Fiddle Hell Schedule

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2018 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 T-shirt ($15 or 2 for $25). Then, look for your fellow fiddlers; cellists; and mandolin, guitar, and banjo players everywhere around you. 

T-shirts and instructors' CDs and books are also in R5, which closes at 10:40PM Thursday. 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 has splendid violins to show, and will be making a new violin during Fiddle Hell. Magic Fluke will have their Cricket travel violins to show on Friday and Saturday. Dave Golber will have his Hardanger violins to show on Sunday. 

Thursday FOOD Quick Lunches, Snacks, and Coffee in Lower Hallway 11:00AM-6:30PM

Cash Lunch Concession with inexpensive choices: Vegetarian Wrap with Grilled Veggies, Roast Turkey & Bacon Wrap, Hot Dog, Individual Pizza, Soup, Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad, Fruit, Cookies, Chips, COFFEE, Soda, Bottled Water. Eat on the go or at a session.

Thursday 12:30-1:30PM JAM Gentle Welcome Jam: Any L1 R1 KAYNOR[F,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 a fine teacher to lead the way.

Thursday 12:30-1:30PM Getting Started on Oldtime Banjo (Bring Banjo): B L1 R347 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 12:30-1:30PM An Easy Oldtime Tune from The Horse Flies: F M L1 R2 HYMAN[F]

Although it evolved over 37 years into a mostly original acousto-electric band, The Horse Flies began as an old-time stringband playing lots of simple, meditative fiddle tunes. Let’s learn one of these!

Thursday 12:30-1:30PM Scottish Pipe March "Cock Of the North" (New 52): F L1 R6 MCNALLY[F]

An essential and accessible 6/8 march in the key of A for any Scottish fiddle player.

Thursday 12:30-1:30PM DROP-IN Technical Help with Fingering: F C L1 L2 L3 L4 R353 WILEY[F]

Pam will address individual questions and concerns about left-hand technique.

Thursday 12:30-1:30PM An Ancient Irish Tune "Brian Boru's March" (Original 52): F M L1 R33 T. MORLEY[F]

"Brian Boru's March" is a traditional Irish tune about the High King of Ireland from about 941-1014. Brian Boru died in the Battle of Clontarf in which his army defeated the Vikings. This tune was originally a slow air but is now usually played as a faster march. Some think this may be the oldest fiddle tune.

Thursday 12:30-1:30PM Four Easy, Useful Licks You Won't Forget for Improvising: F C M L2 R245 CARLSON[F] HARTY[G,V]

We will learn 4 licks and then apply these licks to different styles of songs and different keys. Then we'll show how to expand the licks. If you have taken this workshop before, there is more to learn and practice!

Thursday 12:30-1:30PM A Nice Québecois Tune, "Le Reel de la Broue": F M L2 R31 FAVREAU[F]

Begin the Fiddle Hell weekend with "Le Reel de la Broue," from the fiddler and harmonica player Luc Veilleux from Eastern Township. Mr. Veilleux was an incredible harmonica player with powerful sound and rhythm. Éric met him a few times a long time ago.

Thursday 12:30-1:30PM Irish Mandolin Workshop with Flynn: M L2 R346 F. COHEN[M]

Learn a fun tune while picking up Irish mandolin techniques for both your left and right hands.

Thursday 12:30-1:30PM How to Make Your Fiddling More Bluesy: F C L2 L3 R36 M'GONIGLE[F]

Feeling lonesome isn’t the only way to play the blues properly… Using pentatonic scales, bends (aka slides), syncopation, and the I, IV, and V chords are also all great ways to play. We'll listen to examples of tunes and players who use the blues effectively and decipher what works and why.

Thursday 12:30-1:30PM An Easy East European Tune: F M C L2 R7 AISENBERG[F,M]

The fiddle music of Eastern Europe encompasses Klezmer, Balkan, Greek and Gypsy traditions. We'll explore the unique scales, modes and odd meter rhythms that are often used in these styles, and learn to play a beautiful tune.

Thursday 12:30-1:30PM Guitar Workshop with Skip: G L2 L3 R349 GORMAN[G]

For over 60 years, Skip has been following the old-time mountain and bluegrass guitarists like Riley Puckett and Jimmie Rodgers and their older styles of guitar picking on 78 and LP recordings. He'll lead you through some of the nuances and techniques executed on guitar behind instrumental and vocal music of the period 1920-1970.

Thursday 12:30-1:30PM Oldtime Waltzes (with Harmony): F M L3 R247 KAUFMAN[F]

Some of the most outstanding fiddle tunes are waltzes. In this session you will be introduced to a few lovely and memorable old-time waltzes. Once we learn the tunes together we will apply a harmony to them to further bring out their beauty.

Thursday 12:30-1:30PM A Great Irish Reel: F C L3 R34 WICKEL[F]

We're not sure just what tune Duncan will teach. Here he is playing a jig and a reel in the Under-18 Fiddle competition at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2006. Did you know that Duncan also plays the uilleann pipes?

Thursday 12:30-1:30PM Thoughts and Exercises for Improvisation from Graham: Any L3 R37 CLARK[F]

Improvisation is making it up as you go along - spontaneous creativity. This session will look at various approaches to improvisation, not only looking at how to make lines that sound right, but how to make them interesting, using a range of simple techniques.

Thursday 12:30-1:30PM Backing Up Irish Tunes on Guitar in DADGAD Tuning: G L3 R8 MURPHY[G]

Good intro to this popular alternate tuning in Irish music. The focus will be on some very useful and beautiful sounding chord shapes in DADGAD but we will also run through some rhythmic concepts that are applicable in other tunings. Capo and recording device recommended.

Thursday 12:30-1:30PM A Classic Cajun Tune from Dewey Balfa F C M L3 R35 WEEKS[F,C]

Pam will teach a fine tune from the repertoire of the great Dewey Balfa, including both melody and seconding. Get yer Cajun on! Aeiii!

Thursday 12:30-1:30PM A Favorite Dance Tune from the Clayfoot Strutters: F M L3 R32 SUTHERLAND[F]

The Clayfoot Strutters were among the very earliest of the big groundbreaking ‘jam band’ style contradance outfits of the modern age. At 29 years and counting, they continue to be a huge influence. Founding member Pete Sutherland will teach a classic tune or two from the Strutters’ timeless repertoire.

Thursday 12:30-1:30PM Learn "Cutting Ferns" (Scottish Strathspey from New 52): F L3 R3 BEATON[F]

We'll learn this iconic and fun strathspey, focusing on playing it with intensity. The strathspey is said to have originated from the strath or broad glen of the River Spey in NE Scotland. In 4/4 time, but slower than a reel, it contains dotted rhythms, including the Scotch (Scots) snap.

Thursday 12:30-1:30PM Tunes from New Brunswick Fiddler Gerry Robichaud: F L4 R4 FOWLER[F] BRYAN[G]

Robichaud was influenced by Canadian greats Don Messer and Tommy Doucet. We'll learn "Moccasin Shuffle" and explore another tune or two from his extensive and unusual repertoire.

Thursday 12:30-1:30PM A Classic Bill Monroe Bluegrass Fiddle Tune, "Gold Rush": F M C L2 R345 SCHATZ[F]

Bill Monroe was known as the "Father of Bluegrass Music." Learn to play this bluegrass standard, co-written and first recorded by the great Byron Berline. It's a fun tune, played at bluegrass jam sessions everywhere. We'll get it under your fingers and you'll be ready to join in!

Thursday 1:35-1:55PM FLASH HELP New to Fiddle Hell? Suggestions for You: R1 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 Learn Two Basic and Beautiful French Tunes: F L1 R6 TRACY[F]

I’ve been playing with Rachel Bell lately and we love to delve into tasty French tunes. Here are two beauties: "Avant Deux de Travers Quatre" and "Bourree Carree de Montgusty."

Thursday 2:00-3:00PM "Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine" (Oldtime March in New 52): F M L1 R346 C. MASON[F] ARKIN[G]

This is a stirring and lyrical march that is easy to learn. The second half of the B part is the same as the second half of the A part. "Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine" will be played at the Saturday 10:30AM FLASH MARCH; paired with "Trip to Moscow."

Thursday 2:00-3:00PM How to Learn Tunes by Ear with Lissa: Any L1 L2 R3 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 Friday at 2PM.

Thursday 2:00-3:00PM "The Road to Boston" on Cello (New England March in New 52): C L1 R37 WEEKS[C]

This easy and classic march was one of the most popular American Army tunes of the Revolutionary War.
Still a fine tune today, it is the “March to the Dining Hall to Thank the Cooks” tune of choice at
Maine Fiddle Camp!

Thursday 2:00-3:00PM KIDS Voices and Fiddles for Kids: V F L1 L2 L3 R349 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 2:00-3:00PM An Oldtime Banjo Tune "Old Billy Hell": B L2 R8 DE GROOT[B]

We will learn "Old Billy Hell" from the playing of Estill Bingham of Kentucky. We will learn a nice banjo arrangement, add in a few more of the trickier melody notes, and go over the chords.

Thursday 2:00-3:00PM Essential Bowing Patterns Workshop: F C L2 L3 R1 D. REINER[F]

The rhythmic drive, flow of notes, and liveliness of a fiddle tune owe much to the patterns woven by the fiddler's bow. Dave will impart this essential knowledge in a very approachable way, at an L2 level, with a few L3 patterns and techniques. Helpful handout of patterns and names.

Thursday 2:00-3:00PM "Scotland," a Bluegrass Fiddle Tune by Bill Monroe: F M L2 R32 CARLSON[F] ROBINSON[G]

Learn "Scotland" and some possible harmony parts. Bill Monroe (Clan Munro?) paid homage to his Scottish-Irish ancestry with this stately composition, which evokes the sound of a bagpipe drone. Taught by ear but music and recording available.

Thursday 2:00-3:00PM Oldtime Fiddle Technique for Violinists & Violin Technique for Fiddlers: F L2 L3 R247 HYMAN[F]

Judy will teach a simple oldtime tune and use it to help violinists get a more fiddle-y sound and fiddlers improve their violin technique. All will learn different perspectives on playing. Mostly L2 but L3 welcome (perhaps you've been playing New England style and want to sound more Southern).

Thursday 2:00-3:00PM A Fine Cape Breton Tune from the Repertoire of Joe Cormier: F M L2 R33 MCNALLY[F]

Joe Cormier (1927-2015) grew up speaking French in Chéticamp, Cape Breton, but the musical tradition around him was mostly Scottish. He moved to Waltham, MA in the 1960's. We'll learn a couple of tunes from Joe's seminal recording, "The Dances Down Home."

Thursday 2:00-3:00PM Open Chords on the Mandolin: M L2 R4 MURPHY[M]

Drawing inspiration from bouzouki style accompaniment in the Irish music world, this mandolin approach is based less on triads and more on simple lines with drones. The chord shapes are easy and are a great basis for the kind of strong rhythm playing that is essential in accompanying so much fiddle music.

Thursday 2:00-3:00PM JAM DROP-IN Intermediate Bluegrass Jam: Trad V L2 L3 R245 HARTY[G,V] OBOMSAWIN[Bass,V]

Bring your bluegrass instruments (and voices) to this early 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 2:00-3:00PM Klezmer 101 - The Basics: Any L2 R34 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 scales; learn to play easy tunes (freilachs, bulgars, khosidls and horas); and discuss accompaniment. No previous knowledge required. Klezmer jam at 11AM on Sunday.

Thursday 2:00-3:00PM An Oldtime Chattanooga Tune: F M C L2 R345 T. MORLEY[F]

With his recent move to Chattanooga, Tom has been sitting in on local oldtime jams, learning fiddle tunes popular with the East Tennessee fiddlers there. Tom picked one of his new favorites, “Old Chattanooga,” a simple but nicely syncopated tune in G, to teach in this class.

Thursday 2:00-3:00PM Fun Mandolin Rags: M L3 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 2:00-3:00PM "Beaumont Rag" (Western Swing Tune from New 52): F L3 R347 SCHATZ[F]

This tune, in the New 52, originated in East Texas in the 1920s and was later recorded by Bob Wills, Johnny Gimble and countless others. We'll learn this in the original key of F, which sits great on the fiddle once you get the hang of it.

Thursday 2:00-3:00PM New England Tune Workshop: F M C L3 R2 KAYNOR[F]

Interesting and fun tunes, techniques, and tricks, and a bit of recording for repertoire development. Learn from a fine fiddler and consummate contra caller. David promises to reveal all (well, several) of his secrets.

Thursday 2:00-3:00PM The Iconic Canadian Tune "Maple Sugar": F L3 R36 D. ROY[F] C. ROY[P]

"Maple Sugar" was written by Canadian fiddler Ward Allen and is considered a classic of the Canadian fiddle repertoire. Let’s take this simple melody and see how much fun we can have with variations.

Thursday 2:00-3:00PM A Favorite Irish Highland from Gerry: F M L3 R31 O'CONNOR[F]

Gerry will teach the highland “The Chicken's Gone to Scotland.” It's one of the many unique and interesting tunes from his soon to be launched tune book Rose in the Gap (Dance Music of Oriel). This is Gerry's first descent into Fiddle Hell.

Thursday 2:00-3:00PM Breton Gavottes from Kevin Burke: F L3 R353 JOHNSTONE[F]

Roy says: “These gavottes were recorded by Kevin Burke in the 1980’s. I believe Kevin learned these tunes from fiddler Patrick Seacou. Mantra-like in their simplicity and repetition, and part of the gavotte dance tradition of Bretagne, they are among my favourites.” Roy travelled recently to Bretagne to further explore their fiddle music.

Thursday 2:00-3:00PM Classic Scottish Fiddle Tunes in C: F L4 R7 MCOWEN[F]

Fiddle tunes in the key of C are shaped a little differently because of the layout of the open strings. We’ll learn a lesser-known strathspey and reel set ("Lady Lucy Ramsay," "Johnny Groat’s House") and do a quick overview of some of the other popular C repertoire.

Thursday 3:30-4:30PM CONCERT Scottish, Cape Breton & PEI Traditions R1 BEATON[F,P] NEWTON[C] MCOWEN[F,P] JOHNSTONE[F] SEFTON[G]

Four individual performers on fiddle and cello, plus one hard-working backup guitarist, will bring magic to the main stage for this concert. While styles may blend and cross over, Abby and Barbara represent Scottish traditions, Andrea brings us the Cape Breton sound, and Roy channels Prince Edward Island music.

Thursday 3:30-4:30PM Yoga as Applied to Fiddle Muscles and Issues: F L1 L2 L3 L4 R245 BESHARA[YOGA,F]

Yoga is so good for fiddlers! This "Yinyasa" class starts with a yin yoga sequence for stretching the connective tissue of the body, breathing, and deep relaxation, and then a vinyasa flow to encourage awareness of posture, focusing on parts of the body fiddlers work the hardest. Bring a yoga mat, and any yoga props you have (blocks, yoga belt). Participants are responsible for their own well-being (not Fiddle Hell) in this yoga session.

Thursday 3:30-4:30PM Basic Guitar Backup for Oldtime, Cajun, Québecois & New England Styles: G L1 L2 R6 OLSON[G]

The accompanist helps to drive the music along in these musical genres. Bill will show you several key techniques to get it done for reels, jigs and 2-steps. A more advanced version of this workshop is on Friday at 2PM.

Thursday 3:30-4:30PM DROP-IN Fiddle Technique - Bring Your Questions for Answers and Discussion: F L1 L2 R7 SCANLON[F]

This drop-in session is especially for beginners and low intermediates on fiddle. Bring Oliver your questions on left hand, right hand, bowing, intonation, rhythm, and styles from New England to Oldtime to more. Drop in for a little while or stay for the hour to learn.

Thursday 3:30-4:30PM Collaborative Tune Writing: F M C L2 L3 L4 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 3:30-4:30PM JAM Easy Oldtime Jam in the Afternoon: Trad L2 R31 C. MASON[F] HARTY[G]

Cathy and Paul have led many happy jams over the years, and they’ll share a few nuggets of helpful advice on jamming throughout this session. It’ll be very basic to start with, and will pick up a bit as the jam progresses.

Thursday 3:30-4:30PM Blues Fiddle: From Its Roots Through Today: F C M L2 R36 LYONN LIEBERMAN[F]

Violinists and vocalists invented the style we call “the blues.” Without the blues, we might not have Boogie Woogie, rock, pop, or possibly even swing! This style even influenced traditional Appalachian fiddling. We’ll explore vital ingredients to jam over 12-bar blues and boost your super powers in this style.

Thursday 3:30-4:30PM Learn a Traditional Cajun Two-Step Including Seconding: F C L2 R35 KAMINSKY[F]

One of the lovely and distinctive things about Cajun music is having twin fiddles, exchanging leads and "seconding" (backing up) each other. We'll learn about rhythm patterns and chord shapes that will give your fiddling that Cajun feeling, with combined influences of music from Louisiana, Texas, Québec, and Cape Breton.

Thursday 3:30-4:30PM Learn to Sing Great Old Ballads from the Helen Hartness Flanders Collection: V L2 L3 R34 SUTHERLAND[V,G]

85 years ago, Vermonter Flanders was a force in documenting ancient European ballads and folk songs still to be found in the hills of New England. Pete’s great great aunt was one of her many informants with an archaic version of “Two Sisters.” Pete, an adjunct instructor at Middlebury College where the collection is housed, will discuss it and teach several lively examples.

Thursday 3:30-4:30PM Easy and Sweet Melodies from the Cow Camp: M F L2 R345 GORMAN[M,F]

Skip says: We'll choose some pretty tunes from my CD "Mandolin in the Cow Camp" (in the Fiddle Hell Store). Start your day with gorgeous, lonesome, wild and woolly oldtime melodies from the Western Plains.

Thursday 3:30-4:30PM Chord Charts & Lead Sheets: F C L2 L3 R4 DENINZON[F]

As a musician on any instrument, you may encounter chord charts and lead sheets at gigs and recording sessions. These require you to sight-read the harmonies written ABOVE the notes and come up with your own parts, without relying solely on written notes. This class demonstrates incremental practice techniques to develop this skill.

Thursday 3:30-4:30PM KIDS Amazing Kids' Session Any L3 R8 ADAMS[C,F,B,V]

Learn an oldtime tune TBD with funky lyrics. Then we'll play rhythm and groove games and get our jam on!

Thursday 3:30-4:30PM Ornaments in Irish Fiddling: F L3 R32 TRACY[F]

We’ll learn a classic tune, "Music in the Glen" in the key of G, with cuts, interesting rolls, tricky third finger serpentine bowing. A meaty tune to help improve your playing!

Thursday 3:30-4:30PM Creative Bluegrass Fiddling: F M C L3 R247 WICKEL[F] F. COHEN[M,G]

Using bluegrass fiddle tunes and songs, we will begin by embellishing the melody little by little, incorporating easy excersises that will challenge you to begin improvising expressively while never losing the anchor of the tune or song. 

Thursday 3:30-4:30PM "Swinging on a Gate" (Irish Reel from New 52): F M L3 R346 MARCH[F]

We will explore bowing patterns, Irish ornamentation and double stops on this raucous reel.

Thursday 3:30-4:30PM Québecois Gaspésie Style Workshop "Watching the Clock": F M L4 R33 FAVREAU[F]

The left handed fiddler Yvon Mimeault has a unique style. He has a very large repertoire from different sources. He picked up this tune when he was young from a radio program where the player was Eddie Poirier from Moncton, New-Brunswick. It's a very nice tune for dance.

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

Hungry? Thirsty? Food and drinks available at Old Joe Clark's Pub off the Lobby. Special menu for Fiddle Hell, leisurely paced.

Thursday 5:00-6:00PM CONCERT Cajun Bon Temps! R1 C. MASON[F] WEEKS[F,C] KAMINSKY[F] OLSON[G] REED[F]

Laissez les bons temps rouler! These fine players will be playing in various dynamic combinations. A special guest is Mitch Reed, who toured for 11 years with BeauSoleil and has recently moved to Maine.

Thursday 5:00-6:00PM A Simple Cape Breton Reel: F M L1 R36 BEATON[F]

You’ll learn a good old traditional tune that's one of Andrea's favorites, as played on Cape Breton Island. This will be at a relaxed pace for beginners.

Thursday 5:00-6:00PM DANCE Introduction to Step Dancing for Beginners: L1 R34 C. ROY

Just the basic step can get you through the whole party. Here's a quick chance to try some step dancing with Cindy Roy. Also offered Sunday at 3:30-4:30PM.

Thursday 5:00-6:00PM DROP-IN Help on Fiddle Technique: F C L1 L2 L3 R346 MALKIN[F]

Sound better, play faster. Right hand, left hand, intonation, tone, vibrato, and more (drop in for just a few minutes or stay the whole time). Maine Fiddle Campers already know Elaine, of course.

Thursday 5:00-6:00PM Ergonomic Fiddling & Technique: F L1 L2 L3 L4 R32 SCHNECKENBURGER[F]

Lots of musicians experience technical stumbling blocks that get in the way of their musical expression, and sometimes even give them pain. We’ll look at how good technique can help us play fiddle pain-free and sound better than ever.

Thursday 5:00-6:00PM Playing in Tune Harmonically: F L1 L2 R4 WILEY[F]

The most common way to approach intonation is to learn to "match" pitches in, say, a tune or a scale. I have 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 5:00-6:00PM KIDS DROP-IN Help on Fiddle and Mandolin Techniques & Styles: F M L1 L2 L3 L4 R7 FLAX[F,M]

Ask a question, get an answer! How to play chords on a tune? How to count in South Indian rhythmic solfege (konnokol)? How to play a bluegrass lick? Electronics with your fiddle? How nature and dragons and magic and mathematics relate to mandolin or fiddle? Drop in; it’s first-come, first-served.

Thursday 5:00-6:00PM "The Stool of Repentance" (Scottish Jig from New 52): F L2 R245 BESHARA[F]

Learn one of the most popular Scottish pipe jigs. We’ll dive into the notes, the “swing,” ornamentation, and suggested variations.

Thursday 5:00-6:00PM Swedish Tune Workshop: F C L2 R33 KAYNOR[F]

Interesting, yet accessible tunes from a staggeringly rich tradition where fiddle is the most important instrument. We’ll work in detail on an easy schottische or march and a melodically and rhythmically mysterious polska.

Thursday 5:00-6:00PM Flatpicking Guitar Techniques: G L2 L3 R8 F. COHEN[G]

Learn to flatpick and ornament “The Morning Star,” an Irish tune played in first and second positions using bluegrass guitar techniques. You should be able to play a G major scale with alternate picking and have some experience with fiddle tunes. We’ll use a heavier pick for this class. Tablature and notation available.

Thursday 5:00-6:00PM Southern Fiddle My Way: F L2 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 5:00-6:00PM An Irish Reel as Played by Kevin Burke: F L2 R247 T. MORLEY[F]

Master Irish fiddler Kevin Burke has performed and recorded with seminal groups The Bothy Band and Patrick Street. He recorded “The Raheen” as part of a reel medley on his 1984 album “Up Close” and likes to play and teach it in his own workshops today. We’ll learn it as Kevin plays it.

Thursday 5:00-6:00PM A Canadian Maritime Waltz: F L3 R35 FOWLER[F]

From Nova Scotia, we'll learn "Florence Killen's Waltz" and then George will present a few more great tunes to take home for later learning.

Thursday 5:00-6:00PM Scottish Pipe Jig "Walking the Floor": F M C L3 R31 MCNALLY[F]

A tune that's popular in both the Scottish and Cape Breton traditions. We'll learn the notes and add bowings and ornamentation to bring out the "pipey" sound of this tune.

Thursday 5:00-6:00PM Contemporary Fiddle Licks & Ideas for Bluegrass and More: F L4 R345 M'GONIGLE[F]

Bluegrass fiddle seems increasingly difficult to define… And that’s good! Explore the merging of traditional bluegrass fiddle styles (Kenny Baker, Bobby Hicks, Benny Martin) with modern sounds (Stuart Duncan, Aubrey Haynie and YOU! among others) and in the process, help you find your voice and work towards stylistic playing and improvisation techniques.

Thursday 5:00-6:00PM A Wild Tune from South Ulster, Ireland: F L4 R3 O'CONNOR[F]

“Ginger Kate” is a 4 part reel in Gm; not for the faint hearted! From the collection The Rose in the Gap, to be launched at Fiddle Hell in a Flash Book Session on Friday at 7.30PM.

Thursday 6:30-7:30PM Fiddle Tune Composition Lab: Any L1 L2 L3 L4 R34 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 6:30-7:30PM Tips for Better Practicing: Any L1 L2 L3 L4 R1 CARLSON[F] F. COHEN[G,M]

Practicing is more than just playing tunes :-). Get the most out of your practice time with insightful and helpful tips learned from years of experience. Between them, Ellen and Flynn cover fiddle, mandolin, and guitar, but their suggestions should be applicable to any instrument. Topics include goal setting, technique, practicing for improvising and improving tunes.

Thursday 6:30-7:30PM Québecois Song (and Foot) Workshop with Éric: V L1 L2 L3 L4 R6 FAVREAU[V]

Of course, you know Éric on the fiddle - did you know he's also a fine singer, with a repertoire of traditional Québecois songs? He says "I will can mix this with foot tapping and the songs will be the most popular ones every Québécois knows, not specialized, no rare songs, no depressive, only happy, happy!"

Thursday 6:30-7:30PM Explore Jig Bowing on an Easy Jig from Maine F L1 R2 FOWLER[F] BRYAN[G]

Using "Starry Night for a Ramble," an easy tune to learn if you don't know it, George and Art will show you a few ways to make your jig bowing feel more comfortable, rhythmic and flowing.

Thursday 6:30-7:30PM Grooves for Beginning Cellists: C L1 R349 ADAMS[C]

Learn how to become a cello chameleon! Shred the melody like a fiddler, groove like a bass, and chop like a drummer. We will also discuss modifying fiddle tunes to suit the cello.

Thursday 6:30-7:30PM River of Suck: Healthy Musical Attitudes: Any L1 L2 L3 L4 R4 A. REINER

Andy's practical and sage advice will help you make progress on your instrument while keeping sane! This has been described as "transformational" by several prior attendees.

Thursday 6:30-7:30PM Learn Scottish "Raivlin Reel" from the Composer: F M C L2 R35 MCOWEN[F]

It’s a “lucky” tune which turns up in sessions worldwide - according to it’s a traditional Irish reel (not!). We’ll also look at the Scottish crunch and some fun bow-throwing techniques which can enhance this and other tunes.

Thursday 6:30-7:30PM Riff, Pattern, Melody: What’s the Difference?: Any L2 R33 LYONN LIEBERMAN[F]

Be the driver at the wheel rather than grazing the landscape without direction. Learn to master the difference between these three musical vessels and boost your skills for tune interpretation, soloing and writing your own tunes.

Thursday 6:30-7:30PM Deceptively Simple: Bringing Irish Trad Tunes to Life: F L2 R347 MARTIN[F]

It’s deceptively simple!...or is it deceptively challenging? Come and find out! We’ll explore some of the secrets of making even the simplest traditional Irish tunes sound enthralling. We’ll learn a barn dance by ear and will explore some subtle bowing and variation techniques to add nuance and musicality.

Thursday 6:30-7:30PM Harmony Singing: V L2 L3 R345 WEEKS[V,F] OLSON[V,G]

Bill and Pam harmonize with Jim Joseph in their trio, T-Acadie, on everything from sea shanties to Doo-Wop. We’ll share our process with you, and we will all create some harmony together!

Thursday 6:30-7:30PM TEACHERS Vibrato from the Sound Up: F L2 L3 R245 WILEY[F]

Vibrato is a sound, not a motion. Most folks approach vibrato as a complicated and awkward movement of the left hand. When approached as a sound (which is the point), it becomes much easier.

Thursday 6:30-7:30PM KIDS Mandolin for Kids (Bring Mandolin): M L2 R37 FLAX[M]

We will learn the basics and play a song on the mando, come on out! Rob's a multi-instrumentalist, and a friendly teacher whose technique suggestions are worth their weight in gold.

Thursday 6:30-7:30PM The Magic of Pentatonic Scales: Any L2 R346 AISENBERG[M,F]

How far can you go with just 5 notes? Quite a ways, it turns out. We'll explore both major and minor pentatonic scales, and learn how to use them to improvise solos in various styles such as blues and bluegrass, even if you've never improvised!

Thursday 6:30-7:30PM Learn "The Smiling Bride" Irish Jig: F M C L3 R32 TRACY[F]

Here is an exhilarating Charlie Lennon tune that is so fun to play. I’ll include the ornamentation, of course. We might have time to explore the change tune, "Handsome Young Maids" as well.

Thursday 6:30-7:30PM JAM Up to Speed Irish Jam: Trad L3 L4 R247 MARCH[F] SEFTON[G,TB]

The craic will be mighty! Time for lots of trad tunes. Sorry, no black pudding or barmbrack.

Thursday 6:30-7:30PM JAM Franco-American Jam with Don & Cindy Roy: Trad L3 R36 D. ROY[F] C. ROY[P]

Let's share some energy through the music on this fine Thursday evening at the beginning of Fiddle Hell. This will include tunes from Québec and the Canadian Maritimes that have been popular in Maine. Don and Cindy were named National Heritage Fellows by the National Endowment for the Arts earlier this year!

Thursday 6:30-7:30PM A System for Playing Syncopation, Clawhammer Style: B L3 R353 PERLMAN[B]

A complete system based on a simple technique called a "skip" or "ghost brush." Mastering it will help you improve your song breaks, exactly capture the rhythms of complex Appalachian fiddle tunes and even venture into the fields of ragtime and blues.

Thursday 6:30-7:30PM Western Fiddle Tunes in Cross Tunings: F L3 R8 GORMAN[F]

We'll explore exciting possibilities of old time American tunes in tunings such as DDAD, AEAE, GDGD, GDGB and GDAD ("Gee, Dad"). Hear more on Skip's CDs, at the FH store.

Thursday 6:30-7:30PM Power Chord Workout: F C L3 R3 DENINZON[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 6:30-7:30PM A Cape Breton Strathspey "Calum Breugach": F M L4 R31 MCNALLY[F]

An iconic 4-part Cape Breton strathspey. We'll incorporate traditional bowings and ornamentation and soon step-dancers will be hopping up on stage with you! An early version is in the Second Collection of Niel Gow's Reels, published in 1788.

Thursday 6:30-7:30PM Tunes from Acadian Fiddler Eddy Arsenault: F L4 R7 JOHNSTONE[F]

Acadian fiddler Eddie Arsenault was one of most popular fiddlers on PEI. Although he played some Quebecois and Acadian tunes, most of his repertoire was from the Scottish tradition. We will learn a few of his popular tunes such as the “Brae Reel,” the “Princess Reel,” and perhaps a simple waltz, “Leaving Lismore.”

Thursday 7:30-8:00PM FLASH LOOPING Amazing Looping Demonstration: Any L1 L2 L3 L4 R3 DENINZON[F,Looper]

Joe will demonstrate how he uses an electronic looper to layer rhythm and melodies and creatively build a song. You'll have a great time at this demo and will come away with new ideas and a strong desire to try it out yourself! Incidentally, Rob Flax is teaching a workshop on looping Sunday at 9:30AM.


New England-based string and vocal trio Low Lily explores the roots of American folk music with traditional influences and modern inspiration. The musicians have deep relationships to traditional music styles, ranging from bluegrass to Irish, Scottish, English, New England, and old-time Appalachian sounds. Their music is rooted, yet contemporary.

Thursday 8:00-9:00PM Simple 12-Bar Blues on the Fiddle "Deep Ellum Blues": F C L1 R3 CARLSON[F]

We'll learn a very easy and traditional blues tune dating back to the 1930's, "Deep Elum Blues." Along the way, we will explore the 12-bar blues form and blues scales. Ironically, playing the blues will probably cheer you up! 

Thursday 8:00-9:00PM An Easy Prince Edward Island Tune: Any L1 R37 PERLMAN[B]

Ken wrote two great books on the music of PEI, and has released many field recordings from fiddlers there (see Learn a great tune that Ken collected from PEI roots players.

Thursday 8:00-9:00PM JAM Sea Shanty / Sea Song Swap: V Trad L1 L2 L3 L4 R36 WEEKS[V] OLSON[V,G]

Pam and Bill will lead a shanty and other sea song swap. They will lead a few that hopefully many will know, but bring your own sea songs to share as well. Bad nautical puns are also seafare game.

Thursday 8:00-9:00PM DROP-IN Help on Mandolin from Shana: M L1 L2 L3 L4 R8 AISENBERG[M]

We will focus on your mandolin questions on scales, arpeggios, pick direction, tremolo, 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 8:00-9:00PM DROP-IN Help with Your Irish Fiddling: F L1 L2 L3 L4 R7 T. MORLEY[F]

Come for the whole time or just drop in. Bowing, tunes, cuts, rolls, trebles, slurs across the beat, and other ways to bring your Irish fiddling to the next level. Ask away!

Thursday 8:00-9:00PM An Easy Cape Breton Strathspey as Played by the Beaton Family: F C L2 R4 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.

Thursday 8:00-9:00PM Easy Québecois Jig Workshop: F L2 R247 FAVREAU[F]

"La Gigue à Wallen" is the tune. The Wallen family lived in the Stoneham area close to Québec City. Eddy was the last member of his family to be a fiddler. He was an expressive fiddler and he would drink a Coke all day long between every pair of tunes.

Thursday 8:00-9:00PM Singing while Playing Oldtime Banjo: V B L2 L3 R6 ADAMS[V,B]

Can you do both? Sure, says Joy.

Thursday 8:00-9:00PM Waltz Playalong 1 of 3 Music Provided: Any L3 R31 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 Sliabh Luachra Style Tunes from Denis Murphy / Julia Clifford: F M C L3 R34 MARTIN[F]

Brother and sister duo Julia Clifford and Denis Murphy learned from the great master of Sliabh Luachra style fiddling, Padraig O’Keeffe. They recorded a classic duet album in 1969 called “The Star Above the Garter.” We’ll learn tune(s) from this recording and explore bowing for that special Sliabh Luachra flavor.

Thursday 8:00-9:00PM Double Stop Magic on the Fiddle: F L3 R33 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 8:00-9:00PM Oldtime Indiana Tunes from Lotus Dickey: F L3 R32 SUTHERLAND[F]

Indiana is a crossroads of fiddling. Lotus was a true treasure of American music and fiddling was just one of his talents. It was privilege for me to have spent some of the 1980's in his company, I in my 30's, he in his 70's. I love sharing his music and stories. I'll teach a couple of his pieces.

Thursday 8:00-9:00PM Jazz Violin Workshop: F C L4 R35 WICKEL[F] MOULTRUP[G]

We'll touch on learning and practicing chord changes, phrasing, blues and bebop language, rhythmic variety, and radical approaches to improvising. L4 instrumentalists with or without a jazz background are encouraged to participate.

Thursday 9:00-9:30PM FLASH Vocal Harmony Workshop: V L2 L3 R1 F. COHEN[V,M,G] SIMMONS[V,G]

Right after the Low Lily concert, Flynn and Liz of Low Lily will teach the traditional song “Meeting is Over” and demonstrate different approaches to finding vocal harmony parts on modal songs. Be ready to sing and to learn a song by ear (the lyrics are easy).

Thursday 9:30-10:30PM Original Tunes - Bring Your Own for People to Hear or Play Along With: Any L1 L2 L3 L4 R7 MARCH[F]

If you’ve only written just one tune or dozens it can be hard getting your original work out there. This is your chance to share a tune you’ve composed. Bring along some copies so other can play along.

Thursday 9:30-10:30PM Cool Secrets of Backing Up a Singer: F M C L1 L2 L3 R4 D. REINER[F] HARTY[V,G]

Hear and see exactly how it's done, and try it yourself. Examples in multiple styles, from bluegrass, blues, and folk to other styles. Helpful handout on back-up approaches and on chords.

Thursday 9:30-10:30PM Essentials of Calling for Contra Dances (Dancers Welcome): V L1 L2 L3 L4 R1 KAYNOR[V,F]

You'll see David in glorious action at the contra dances Friday and Saturday. But here's a behind-the-scenes look at the caller's viewpoint, and a chance to try a little bit yourself. If you don't want to call, but would like to dance a bit, you'd be most welcome!

Thursday 9:30-10:30PM Slow Airs and Ornaments: C L2 R8 NEWTON[C]

Slow airs are the heart of Scottish cello playing; slow, beautiful and soulful. Ornaments give character to the simple melody. We will discuss different possibilities while learning a short slow air.

Thursday 9:30-10:30PM Franco-American Call & Response Tunes: F M C L2 R36 D. ROY[F]

Searching for the conversations in the melodies of tunes from the Franco-American tradition.

Thursday 9:30-10:30PM Tenor Banjo Basics for Irish Playing: TB M L2 R35 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. Bring a 4-string tenor banjo, unless you just want to listen.

Thursday 9:30-10:30PM Breton Fiddling - Listen and Learn a Tune: F M C L2 R31 O'CONNOR[F]

An Introduction to the various rhythms and regional dance types of our Celtic Cousins in Western France. Gerry will teach a fine tune he plays with top Breton Guitarist Gilles le Bigot (Skolvan, Barzaz), with whom he has toured worldwide for over 20 years.

Thursday 9:30-10:30PM JAM Oldtime Jam in Memory of Alan Jabbour: Trad L3 R6 KAUFMAN[F] PERLMAN[B]

Play some of Alan Jabbour's favorites. Listeners welcome! Classically trained, Alan Jabbour began documenting Southern oldtime tunes in the 1960s from musicians like Henry Reed and Tommy Jarrell. Alan taught many oldtime fiddle tunes to his Hollow Rock String Band, an important link in the ‘60s instrumental music revival.

Thursday 9:30-10:30PM Québecois Workshop on "Reel du Quêteux": F L3 R2 FAVREAU[F]

The fantastic accordion player Sabin Jacques wrote "Reel du Quêteux" a long time ago, Little bit modern, a good tune for a dance.

Thursday 9:30-10:30PM Rocking Out on Fiddle: F L3 R3 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 9:30-10:30PM Scottish Snaps and Advanced Ornamentation: F C L4 R32 BESHARA[F]

Learn the nuts and bolts of Scottish ornamentation that gives Scottish tunes their Scottish accent! The world famous “Scottish snap” rhythm and how to do it, cuts, burls, drones, and more. How they differ from other styles (Irish, Old Time...), how to execute them with speed and agility, and where to place them in tunes.


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

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

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

Thursday 11:00PM-12:00AM Mandolin for Fiddle Players (Bring Mandolin): M L2 R8 F. COHEN[M]

Mandolin is a great instrument for fiddlers to double on. Flynn's session will focus on the aspects that can be vexing for fiddlers: chords and pick technique.

Thursday 11:00PM-12:00AM Easy Shredding on Your Fiddle or Cello: F C L2 R4 WICKEL[F,C] OBOMSAWIN[Bass]

Officially, shredding is a virtuoso lead solo playing style.   Unofficially, it's about having some crazy MUSICAL fun with your instrument. Duncan will explore ways to become more comfortable with your bow arm and playing-hand fingers, so you can narrow the gap between what you hear in your head and what comes out of your instrument.

Thursday 11:00PM-12:00AM An Oldtime Cross-Tuned Tommy Jarrell Tune: F C L3 R36 HYMAN[F]

The playing of North Carolina fiddler Tommy Jarrell (1901-1985) is revered by legions of oldtime musicians for its depth, rhythm, fluidity, expression, and ornamentation. After listening to some of his playing, we’ll learn a tune from his repertoire with as much stylistic detail, both Tommy’s and Judy’s, as we can handle.

Thursday 11:00PM-12:00AM JAM Got Those Fiddle Hell Blues: Any L3 R7 FLAX[F,G,V]

Blues music, originated by African Americans in the Deep South, traverses a wide range of emotions and musical styles. Playing and hearing the blues can help you cheer up and lose "the blues." 12-bar blues and more. L3 with some L2; don't worry too much about your level.

Thursday 11:00PM-12:00AM Getting the Swing Into Your Fiddle Tunes: F C L3 R6 JOHNSTONE[F]

Whether you like to play for dances or for concerts, or just for fun, the underlying essence of a tune can be expressed in the “groove”. Through an exploration of bowing and right hand techniques like hammering and double stopping you can bring more rhythm and swing to your playing.

Thursday 11:00PM-12:00AM Get In the Groove: F C L4 R35 DENINZON[F]

This class explores bowed strings as a member of the rhythm section. Chopping, comping. scratching, strum bowing, and thinking harmonically and rhythmically will all be covered. Learn practical exercises to develop your "pocket." We also discuss how to create great riffs to enhance the arrangement and compliment the other rhythm players in a band.


Official Jam Spots are fine (not those near guest rooms), and the following rooms are open all night for jamming: R4, R6, R7, R8, R35, and R36.