How to play tunes faster

Learning how to play tunes faster

In December’s workshop we focused on techniques that would help us  to play tunes faster.

We started out by revisiting our fiddle bow hold. One of the things that makes it difficult to speed up tunes when we’re learning is where there are fast runs of notes that we’re playing on single bows. It becomes important when trying to play tunes faster to have a relaxed wrist, so the wrist action can become an integral part of the action we use to move the bow rapidly.

We practiced playing a dotted jig rhythm on an open A string, then playing the same rhythm on these notes:

Short riff in jig time

We learnt a 4 part jig called The Duck

In order to play tunes faster, we have to be able to play notes using short lengths of the bow, minimising the amount of work the forearm puts into bowing. More of the action comes from the wrist as we play the tune faster. We worked on the bowing hand wrist action. Remember to keep the wrist of the bowing hand slightly rotated (anticlockwise) so the wrist is in a plane where it can easily flex at either end of the bow stroke.

We looked at what happens with the left hand as we play faster. Keeping the fingers close to the fingerboard when they’re not being used, reduces the time it takes to get them back in place when we next need to use them. It also makes it easier to be precise about where the fingers fall o the strings, making it more likely we will keep notes in tune as we speed up. Practice keeping fingers down on the fingerboard where possible – often you’ll find that in tunes you go straight back to a note you’ve just played. Leaving the finger in place on the string after playing the note the first time helps when it comes to playing faster. It’s also not necessary to push the string down hard onto the fingerboard – the fingers need to ‘dance’ over the strings.

All of these things help with economy of movement which will help us to be able to increase the speed of playing tunes, and keep our playing under control.

To play at speed, you need to be able to keep the tune/rhythm going even if errors happen. To be able to do this with confidence, you need to hear the tune in your head, as you’re playing it. We’re aiming for the mechanics of our playing to become much more subconscious, so we’re no longer having to focus on which way the bow is moving, or which order our fingers need to go down to play that quick run of notes. The notes are played because we hear them in the tune. We tried plucking the first phrase of the tune, and missing random notes out, while still staying in the rhythm. We had to focus on hearing the tune for this to work.

Then we played this riff from the A part of the tune

Short riff in Jig time

We started slowly at first, then lifted the speed a bit in stages, working on holding the speed steady each time we picked it up. Everyone in the group focused on their own playing, pinpointing the speed that their playing became a problem, and analysing what issues were contributing to the difficulty.

It’s important to learn to control own speed if you want to play faster. There’s a tendency for tunes to speed up when we hit tricky bits, so playing faster often results in the speed careering out of control, unless we understand how to control it. Work out whether own foot tapping is driving/controlling your playing speed (some people play along to the tempo of their tapping foot, while others tap their foot in time with their playing). If your playing is following your foot tapping tempo, then you will need to learn to control the foot tapping speed to control your playing speed.

If you’re playing in a group, learn to listen closely not only to yourself, but to the others you’re playing with, and work out what’s happening. This is especially important if the  group is struggling with playing together well. Playing fast is much easier when you are confident you can control your own paying speed, and keep it steady at whatever speed you are aiming for.

Playing at speed

Playing at speed

In this workshop, we focussed on tips and techniques for playing faster, and keeping our playing speed under control. There’s a natural tendency when playing faster tunes for the tune speed to gradually increase, until it gets to a speed where it’s impossible to play. We worked on developing our confidence with playing at a steady tempo, and finding ways to keep our playing precise and in time as we took the tempo up.

The left hand

We started the workshop by looking at what the left hand is doing. It’s important to keep the hand relaxed, and to allow it to move fluidly when changing positions. There are a few things we can think about doing to keep the left hand action as as efficient as possible. We looked at how the fingers move from one string to another. We placed the third finger on the G string, and used movement in the left elbow to change the hand position over the strings, allowing us to lift the finger, and place in on the D string, then the A string, then E string. As we move the finger one string to the right on the fiddle, the elbow is swinging further over to the left underneath the neck of the fiddle, taking the hand across the fingerboard.

We then looked at keeping the movement of the fingers as economical as possible when moving from one note to another. When we lift a finger from the string to move it, we can keep it very close to the string when it’s in between notes – it just needs to be lifted clear of the string and no more. The closer the finger stays to the string, the easier it will be to place it down quickly for the next note. We also tried out using minimal pressure on the string with the fingers of the left hand. The string doesn’t need to be pushed hard down onto the fingerboard (doing so will create a lot of tension in the left arm). Avoiding pushing down hard into the fingerboard helps us to keep the left hand and arm relaxed when we’re playing, which will also help us to develop faster playing.

Using the 3rd finger on the G string, we played a C, then moved to 3rd finger on the D string (playing a G), then moved to 3rd finger on the A string (playing a D), then moved to 3rd finger on the E string (playing an A), practicing the above points. We tried a similar thing using the first finger on each string (playing A, E, B, F#)

Foot tapping

One thing that can help with keeping your playing speed under control is to be able to tap your foot to a steady timing, while you are playing. It helps us to develop an awareness of where the beats are in a tune. Tapping your foot only on the onbeat (in a reel) also helps with developing an inner sense where the onbeat is, and distinguishes it from the offbeats.

We played open As, in reel time, adding a pulse on the beat by playing a long fast bowstroke on a downbow for each onbeat. We played all the other notes very quietly, using short bows.

The we shut our eyes, and concentrated on the sound we were making. We listened closely to how we were playing together, and tried to play exactly in time with one another. We tapped our feet on the onbeat while we played, emphasisng the notes as we tapped outr feet. we focussed on keeping the sound of the foot tapping, and the sound of the emphasised notes in time with one another. We shut our eyes again, and listened closely to the feet tapping and the pulse of the notes on the fiddle. It was a challenge to do this and all remain exactly in time with one another.  We put our fiddles down, and tried out clapping on the beat, and tapping our feet on the beat at same time. Then we tried tapping foot, and tapping our right hand on our right leg. Then tapping our feet, and switching to tapping our left hand on our left leg. At each switch from right to left hand, we noticed tempo had a tendency to speed up briefly.

Playing the fiddle for ceilidh dancers
Photo ©Ros Gasson

We picked up our fiddles again, and switched to playing the notes A, D, D, A (on the A string), with the emphasis on the first A (which would be the onbeat, if these notes are part of a reel), while tapping foot on the same beat. we split into pairs. One person observed while the other played this exercise. Then we fed back  in our pairs, on bow position, tapping, pulse, fingers etc. We switched round roles and and repeated this.

Bow hold

We re-visited the bow hold. we held the bow out in front of us horizontally, using our ordinary bowhold to support the bow. We allowed the bow to pivot around the bent thumb, exploring the role of the index finger (which pushes the tip down) and pinkie (which raises the tip up). We moved the bow like a windscreen wiper, using just the pinkie and index finger to make the bow move. When doing this the hand responds to the changes in bow position. We’re aiming to develop a bow hold that is responsive to the movements of the bow, rather than a rigid grip on the bow. using our bowing hand, we held the bow out vertically in front of us,then ‘walked’ fingers up the stick of the bow to the tip, and back down again. This helps develop independent movement of the fingers in the bowing hand.

The Stone Frigate

We learnt a reel called The Stone Frigate. We played first phrase round, and added a pulse on the beat. We focussed on getting the beat really strong, with a fast moving bow on a down bow for emphasis, and we made the remaining notes very quiet, using very short bow lengths. Ros played the first phrase  round several times  while the group sang the notes, including the emphasis. Once we were familiar with the sound of the phrase, we tried playing it while just thinking of the sound of the phrase, and not worrying about the notes. The group’s sound had a changed sense of energy about it when we did this.

We added chords into the A part, starting with an open D string played along with the notes on the beat. We revisited how to play chords with confidence. We also added in chord on the upbeat.

We played the tune round several times, with each repeat of the tune played slightly faster.

We tried playing the tune using different parts of the bow – once round only playing using the tip of the bow, then using only the middle of the bow for the next repetition, and down at the heel of the bow for the last time through the tune.

Onbeats and offbeats

We went back to playing beats on an open A, in reel time, and tapping our feet on the beat. Half of the group did this, and set a rhythm going. The other half of the group also started tapping their feet on the beat, then played the open A while emphasising the offbeat. Then we switched round roles.

We played the tune again, emphasising the on beat, then tried out switching the emphasis to the off beat in the opening phrase. I’ve added a couple of versions of the tune on the written music page of the site with some of the on beats and off beats marked, so you can see where they are.

How to play at speed

How to play at speed

Tonight we worked on techniques to help us learn how to play at speed, and also looked at gaining more control over playing chords where we want them in tunes.

Double stopping

We played through Miss Miffy Finlay, working on gaining more control over playing chords just when we choose to in the tune. It can be difficult to be confident that you will play a chord exactly when you want to. We tried playing a run of notes on the E string (E, F#, G, A, A, G, F#, E), while keeping the bow very close to the A string, but without playing any chords on the A string. Then we did the same thing with our eyes closed, so we weren’t getting any visual feedback about our bow position. Once we’d done this, we worked on playing a chord with an open A, just on alternate notes in the run. We started the run in a down bow, and played all the notes on single bows, which meant all the chords fell on down bows.

Once the bow is in this position, the chord can be controlled simply by applying a little pressure to the stick of the bow with the index finger at the start of the note, ‘digging’ the bow into the string. As the bow compresses down onto the E string, it will also come in contact with the A string (f it’s positioned close enough to the A string), creating the chord. As soon as the pressure is released, the bow comes clear of the A string. So the control over whether we are playing a chord or not is coming purely from the index finger, and not by using the  the bowing arm to change the angle of the bow. As it’s much easier to control a small movement of the index finger than a movement in the bowing arm, this gives a very fine control over whether or not we play a chord at any given point.

Then we tried playing the same run of notes, and only playing the chord on each up bow – this was quite a lot harder to do!

Playing reels at speed

Then we moved on to the reel we learnt a couple of weeks ago (In and Out the Harbour), and worked on techniques we can use for playing reels up to speed. We’ll come back to this tune a few times during this term.

Learning to play reels faster requires moving away from thinking too much about the specifics of how we are playing, and ‘getting into the zone’ – allowing our subconscious to take over. We also need to have control over the tempo of the tune we’re playing.  One of the difficulties with trying to increase the speed of a tune is loosing control of the timing. This might happen because there’s a part of the tune we stumble over, or because we panic at trying to fit all the notes in – tension creeps in, and before we know it, the tune has sped up and spiraled out of control. If there’s a part of a tune you’re struggling to play, it’s worth spending time working out what is happening with your bowing, and, at least initially, finding a consistent bowing pattern that allows you to play any tricky phrases as easily as possible.

Playing at speed
Photo ©Ros Gasson

Foot tapping

To keep control of tempo, it’s really helpful to tap into your own inner sense of timing. In folk music, there’s no conductor taking control of timing, so we need to do this ourselves. Tapping a foot, or moving in some other way in time with the music, is likely to help us keep playing to a consistent beat. The advantage of foot tapping is that as the foot hits the floor it gives us a distinct reference point as to where the beat is. Getting into the habit of tapping on  each on-beat in reels (two taps in each bar) also gives a distinction between the on-beat and the off-beat. When we start to play around with the rhythms in the tune, this creates a distinct advantage over  tapping the foot on every beat in the bar (ie 4 taps per bar).

Some people tap all 4 beats in the bar, but alternate between tapping the heel and toe, or the left and right foot. This has the same effect as tapping only the on-beats, in terms of providing a distinction between on-beat and off-beat. Try out different variations, and see which feels most comfortable when you’re playing.

Foot tapping can also drive the tune, or follow it. If your playing tempo follows the tempo of your foot tapping, it becomes easy to control the tempo of the tune by keeping control of the speed the foot is tapping. If the foot is following the tempo of the tune, it doesn’t allow the same level of ‘external’ control over the playing tempo. You can find out which you are doing by playing along in time with a metronome. Try doing this first by playing the notes in time with the metronome, then try it again while keeping your foot taping in time with the metronome. Which did you find easiest?

 Playing ‘in the zone’

Playing from the subconscious allows us to fully relax into the music, creating fluidity in our playing. It’s an essential skill for being able to play at speed with confidence. When we’re learning to play the fiddle, there’s a lot to think about. It’s easy to get into the habit of playing in a very ‘conscious’ way, as we struggle to learn how to control the bow, learn tunes, play with good tone and tuning, and understand the rhythms and the music. It’s a lot to take in, and it can feel as if it’s impossible to switch the thinking part of our brain off while we’re playing! In the class, we worked on finding distractions, so our subconscious was pushed into to taking over the playing, helping us to develop a sense of how it feels to play in this way. We worked on the reel In and Out the Harbour. To start with we payed the exercise for practicing triplets, slurring the 2 quavers in between the triplets on an up bow. Triplet exercise for fiddle players While we were doing this, we wandered around the room and chatted to other folk (while still playing!).  Another thing you can try at home is to watch what’s happening out of the window while you’re playing, or put the TV on with the sound down, and watch that while playing. All these things have the same effect of making if impossible for us to think too much about what we’re playing, encouraging the subconscious to take over.

Keeping the tune going

Playing from the subconscious has one other important benefit. It free us up to hear the tune in our head as we play (this is different from listening to what you’re actually playing). If we have a ‘soundtrack’ in our head, of the tune we are playing, it has some interesting effects. One of the main benefits is that if we do stumble over playing a part of the tune, we will still be able to come back into it in time, if we continue hearing the tune even when we’re not playing it. Being able to do this helps reduce the fear of ‘falling off’ a tune in the middle, and grinding to a halt. As time goes on, you’ll find that you can generally pick up a tune within a note or two if you make a mistake, and many people listening will barely be aware there was a problem.

We experimented with doing this by splitting the class in two. One half of the class played the first ‘question’ phrase of the tune, and the other half played back the response. We switched back and forth, so that between us we were paying the whole tune, in time. While we were doing this, we tried  to hear the entire tune in our heads, continuing on while we  weren’t playing, so we knew exactly when to come back in. Then we tried all playing the ‘question’ phrases in the tune, with no-one playing the answer. This meant we really had to keep the tune running in our head to know where to come back in. The next step was to all play the response phrases only – that was much harder, partly because of the structure of this particular tune, which doesn’t always repeat exactly the same in those response sections.

Playing rolls on the fiddle

Playing rolls in a jig

When playing in jig time, you can play a roll any time when there are three quavers played together on the same note, or a dotted crotchet. Once you can play a roll fluidly, you won’t hear any of the individual notes involved in the ornamentation. When you’re first starting to learn to play a roll, you will play the note that’s in the tune, followed rapidly be the note above, the note itself, the note below, and back to the note in the tune. If you want to play a roll where the note in the tune is a B (played with the first finger on the A string), the fingering for this would be 1-2-1-0-1. (To play a roll on an open string note,  you can play 0-1-2-1-0.)

 Learning tunes by ear

We got onto talking about what you can do where you are familiar with a tune, but don’t necessarily have all the notes right under your fingers. When this happens, it can be easy to become tense at the bits of the tune you are unsure about, which generally exacerbates the problem. If you’re playing in a large informal group, such as a busy session, you can try quietly feeling your way around the tune while others play it. If you’re in a slightly more exposed situation, it’s good to have something to fall back on, so you know you can play, but won’t put others off in the bits you’re not certain about. We tried the following exercise:

We played a short riff on the e string:

jig time riff01

Then we split into two groups – alternate people round the room played just the notes in the run down:

jig time riff - on-beats

At the same time, the people in between played just the f sharps from the riff:

Jig time riff - off-beats

Then we tried swapping round, so everyone had had a chance to try each of these two options. People generally found it much easier to play the run down, than the repeating f# notes. When you listen to the riff being played, the notes in the run down all fall on the beat. They therefore all tend to ‘stick out’, and sound more obvious. It’s a useful thing to be aware of, if you’re playing a tune where you’re not entirely sure of all the notes. In this situation, if you aim to get the main notes in the tune, it gives you a skeleton, and an idea of the main shape of the tune. It also helps with keeping a steady rhythm, even if some of the other notes are missing or wrong! If the tune is played round a few times, you can then begin to pick up any of the other notes in between that you’re less sure of.

Playing faster

Once we’d done this, we used the riff to try working on playing faster. We played it round several times together at a steady pace, then took the speed up a bit. Once we had settled into the new speed, we tried taking the speed up a little more. If the riff became too fast for anyone to play, there was always the option to revert to playing just those key notes, as we did in the previous exercise. We tried the same thing again, but this time we avoided looking at our left hand fingers while we were playing.  We were aiming to hear the riff in our head as we played, and to play it in a way that would make someone listening want to clap along or dance. We found that it sounded more fluid when we played it like this.

The Hen’s March

At the end of the evening we went back to the Hen’s March and worked on the opening phrase in the tune. We added in some vibrato on the lead G, along with a crescendo on the G, and a grace note as well. Then we added a hammer on on the D at the start of the first bar (playing from a C# to the D), and a chord with the open D string below.

 

To finish off we played through Teribus together.

 

There will be no class on Tuesday 18th February.

 

Learn to play reels faster

 Learn to play reels faster

Learn to play reels faster
Photo ©Ros Gasson

At the start of term several people in the class asked about learning to play tunes faster. Reels are often the tunes where speed is a problem, particularly if you want to be able to play for dancing. There are several aspects to learning to play reels faster – being able to get your fingers around the notes is one of them, but generally not the thing that is tripping folk up when they are learning. Having techniques that enable you to keep a steady rhythm with the bow is crucial – if the tempo and rhythm stay strong, straying off the tune doesn’t necessarily cause a problem. If the notes are right but the tempo or rhythm falters, the musical spell is definitely broken! Having our bowing under control will allow us to develop a strong beat in our playing. Learning to hear the tune in our heads as we play (whether or not we’re playing the tune!) allows us to move away from concentrating on fitting in individual notes, and to focus more on the rhythms and patterns within the music. It will allow the conscious brain to give up being in control, letting the subconscious take charge This is when we can experience the ‘flow’ state, where we’re open to developing a more fluid way of playing.

We learnt Cooleys reel, which is an Irish tune that sounds great at a good pace. We’ll spend some time working on this tune as a way to look at some of the things we can do to start playing reels faster and with confidence.

Once we’d learnt the tune we looked at what’s happening with the bowing. One thing that can make an enormous difference to being able to play tunes well at speed is having a basic ‘structure’ to the way we will bow a tune. We’re aiming to develop an underlying pattern that will naturally emphasise the beat (so generally we’d be playing a down bow on the beat). In these early stages, we’re also looking for ways to make it as easy as possible to get our bow around the tune. Once the basic pattern is ingrained, you’ll play new tunes with that pattern without thinking about it. At that point, you can turn your attention to adding different bowing patterns to tunes at points where you want to vary the rhythm away from emphasisng the beat.

Developing a basic pattern to our bowing also means that when we first learn a new tune, each time we play it we’ll be playing it with the same bowing pattern. Doing this greatly reduces the amount you need to learn to play that tune well. If you have no idea what direction your bow is going in, the chances are that each time you play the tune, your bowing pattern will vary, which makes it a much more complicated job to learn to play the tune with complete confidence.

We worked on starting the reel on a down bow, and playing a down bow on each on beat in the tune. For reels that are all quavers, if you wanted to establish this basic bowing pattern, it would work fine to play every note on alternating down and up bows – we’d always end up palying a down bow on the beat. Not many reels are that simple! Crotchets or triplets will disrupt the flow of up and down bows, unless we find a way to bring the bow back into the basic pattern.

So our basic pattern could involve slurring 2 quavers together either before or after any crotchets or triplets in the bar. Cooley’s Reel is a great tune for working on this, as there are crotchets and triplets in both parts of the tune. I’ve added slurs onto the written music to show where we were playing them in the class tonight.

We’ll do some more work on this tune next week, looking at ways we can vary this basic pattern to add interest to the rhythm. So – shock horror…we’ve ended up with some homework! Feel free to work on being able to play the tune with this basic bowing pattern for the class next week.

At the end of the night we played through Fionn’s and the Eagles Whistle

Fiddle technique recap

Fiddle technique recap

Tonight we had a fiddle technique recap, going over various aspects of technique that we’ve worked on during the term. We played through all the tunes we have learnt in the class since September, and reminded ourselves of some of the things we worked on when we first learnt them.

Roxburgh Castle (reel)

We went over some of the things we can do to help us to be able to play reels faster:

  • Use short bow strokes.
  • Think about bowing patterns.
  • Keep our bow close to the strings when we’re crossing from one string to another – minimise the vertical movement in the tip of the bow.
  • Use a circular wrist action to help with crossing from one string to another.
  • keep our fingers close to the strings when we lift them off.
  • Keep fingers on the strings where possible, if we’re coming back to the same note.

We tried playing the tune without looking at our fingers, to help with playing more from our subconscious.

Ramnee Ceilidh (reel)

We went over the second part of the tune again, and worked on the syncopated rhythm.

I See Mull (slow air)

We’ve been working on different aspects of  fiddle technique to help create a good tone on the fiddle:

  • Keep the right hand thumb bent and relaxed. It’s important not to let tension creep into the bowing arm.
  • Use the thumb as a pivot, and add a little pressure on the pinkie. This takes a bit of the weight of the bow off the fiddle. It’s  especially helpful when we’re playing on the e string.
  • Use pressure on the bow with the first finger to ‘dig in’ to a note.
  • Keep the bow perpendicular to the strings throughout the bow stroke.
  • Keep the bow close to the bridge.
  • When lifting the bow, bring it back down onto the strings close to the heel of the bow. Get the bow moving in a down bow direction before it actually hits the string.

We played through the tune, and then played it down an octave.

Danse des Petit Filles – Dance of the Little Girls (waltz)

We played the tune, and some of us played through the harmony. We broke into pairs and practiced playing single long down bows, lifting the bow between notes, while our partner checked if our bows were perpendicular to the strings.

At the end of the night we played through some of our tunes together

We started off with Fionn’s (a tune from last term) and then played The Aird Ranters, The Devil in the Kitchen, Brenda Stubberts, and Jenny Dang the Weaver.

Next week is the last week of term. Anne seems to want chocolate cake for some reason! 😉

Fiddlers playing together
Photo ©Ros Gasson

How to play reels faster

 Learning how to play reels faster

Tonight we spent the evening looking at what we can do to help us to be able to play reels faster. When you’re learning to play the fiddle there are a lot of different things to think about. Many people struggle with learning to play reels  at speed. There are various things we can do with our playing that will help us to be able to play faster while keeping our speed under control.

Bow control

At the start of the evening we learnt the reel Ramnee Ceilidh by the Highland piper Gordon Duncan. It’s a fairly straightforward tune, but it has some interesting things going on with the rhythm, which make it a bit more of a challenge play at speed. We worked on the following points:

  • Using our wrist to move the bow in short bow strokes. We practiced playing a few notes crossing strings, using a clockwise circular wrist action to move the bow from one string to the other.
  • Using very short bow strokes when we are bowing a run of quavers in a tune. We practiced doing this while playing up and down a D scale.
  • Minimising the vertical movement of the bow when we’re moving from one string to another. We looked at a short part of a tune that moves between the A and E strings as an example. When the tune was on the A string, we played with the bow very close to the E string. When the tune moved to the E string, we still kept the bow very close to the A string.
  • Minimising the amount of movement of our left hand on the fingerboard. When we were lifting our fingers between notes, we tried just lifting them clear of the string and no more. There are often times in tunes when we can keep a finger in place on the string, as we’ll return back to that note again.
  • Keeping a steady tempo by tapping a foot. It’s helpful to have some distinction between the beats and the offbeats. We could do this by tapping one foot on the beat, and the other on the offbeat, or a heel on the beat and a toe on the offbeat.
  • Playing without consciously thinking about what we are doing – learning to listen to the tune we’re playing as we play it, and allowing the subconscious mind to be in charge!
  • Thinking about how we phrase a tune. Getting our feet are tapping helps us to start to emphasise either the beats or the offbeats in a tune.

Learning how to play reels faster, in the string Circle fiddle class, Edinburgh

We tried playing up and down a scale at speed, working on playing it subconsciously rather than thinking about what our fingers and bowing arms were doing. We also played through Roxburgh Castle. We started very slowly, and  each time we played through the tune we played it a bit faster, using some of these techniques. We’ll spend more time during the term trying out techniques that will help us to speed up  reels, and still keep a steady tempo.

We finished off the evening by playing through the 3 tunes we have learnt this term in a set.

The written music for Ramnee ceilidh is on the music page on the website. Here’s a webpage with several different bands playing Ramnee ceilidh.

Gearing up for playing at the Big Seat by the Fire

Tonight, we started off by looking at some things we can do to make playing fast tunes a bit easier. We played Bryan the Seasoned Traveller a few times, which is the trickiest tune in the new set to play at speed. Here’s a few of the things that help:

  • Using only a short length of the bow for each note.
  • Using the wrist (rather than big elbow movements) to move the bow from one string to the next.
  • Keeping fingers down on the fingerboard after playing a note, if  the tune returns back to that note again shortly afterwards.

We played through the full set a couple of times, and worked out how we wanted to end the last tune (we went for the comedy version!)

Photo - fiddle on stage at the Scots Fiddle Festival

The class has been full this term. St Bride’s are hoping to start taking enrolments in December. They will allow a week for the people currently in the class to enrol for next term before they open enrolment up to anyone new to join. I’ll let everyone know as soon as I hear that enrolment is open.

If anyone has ideas of any tunes they would like to learn next term, let me know (I can’t make any promises at this stage about specific tunes, but will try to base next term’s repertoire mainly around suggestions from the class)