Come along on the Friday night for a relaxed play through, suitable for all instruments, of some favourite tunes for which notation will be provided together with a harmony line and chord suggestions. All the tunes will be taken at a steady, inclusive speed and played several times through. As well as revisiting some of the more popular tunes we have looked at during these lockdown sessions, there will be some tunes from previous Saturday workshops and even some completely fresh material.

In Saturday’s workshops we will look at two very popular session tunes. which have been selected as great introductions to playing chords on the fiddle behind the melody – the shapes to use and some effective rhythms to apply. In the morning we will look at a cracking Irish polka I know as ‘Maurice Manley’s Polka‘ and which is also one of many tunes known as ‘Ballydesmond Polka’. The tune is great for applying ‘pulse bowing’ and practicing your polka groove. In the afternoon we’ll have a look at the late Addie Harper’s greatest hit, ‘The Barrowburn‘, a stonking reel in D that lends itself so well to the Georgia Shuffle bowing pattern.

Live workshops on Zoom with notation and/or audio files provided.
All workshops are £20, attend any two for £35, or all three for £50.
You can book your place by purchasing the workshops from the Shop and the discount will be applied in your basket. If you have any questions, or are unsure as to which workshops are suitable for you, please get in touch using the Contact Form.

Friday 26th March, 7.00 – 9.00 pm
Play-along Session in Harmony for Mixed Instruments
This will be a Zoom call open to intermediate players (and above) of any instrument. Notation will be provided in advance for all the tunes, together with suggestions for basic chords and a harmony line but feel free to join in by ear! You can play the tune along with Stewart, play an accompaniment with a bass line, chords or a harmony (your own or follow the suggestions) or enjoy playing the tune whilst Stewart plays a harmony. If you wish to join in on an instrument with a different range from the fiddle, or with specfic key requirements, please get in touch before booking.

Saturday 27th March, 10.00 am – 12.00 noon
Fiddle Workshop 1
Maurice Manley’s Polka
Aimed at Competent Beginners to Upper Intermediates

Saturday 27th March, 2.00 – 4.00 pm
Fiddle Workshop 2
The Barrowburn (A. Harper)
Aimed at Intermediate to Advanced Players

Notation is provided for both Fiddle Workshops but the tunes will be taught ‘as if by ear’, making sure there is enough break down and repetition of phrases to build the tune up confidently.

The workshops will include regular short breaks to stretch the legs, and rest the ears and eyes. Months of running workshops on Zoom has provided us with the insight required to create a good and enjoyable online learning experience during lockdown.

If you haven’t attended a music workshop on Zoom before, here is a page of Zoom Workshop Tips to get the most out of your experience. A reliable internet connection, plus headphones or an external speaker are strongly recommended.


Ability Level Guide:

Competent Beginners
You will be familiar with the basics of the instrument – how to hold the violin and the bow. You will have some rudimentary reading and/or aural skills, be familiar with open strings and the basic finger positions to produce a one octave scale of G, D and A major as well as a two octave scale of G major. You may not have an in depth knowledge of fiddle music, but will aspire to acquire the core beginner folk repertoire.

Lower Intermediates
You will be familiar with basic tune forms (waltzes, jigs, hornpipes, polkas and reels) and will already be able to play simple tunes at a steady tempo in these different styles. Tunes will generally be in keys with signatures of no flats/sharps, 1 sharp or 2 sharps. You might be developing an interest in bowing styles and interpretation of the repertoire.

Upper Intermediates
These workshops are aimed at proficient fiddle players who are comfortable with playing tunes in the common dance forms. You will be aware of ornamentation and bowing patterns and aspire to incorporate them more fully into your playing. Repertoire will include tunes in keys with signatures between one flat and 3 sharps.

Advanced Players
These workshops are aimed at those who are familiar with tunes from a wide range of dance forms, including some from outside of the British Isles, and who are able to play them at dance tempo. You will be comfortable in keys of 2 flats to 3 sharps, and familiar with 3 flats and 4 sharps. You will be aware of bowing patterns appropriate to different grooves and able to work comfortably either from notation or by ear, and be able to manage in the other medium.