major Scale – Please could you attach some string to the middle of the bow stick as described last week? This should hep Merryn stick to the upper half of the bow as the scale ascends. 2nd and 3rd fingers could be closer together.

D Major Arpeggio – Sing the note names and fingerings before playing.

Fingertips – Try to describe the patterns in the piece before you start – what is the same in each bar? And what changes, and how? Keep your eyes on the music when you’re playing!

Also try to keep the fingertips on the string as you go up the scale. If your fingers get in the way of the A string, check these things:

  • Is your violin high enough?
  • Swing your left elbow forwards;
  • Is your left wrist down? Try not to grip the violin with a tight fist;
  • Can you feel the A string under your fingers? If so, move your fingertips closer to the G string.

Start looking at Low D High D.

Travellin’ Slow

Keep looking at the music and look ahead – can you plan how to get to the next note whilst you’re waiting on a long semibreve? Always listen to whether you’re making a good sound all the way through long notes.

Hornpipe (Grade 1 book)

(Or should I say “hornpie?) πŸ˜„ We’ll start looking at this together next lesson, but why not look at the piece and talk through the things you can see and recognise? Things like the key and time signatures and whether you can spot any scales.

Merryn was quite slow and chatty today – I’d love to see her listening more next lesson and I might have to start keeping count of how many times I need to ask her to stand up! See you next week!

Friday 4th September

It was great to see Merryn in person today and she did really well! I’m assuming lessons every Friday at 4pm until half term, but let me know if anything changes.

*Try to remember to righty-tighty your bow at the start of every practice session and lefty-loosey at the end before you put it away again.

Tiptoe Boo

To help play the first bar in time, listen carefully to the first bar of the introduction and then count to 4 out loud in the second bar.

Lazy Cowboy

Listen out for any scratchy sounds and remember there are two ways to fix it – not pressing too hard with your bow, and not bowing too close to the bridge.

D Major scale

Play the minims with a whole bow and the crotchets with half a bow. You could tie a little bit of string or ribbon around the wood of the bow to use as a marker for the middle of the bow to help with this:

Remember we have F# and C# in the key signature. If you forget their names, remember Father Christmas!

Think about your right elbow lowering when you go onto the A string, then coming back up when you go back onto the D string.

D Major arpeggio

Sing it first, with note names and then with finger numbers.

Follow your D Major scale and arpeggio practice by choosing any piece from you Fiddle Time Joggers book that is in the same key (that means it shares a key signature with D Major).

31st January 2020

Merryn’s first violin lesson! πŸ˜„πŸŽ»

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