This course, looking at essential technique for fiddlers, is designed to address (or readdress!) the fundamentals of violin playing with a view to helping you get more from subsequent fiddle tuition.
Many fiddle players attempt to run before they can walk and this course is an in-depth look at the crucial elements of playing. It will give you new skills and technique, building on what you already know about playing your instrument.
Working as a group (max. 9), Sam will guide you through the programme, with some opportunity for one-to-one coaching if requested, and plenty of time to practise your new skills. If you’d rather try a weekend course, check out Sam’s earlier technique courses.
Incorporating topics like bow hold, point of contact, tone and intonation, it will give you the foundations you need to be able to progress and succeed in more advanced technique and repertoire-based courses.
You won’t need to prepare anything in advance, so you’ll just need to bring your fiddle(s), bow(s), rosin, strings and if you have a particular chair you like to sit on, you can bring that too!
Who is this fiddle course for?
Fiddle players who consider themselves to be working at a Improver or Intermediate Level – check our Fiddle Level guidance if you’re not sure. You don’t need to be able to read music. Being able to play by ear would be an advantage, but as the course isn’t repertoire-based, it’s not required.
“This was the best fiddle course I have ever attended. We covered so many topics … and have returned home with many things to practice to improve my playing. This kind of course might seem intimidating, but it wasn’t.” 2023 participant
Nominated four times, and winner in 2015, of Musician Of The Year BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Sam Sweeney is a veteran of the mighty Bellowhead, former and inaugural artistic director of the National Youth Folk Ensemble, founder member of the acclaimed instrumental trio Leveret, and “one of the defining English fiddle players of his generation” (Mark Radcliffe) at the forefront of the revival in English traditional music.
As well as being a passionate and experienced educator, Sam has also recorded and performed with The Full English, Eliza Carthy, Jon Boden, Fay Hield, Emily Portman, Martin Carthy, as well as his own critically acclaimed show Made In The Great War.
“The fiddler with the Midas touch… an English equivalent of the great Irish fiddle player Martin Hayes.” **** The Guardian
“Britain’s Premier Fiddler” Songlines
“The fiddler with the golden ear when it comes to hunting out tunes!” Verity Sharp, BBC Radio 3
Visit www.samsweeneymusic.com for more information about Sam.
photo: Camilla Greenwell