Link to Weekly Articles & Search Box Tips

You might enjoy Ed’s weekly articles about music & learning fiddle on If you subscribe (free), you’ll get them by email each Wednesday.

There are over 150 articles here on this blog. You can browse them (below left, or tap the 3 lines if on phone) by category or by month, or you can search for what interests you. Below are a few keywords to help you search!

Feel free to add your comments at the end of any article. (Our real-time spam filter blocks fake entries, so that comments from real people can appear right away.)

Continue reading Link to Weekly Articles & Search Box Tips

How to Use fiddle-online for free!

Yes, it’s a lot of work creating and maintaining this service, but we do have fun getting together in live workshops both with Ed 3x a month, and with a different great guest instructor one Sunday each month. Many also enjoy looking back at previous workshop materials, or working on technique or tune videos at their own pace.

But if you have either a financial crunch or wonder whether fiddle-online is worth paying for, here are a few ways to use it for free and see what it’s like.

  1. Join for free and receive 4 credits into your new account just by filling out a couple of brief questionnaires (including essential things like choosing a password for yourself, and less essential things like jotting down a note about your own fiddle experience — this info goes only to Ed, and since he’s not a jerk, he doesn’t pass it along to anyone else for any reason! ). Spending credits instead of dollars makes fiddle-online much quicker and easier to use, and more easily allows Ed to adjust things for you if there’s any kind of problem or error. By getting 4 credits you will be able to try several things for free, such as 2 tune videos which teach a tune each using a basic and advanced video, or the technique sampler which gives you a video from each of the 5 ten-video technique groups.
  2. Make use of the Credits Sharing Center. This allows you to get 10 or 20 credits for free so you can take a workshop or try some of the past workshop materials or technique or tune video groups. These credits were donated by members of fiddle-online who enjoyed it so much that they wanted others such as yourself to be able to join in. If you find you do appreciate the workshops and other services, you may wish to donate back to this fund so others can make use of it as you did.
  3. Try some of the free samples, which include complete workshop pages, with interactive sheet music (sheet music with self-repeating audio by phrase, and listening and playalong tracks), and a video helping you with note patterns, bowing, and ornamentation ideas.
  4. Check out the fiddle-online YouTube channel, which features full-length online concerts that were presented throughout the pandemic. Most of the artists included there have done workshops on fiddle-online, and all their materials are available at a very low cost of 6 credits for 2 weeks of access. That’s $6, or only $2 if you apply the 4 credits you earn just by joining fiddle-online.
  5. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact Ed and he’ll help you out. Enjoy exploring fiddle-online!

About Subscriptions

You don’t need to subscribe to fiddle-online to use it, but there are benefits to having one of our two subscriptions. Let’s take a look at the benefits to you, as well as how to subscribe, and how to change or end your subscription, and what the impacts are of doing that.

Benefits of Subscribing

Everything on fiddle-online is a-la-carte, and you’re welcome to purchase credits as needed. The main benefit of having subscription is that you get bonus credits, which is equivalent to getting up to 20% off the cost of credits. It’s also convenient to have credits added to your account for you every month. You don’t need to subscribe to use the site, it’s just a convenience, and gives you the bonus credits to thank you for participating on a regular basis.

Two Kinds of Subscription

The most popular kind of subscription is the regular “Monthly With Bonus”, which costs $20 each month. The first month of your subscription, you get 20 credits, the normal cost of credits. The second month you get 22 credits, and from the third month on, you get 24 credits, even though you’re still being charged $20/month.

If you regularly make use of live workshops and like to use other materials during the month, or if you are a couple, you’ll appreciate the “Frequent Learner” subscription. This costs $40/month and after getting 40 credits into your account the first month, you get 45 the second month, and 50 each month after that.

How to Subscribe

Once you’ve logged in, click on  Continue reading About Subscriptions

News about this Blog!

As of November 2022, this fiddle-online blog will focus on helping you understand and better make use of fiddle-online.

Upcoming post: What does it mean to “subscribe” to fiddle-online, and how does that work?

Articles about learning fiddle are now becoming available through the writers’ platform Substack — here’s the link to our articles. Through that link you’ll find some of the best fiddle-online blog posts of the past, updated, plus new ones and some that were written for Fiddler magazine, all published biweekly through the Substack link above, or subscribe below. Check it out if you like!


Eclectic Tunes!

In the materials from our past live workshops you’ll find some tunes not easily defined. For example, Jeremy Kittel, a fiddler who works with traditional roots, jazz, Celtic, classical, and electronic music, offered two fiddle-online concert/workshops that feature original tunes of his. They’re sort of Celtic but also very much his own. Neil Pearlman, who plays fiddle and mandolin but primarly is known as a great pianist in Scottish, Cape Breton, jazz, funk and other styles, taught a fiddle-online workshop focusing on a jig he wrote that is in both 6/8 and 9/8.

Another eclectic set of workshops is the “Mixed Tunes & Topics” workshop series taught by Ed Pearlman, usually containing 3 tunes to learn in each workshop. Some of the topics speak for themselves, such as the ones from Brittany, Spanish New Mexico, or English tunes.

There are 23 groups of workshops in “Mixed Tunes & Topics” — check them out, and audio from each, just by clicking on the titles of the workshops. Names of the tunes included are also listed below each title.

For example, Continue reading Eclectic Tunes!

Mexican fiddling

Mexico has a long and varied history of musical culture, and the fiddle/violin has played an important part in this history.

One of our guest fiddlers, Osíris Ramsés Caballero Léon, comes from the Huasteca, on the east coast of Mexico, an area the Huastecans controlled for 700 years until the Aztecs moved in — only to be ousted 50 years later by the Spaniards. The traditional ensemble in Huasteca is a trio featuring the fiddle backed by complicated rhythms from treble and bass guitars — and all the musicians sing as well.

Click here to hear audio samples and learn more about the concert/workshop by Osíris Ramsés Caballero Léon.

Another part of Mexico with strong fiddle connections is in the southwest, an area called Tierra Caliente. One of our workshops allows you to learn a tune from that area. Paul Anastasio has learned from experts in that region of Mexico, and in the videos for his fiddle-online concert/workshop, he performs various tunes from there as well as teaching a popular Mexican foxtrot. Click here for details.

Mariachi music and salsa are popular in Mexico and the fiddle plays a strong role in each, though we don’t have workshops in this music as yet on the site. Mexico also has a strong history of classical violin, ranging from baroque musicians who moved there from Spain and Italy in the 17th and 18th centuries, up to more recent musicians, such as one of the world’s best solo violinists, Henryk Szeryng. He became a Mexican citizen after Mexico took in 4,000 Polish refugees from WWII in 1942. Szeryng became Mexico’s ambassador for culture, the first artist to travel on a diplomatic passport.

©2022 Ed Pearlman

Jazz fiddle on fiddle-online

The violin was an important jazz instrument among both black and white players, especially in the first half of the 20th century. The European Roma took to it and many became virtuoso jazz musicians, including the great guitarist Django Reinhardt, best known as fiddler Stephane Grappelli’s other half in the Hot Club of France.

We’re very fortunate on fiddle-online to have a detailed concert/workshop on this style of music, still called “gypsy jazz,” by one of the great exponents, Tim Kliphuis, who teaches at the conservatory of music in Amsterdam. In his online concert/workshop, he not only plays some of this great music, but also tells how he got to know and work with the Roma and gained their respect for his playing. The learning part of the workshop is very detailed, including a simple jazz tune, plus jazz riffs to practice, and a sample solo to work on. Click here for audio and details. (Note, because of the extensive detail and length of this workshop, the cost is 8 credits instead of 6. Keep in mind that as with all fiddle-online workshops, 80% goes to the artist.)

On the other side of the Atlantic, in the U.S., various styles of jazz were being developed. One of the great American jazz fiddlers was Joe Venuti, who had an adventurous, heartfelt, sometimes spare, sometimes raucous sound. Our guest Paul Anastasio took lessons with Joe Venuti back in the day, and shares with us some of his style of swing jazz fiddle, including a performance of various tunes, and the teaching of the standard “Avalon,” featuring both the basic tune and a solo improv-style version Paul composed for people to learn and develop riffs and variations. Click here for more details and signup — scroll down to Paul’s second offering for the jazz fiddle selection.

Whether it’s new to you or you’re an expert, there’s a lot to learn from these concert/workshops. Even if jazz is not your thing, try it! It expands your technical and musical abilities when you stretch toward the horizons of what jazz fiddle has to offer!

©2022 Ed Pearlman

Irish fiddling on fiddle-online

One of the most fascinating parts of learning fiddle is how it varies from culture to culture, from region to region, from player to player. People might think they know about Irish fiddling but it varies quite a bit depending on county, and ultimately on the influences of individual players from each county.

On fiddle-online, we have a number of Irish concert/workshops representing different styles, including the legendary James Kelly, Liz Knowles, Alden Robinson and Grainne Brady. We also have a Tune Group of 12 Irish tunes and many regular workshop materials — see the bottom of this message for details.James Kelly’s online concert/workshop for fiddle-online presented a style he learned from growing up in Dublin. His father was a well-known fiddler and concertina player from County Clare who played in a band that was the precursor to the Chieftains, and their family home hosted countless great Irish musicians for sessions and stories. James himself is a prominent fiddler, having hosted an Irish TV show and having toured with the legendary bands Patrick Street and Planxty. Listen to James’s performance and stories, and learn two tunes from him, a jig and a reel. Click here for audio and signup info.

Liz Knowles has performed with Riverdance, played the soundtrack for the film “Michael Collins”, played with Martin Hayes Quartet, and tours worldwide with Open the Door for Three and other groups. We’re fortunate to have materials available to you from Liz’s online workshop (this one’s only 5 credits because it’s focused on the workshop and not a mini-concert). In this workshop, Liz teaches a jig, with plenty of chances for you to learn the notes, the ornamentation, bowing, variations, and even has two variations written out for you to work with. Click here for audio and details.

Alden Robinson is an American fiddler who studied traditional music in County Cork in Ireland, does solo tours and has played with several bands, including The Press Gang. He did two workshops for fiddle-online, one including a concert, and the other focusing on the interactive workshop. Learn a great jig in the one, and learn a slide (and what a slide is) in the other. Click here for info and audio about both of these offerings.

Grainne Brady is an Irish fiddle player from County Cavan in Ireland and currently based in Glasgow where she leads sessions and plays with Top Floor Taivers, string group The Routes Quartet, and Gaeilge/Gàidhlig supergroup LAS. Her concert and the tune she teaches feature original compositions she composed for an album that illustrates an Irish novel about a young woman who travels from Donegal to Scotland 100 years ago in search of a better life, and has to come to grips with many realities. Click here for audio and info.

Many other Irish tunes are available to you on fiddle-online via Ed’s workshop videos and our unique interactive sheet music, with self-repeating audio by phrase. Tune Group 5 is devoted to 12 popular Irish tunes, and you can explore triple tune workshops laid out in the Irish section of Ed’s regular workshop materials, including a group of tunes by Turlach O’Carolan, and various jigs, reels, hornpipes, waltzes, and a group of swingy Irish reels, which allow you to learn some great and challenging tunes at a reasonable pace.

In Ed’s Mixed Tunes and Topics you’ll find a number of Irish tunes taught and discussed — just look in the following topics: Tunes by Ear, Tunes for Ornamentation, D & Dm Jigs, Holiday Tunes, Spooky Tunes, Marches & Polkas, Slow Airs, and Flowing Tunes.

©2022 Ed Pearlman

Bluegrass & Old-Time

Fiddle-online has some great old-time tunes for you to hear and learn, some of which worked into bluegrass fiddling after that style grew out of the old music back in the 1940s.

Below you’ll find links to free audio samples and signup info for some great workshops featuring old-time and bluegrass music. Each workshop features a performance video including a variety of tunes, and a teaching video of one tune with interactive sheet music presenting audio for listening, play-along, and by phrase. Cost is 6 credits for 2 weeks’ access (revisit or renew at any time at 1/3 off).

Continue reading Bluegrass & Old-Time

Fiddle Tunes from Scotland offers workshops in many different styles. One group of styles, Scottish and Cape Breton, is a specialty of Ed Pearlman’s, so these styles are especially well covered. Below you’ll find links to concert/workshops by the following great Scottish fiddlers: Alistair McCulloch, Bruce MacGregor, Jennifer Wrigley, Gordon Gunn, Alasdair White, Jenna Reid, Kevin Henderson, Mike Vass, Katie McNally and Sarah-Jane Summers.

In addition to the regular and guest workshops linked below, Tune Group 3 is devoted to 12 Scottish tunes, and Tune Group 4 has 12 Shetland tunes — all with interactive sheet music and audio for listening, play-along, and by phrase. You’ll find some Scottish tunes also in Groups 1 and 2.

Below you’ll find links to free audio samples and signup info for some great workshops featuring Scottish music. Each workshop features a performance video including a variety of tunes, and a teaching video of one tune with interactive sheet music presenting audio for listening, play-along, and by phrase. Cost is 6 credits for 2 weeks’ access (revisit or renew at any time at 1/3 off).

Continue reading Fiddle Tunes from Scotland

Tunes from Québec

The lively, free-spirited fiddling of Québec has been presented on fiddle-online by several masters of the style — Éric Favreau, Pascal Gemme, and Claude Méthé, plus a number of regular workshops featuring this style of music.

Below you’ll find links to free audio samples and signup info for some great workshops featuring Québécois music. Each workshop features a performance video including a variety of tunes, and a teaching video of one tune with interactive sheet music presenting audio for listening, play-along, and by phrase. Cost is 6 credits for 2 weeks’ access (revisit or renew at any time at 1/3 off).

Continue reading Tunes from Québec