Fiddle Hell Schedule

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2019 Thursday


The Registration Desk is in Room R5 near the right front entrance of the Westford Regency Inn. Sign in, pay if you're not preregistered, get a stylish wristband and nametag, pick up a Program Brochure and Grid, perhaps buy a newly designed T-shirt or women's tank ($15). Then, look for your fellow fiddlers; cellists; and mandolin, guitar, and banjo players everywhere around you. 

Instructors' CDs and books are also in R5. Carriage House Violins (Johnson String Instrument) has fiddles, bows, strings and accessories, and Justin can perform minor set-up work for you (during the day). Jon Cooper will be making a new violin during Fiddle Hell. Magic Fluke will have their travel instruments to show through Sunday, and Dave Golber will have his Hardanger violins on Sunday.

Thursday FOOD Quick Lunches, Snacks, and Coffee in Lower Hallway 11AM-6:30PM Thursday

Cash Lunch Concession with inexpensive choices: Grilled Vegetable Wrap, Hot Dog, Bowl of Chili, Ham & Swiss on Bulkie, Chicken Salad on Bulkie, Chef Salad, Garden Salad, Gluten Free Sandwich (ask), Fruit, Cookies, Chips, COFFEE, Soda, Bottled Water. Eat on the go or at a session.

Thursday 12:30-1:30PM DROP IN Cello Help and Workshop: C L1 L2 L3 L4 R7 ADAMS[C]

How do I survive all these fiddle tunes in A major? Am I holding my bow right? What's a Block Strap? Bring in any question you may have about your cello. Stay a little while or for the whole hour.

Thursday 12:30-1:30PM DROP-IN Help on Mandolin from Shana: M L1 L2 L3 L4 R349 AISENBERG[M]

We will focus on your mandolin questions on scales, arpeggios, pick direction, tremolo, double stops, chord shapes up the neck, and more. Drop in or stay for a while; Shana will also teach some exercises for developing and refining technique.

Thursday 12:30-1:30PM JAM Gentle Welcome Jam: Any L1 R4 KAYNOR[F] COLLINS-HILL[M] WAICKMAN[G]

Welcome to Fiddle Hell, beginners and anyone who wants to ease into the weekend!  Nice straightforward tunes, relaxed tempos, and a sociable atmosphere, with several fine teachers to lead the way.

Thursday 12:30-1:30PM Southern Fiddle My Way: F L1 R6 SUTHERLAND[F]

Pete says: "The first fiddling I fell hard for was Southern. Loved the groove, the swing of it, the simple melodies that seemed to grow out of the bowing. I love sharing the ingredients that make this happen."

Thursday 12:30-1:30PM Learn "Ten Penny Bit" (Easy Irish Jig from CTL): F M C L1 R32 REED[F]

A fine Irish jig from our Common Tune List (CTL). It's pretty easy - the first six notes on fiddle and mandolin are open strings. There are a few opportunities for nice grace notes and rolls if we have time. You may know Mitch as a Cajun fiddler; he's a fine Irish player as well.

Thursday 12:30-1:30PM A Great Tune or Two from Maine: F M L2 R36 D. ROY[F] C. ROY[P]

Tunes from our native composers in Maine, which has a rich heritage of wicked good fiddlers and tunes. L2 tunes and gentle pace.

Thursday 12:30-1:30PM An Easy Cape Breton Strathspey as Played by the Beaton Family: F C L2 R33 BEATON[F]

Cape Breton in Nova Scotia is home to the world’s largest fiddle and bow. Even better, it’s home to a driving, ornamented, fiddle style that draws on Scottish and Irish traditions and more. Mabou (where the Beatons are from) is a great community of strathspey lovers. Learn "Editor's Favorite."

Thursday 12:30-1:30PM Learn an Oldtime Banjo Tune from Maggie Parker Hammons: B L2 R346 DE GROOT[B]

We will learn a tune from Maggie Parker Hammons, a great musician and banjo player from West Virginia.  We will learn a nice banjo arrangement, add in a few more of the trickier melody notes, and go over the chords.

Thursday 12:30-1:30PM Basic Backup for Scottish & Irish Tunes on Guitar: G L2 R8 SEFTON[G] HEELY[F]

Explore the most important aspects of accompanying Irish and Scottish tunes on guitar. Tune types, basic right hand rhythms and easy fail-safe chord progressions for most traditional tunes. We'll focus on a few Irish and Scottish tunes to put the technique in context. Players interested in Drop-D, DADGAD, and Standard tuning are welcome.

Thursday 12:30-1:30PM Developing Harmony Vocals: V L2 L3 R37 BURKE[V,G] KARLSON[V,Bass]

How to put two voices together? Susie and Brittany are both excellent singers who've sung in a variety of styles, and they'll show you some key ideas to help figure out and strengthen your harmony singing. Listen and then try it for a few different songs.

Thursday 12:30-1:30PM Easy Québécois Jig from Valcartier Area: F L2 R3 FAVREAU[F]

Always for the Quadrille dance or Partie de Set, with nice balance for the movement of dancers. Éric's here all four days to teach tunes in the French Canadian style of beauty, feeling, rhythm, and excitement.

Thursday 12:30-1:30PM Intermediate Flatpicking Guitar Leads: G L2 L3 R347 WATT[G]

Tony will review some of the most important aspects of Flatpicking Guitar in the bluegrass style, but this knowledge will apply to many other related styles of music as well. Bring your questions or just come ready to learn!

Thursday 12:30-1:30PM Singing with Lissa: V L2 R34 SCHNECKENBURGER[V,F]

Start off Fiddle Hell with a singing workshop! Lissa will teach one or two of her original songs about families and attachment, including a few helpful pointers on singing technique. Says Lissa: "... songs are part of all of us..."

Thursday 12:30-1:30PM Learn a Traditional Swedish Schottis: F Nyck L2 R245 IEVINS[F]

We'll learn a simple catchy tune known by the equally catchy name of "schottis from Rejmyre". It's friendly on either fiddle or nyckelharpa, and equally fun to play for dancers or to dance to.

Thursday 12:30-1:30PM A Lyrical Irish Jig on Mandolin: M OM L3 R247 SURETTE[M]

We will learn a sweet and ear-catching tune on the mando, with nice ornaments and traditional jig picking patterns.

Thursday 12:30-1:30PM A Quick and Devilish Lyman Enloe Tune from Missouri: F M L3 R35 C. MASON[F]

"Adrian’s Hornpipe" is a fine tune from a highly-regarded fiddler. Missouri was a microcosm of American fiddle music due to its geographical position as a settlement area from Eastern US and in the westward expansion. As such, it combines elements of early Appalachian style with the vast community of immigrants - Irish railroad workers, Cherokees, French miners and farmers and Germans.

Thursday 12:30-1:30PM The Mechanics of Irish Ornamentation: F C L3 R345 MARCH[F]

"Cooley's Reel" (from our Common Tune List) will be the canvas.  Cuts, rolls, spitting triplets, and serpentine bowings will be the paint.  Get into the nitty gritty of Irish ornamentation with a focus on how to use your fingers and hands to create a vibrant masterpiece.

Thursday 12:30-1:30PM Hot Swing Fiddle Workshop: F M L3 R31 PADILLA[F] F. COHEN[G]

Come explore some of the techniques and tricks that fiddlers like Stéphane Grapelli and Stuff Smith used to make their solos really swing. Duane came to Fiddle Hell from Hawaii to teach several great workshops and to jam.

Thursday 12:30-1:30PM Learn "Harrington Valley Two-Step" by Canadian Fiddling Great Calvin Vollrath: F L3 R1 R2 FERREL[F]

Two-steps are a regular part of barn dances across Canada to this day. The “Harrington Valley” has become a classic, must-have tune in any serious Canadian fiddler’s repertoire, thanks to Calvin Vollrath’s prolific pen.

Thursday 1:35-1:55PM FLASH HELP New to Fiddle Hell? Suggestions for You: Any L1 L2 L3 L4 R1 R2 DAVE REINER

Helpful suggestions about the Fiddle Hell schedule, choosing where to go, special events, levels for sessions, learning by ear, jamming, and more. Includes the best tips for newbies from prior attendees. Also held Friday at 10:35-10:55AM.

Thursday 2:00-3:00PM Beginning Oldtime Fiddle: F L1 R247 KAUFMAN[F]

You will learn an easy and fun oldtime tune that has all the rhythmic elements that make a fiddle tune sound "oldtime." We will discuss how you can modify the oldtime tunes you already play to have them sound more rhythmically charged and "oldtime." Alan wrote a fine book called Beginning Oldtime Fiddle, from which this workshop takes its name.

Thursday 2:00-3:00PM How to Learn Tunes by Ear with Lissa: Any L1 L2 R1 R2 SCHNECKENBURGER[F]

We’ll go through a series of exercises designed to help strengthen your ears over time, and improve your ability to learn tunes on the fly. No experience necessary, all instruments welcome. Bring a recording device and a notebook! Also Saturday at 12:30PM.

Thursday 2:00-3:00PM KIDS TEENS Really Fun Songs for Kids and Teens: V L1 L2 R8 SCHALLERT[V]

Mary is joining us at Fiddle Hell from Alaska. Learn some of the songs Alaskan kids are learning, in case they visit you, or you visit them. Or just because they're great songs and fun to sing.

Thursday 2:00-3:00PM Fiddle Tune Writing Workshop: F M L1 L2 L3 R245 FERREL[F]

Frank has composed well over 300 fiddle tunes! Says Frank: “We’ll explore inspiration, form and what fits on the fiddle. Then work together to craft a tune.” Look for Frank’s book The Ferrel Collection along with his CD of original tunes "Moxie" in the FH store.

Thursday 2:00-3:00PM Playing in Tune Harmonically: F L1 L2 R6 FLAX[F]

The most common way to approach intonation is to learn to "match" pitches in, say, a tune or a scale. Rob (channeling Pam Wiley!) has found it more effective (easier to hear) to learn to "find" your place in a chord. Come experience if this is helpful to you!

Thursday 2:00-3:00PM Just the Bassics (Bring Bass): Acoustic Bass L2 R35 KARLSON[Bass]

Bass fundamentals class! We’ll overview the lay of the land (fingerboard), time, tone, intonation, and helpful warmups which all culminate in constructing bass lines.

Thursday 2:00-3:00PM Blues Guitar Workshop: G L2 L3 R347 SURETTE[G]

Work on a couple of songs from the rich country blues traditions of the Piedmont blues and the Delta blues. This workshop will focus primarily on finger style techniques, but flat pickers are welcome, too.

Thursday 2:00-3:00PM Slow Airs and Ornaments: C L2 R4 NEWTON[C]

Adding ornaments to Scottish Airs is not so different than putting icing on the cake, color in the painting or curry on the chicken. Ornaments create character, color and emotion. We will work with a slow air and find variations of expression.

Thursday 2:00-3:00PM Four Magic Ways to Make Your Fiddling Sound More Bluegrassy: F M L2 R32 SCHATZ[F] WATT[G,V]

Art is a very tasteful bluegrass fiddler, and can show you these valuable techniques in the context of short sections of common bluegrass tunes. He'll be ably backed by Tony on guitar and vocals.

Thursday 2:00-3:00PM Learn a Fine French Canadian Tune on Mandolin "Pays de Haut": M L2 R7 COLLINS-HILL[M]

This classic, flowing French Canadian tune is a must know! Great for contra dances and easily paired with other tunes, its title translates as "High Country." Jean Carignan and Andy de Jarlis recorded it as "Winnapeg Reel."

Thursday 2:00-3:00PM A Hypnotic Oldtime Tune "Went to the River But I Couldn't Get Across": F M L2 R36 D. REINER[F] ROBINSON[G]

To start off Fiddle Hell, here's a hypnotic Oklahoma tune, easy and flowing, as played by J. S. Price. It's also played in the southeast. "Went to the river but I couldn't git across. Rode on a bullfrog, thought he was a hoss."

Thursday 2:00-3:00PM Unpacking Masterful Songwriting: V Any or None L2 R37 BRYANT[V,G]

An excellent way to learn is by studying the masters. In this session we will examine a couple of masterpieces in detail, unpacking how lyrics, melody, rhythm, and chord structure work together. We won’t write a song, but you will take away fresh perspectives on how to put one together.

Thursday 2:00-3:00PM A Träd Weekend Sampler - Playing for Swedish Dancers: F Nyck M C L2 R349 IEVINS[F,Nyck]

Träd Weekend is an intensive workshop for Scandi-interested fiddlers, cooked up by lydia together with fiddle partner Andrea Larson after their joint year in Sweden. We'll focus on engaging your core rhythm, and explore how dance and movement inform your role as a musician. Tune: "polska e. Petter Dufva nr 53."

Thursday 2:00-3:00PM Demystifying the Upper Positions: F M L3 L4 R33 M'GONIGLE[F]

We'll consider the best ways to familiarize yourself with the upper positions on the fiddle (or mandolin) neck. We'll explore strategies to re-apply your knowledge of first position into an effective access point for other positions, and to other keys to that can seem awkward or difficult in first position. All twelve keys can be yours!

Thursday 2:00-3:00PM JAM Welcome Multi-Style Jam: Any L3 R3 A. REINER[F,OM] ADAMS[C,B]

New England, oldtime, Irish, bluegrass, Scottish, and the unexpected. Says Darol Anger: "Andy Reiner is an exceptional creative presence in this rapidly evolving Fiddle world, and stands tall among his peers as an agent of positive change." Joy plays a really big fiddle to hold down the growly low end.

Thursday 2:00-3:00PM Learn Oldtime Tune "Dry" by Judy Hyman on Fiddle or Banjo: F B L3 R34 HYMAN[F] DE GROOT[B]

Learn a trance-inducing, cross-tuned, original fiddle tune written by Judy Hyman of the Horse Flies, who never officially recorded it but gave Allison De Groot and Tatiana Hargreaves permission to record it on their recent CD. Fiddlers taught by Judy; banjo players, by Allison - then we'll all play the tune together.

Thursday 2:00-3:00PM Four Ways to Infuse Lilt into Your Irish Fiddling: F L3 R345 REED[F]

We’ll explore the bowing techniques of various counties, plus ornamentations including rolls, grace notes and bowed triplets. While you might know Mitch as a Cajun fiddler, he's also a fine traditional Irish player and teacher.

Thursday 2:00-3:00PM An Enchanting Irish Jig from Altan, "The Gap of Dreams": F M L4 R353 MARCH[F]

Written by Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh of Altan, "The Gap of Dreams" is an enchanting jig in B minor. It can be heard on the eponymously named album from Altan.

Thursday 2:00-3:00PM JAM Lively Scottish Jam: Trad L4 R346 MOYNIHAN[F] WAICKMAN[G]

Start off Fiddle Hell in Scottish high gear with Jenna on fiddle and Bethany on guitar! They'll likely hit Scottish and Cape Breton tunes, with a Shetland tune or two.

Thursday 2:00-3:00PM Advanced Bluegrass Fiddle Techniques: F L4 R31 HARGREAVES[F]

An in depth look at chords, bowing, repertoire and vocabulary in bluegrass. We're very happy to have Alex at Fiddle Hell for all 4 days.

Thursday 3:30-4:30PM CONCERT Fête Française: R1 R2 FAVREAU[F]/COLLINS-HILL[TG] REED[F]/C. MASON[F] D. ROY[F]/C. ROY[P]

This dynamic, 3-part concert features fantastic Fiddle Hell instructors as performers. From Québec City in French Canada, Éric Favreau will lead off, backed by Baron Collins-Hill. Then, Mitch Reed and Cathy Mason play rollicking Cajun, followed by Don and Cindy Roy with spry Franco-American tunes.

Thursday 3:30-4:30PM "Jenny Lind Polka" - An Easy Dance Tune from the Montville Project: F M G L1 R4 FOWLER[F] BRYAN[G]

The Montville Project is is a Maine/New Hampshire based band dedicated to recording and performing the essential repertoire of New England dance music. The inspiration for this project came in the summer of 2007 at Maine Fiddle Camp (in the town of Montville), Look for George and Art's Montville Project CDs in the FH store. BTW, "Jenny Lind Polka" was first published in 1859.

Thursday 3:30-4:30PM The Basics of DADGAD Tuned Guitar: G L1 R345 WAICKMAN[G] MARCH[F]

DADGAD is an alternative guitar tuning most associated with Celtic music. This open tuning is neither intrinsically major nor minor; it facilitates moveable chords and drones. Bethany will help you tune up and get the basic idea of this tuning, with Clayton providing fiddle melody. More DADGAD at 12:30PM Saturday from David Surette and 2:00PM from Eamon Sefton.

Thursday 3:30-4:30PM KIDS Learn an Easy Scottish Tune: F C L1 R6 MOYNIHAN[F]

Learn “Highland Laddie” (or “Hielan Laddie”), a popular and well-loved Scottish March. Very often heard being played on the bagpipes. 

Thursday 3:30-4:30PM Learn an Easy Down East Jig "Squirrel in a Tree": F M L1 R33 FERREL[F]

Although a relatively easy tune to learn, this is one of the classic Maritime tunes especially favored for the first figure of a Cape Breton square set by the likes of such legendary players as Buddy MacMaster and his peers - also a great "driver" for contras as well.

Thursday 3:30-4:30PM JAM Easy Guided Bluegrass Jam: Trad V L2 R245 WATT[G,M,V] KARLSON[Bass,V]

Guided jam with easy songs – not too fast or difficult. Learn as you jam. It’s more fun if you can sing or improvise solos, but not required. The best way to get prepared is to learn a common bluegrass song to sing (you can bring the verses along to read from).

Thursday 3:30-4:30PM Klezmer 101 - The Basics: Any L2 R247 AISENBERG[F,M]

Klezmer is a rich musical tradition, with fiddle (fidl) playing a prominent role in late 19th and early 20th century Eastern European ensembles. We'll explore the scales that give klezmer its unique sound; learn to play an easy 2 part tune “Hangu From Polody”; and discuss accompaniment. No previous knowledge required. High-spirited Klezmer jam at 11AM on Sunday.

Thursday 3:30-4:30PM Learn "Kitchen Girl" on Cello or 5-String Fiddle (Oldtime Reel from CTL): C F5 L2 R31 ADAMS[C]

"Kitchen Girl" is a dramatic oldtime tune on our Common Tune List (CTL). Collected in 1966 from influential Virginia fiddler Henry Reed by fiddler and folklorist Alan Jabbour, who popularized the melody on the Hollow Rock String Band's 1967 recording (get it!). Fiddler Bill Hicks points out that "kitchen girl" was often a term used for a female slave who worked in the kitchen. Kitchen dances were a fixture of rural American life and may have been the inspiration for the title.

Thursday 3:30-4:30PM Learn a Fine Clawhammer Banjo Tune: B L2 R7 SUTHERLAND[B]

Multi-instrumentalist Pete Sutherland teaches a rare clawhammer banjo workshop at Fiddle Hell this year. Bring your rare banjo? Wait, bring any 5-string banjo and learn a fine oldtime tune.

Thursday 3:30-4:30PM Double Stop Magic on the Fiddle: F L3 R32 M'GONIGLE[F]

This is my favorite part of the fiddle. We will work on movable double stops of varied intervals through chord progressions in several keys and how you can use this amazing sound in your own music for both soloing and accompaniment.

Thursday 3:30-4:30PM Discover the Hawaiian String Band Tradition: F G C Bass M L3 R34 PADILLA[F,G]

Rediscover the early 20th century, Hawaiian string band tradition style that blended western classical music, American swing, improvisation, church hymns, Hawaiian chant, and hula; it was lost due to political forces of the era. We'll cover tunes like Hawaii Aloha, Hula Blues, Bye and Bye Hoi Ma Oe.

Thursday 3:30-4:30PM Tin Pan Alley Songs for Uke: Uke V L3 R35 BRYANT[Uke,V]

From the 1880s to the 1930s Tin Pan Alley was the hub of American popular music. When the first ukulele craze hit in the 1920s, music publishers put uke chord diagrams onto sheet music. Come learn some terrific songs from that era; chord charts provided for concert/tenor uke tuning (GCEA).

Thursday 3:30-4:30PM Rocking Out on Fiddle: F L3 R36 HYMAN[F]

After we learn a fiddle tune we’ll add bowing rhythm, explore some simple improvisation, and play to a compelling percussive groove. We’ll also look at the software in which the groove was constructed.

Thursday 3:30-4:30PM Learn a Lovely Lilting Irish Reel in F "The Swallow": F L4 R346 HEELY[F]

The key of F is absolutely beautiful and haunting on the fiddle. Learn this reel in the Clare style called "The Swallow." 

Thursday FOOD and DRINK at Old Joe Clark's Pub 4PM-11PM Thursday R9

Hungry? Thirsty? Food and drinks available at Old Joe Clark's Pub off the Lobby. Special menu for Fiddle Hell, leisurely paced. Jam session from 8PM until closing. A much faster alternative for dinner is the Quick Dinner Buffet from 6PM-8PM in the Lobby.

Thursday 5:00-6:00PM CONCERT Scottish & Cape Breton Traditions: R1 R2 HEELY[F] BEATON[F,P] MOYNIHAN[F] RANDALL[P] SEFTON[G]

Three stellar performers on fiddle, plus expert backup musicians on piano and guitar, will bring magic to the main stage. While styles may blend and cross over, Seán Heely and Jenna Moynihan represent Scottish traditions and new directions, while Andrea Beaton brings in the Cape Breton heritage.

Thursday 5:00-6:00PM Rock Violin or Cello 101: F C L1 R31 DENINZON[F]

Learn about power chords, song writing, blues and pentatonic scales, stage presence, and what kind of stinky faces to make when you're hitting the big notes to make your audience scream louder!

Thursday 5:00-6:00PM Learn an Easy Cajun Tune from BeauSoleil: F M L1 R4 REED[F]

We will learn "Madame Sosthene," an easy, standard Cajun tune. In addition to the melody we will explore drones, and how to play second fiddle for a true Cajun sound. Mitch toured with BeauSoleil for many years.

Thursday 5:00-6:00PM Easy Breton Tunes for Melody Instruments: M F C L2 R36 SURETTE[M]

Come learn a choice selection of traditional dance tunes (gavottes, en dros, hanter dros, ronds, etc.) from Brittany, the Celtic region of France. All tunes will be in fiddle-friendly keys!

Thursday 5:00-6:00PM JAM Hypnotic, Moderately Paced, Oldtime Jam: Trad L2 R32 MASON[F] ARKIN[B]

Lock in with other musicians in a moderately-paced Southern oldtime jam, with tunes on the easier side.

Thursday 5:00-6:00PM KIDS Learn a Québécois Tune "Le Rapide du Joual Blanc": F L2 R35 FAVREAU[F]

"Le Rapide du Joual Blanc" is from the singer and fiddler Jean-Claude Mirandette. He wrote
the tune in the 1990s. Thirty years after this this become to be in the Hit Parade. See you Jean-

Thursday 5:00-6:00PM A Few Central Ideas in Music Theory: Any L2 L3 R247 COLLINS-HILL[M,BZ]

There's a lot of music theory out there, but you only need to know a fraction of it in the world of traditional music. No experience necessary.

Thursday 5:00-6:00PM Sound Better, Play Faster: F L2 R346 MALKIN[F]

This is for intermediate fiddle players who aspire to move up a notch in their playing. This includes how to play in tune, how to get better tone on your instrument, and how to gradually increase your speed.

Thursday 5:00-6:00PM How to Read Music: F M L2 L3 R7 AISENBERG[F]

In learning English language skills, reading and writing go hand in hand. Learn how to employ writing as a tool for learning to read music. Also, we'll cover reading music by "sound" instead of by "instruction" or "location."

Thursday 5:00-6:00PM Playing Cool Harmonica Breaks to Songs (Bring C Harmonica): Harmonica L2 L3 R8 HARTY[Harm,G,V]

You can find C harmonicas for $10 in the Fiddle Hell store. Paul plays with the Reiner Family Band, and adds great harmonica to his guitar playing and vocals. Bring your C harmonica and learn several key techniques for playing melody, playing "cross-harp" in G, and bending notes.

Thursday 5:00-6:00PM Canadian Tunes from Don Messer & Ward Allen: F M L3 R34 FOWLER[F] BRYAN[G]

Messer and Allen were big fiddle stars in mid-20th c. Canada and have left us an incredible legacy of great dance music. We’ll learn "Don Messer's Breakdown" (Messer, of course) and "The Old Box Stove" (Allen). Look for George and Art's CDs (including The Montville Project) in the FH store.

Thursday 5:00-6:00PM Swing Fiddle: F C L3 R33 HARGREAVES[F] PADILLA[G]

We will learn a standard by ear and use it as a platform to work on voice leading, phrasing and swing feel. Alex is an innovative, cross-genre violinist described as “the best young jazz violinist in America” by Matt Glaser, artistic director of Berklee College of Music, American Roots Program.

Thursday 5:00-6:00PM Learn a Great Western Swing Instrumental: F L3 R345 SCHATZ[F] FLAX[G]

Bob Wills took the old song "Red Wing" and turned it into a great Western Swing instrumental. Come learn to play this classic fiddle tune western swing style!

Thursday 5:00-6:00PM Harmony Fiddle, Swedish Style: F F5 L3 R6 IEVINS[F,F5]

Join us for a hands-on glimpse of what's behind those luscious twin-fiddle harmonies you associate with Swedish fiddling. We'll spend a short while gaining a common waltz tune called "Svensk Annas vals", which we'll then use to explore a smorgåsbord of approaches to playing harmonies in Swedish styles.

Thursday 5:00-6:00PM Fiddle Tune Composition Lab: Any L2 L3 R245 KAUFMAN[F]

We'll listen to and analyze several classic "prototypes" of fiddle tunes, and dissect them into their component parts ("riffs"). As a group, we'll decide on a prototype to experiment with and collectively build the tune. The goal is to help you with creating your own tunes.

Thursday FOOD Quick Dinner Buffet in Lobby 6PM-8PM Thursday

Want a quick dinner before the evening sessions? The hotel is running a Fiddle Hell buffet for us in the Stoney Brook Café next to the main lobby, from 6-8PM. Help yourself to mac & cheese, BBQ chicken, green beans, garden salad, rolls and butter, and your choice of a soft drink or a bottle of water. Prices include tax and gratuity: Adults $19, Kids 4-12 $12, Kids under 4 free.

Thursday 6:30-7:30PM An Easy Franco-American Reel: F M L1 R36 D. ROY[F] C. ROY[P]

Learn this one by ear! It’s the best way to capture the style. Don will guide this L1 workshop at a slow pace, with an easy tune. Cindy will provide classic piano backup.

Thursday 6:30-7:30PM Getting Started on Oldtime Banjo (Bring Banjo): B L1 R8 DE GROOT[B]

Bring a banjo! This class is for students who are starting from the very beginning or those who want a refresher on technique. We will focus on the bum-ditty and double thumbing patterns and learn a tune you can practice them to. We will learn by ear, but tablature will be provided and it's helpful to bring a recording device.

Thursday 6:30-7:30PM JAM How to Jam - Advice and a Chance to Try It Out: Any L1 R247 F. COHEN[G,M,V]

If you’ve never jammed before, there are so many questions. What do I play? How do I even ask someone to jam? Learn the basics of this community-oriented music making method. We’ll talk about jam sessions of different styles, what to play (and what not!), and then have fun playing together.

Thursday 6:30-7:30PM KIDS Voices and Fiddles for Kids: V F L1 L2 L3 R35 FLAX[V,F]

Ever wondered what your violin would say if it could talk? Let’s find out together! In this workshop we will practice singing with our instruments (in every way you could interpret that sentence).

Thursday 6:30-7:30PM DROP-IN Plugging In - Your Questions Answered about Electric Violin: F F5 C L1 L2 L3 L4 R31 DENINZON[F]

Everything you need to know to GO ELECTRIC! We can discuss amps, effects pedals, pre amps, solid state versus acoustic instruments, and I will try to answer your questions about the mysteries of the electric world.

Thursday 6:30-7:30PM Collaborative Tune Writing: F M C L2 L3 R3 A. REINER[F]

Dissect fiddle tunes to find out what makes them tick, explore idea creation, discuss how to use melodic development to turn a small phrase into a coherent fiddle tune, and learn how to open ourselves up to receive those magic bits of inspiration. As a group, we will collaborate on writing a new tune together, and attendees will leave with a new skill set and inspiration for writing new tunes into the future!

Thursday 6:30-7:30PM Developing Your Own Exercises & Practice Routine: F C L2 L3 R6 M'GONIGLE[F]

Balancing technical with creative practice while identifying and strengthening weak areas in our playing can be a challenge. Create your own customized and ever-evolving system of practice and time allotment to maximize effectiveness of your precious practice time. Learn to develop new exercises to strengthen weaker elements of your playing while having more fun practicing!

Thursday 6:30-7:30PM Fourth Finger Considerations - When, Where, How and Why: F L2 R4 LYONN LIEBERMAN[F]

Many players avoid using the fourth finger because “it’s too short” or “it’s too weak.” Find out why these are false assumptions. Also find out why using the 4th finger is sometimes easier than using the open string. Did you notice we're in Room 4?

Thursday 6:30-7:30PM JAM DROP-IN Intermediate Bluegrass Jam: Trad V L2 L3 R347 HARTY[G,V] KARLSON[Bass,V]

Bring your bluegrass instruments (and voices) to this enjoyable jam. Brown County Breakdown, anyone? Jerusalem Ridge? Old Daingerfield? Blue Night? How about Old Home Place? Levels vary by tune, covering L2 to L3.

Thursday 6:30-7:30PM Making Performers Sound Good Using a Sound System: Any or None L2 L3 R37 MCKINLEY[Sound]

You understand something about microphones, mixers, and speakers, but how do you make musicians sound good individually, and mix several together? Colin will talk through the perspective of a sound person. He might use a volunteer instrumentalist to experiment on. Also, a very basic intro to running sound by Oliver Scanlon will be at 3:00-3:30PM.

Thursday 6:30-7:30PM Intro to Cape Breton Fiddle with "Jenny Bowser": F M L2 R34 BEATON[F]

Here's a driving, ornamented, fiddle style that draws on Scottish and Irish traditions and more. Learn "Jenny Bowser" from Andrea Beaton, of a musical family from Mabou, Cape Breton Island. This tune was originally written by J. Scott Skinner, but gained wide currency in Cape Breton after it was recorded by the Five MacDonald Fiddlers and popularized by fiddler Winston Fitzgerald.

Thursday 6:30-7:30PM Tenor Banjo Leads for Irish Tunes: TB TG BZ M OM L2 R349 SEFTON[TB]

Learn a simple tune that is easy to play and covers some of the fundamental left- and right-hand techniques of playing the Irish Tenor Banjo or similar instruments (tenor guitar, mandolin, bouzouki). Bring a 4-string tenor banjo or similar instrument, unless you just want to listen.

Thursday 6:30-7:30PM Piano Backup Techniques (Mostly Demo): Piano, Mostly Demo L2 L3 R1 R2 RANDALL[P] HEELY[F]

Cape Breton piano accompaniment has a special swing and syncopation that closely follows the fiddle, the stepdance and the Scottish Gaelic language. Some fingering and percussive styles as well as 'runs' will be demonstrated.

Thursday 6:30-7:30PM Learn "Bay of Fundy Reel," an Easy Cross-Border Tune Common to Maine and Canada: F L2 R245 FERREL[F] WAICKMAN[G]

Composed by Nova Scotia fiddler and pianist, Bill Guest, "Bay of Fundy" has become a classic in the Maritimes as well as throughout the New England dance community.

Thursday 6:30-7:30PM Playing Songs on Lead Instruments: Any Melody Instrument L2 R345 BRYANT[V,G,U]

A great way to work on playing by ear is to use song tunes. Traditional and contemporary songs are a rich source of lovely melodies. Take a little break from the breakdowns and relax into the comfort of fingering some well-known songs.

Thursday 6:30-7:30PM The Circle of Fifths is Your Best Friend Forever (BFF): Any L2 R346 AISENBERG[F,M]

Understanding the Circle of Fifths can help to unlock many music theory mysteries. Shana will discuss the major, minor and seventh chords found in any key; typical chord progressions in a key; and swing progressions with backwards cycling through the circle. She'll start at L2 and may take you to L3 territory. This is consistently one of the highest rated FH workshops.

Thursday 6:30-7:30PM Intro to Strum Bowing and Groove: F F5 C L2 R33 SILVERMAN[F]

Tracy Silverman recently wrote The Strum Bowing Method, which is about about using your bow as if you're strumming a guitar.  It's groundbreaking and fantastic, and we're privileged to have Tracy teaching at Fiddle Hell. Tomorrow, he'll teach this intro again at 9:30AM, and then a more advanced workshop at 2PM.

Thursday 6:30-7:30PM A Fine Romanian Fiddle Tune: F L3 R353 B. COHEN[F]

Romanian fiddle music isn’t really easy, but it's really a lot of fun. Romanian music is often called the roots of Klezmer music - they both use many of the same scales and ornaments.

Thursday 6:30-7:30PM Improvising for Traditional Musicians: Any L3 R32 SCHNECKENBURGER[F]

We’ll see how you can be more playful and free in playing your favorite traditional fiddle tunes, with some exercises and practice techniques to develop your own personal style. Starting with a common simple fiddle tune we’ll bend it in a variety of ways. Bring a recorder and notebook to capture ideas.

Thursday 6:30-7:30PM Learn "Chinquapin Hunting" in A on Mandolin (Oldtime Reel from CTL): M OM F B L3 R7 L3 COLLINS-HILL[M]

A brilliant 3-part old time tune in the Key of A. Mandolins in standard GDAE tuning; Fiddles cross tune to AEAE if you want; Banjos in aEAC#E.

Thursday 7:30-8:00PM TEENS Teen Meetup On Thursday Night (Ages 13-18 only): Any L1 L2 L3 L4 R35

Meet a few others your age at Fiddle Hell. It's during a break, so you won't miss a workshop.

Thursday 7:30-8:00PM FLASH READTHROUGH Read Through Trad Italian Tunes: Any L3 R37 ALESSIO[F] CHAMBERS[Acc]

Italian folk music is an important part of the country's musical heritage, and spans a diverse array of regional styles, instruments and dances. Sheet music will be provided at this very quick read-through. Bring a portable music stand if you have one.


Join fiddlers Patrick M'Gonigle, Ellen Carlson, and Alex Hargreaves as they push the limits of bluegrass fiddle. Backed by Brittany Karlson on bass, Flynn Cohen on guitar and mandolin, and special guest Jake Schepps on banjo, they'll set the main stage afire with Fiddle Hell's first bluegrass show.

Thursday 8:00-9:00PM DANCE Intro to Step Dancing for Beginners (Session 1): Dancers L1 R31 C. ROY[Step Dancer]

Just the basic step can get you through the whole party. Here's a quick chance to try some step dancing with Cindy Roy. Session 2 is a follow-on session that happens Friday at 5PM.

Thursday 8:00-9:00PM Introduction to Québécois Fiddle Style with "Reel du Vin de Gadelle": F L1 R33 FAVREAU[F]

Éric learned this version from left-handed fiddler Yvon Mimeault (from the Gaspé area) with floating bowing between light staccato and spicatto. Éric's good-humored teaching style and infectious repertoire will be with us all weekend.

Thursday 8:00-9:00PM Learn "Boatsman" (Oldtime tune from CTL): F M L1 R8 C. MASON[F]

At a relaxed pace, learn a driving, three-part oldtime tune from the Common Tune List. It likely entered the oldtime tradition from a minstrel tune. Cathy will lead you through this tune with patience and good cheer.

Thursday 8:00-9:00PM Learn an Easy One of Judy's Most Favorite Oldtime Tunes: F L2 R32 HYMAN[F] CLAUS[G]

Judy has a lot of favorite fiddle tunes. That’s the nature of loving old-time fiddle music, right? She’ll choose a great one for the occasion. Husband Jeff Claus, also from the Horse Flies, will back up on guitar.

Thursday 8:00-9:00PM Singing while Playing Oldtime Banjo: V B L2 L3 R247 ADAMS[V,B]

Can you do both? Sure, says Joy. And have a great time doing it.

Thursday 8:00-9:00PM Secrets to Playing Irish and Scottish Reels: F L2 R34 HEELY[F]

You guessed it, its about the most popular tune type -- the infamous reel. We will look at a few Irish and Scottish reels, talk about the effects of playing them at different tempos and work on ornaments, phrasing, and thinking about variations.

Thursday 8:00-9:00PM A Favorite Cello Tune from the Band Ferintosh: C L3 R4 NEWTON[C]

Abby plays cello with Ferintosh, a wonderful band that performs the vibrant folk music of Scotland, America, and Cape Breton. She'll teach one of her favorite tunes from the band's repertoire. BTW, Google tells us that "Newton of Ferintosh" is a scattered crofting township on the Black Isle in the Highland council area of Scotland.

Thursday 8:00-9:00PM Playing Oldtime Banjo Up the Neck: B L3 R7 DE GROOT[B]

We will explore the banjo up the neck through shapes, scales and chords. This will help you navigate this part of the neck, whether you are picking out a melody that goes high, transposing a low section up an octave, or taking a solo.

Thursday 8:00-9:00PM Waltz Playalong 1 of 3 Music Provided: Any L3 R6 ALESSIO[F] KAYNOR[G]

A warm, welcoming, waltz wonderland. Read the music or play by ear to drift along through a 3/4 landscape for an hour. Actual waltzers welcome. Two more waltz sessions on Friday morning and Sunday afternoon.

Thursday 8:00-9:00PM Tunes from Franco American Fiddler Louis Beaudoin on Fiddle or Mandolin: F M L3 R245 SUTHERLAND[F] SCANLON[M]

Says Pete: "As a young buck who didn't know one style from another, I was unbelievably fortunate to be introduced to this ex-cop and radiator repairman living a mile away in Burlington, VT. Louis and his music influenced me tremendously, and some of his tunes are deservedly well-known. I'll teach a couple on fiddle, with Oliver teaching the mandolin players."

Thursday 8:00-9:00PM Learn a Couple of Favorite Tunes from the Beaton and MacMaster Families: F M L4 R36 BEATON[F]

Andrea came down from Cape Breton just for the Fiddle Hell Festival, carrying with her the awesome fiddling traditions of the Beaton family, the MacMasters, and more. These three tunes are possibilities: "Elmer Briand’s Jig," "Beaton’s Delight Strathspey," and "Ann MacQuarrie’s Reel."

Thursday 9:00-9:30PM CANCELLED FLASH VOCALS The Care and Feeding of Your Voice V L1 L2 L3 L4 R36 BURKE[V]

Good advice and fun warm-ups from Susie to keep the songs coming. Also offered Sunday at 10:30AM. And stick around in Room 36 for Joy Adams' workshop at 9:30PM on harmony singing.

Thursday 9:00-9:30PM FLASH TUNE Learn a Fine Tune from a Young Vermont Fiddler F M L3 R3 SCANLON[F,M]

Multi-instrumentalist Oliver Scanlon plays with Pete Sutherland in Pete's Posse and The Clayfoot Strutters, and has a long history of awesome fiddling.  At Fiddle Hell, he's happy to pass along that tradition to you, with a fine tune selected in real-time.  Look for Oliver's debut CD in the FH store; he's also essential to the Fiddle Hell sound crew.

Thursday 9:30-10:30PM Learn to Blend Your Voice in Harmony: V Any(optional) L1 R36 ADAMS[V]

Learn how to find 2 and 3-part harmonies on a majestic and spiritual song. A gentle and fun session to try out. Bring your instrument if you have one, or just your voice. 

Thursday 9:30-10:30PM A First Tune on Mandolin (Bring Mandolin): M L1 R35 COLLINS-HILL[M]

Come learn a simple fiddle tune on the mandolin. We'll also discuss how to learn tunes, which makes the whole process easier and more enjoyable. Did you know that Baron offers free online mandolin lessons here?

Thursday 9:30-10:30PM JAM New England Slow Jam at Night: Any L2 R1 R2 FOWLER[F] BRYAN[G]

Tunes will be common repertoire similar to what you might find in The New England Fiddlers Repertoire book, but anyone is welcome to join whether familiar with the New England style or not. Bring your instruments, jokes, and favorite tunes to share. Tunes will be played 30-50% slower than usual.

Thursday 9:30-10:30PM Learning Singing Melodies on the Fly So You Can Play a Fiddle Break: F M L2 R8 CARLSON[V,F] F. COHEN[G,V]

This useful workshop is for fiddlers (and mandolin players) to learn a key element of playing solos on songs with words (as opposed to tunes).  Ellen (and Flynn) will sing a whole bunch of songs (bluegrass, folk, country, Western Swing) in different keys and show you how to pick up the melodies quickly so you can then play a break.

Thursday 9:30-10:30PM Learn "Atholl Highlanders" (Scottish March from CTL): F L2 R31 MOYNIHAN[F]

The Atholl Highlanders are a Scottish infantry regiment based in Blair Atholl. From our Common Tune List, this is a popular, 4-part 6/8 march to play on bagpipes, fiddle, cello, or other lead instrument. Some believe this was originally a Shetland tune called "The Three Sisters."

Thursday 9:30-10:30PM JAM Oldtime Jam Session with Pete: Trad L3 R7 SUTHERLAND[F] KAUFMAN[G]

How about a blast of oldtime Southern tunes? They're in Pete's DNA, we think. Ably backed up by Alan on guitar.

Thursday 9:30-10:30PM JAM Up to Speed Irish Jam: Trad L3 L4 R3 MARCH[F] SEFTON[G,TB]

The craic will be mighty! Time for lots of trad tunes, led by Clayton and Eamon. But sorry, no black pudding or barmbrack.

Thursday 9:30-10:30PM Backing Up a Vocalist: F M C L3 R4 HARGREAVES[F] HARTY [V,G]

The art of accompanying a singer without getting in the way! All genres welcome.

Thursday 9:30-10:30PM A Soulful Hungarian Violin Tune: F L4 R6 B. COHEN[F]

We’ll learn a beautiful Hungarian tune by ear, complete with ornaments and accompaniment. This is Beth Bahia Cohen's third year at Fiddle Hell, and she's bringing several new styles for us to learn and enjoy. 


Registration and Fiddle Hell Store close until 7:45AM Friday morning. But jams and workshops continue! Plan ahead for the very useful early bird sessions on Friday, starting at 8:30AM sharp.

Thursday DRINKS at Old Joe Clark's Pub 11PM-1AM Thursday R9

Thirsty? Drinks available at Old Joe Clark's Pub off the Lobby. Jam session! Last call is 12:30AM.

Thursday 11:00PM-12:00AM JAM Beginner S L O W Jam to Finish the Day (CTL): Any L1 L2 R8 LUKAČKO(F) BRYAN(G)

Terri and Art will pick easier tunes from the two Common Tune Lists (CTL), like Bile 'Em Cabbage Down, Angeline the Baker, Old Joe Clark, Gary Owen, Redwing, Soldier's Joy, Da Slockit Light, Ten Penny Bit, Jamie Allen, Road to Boston, ... A slow jam helps you learn these.

Thursday 11:00PM-12:00AM Try Out a Turkish Violin Tune: F C M L2 R6 B. COHEN[F]

While Beth also plays the Turkish bowed tanbur and kabak kemane, this workshop will focus on violin. She'll teach an easy Turkish tune as an introduction to this lively, vibrant folk music.

Thursday 11:00PM-12:00AM Singing the Fishing: V Any or None L2 R36 BRYANT[V,G,Uke]

New Englanders have harvested the sea’s bounty for thousands of years, and Europeans took fish from these waters well before permanent colonies were established. Learn a few songs about the lives and work of dorymen, whalers, and lobstermen. A session for singers.

Thursday 11:00PM-12:00AM Power Chord Workout: F C L3 R4 DENIZON[F]

Power chords are the building blocks of Rock and great for string players to understand harmony and chord changes. They also help in composing, arranging, and learning other genres. We will rock out to play music by Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, and Jimi Hendrix, and will also touch on pentatonic riffs and songwriting.

Thursday 11:00PM-12:00AM Fun Mandolin Rags: M L4 R35 KAUFMAN[M]

When you think of mandoln tunes you might not think of rags but ragtime tunes are very suited to the mandolin. In this workshop, Alan will introduce and teach two lovely rags that will seem as though they were written for the mandolin.

Thursday 12:00AM-7:00AM JAM LOCATIONS AFTER MIDNIGHT R4 R6 R7 R8 R35 R36

Official Jam Spots in the hallways are fine (not those near guest rooms), and the following rooms are open all night for jamming: R4, R6, R7, R8, R35, and R36.
The sounds are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And tunes to go before I sleep, And tunes to go before I sleep.