How To at Fiddle Hell November, 2023
This section will be updated in mid-September for Fiddle Hell In-Person, November, 2023.
©2020-2023 D. Reiner - All rights reserved. If you'd like to re-use some of this information for your own event, please
These How To's can also be found on the Whova event website (or the Whova Mobile app) in the How To Resource (for registered attendees). Also take a look at Q&A for FH - that may help to answer your questions.
Click on a How To item below to see the Answer.
Whova is the event system that helps you access Zoom sessions on the agenda, download handouts, see messages and announcements, visit the virtual exhibits, ask questions about sessions or in general, and (optionally) connect with other attendees.
If you've bought your Fiddle Hell Online ticket, here's how to set up a Whova account. Using your LAPTOP or DESKTOP computer, ideally with the Chrome browser, go to https://www.fiddlehellonline.org to set up your Whova account and sign in to Fiddle Hell Online once you've registered. At that website, where it says "Don't have an account?" click "Sign up here". Sign in with the same exact email address used for your registration as an attendee, and create a new password. On a laptop or desktop computer, you don't need to download any software - the Whova system is browser-based.
For iPads or other mobile devices, DO NOT follow that link! First, download the Whova Event & Conference App, then use the App to establish your Whova account, and only then look for the Fiddle Hell Online event in the App. Here's how to get apps on an iPad: https://support.apple.com/guide/ipad/get-apps-ipad9b4cea76/ipados
For iPads and iPhones, here's the Whova app you're looking for in the App Store preview: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/whova-event-conference-app/id716979741
For Android tablets and Android phones, here's the Whova app you're looking for in the Play Store preview: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.whova.event
SEEING: Use a laptop or desktop computer to attend Fiddle Hell Online - you'll see more than on a tablet or phone. Make livestreams and videos full-screen if you want to see details more easily. And it's always helpful to update your Zoom app to the latest available version: 1. Sign in to Zoom desktop client at zoom.us . 2. Click your profile picture, then click Check for Updates.
BEING SEEN: This is for live Zoom meetings, not replays. Aim your camera straight on at you (not from below), using the built-in camera in your laptop, or a webcam. Get good lighting from lamps and natural light in front of you (not backlit or overhead lights only). Have a non-distracting real background if possible (please, no virtual backgrounds, since they sometimes cut instruments out and can cause problems for people with light sensitivity).
INTERNET: Your wifi may work just fine! But if it’s slow or freezes, here are some ideas (these will help for more than just Fiddle Hell):
Connect to your network via an ethernet (preferably “cat6”) cable instead of using wifi. If you are unable to do that, locate your computer as close as possible to the router. It’s also ideal if there are no walls between you and the router. If that’s not possible, you might consider a wifi repeater or extender which will extend the coverage of your wifi network. If you’re on wifi, please take your phone off the wifi.
Certain times of day have a lot more wifi traffic than others, depending on where you live. If you can concentrate on the less busy hours, that may help a surprising amount. Since FHO sessions are replayable, you have quite a bit of control over when you see some of them. Also, close other programs on your computer, and persuade other members of the household to stay away from online gaming or bandwidth-intensive downloads or viewing.
If these suggestions don’t help, try your smartphone for replays, if you have one. Even with fast Internet, people sometimes find that their phones work more smoothly.
HEARING: Use good quality headphones and plug them into your computer before joining each Zoom session (you may need to select your headphones as the output device in Zoom audio settings after joining a session). Alternatively, use good Bluetooth speakers, or wired speakers.
BEING HEARD: You don't need anything fancy to perform in an open mic concert, or ask a question in a workshop. If you're playing an instrument that others will hear, it is important to adjust your Zoom audio settings (lower left-hand corner of the screen, ^ to the right of the mic icon) for the best sound.
First: If needed, Select a Microphone or Select a Speaker
Second: Click on Audio Settings...
Third: Within Audio Settings:
If needed, Test Microphone and adjust volume slider as needed
Uncheck the box “Automatically adjust microphone volume.”
Set “Suppress background noise” to Low.
Choose "Original sound for musicians" assuming you're playing an instrument
Check the box "Echo cancellation".
Fourth: Close the settings window, go back to the meeting window. In the upper left, if it says "Original Sound for Musicians: On" then you're all set. If it says, "Original Sound for Musicians: Off," click on that once so that it says "Original Sound for Musicians: On."
Fiddle Hell Online has additional guidelines for instructors about mics, audio interfaces, and settings, which we are happy to share with attendees on request.
First, you may find the answers you need at our Q&A page. Second, the Chrome browser is highly recommended for laptops and desktops.
During Fiddle Hell, our Fiddle Hell Online support staff will be reachable by email at
You can ask questions to the Whova support staff by emailing
Here's the general Zoom help center and a set of Zoom Q&A's from Zoom itself (select a Q&A category on the left and see questions on the right).
You can test out your connection and software from 8:30-10:30AM on Thursday, April 13 - a very good idea! In Whova, go to the DROP-IN HELP Session, which is first on the Agenda.
Looking at the Schedule page on the Fiddle Hell website (or at Agenda > Sessions in the Whova Web App), you'll see that sessions at Fiddle Hell are arranged by date and time, with 30 minute breaks between sessions.
At most time slots, you'll find a CONCERT , a JAM , and five or six WORKSHOPs .
L1 L2 L3 L4 describe levels of difficulty and pace (more info on levels here).
Styles describe various traditional music styles; many sessions cover more than one style.
Instruments are those targeted by the workshop or jam.
Instructors (not always in order) are shown with the instruments they're using for this session.
Descriptions give you exciting details of workshops, sometimes including tune names.
Use the date and track filters to focus on particular attributes, or use the very helpful search box.
Click on an instructor's name to see bio and sessions.
There are 30 concerts, 30 jams, and 160 workshops. During each of the four days April 13-16, we'll alternate one-hour sessions with 30-minute breaks, going from 10AM ET to 10PM ET. In almost every time slot, you'll find a concert, a jam, and 4 or 5 workshops (except during the Saturday Night Concert).
NOTE: Session times listed on the schedule can be displayed in your local time zone or EDT. If you're not in EDT, you'll see this choice when looking at the Agenda.
To decide which sessions to attend...
You won't miss out since you'll be able to replay sessions for 4 months afterwards, so it's fun to stretch out and try a new style or instrument - or just to relax and watch a fun concert. You don't need to sign up for individual sessions - just go where you like.
This information is for both attendees and instructors.
Signing up for a free Zoom account and installing the Zoom application from https://zoom.us/download on your laptop or desktop computer is strongly recommended for the best listening, viewing and participation experience for Fiddle Hell Online. You can also download the Zoom app for your smartphone or tablet, though you'll won't be able to see multiple instructors and other attendees in participatory workshops on these devices. Zoom does not knowingly allow children under 16 to sign up for their own accounts.
If you wish, you may disable your audio and video at any time in Zoom meetings so you will not be audible or visible to others during the live meeting or during future replays. The audio and video on-off controls, and access to audio and video settings (such as audio output to headphones) are in the lower left on laptops and desktops.
Please don't turn on a virtual background; some people have a sensory sensitivity to these.
You may wish to switch between "Speaker View" (just the instructor or performer) and "Gallery View" (everybody) by clicking on the "View" option in the upper right; this also lets you go to fullscreen view.
You can bring up the Zoom Chat window in workshops and jams, using the Chat command at the bottom of your screen on a laptop or desktop. Whova has its own chat, but we plan to just use the Zoom Chat. You can ask musical questions in the Chat to the instructor or technical questions in the Chat to the Zoom host of the session. Chats aren't saved beyond the session; if you want information to persist (such as a link), put it in the session Q&A instead.
Using an iPad? Here are some iPad-Zoom suggestions. As on laptops, please don't turn on a virtual background; some people have a sensory sensitivity to these. BTW, a left to right swipe on an iPad will get you out of viewing a video.
These tips are for iPad and smartphone users, for live viewing of workshops and jams. If you're using a laptop or desktop, you don't need to read further.
Here are the steps to view live workshops and jams on your device:
Because of internal changes to the Zoom interface, Whova on a mobile device is not able to launch the Zoom app, which is why the Zoom session plays in a Whova window.
You should be able to hear and see the session fine. You may have to allow Whova to "Call via device audio" on a phone. Once in a while there's an issue with a black screen, but if you go back to the Agenda and then to the session again, it seems to work.
You may initially see the Session Q&A and Whova Chat displayed. We don't use the Whova Chat - only the Zoom Chat. You may occasionally use the Session Q&A to enter information that needs to persist beyond the end of a live session (such as a useful link).
Controls vary across iPhones, iPads, and Android phones. Whova requires iOS 14.0 or later on an iPhone, and iPadOS 14.0 or later on an iPad.
Turning your device to landscape mode (horizontal) may make controls more visible to see the Zoom Chat and Gallery View. Also, you can tap on the video itself to get to additional settings, or on the 3 dots ("More") at the bottom to get to the Zoom Chat.
Swiping left or right on an iPhone gets you to the Gallery to see participants.
On an Android phone, you can see some standard Zoom controls across the bottom, and may also see a row of many dots. Clicking on various dots will show you the safe driving mode, the instructor, and sections of the Gallery.
We do recommend attending all Fiddle Hell Online sessions from a laptop or desktop computer (if you have one available) because you will be able to see the instructor better, more easily access the Zoom controls, more easily type questions into the Zoom Chat, etc.
Here's how to view and download handouts from specific workshops and jams (or even all sessions).
Helpful videos! Of course, not everyone does it the same way. And, change your strings at your own risk.
Fiddle - Short Version from SHAR Music
Fiddle - Long Version from Kennedy Violins
Cello - Medium Version from Nan Kemberling
Mandolin - Short Version from Long & McQuade
Mandolin - Long Version from Nate Lee
Guitar - Short Version from Martin Guitars
Old-Time Banjo - Long Version from Deering Banjo Co
Old-Time Banjo - Quite Long Version from BanjoLemonade
After the 4 days of FHO, please help us make Fiddle Hell better by filling out our anonymous survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FiddleHellApril2023
We read all responses carefully!