Fiddle music Course with Mairi
Fee £24.99 (inc VAT). *
*When you purchase this course you will be redirected to a page where you can download the lessons and materials. This will happen within 24 hours of your
purchase. if you have any questions please contact
This Scottish fiddle course
in six lessons has the power to truly transform your fiddle
playing. It offers you loads of practical advice, with exercises
on how to let go of tension, achieve a better tone and improve
your technique. Develop your style in Scottish music through
the learning of these six traditional and contemporary Scottish
There is a tremendous wealth of teaching experience here, and
each lesson offers the balance of technique with the finest
music in our tradition.
What makes this course unique is that four
of the lessons are also songs. I sing them before playing them
and encourage you to do that too, for it is a great way of letting
the music ‘breathe’.
I’ll also show you different styles of fiddle tunes and
explain ornaments, cuts, how to get that ‘lift’ for
dancing and the many ways to put yourself into the music.
The repertoire I have chosen are well known and well loved traditional
Scottish songs and tunes as well as two of my own compositions.
This course will set you up for a trip to the auld country, a
Burns supper, a tune in the pub, or simply the pure enjoyment
of you and your fiddle playing in the house.
Listen to a FREE
fiddle music sample of Mairi playing some of
the tunes you will learn.
Lesson 1: Lesson
1 - A Man’s a Man
This song/tune is a great starting point for learning about ornaments.
It’s not too fast and you can experiment with my ideas and
many practical suggestions on bowing, how to develop a sweeter
tone - did you know that your ideal right thumb works as a shock
absorber?! Give it a try. Hear the difference.
Lesson 2 - Hieland Laddie
This jacobite song gives you a chance to try variations. It’s
a march and a little more lively, and I add another style of ornament
and play on two strings at once for a drone effect. There’s
lots more advice for bowing and practical suggestions to improve
your tone and ease your playing.
Lesson 3 - Devil in the Kitchen/Jock Since ever I saw
This great strathspey is an essential part of any fiddler’s
repertoire! Well kent in both Scotland and Cape Breton, it carries
the dancers in step dancing, highland and Scottish country dancing.
And it’s a song to boot! I’ll introduce you to Scotch
snaps and cuts galore. Plenty of opportunities to practice them
in this tune. We look at older ornaments and super-natural notes!
Technique in this lesson covers the importance of the left hand
for expression and tone, and answers your questions about the
left thumb! Like - what does it do? (I never thought you’d
I’ll give you practical exercises for helping you realise
the mystery of the left side of violin playing. Really amazing
what is lurking in there!
Lesson 4 - Rattlin’ roarin’ Willie
This great song is also a fine example of a slip jig. You’ll
have a lot of fun learning this tune to sing, play or dance for.
I have used it also for you to develop your left hand finger technique.
This is where the ‘dancing fingers’ technique comes
in handy. I’ll also revise the exercises from previous lessons
which will help you develop more fluent and cleaner string crossings
in this jig.
Lesson 5 - John and Dorothy Livingstone
This is one of my own tunes and it works great for The ‘Gay
Gordons’, a very popular ceilidh dance here in Scotland.
It is a march and I’ll show you how to get that elusive
‘lift’ into the tune with some quirky suggestions
that really work! Three more types of ornaments and more great
ideas and tips for waking up your left side and keeping the right
nice and easy.
Lesson 6 - Jean Yelland
This lovely slow air is a fine example of a modern ‘old’
tune. Longer phrases and with a gaelic lilt to it, you can make
it your own with all that you’ve learnt. I’ve added
new ornaments, and the left hand ‘star jump’ exercise
to help you play it the way you feel it.
Biography: Fiddler and singer, Mairi is based
in Edinburgh. She is one half of The Cast together with husband
Dave Francis and plays with a number of bands and orchestras,
including Bella MacNabs Dance Band.
Mairi was born in Edinburgh and after studying at the Guildhall
School of Music in London her interest in Celtic music brought
her back to Scotland. She and Dave formed a duo in 1991, and in
this context she performs her own songs alongside traditional
material. Mairi has played viola with the innovative Kreisler
String Orchestra in London and has spent some time in Cape Breton
studying the music and dance of the island.
For our online teaching to work you will
have to have Windows Media Player installed on your computer.
This comes with Windows. If you are a Mac user you can download
You will also need a fast internet connection (adsl, broadband),
and speakers connected to your computer so you can hear it (these
can take the form of computer speakers (connected from your sound
card) or headphones). These lessons are not downloaded to your
computer - they are streamed from our internet servers. If you
have any questions please contact
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