Lilting Fiddle

Learning to Play Fiddle as an Adult

May 2020 Fiddle Progress Report

Posted on May 22, 2020

So May sped right by me and I completely missed the date on which I usually write a progress report.

I’d feel a little bad about this except for the fact that I know I missed the date due to being much more focused on doing daily practice. Plus, last week was the first week I added uke practice to the mix, and I’ve been diving into that world a bit — not to the point that I’m doing any less on fiddle, though!

Since April, I’ve once again changed things up in terms of what I’m doing with my practice. I continue to be consistent and haven’t missed a day of practice since the start of February! But I’m always refining and thinking about my next practice plan in terms of what I want to achieve.

This past month has really been about stopping and focusing. I haven’t moved forward with any new songs. Instead, I’ve gone back to the very beginning and started to refine the songs I’ve practiced since last year. The goal is to start with the easier ones and spend time, even slow practice, until I’m happy with how they sound.

I’ve been doing this with the AFM tunes to start with. So far, I’ve cleaned up Boil em Cabbage and Shortnin’ Bread in D and A. Each week, I’ve also reviewed one of the OAIM songs I’ve learned, and have done the best I could to play that song well, too.

Another thing I’ve done is gone back to working through the EEI book. This was actually more challenging than I expected it to be, because, again I’m working towards playing the songs well before I move on. Some of these tunes I haven’t played in a year (so weird to say that!), and it’s been a while since I’ve been forced to play with my 4th finger.

I eventually want to get back to the point I was at before I put the EEI book down last year, and then continue to work through it. I’d like to eventually finish it — because that would be one book I’ve actually completed out of the many I own! However, the rate I’m working through this, I don’t really see this happening anytime soon. I’d be lucky to get it under my belt by the end of this year if I continue with consistent practice.

I STILL need to go back and start converting tunes with ScanScore! That was something I noted in my last progress report, and I’m still dragging my heels. I don’t really have an excuse, especially since I’m going back and revisiting old tunes. I just need to get in there and do it.

I also haven’t picked up any new scales or technical things… aside from starting vibrato exercises. I think this has been an interesting little addition to practice — nothing too overwhelming. Just a daily hand and finger exercise to work up towards the motion of vibrato over time.

I did buy a couple of Udemy courses last week — one that seems to focus on a lot of technical playing topics — that I want to look into. I might start using that for things like scales and music theory.

Overall, things are going well, and there’s still lots to work on!

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