“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.
We offer classes at four levels ranging from absolute beginner (starts January 2019), to advanced.
Before opting for a class, please scroll down below and read more on ‘How to Choose your Level’. If you decide to change classes within the first two weeks that is fine with us!
Absolute Beginners Fiddle 6.45 – 8.00pm with Marit Falt. Ten week block starting Thursday 17th January to 28th March. 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 world reknowned wooden box, with holes in it! This class will run for two terms up to June 2019 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. 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 8.00pm – 9.15pm with Ros Gasson.Ten week block starting Thursday 17th January to 28th March. The Wash House, Adelphi Grove, Portobello EH15. BOOK HERE
This class is a continuation of last term’s ‘Beginners’ and is aimed at those who have completed the absolute beginners level class or equivalent. No need to be able to read music. This term will build on technique through playing simple tunes from the Fun Fiddle tune book (available for £10) and some easy harmonies for joining in 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
- Making effective us of your practice time
Intermediate Fiddle 6.45 – 8.00pm with Gica Loening. Ten week block starting Thursday 17th January to 28th March. The Wash House, Adelphi Grove, Portobello EH15. BOOK HERE
This term will focus on consolidate technique, learning tunes from the Fun Fiddle Book, and taking a look at tunes in les common keys. There will be a chance to look at any issues cropping in your playing that you would like to work on. If you have been playing for at least two years or more, are familiar with learning by ear, or want to take stock and consolidate your playing this is the class for you. We will take a look at:
- New tunes from Fun Fiddle book
- Tunes in less common keys
- 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 Jenny Gardner. Ten week block starting Thursday 17th January to 28th March. The Wash House, Adelphi Grove, Portobello EH15. BOOK HERE
A ten week creative journey exploring new compositions, tunes in less common key signatures, and an introduction to improvisation and harmonies. 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:
- Less common key signatures – scales and tunes
- Beginning to play in different positions
- Arrangements and harmonies
- Ornamentation and style
- Variations and improvisation
What level should I choose?
Here’s a general guide to the levels of classes that will be on offer from summer 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 – 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.
Beginner. (NOT ON OFFER SPRING 2019). This group is aimed at those who have played a little – not more than 6 months to a year, or inconsistently for a couple of years. You are at the stage of being able to place 3 fingers on all strings and a rough idea of what the notes are (no need to read music). You are able to play a simple scale and an easy tune slowly. The pace will be extremely slow with lots of repetition.
For those who have completed last year’s absolute beginners or have been playing for around a year. 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. This level will include use of fourth finger. The pace will be very slow and lots of repetition.
For people who have been playing for around two to three years. This level builds up a repertoire of tunes at a slightly faster 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. WE will start on 3rd postion and more extensive use of fourth finger. This class is ideal if you want to build your confidence in up to speed playing and consolidate sets of tunes. Repetition will always be involved too!
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. Tunes will be presented in less common keys – Bb, F, C, E, and the class will include tunes in 3rd position.
If you are unsure whcih class to choose, please get in touch with a tutor at Fun Fiddle firstname.lastname@example.org. It may also be possible to try a couple of different classes before you decide the best one for you.
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 is availabe for sale at our classes for £10. 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.