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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Fiddle Exercise Book For Intermediate Level Fiddlers

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Dick Hauser - Posted - 12/19/2018:  10:56:38

I have quite a few fiddle books. Most are fiddle repertoire but I also have a lot of exercise books.
The main purpose of the book I want would be to provide exercises that would enable a hobbyist intermediate level fiddler keep their playing "up to snuff". The purpose would not be educational. And it wouldn't be designed for folks who spend hours practicing. Just 30-45 minutes of exercises. In the past I spent more time practicing exercises than playing music. Eventually I came to my senses and decided that exercises are a means to an end, not the end itself.

I currently practice scales and do some "long" bowing but spend the majority of the time playing music. The book I mentioned would include additional exercises the author considered beneficial.

RobBob - Posted - 12/19/2018:  11:18:44


I found this book quite handy.

pete_fiddle - Posted - 12/19/2018:  12:08:48

i was recommended "Dancla Op. 74, School Of Mechanism" by a violinist friend.... but i wouldn't do more than 10 minutes a day, i think my fingers would come out of the sockets and fall apart !

BanjoBrad - Posted - 12/19/2018:  13:51:54

I have Carol Ann Wheeler's "Aerobics for Fiddlers" and think it might fill your specs. It has 24 exercises, repeated at about double-speed when you have the first, slower exercise down.

My copy came with a CD, but I guess now you download the audibles.

Dick Hauser - Posted - 12/20/2018:  13:26:06

I have the books mentioned by RobBob and BanjoBrad. Some time back I wrote to Randy Miller about the possibility of having recordings of the exercises made available. I got the impression that this would happen but haven't seen anything so far. I did use Finale "Printmusic" to recreate the notation and make it larger. I also created midi files. But playing along with actual recordings would be more fun. I have doubts about my ability to play every tune in 30 - 45 minutes though.
I will revisit that book.

Bob on Delmarva - Posted - 12/20/2018:  13:56:36

Dick, you can get an app for iPad with recordings for that book. The bad news is it costs $24.99.

Jimbeaux - Posted - 12/21/2018:  07:31:39

Personally I would avoid anything that was so generic that it was labeled "fiddle".

IMO, a fiddler will never get that good if he or she isn't into a particular style or a few specific fiddlers.

I'd even almost consider 'old-time fiddle' too generic. 

Edited by - Jimbeaux on 12/21/2018 07:34:54

Kye - Posted - 07/21/2019:  10:54:57

A bit late to the reply game here, but I have a book called "The Fiddler's Friend" - Forty Fiddle Exercises to improve fingering and bowing - Randy Miller.
Published by 'fiddle case books'.


TuneWeaver - Posted - 08/09/2019:  05:40:13

Something I've done was to convert some notey tunes into bowing exercises.. I'd take the sheet music and, using Pencil, put in slurs for Nashville shuffle, throughout . After I'd played it that way for a while, I'd erase the slurs and put in new ones for either 'play three-slur three- or 'two up, two down'........No, they don't always make the tune sound better but they do challenge my fingering and bowing.. No need to spend a lot of money.....

Dick Hauser - Posted - 08/10/2019:  09:43:03

I recently "swore off" buying instructional banjo books. Too often they are a waste of time and money. When I first started playing fiddle, I had a FHO member who is a professional violinist and fiddler custom write and record some exercises. That was more educational than most other instructionals I have purchased. Gordon Stobbe's "12 Things Your Right Hand Should Know" is without doubt the most rewarding fiddle instructional I have used.

I will no longer just buy music books sight unseen.

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