“I love Porty fiddlers because it really is fun,- and has the nicest people ever in the group – and I love the diversity of all the different types of music that we try, and no pressure to be perfect at it, just real relaxing enjoyable evening” Fun Fiddle participant 2017.
Fun Fiddle Spring 2018
NEW Absolute Beginners Fiddle 8.00 – 9.15pm with Ros Gasson Thursday 18th January – March 29th 2018. This class will run for a block of ten weeks at The Wash House, Adelphi Grove, Portobello EH15. BOOK HERE
It’s never too late to learn to play the fiddle. Discover for yourself the joys of this strange wooden box, with holes in it! This class will run for two terms up to June 2018 and is aimed at those who have never played the fiddle, or who would like a refresh from the very beginning. No need to be able to read music. NB you will need your own instrument, but get in touch if you have any questions, and there MAY be the option of borrowing an instrument for first few weeks. You will learn:
- How to hold the instrument
- Basic bowing technique and bow hold.
- How to get a good sound
- Play simple open strings rhythms and placing of fingers
- To play by ear
- Basic music theory
- Some simple tunes
Improvers Fiddle 6.45 – 8.00pm with Ros Gasson Thursday 18th January – March 29th 2018. This class will run for a block of ten weeks at The Wash House, Adelphi Grove, Portobello EH15. BOOK HERE
Improvers Fiddle is aimed at those who have played for a few months to a year or two. Not suitable for complete beginners. No need to be able to read music. This term we will work on some accessible tunes from the new Fun Fiddle tune book (watch this space!) and some easy harmonies for playing with others. You will learn more about:
- Instrument hold
- Bowing technique and bow hold
- How to get a good sound
- Basic music theory
- Some simple tunes and easy harmonies
- Playing well together
Intermediate Fiddle 6.45 – 8.00pm with Gica Loening. Thursday 18th January – March 29th 2018. This class will run for a block of ten weeks at The Wash House, Adelphi Grove, Portobello EH15. BOOK HERE
The focus for this term will be on building technique and extending our repertoire of tunes for playing together, with music from the new Fun Fiddle Book (watch this space). There will be a chance to look at any issues that may have cropped up in your playing that you would like to work on. If you have been playing for 18 months or more, or want to refresh at a slower pace, this class is for you. We will take a look at:
- Learning new tunes from Fun Fiddle book
- Scales and arpeggios
- Improving fiddle and bow hold and posture
- Building on learning and playing by ear
- Improving tone
- Bowing techniques and phrasing
- How to build up more speed
Advanced Fiddle 8.00 – 9.15pm with Rona Wilkie. Thursday 18th January – March 29th 2018. This class will run for a block of ten weeks at The Wash House, Adelphi Grove, Portobello EH15. BOOK HERE
Find your fingers in less common keys! Do you have an ample stock of tunes in A, D, and G? Time to step into new terrain and familiarise your fingers and brain with less common keys – F, Bb, C, E, and minor keys too! This class is aimed at those who are fluent in learning by ear, playing up to speed, confident in their playing and keen to be challenged. We will explore:
- Scales,arpeggios, and tunes in less common key signatures
- Bowing techniques
- Dynamics and phrasing
- Ornamentation and style
- Further development of technique and posture
What level should I choose?
Here’s a general guide to the levels of classes that will be on offer from January 2018: Beginner, Improver/Intermediate, and Advanced.
All classes are self selecting – YOU decide which one is appropriate for you and it’s possible to swap class if you find you’re not in the right level.
Absolute beginners – New class starting January 2018
For people who have never played fiddle or violin before (Same instrument!), or who would like to start from the beginning again. You will learn basic technique and placing of fingers, bow hold and start learning some simple tunes by ear. Let us know if you don’t have a fiddle and we may be able to lend you one.
For those who have completed last year’s absolute beginners or have been playing for 6 months or more. This level will work on playing easy tunes and scales, looking at bowing technique, trying out easy rhythms, and harmonies, and building confidence in playing together as a group.
For people who have been playing for around two to three years. This level builds up a repertoire of tunes at an easy pace and looks at how to put sets of tunes together. It includes bowing and technique exercises and progress to slightly more complex rhythms and tunes. This class is ideal if you want to build your confidence in playing and consolidate the stage you have got to.
For those who have been playing for a few years and are fluent in learning by ear and playing up to speed. The class will learn more technically demanding tunes, more about ornamentation and bowing patterns and play sets of tunes up to speed.
One to one tuition is sometimes available so do get in touch to find out more.
Do I need to be able to read music?
No! We encourage learning by ear, but sheet music is available on our repertoire page on the website. We also have written music in our Fun Fiddle book which has an accompanying CD – this is available for £5 and includes a lot of the tunes we learn in the classes. (Sorry – out of print but new one coming late in 2017) But there’s NO need to be able to read music for our classes, if you are not a reader!
Learning by ear can seem daunting to some and easy to others. The important thing to know is that it gets easier the more you try it. In Fun Fiddle classes we will teach a tune very slowly in sections, with as much repetition as required. Once a tune has been learnt and played over, in the more advanced classes we will look at bowing and ornamentation. Classes will also include warm-ups, focus on technique, and simple exercises.