26

September

Boil Them Cabbage Down Preview

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By Patrick Clark We are constantly working on ways to improve our website to make it easier for you to use.  This week, we want to showcase the preview video that we created to help you decide which version is best for you.  So, please, take a moment to watch and choose your version.  Any questions, just email us.  Info@learnfiddle.com Boil Them Cabbage Down, Preview  

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09

September

Getting Stuck

Posted by PatrickClark No Comment

By: Patrick Clark I had a private student come in today, who I've had for a year.  Before me, he had another teacher for a year.  His total playing time is now two years and we haven't passed the twinkles.  I finally have him where his technique is really consistent, but he's been having incredible pitch issues.  AND he has finger tapes.  I was really surprised, and a bit frustrated.  Then it dawned on me... He's been on the same tunes for two years.  He doesn't care about the pitch.  The poor kid is bored! So, I put him on the next piece, removed two finger tapes and there it was.  PITCH!  He finally found it!  He didn't have the feel of the tapes so he was forced to use his ears AND he had to think differently because he had no clue what he was doing with the new piece.  It was a rough go at the beginning of the lesson but he came around. So, how does this apply to the folks at Learn Fiddle Online?  Well, here's how.  If you find yourself staying on the same tune for too long, trying to perfect it, you may want to move laterally in difficulty or just move forward a bit.  Sometimes, the demands of the slightly harder piece force you into the right technique, or pitch in this case, without even realizing it.  Sometimes, you just have to change it up. So, lets say you're working on Cripple Creek, Version 2.  Maybe it's been a long time and it's just not where you want it.  First, trouble shoot the way you're practicing.  Check out my post about practice habits.  Then, contact us on Facebook.  While you're doing this, you may want to consider looking at Old Joe Clark Version 2.  It's a little more advanced but it might change it up enough to force you out of a bad habit.  Also, check out the FREE technique videos that accompany Cripple Creek and Old Joe Clark. This is just one small scenario but the principles still apply for whatever tune you're working on.  Remember, I'm here to help!  I truly want you to succeed so feel free to ask questions.

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02

September

A New School Year Brings New Practice Habits

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By: Patrick Clark It seems like school starts earlier every year.  I think in most cases, it actually does.  Either way, this is an exciting new year for me as a teacher.  I've been appointed to be the director of a program at a charter school here in Las Vegas called, Rainbow Dreams Academy.  The unique part of my position is that I am actually starting this program from scratch!  What a privilege!  In addition to Rainbow Dreams, I am continuing to grow my private studio at Nevada School of The Arts.  Add Learn Fiddle Online in the mix and you could say I'm a busy guy. All of this experience is giving me so many ideas on future videos to share with my customers at Learn Fiddle Online.  It's very exciting.  But as we approach a new school year, I want to encourage you to practice smart this school year.  So often, students are sent home to practice, but have no idea how to approach the tune, or piece.  The answer is subjective but let me give you the basics of a good practice. 1. Warm Up! "How," is a question you might ask.  That depends on your skill level.  If you're an experienced player of two or more years, try long tones on each string at a slow tempo with no fingers.  Just see what the instrument feels like.  Then try the FREE Every Open String Etude video with me.  Then try a scale. If you're a beginner, try pulsing eighth notes on the "E" string.  Try 4 times in a row with a metronome set at 70-80 beats per minute.  Try this on the "A" string next.  Then, alternate back and forth.  Either way, you should spend about 10 minutes doing the basic warm up.  Then it's time to challenge yourself with a technique exercise!  There are tons of etudes to try in my book "Fiddling, The Basics and Beyond." 2. Treat Yourself To an Etude Challenge See if you can find an etude that stretches you a bit, but is still achievable in a short period of time, (10-15 minutes or so.) Start slow and be very particular about your pulse, your tone, and your feel.  Don't go nuts trying to perfect it, just improve it. 3. Tune Time No, I don't mean tune your fiddle! That should have happened a while ago!  It's time to work on your tune!  Find the section you've been working on and take another SLOW whack at it.  See how it sounds.  Then, make it better, slowly.  Maybe try another section, SLOWLY.  You can build your speed short stints at a time. 4.  Finish With Something You Know! When you've fried your brain, take two minutes to play through something your hands are very used to playing.  Chances are, it's going to sound better than it did the last time you played it because you've been concentrating on improving other aspects of your playing.  Take a comfortable speed so you feel good finishing up. 5. Set a goal for the next practice, clean your instrument before you put it away.   GOOD LUCK!  

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