Fiddle Basics

This course is for the absolute beginner fiddler. It begins with a series of six free sample lessons then progresses through to the twelve subscription lessons.   How to hold the instrument, proper posture and good basic technique are all important fundaments that will be addressed. There will also be a progressive study of fingering, bowing, tunes and ornamentation throughout the eighteen lessons. Emphasis will be placed on tempo, rhythm and tone when teaching the tunes. The 'Fiddle Basics' course will equip the  beginner fiddle player with the necessary rudiments to begin a journey down the long and adventurous road of Irish fiddle playing.

Fiddle Basics
OAIM Free 'Fiddle Basics' Lessons

Free Fiddle Basics Lesson #1

Introduction to the fiddle and the bow: how to hold them and how to bow the E A D and G strings.

Free Fiddle Basics Lesson #2

Long and short bow strokes / The D major scale

Free Fiddle Basics Lesson #3

Continuation of bowing practice / First part of 'Britches Full of Stitches'

Free Fiddle Basics Lesson #4

Second part of 'Britches Full of Stitches' / Bowing exercises

Free 'Fiddle Basics' Lesson #5

Scales for practicing pitch and finger placement / The Rock Chapel Polka'

Free Fiddle Basics Lesson #6

The Rock Chapel Polka continued

Course Syllabus for Full Access Lessons
Fiddle Lesson 1: Three Little Drummers (jig) Amin

This lesson will teach the jig, "Three little Drummers". the ornament 'the cut' will be introduced.  Majella will demonstrate how to 'slurr' notes on the fiddle


Fiddle Lesson 2 : John Brosnan's Polka, Gmaj

In this lesson,  the polka, "John Brosnan's" will be taught, focusing on ornamentation, triplets and bowing. Majella will also introduces the note of C natural.


Fiddle Lesson 3: The Millar of Glanmire (jig) Amin

The jig, "The Miller of Glanmire" will be taught in this lesson. This lesson will focus on cuts.


Fiddle Lesson 4: Rolling in the Ryegrass (reel) Dmaj

This lesson will teach the reel, "Rolling in the Rye Grass", with focus on ornamentation, including bow triplets.


Fiddle Lesson 5: The Keel Row Fling, Gmaj

This lesson will teach "The Keel Row Fling", with a focus on cuts.


Fiddle Lesson 6: Siubhan Ni Dhuibhir (slow air)

This lesson will teach the air, "Siubhan Ni Dhuibhir", with the focus on slurring and first and second finger rolls.


Fiddle Lesson 7: Con Carty's Slide, Dmaj

This lesson will teach the slide "Con Carty's".


Fiddle Lesson 8: Biddy Barry's Schottische

This lesson will teach the barndance, "Biddy Barry's Schottische", with the focus on ornamentation and revision of rolls.


Fiddle Lesson 9: Rose in the Heather (jig) Dmaj

This lesson will teach the jig, "Rose in the Heather", with the focus on adding in first and second finger rolls.


Fiddle Lesson 10: Hugh Quinn's Polka, Amaj

This lesson will teach the polka, "Hugh Quinn's Polka", with the focus on double stopping.


Fiddle Lesson 11: The Rathawaun Jig, Dmaj

This lesson will teach the jig, "The Rathawaun Jig", with the focus on first and second finger rolls and cuts.


Fiddle Lesson 12: The Drunken Landlady (reel) Emin

This lesson will teach the reel, "The Drunken Landlady", with the focus on bow triplets and double stopping.


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Tunes Taught
  • Three little Drummers
  • John Brosnan's
  • The Miller of Glanmire
  • Rolling in the Rye Grass
  • The Keel Row Fling
  • Siúbhán Ní Dhuibhir
  • Con Carty's
  • Biddy Barry's Schottische
  • Rose in the Heather
  • Hugh Quinn's Polka
  • The Rathawaun Jig
  • The Drunken Landlady

Tutor Info

Majella Bartley

Majella Bartley

All Ireland champion flute player, Majella Bartley, hails from Corcaghan in Co. Monaghan. She is a respected flute and fiddle teacher, tutoring at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance as well as at national and international summer schools and workshops such as Scoil Eigse, Fiddle Festival of Wales, Kilkenny Celtic Festival and the British and North American Convention of Comhaltas. She holds the TTCT traditional music teaching diploma awarded by Comhaltas and is now a tutor and lecturer on this course...[Read More]