How to

These How To's can also be found on the Whova event website (or the Whova Phone app) in the How To Resource (for registered attendees). Also take a look at Q&A for FH Online - that may help to answer your questions.

Click on a How To item below to see the Answer.

How to Get the Best Audio and Video Quality

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.

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 are often busy while others are not, 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, it is helpful to click on "Turn on Original Sound" (upper left hand corner of a Zoom meeting). In Zoom audio settings, uncheck the box "Automatically adjust microphone volume" and set "Suppress background noise" to Low. FIddle Hell Online has additional guidelines for instructors about mics, audio interfaces, and settings, which we are happy to share with attendees on request.

How to Understand Workshop & Jam Descriptions

Looking at the Schedule page on the Fiddle Hell website (or at the Agenda 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.

(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.

How to Find the Best Workshops or Jams for You

There are 35 concerts, 34 jams, and 160 workshops. During each of the four days Nov 5-8, we'll alternate one-hour sessions with 30-minute breaks, going from 10AM ET to 11PM ET. In almost every time slot, you'll find a concert, a jam, and 5 workshops (except during the Saturday Night Concert).

All workshop times listed on the schedule are in your local time zone, not ET.

To decide which sessions to attend...

  • Look at the  Style  (such as Old-Time, Irish, Scottish, New England, Bluegrass, etc.)
  • Look at the target  Instruments  (such as fiddle, cello, guitar, mandolin, old-time banjo, ...)
  • Look at the instructors or performers. Click on their names to read their bios.
  • Look at the level(s)  L1    L2    L3    L4  of the session (L1 Beginner, L2 Low Intermediate, L3 High Intermediate, L4 Advanced). The level affects both difficulty and pace. More info on levels here.
  • Look (especially!) at the session title and description

You won't miss out since you'll be able to replay sessions for 3 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.

How to Pace Yourself at Fiddle Hell
  • Attend a mixture of concerts, jams, and workshops.
  • Stay hydrated
  • Stretch or walk around during breaks
  • Give yourself and your eyes a break from screens and devices
Note: Hour-long concerts, jams, and workshops will be available for replay, so if you miss them at the originally scheduled time, you can replay them later. 
How to Change Your Strings

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

How to Park at Fiddle Hell

You don't need to park at a virtual event. But you knew that...