Fiddle Hell Schedule

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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 ($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 Friday. 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 Saturday and Sunday.

Friday 8:30-9:15AM WARMUP DROP-IN Friday Warmup Scales, Fingers, Bow, Head, Body: F C M G L1 L2 L3 L4 CARLSON[F]

Stretches with Marsha Rich and warmup scales, arpeggios, patterns, rhythms,  and bowing. Get ready for the second day at Fiddle Hell by warming up your body and mind. 

Friday 8:30-9:15AM The Care and Feeding of Your Fiddle: F L1 L2 L3 L4 COOPER[Luthier]

Jon Cooper's a master luthier, known far and wide for his great 4- and 5-string fiddles. Start the day with his practical words of wisdom about the care and feeding of your instrument. Jon will be building a fiddle at his hallway table at Fiddle Hell this year - stop by later on to say hello and try one of his fiddles.

Friday 8:30-9:15AM Basic Bowing Technique with Pam: F L1 L2 WILEY[F]

Pam will help you control the bow with your right arm (larger muscles) rather than your hand for better tone and smoother playing. She has been a symphony player for 28 years, a well known Suzuki teacher for 40 years, and an avid back-porch fiddler since the early ‘70s.

Friday 8:30-9:15AM Developing Your Own Exercises & Practice Routine: F C L2 L3 M'GONIGLE[F]
Friday 9:30-10:30AM Tune Writing - Ideas, Approaches, Examples: MURPHY[P,M,G] TRACY[F]
Friday 9:30-10:30AM Very Easy Oldtime Fiddle Workshop: F L1 MOLSKY[F]

If you’re new to oldtime fiddling, or newish to the fiddle, Bruce will lead you through the basics, what to listen for and how to find your way into a simple tune.

Friday 9:30-10:30AM An Easy Québecois Fiddle Tune: F L1 MALKIN[F]
Friday 9:30-10:30AM Stephen Foster Song Workshop - Learn & Sing: V L1 L2 L3 L4 M. MASON[V,G]
Friday 9:30-10:30AM DROP-IN Help for Fiddlers with Rob: F L1 L2 L3 FLAX[F]

Drop in for a few minutes or stay for a while. Technique, style, tone, improvisation, sounding bluesy. Rob will help you out.

Friday 9:30-10:30AM Learn an Easy Scottish Strathspey on Cello & Discuss the History: C L2 NEWTON[C]

What is a strathspey? Is it a type of tune, a dance, a location in Scotland or maybe all of the above! And many are named for historical events in that ancient land. We’ll learn one and talk about that bit of Scottish history.

Friday 9:30-10:30AM "Calliope House" in E (Scottish Jig from New 52): F M L2 BEATON[F]

Andrea will break down this great jig, written in 1984 by Dave Richardson, into digestible phrases and learn some basic Scottish style.

Friday 9:30-10:30AM JAM How to Participate in a Jam: Any L2 C. MASON[F] ROWELL[B] BRYAN[G]

Cathy will teach effective social and musical jam participation strategies. Learn how to play along with tunes you've never played before and make friends at the same time. Tim and Art will hold down the banjo and backup guitar roles. See the Fiddle Hell Jamming Guidelines.

Friday 9:30-10:30AM Basic Backup for Scottish & Irish Tunes on Guitar: G L2 SEFTONG] BESHARA[F]
Friday 9:30-10:30AM Creative Guitar Backup in Standard Tuning: G L2 L3 F. COHEN[G] WICKEL[F]
Friday 9:30-10:30AM Practical Tips to Refine Your Sound: F C L2 KOEHLER[F]

Not sounding exactly the way you'd like? Understanding the relationship between bowing speed and weight, and between finger pressure and placement, will help you improve your overall tone and clarity. With slight playing adjustments, Gretchen will help you expand your "tone bank," and will offer practice techniques to continue working on.

Friday 9:30-10:30AM A Bluesy Mandolin Tune TBD: M L2 UNGAR[M]
Friday 9:30-10:30AM Ornamentation in Traditional Irish Tunes: F L2 MARTIN[F]

We will explore how to articulate grace notes, triplets, trebles and rolls, and— most importantly— we’ll unlock the secret of where they fit (or don’t fit) in traditional Irish jigs, reels and hornpipes. We’ll also talk about suggested exercises for improving articulation of ornaments.

Friday 9:30-10:30AM JAM Fun Multi-Style Jam: Any L3 A. REINER[F] ADAMS[C] OBOMSAWIN[Bass]

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 and Mali play really big fiddles to hold down the growly low end.

Friday 9:30-10:30AM Maine Fiddle Style - Tunes and Techniques: F L3 L4 PROTSIK[F]
Friday 9:30-10:30AM A Classic Bluegrass Break for "Little Cabin Home on the Hill": F M L3 CARLSON[F] ROBINSON[G]
Friday 9:30-10:30AM "Morrison's Jig" (Irish Jig from New 52): F M C L3 KLEIN[F]

A classic, driving jig in Em.

Friday 9:30-10:30AM Putting "Lift" into Your New England Dance Playing: F C M L3 SCHNECKENBURGER[F]

What does a caller want; what will animate the dancers? Lissa will cover the elements that make New England tunes exciting to dance to. We'll pick a common tune and apply a series of exercises that you can use again and again for other tunes.

Friday 9:30-10:30AM Tunes from Franco American Fiddler Louis Beaudoin: F M L3 SUTHERLAND[F]

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."

Friday 9:30-10:30AM Shetland Tune Workshop: F M C L3 GORMAN[F]

Says Skip: “I met Aly Bain in the late 60's and later traveled with him and Tom Anderson for a week in the Scottish Highlands. Some of the tunes we might work on include Shaalds o' Foula, The Full Rigged Ship, Da Scalloway Lasses, and Sleep Sound in the Morning.”

Friday 9:30-10:30AM A Favorite Tune from Gerry Robichaud: F M L4 D. ROY[F]
Friday 10:35-10:55AM 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 Thursday at 1:35-1:55PM.

Friday 11:00AM-12:00PM CONCERT Traditional Irish Fiddle MARTIN[F] O'CONNOR[F] CLANCY[F] SURETTE[G] O'DONOVAN[M.C.]

You'd think you're in the Cobblestone Pub in Dublin with these three fine Irish fiddlers. Brian O'Donovan of WGBH will be our genial M.C. for this dynamic concert of Irish trad music, featuring fantastic Fiddle Hell instructors - and performers. Laurel Martin will lead off, followed by Gerry O'Connor (visiting FH from Ireland), and then Rose Clancy. Hard-working guitarist David Surette will back them all up.

Friday 11:00AM-12:00PM "Gary Owen" on Cello (Irish Jig in Original 52): C F L1 WEEKS[C,F]
Friday 11:00AM-12:00PM KIDS TEENS Singing for the Joy of It: V L1 L2 L3 BURKE[V,G]

The title truly sums up the spirit of the class. Susie will lead you through many songs, ranging from rounds both simple and sublime, to folk songs as diverse as "What a Wonderful World" and "My Sweet Forget Me Not."

Friday 11:00AM-12:00PM Easy Waltz Playalong 2 of 3 Music Provided: Any L2 ALESSIO[F] ROBINSON[G]

This is at an easier level than the other two waltz playalong sessions (Thursday evening and Sunday afternoon). Sheet music provided. Play by ear or read the music to help us gently wind down in this musical reunion. Waltzers welcome.

Friday 11:00AM-12:00PM Oldtime Fiddle Basics: F L2 MOLSKY[F] DE GROOT[B]
Friday 11:00AM-12:00PM "Josefin's Dopvals" (Swedish Waltz from New 52): F M C L2 KAYNOR[G] DUNCAN[G]
Friday 11:00AM-12:00PM How to Play an Easy 12-Bar Blues "Brain Cloudy Blues": F C M L2 CARLSON[F] B. HAMMOND[G]

We'll learn "Brain Cloudy Blues" from the Merle Haggard Tribute to Bob Wills album. As we learn this tune, we will explore the 12-bar blues form and blues scales and how this form relates to other styles of music. Wear blue if you like! 

Friday 11:00AM-12:00PM Learn to Play Puirt à Beul (Cheerful Gaelic "Mouth Music"): F C M L2 MCNALLY[F]
Friday 11:00AM-12:00PM Beginning Bass Runs on Guitar: G L2 WYSLOUCH[G]

Bass runs are a quintessential part of the folk-guitar vocabulary. They expand on the basic boom-chuck rhythm heard throughout the world and propel tunes and songs forward. Come to this workshop to get your bass runs going with a few quick tricks to get from chord X to chord Y.

Friday 11:00AM-12:00PM How to Learn an Oldtime Fiddle Tune on the Fly for Banjo Players: B L2 ROWELL[B]

This is a critical skill for banjo players, especially for oldtime tunes. Tim knows the secrets and will share them happily.

Friday 11:00AM-12:00PM Iconic Bluegrass Fiddle Breaks: F M L3 ANGER[F] F. COHEN[G]

In Bluegrass, quoting performance on the original recording is a badge of belonging and a way of connecting past with present. Quoting can develop into subtle, nuanced commentaries on the original solo and others in the style. We'll learn several iconic "breaks" and how they can be used in other contexts.

Friday 11:00AM-12:00PM Innovative Double Stops on the Fiddle: F C L3 L4 WICKEL[F]
Friday 11:00AM-12:00PM Hot Techniques for Swing Mandolin: M L3 L4 J. ANICK[M] P. ANICK[G]

We will work on the essential elements of soloing within a swing setting, including rhythm, picking technique, phrasing, dynamics, and more. Says Mike Marshall: “Jason Anick's playing has a wonderful clarity and creativity and his compositions offer a modern jazz approach to our instrument which is truly refreshing and inspired.”

Friday 11:00AM-12:00PM Techniques for Bringing Waltzes and Airs to Life: F C L3 UNGAR[F] M. MASON[G]
Friday 11:00AM-12:00PM Prince Edward Island Tunes: Any L3 PERLMAN[B]

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

Friday 11:00AM-12:00PM Crooked Québecois Tunes TBD: F M L4 FAVREAU[F]
Friday 12:30-1:30PM CONCERT Fête Française R1 TRACY[F] FAVREAU[F] D. ROY[F] MURPHY[P,G] C. ROY[P] O'DONOVAN[M.C.]

Brian O'Donovan of WGBH will be our M.C. for this dynamic concert of French Canadian and Franco American music, featuring fantastic Fiddle Hell instructors - and performers. Becky Tracy will lead off, backed by Keith Murphy.  Then, Éric Favreau, also backed by Keith. Finally, Don and Cindy Roy will take the stage for Franco American tunes.

Friday 12:30-1:30PM Healthy Singing from the Ground Up: V L1 L2 L3 WEEKS[V]
Friday 12:30-1:30PM Backing Up a Singer on a Lead Instrument: F C M L1 L2 L3 L4 SUTHERLAND[F] L. HAMMOND[V] B. HAMMOND[G]

Says Pete: "I love to figure out how to move around a singer, between, behind and through the lines of the song, to reflect, comment, hopefully enhance the line, and magnify the mood. A little basic street theory, but mostly open ears and eyes, and we’ll try some ideas.”

Friday 12:30-1:30PM Picking Techniques for Mandolin: M L1 L2 FLAX[M]

Rob will cover the critical downs and ups of picking techniques for reels and jigs. If your goal is to pick more cleanly, more consistently in rhythm, and with better tone, this is the session for you.

Friday 12:30-1:30PM An Easy Scottish Jig "Chase Me Charlie": F M L1 JOHNSTONE[F]
Friday 12:30-1:30PM DROP-IN Help on Irish Fiddling from Tom: F L1 L2 L3 L4 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!

Friday 12:30-1:30PM Learn "Magic Fiddle" from the Composer (New 52): F M C L2 P. ANICK[F]

"Magic Fiddle" is an ancient sounding tune in Am, which evokes different moods at different tempos. We’ll start with the basic melody and add in bowings and variations to make it sound more “magical.” Peter has played with Dave Reiner in several bluegrass and Western Swing bands in the past.

Friday 12:30-1:30PM JAM Somewhat Slow Oldtime Jam: Trad L2 KAUFMAN[F] ROWELL[B]

Southern oldtime tunes are hypnotic, rhythmic, and sometimes highly modal. They come around enough times at a jam that you can learn some of them on the fly. Alan and Tim promise this session will be somewhat s l o w. Really, they do.

Friday 12:30-1:30PM A Round Peak Oldtime Banjo Tune: B L2 DE GROOT[B]

Oldtime music from Surry County, NC (“Round Peak”) is a distinct tradition with a unique and exciting banjo style. Slides, blues notes, syncopations and sparser use of “bum-ditty” are at the heart of the sound. We’ll learn a tune by ear, but tablature will be provided and bring a recording device.

Friday 12:30-1:30PM Easy Bowing Patterns for Irish Reels and Hornpipes: F C L2 O'CONNOR[F]
Friday 12:30-1:30PM Shetland Tunes & the Idiosyncratic Bowing: C L3 NEWTON[C]

Shetland is an island unto itself way north of the Scottish Isles. We’ll explore some of the fun bowings and cool tunes from that treeless land! Fiddle Hell welcomes cello players - you can get a free loaner cello for Fiddle Hell by prearrangement with Justin Davis at Johnson Strings.

Friday 12:30-1:30PM Improve Your Twin Fiddling Across the Styles: F M L3 A. REINER[F] D. REINER[F]

Andy grew up playing twin fiddle with dad Dave in the Reiner Family Band. They’ll demonstrate and teach exciting twin (harmony) fiddling techniques ranging from close harmonies to counterpoint to tradeoffs to chopping. New England, Bluegrass, Western Swing, Scandinavian, and Gypsy styles will all get a turn in the spotlight.

Friday 12:30-1:30PM Secrets to Improvise Over Chords on Western Swing Tunes: F M C L3 SCHATZ[F] RACOWSKY[G]

We'll use a few well known Western Swing songs to explore ideas for playing jazzy solos over the chord changes. We'll start with a simple blues-based song to review basic swing chords and find interesting ways to move among them while soloing. Art and Marshall play together in the Beantown Buckaroos.

Friday 12:30-1:30PM Canadian Tunes from Don Messer & Ward Allen: F M L3 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 tunes TBD. Look for George and Art's CDs (including The Montville Project) in the FH store.

Friday 12:30-1:30PM An Irish Tune by Maurice Lennon: F M L4 MARCH[F] SEFTON[G]
Friday 12:30-1:30PM Learn Cape Breton Tunes That Are Secretly Irish Tunes: F M L4 MCNALLY[F]
Friday 12:30-1:30PM Bungle Melodies Beautifully, Baby!: G F L4 WYSLOUCH[G] WICKEL[F]

Learn how to unconventionally alter beautiful traditional melodies into odd, angular, and mind-bending jewels of your own. This class focuses on weird double stops on the guitar and fiddle and exploring non-diatonic possibilities of tunes. Half of "The Stash Band"!

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

Friday 2:00-3:00PM DROP IN Cello Help and Workshop: C L1 L2 L3 L4 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.

Friday 2:00-3:00PM Singing for the Confidence Impaired - for Non-Singers: V L1 L2 L3 L. HAMMOND[V]

Shy about singing in public? Come have fun with simple songs, vocal warm-ups and easy techniques that will help you find your voice. Pressure? No. Fun? Yes, indeed. Participatory for all levels.

Friday 2:00-3:00PM JAM How to Jam - Advice and a Chance to Try It Out: Any L1 FLAX[F,M,V] F. COHEN[G,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.

Friday 2:00-3:00PM Tone Production on the Fiddle: F L1 L2 L3 CLANCY[F]
Friday 2:00-3:00PM JAM Intermediate New England Jam: Any L2 L3 KAYNOR[F] EID-REINER[P]

Some easy tunes, some a touch harder.  Share, request, learn, listen, record, ENJOY! 

Friday 2:00-3:00PM Intro to Swing Fiddle in The Style of Jason Anick: F M L2 J. ANICK[F]
Friday 2:00-3:00PM JAM Easy Favorite Tunes from Prince Edward Island - Not Too Fast: Trad L2 JOHNSTONE[F] PERLMAN[B] SEFTON[G]
Friday 2:00-3:00PM Mandolin Fills, Clichés and Riffs To Use Behind Vocals: M L2 L3 GORMAN[M]

In the context of a bluegrass song with three chords, Skip will get you playing some mighty fine fills and riffs from Bill Monroe and others. Did we mention that Skip learned this directly from Bill?

Friday 2:00-3:00PM JAM Irish Really S L O W Jam: Trad L2 T. MORLEY[F] SURETTE[G]

Tom leads many slow jams, from Tennessee to Ireland. Some common seisiún tunes, at a s l o w pace. David Surette on guitar will add the low end and keep it steady.

Friday 2:00-3:00PM JAM French Canadian Jam Session: Trad L3 TRACY[F] MURPHY[P,G]

Bring your favorite French Canadian tunes to share, and Becky and Keith will share some of theirs. Should be a rocking good time. Soyez le bienvenu!

Friday 2:00-3:00PM Driving Guitar Backup for Oldtime, Cajun, & New England Styles: G L3 OLSON[G]

The accompanist helps to drive the music along in these three dance styles, and Bill will show you several key techniques to get it done. A more basic version of this workshop is on Thursday at 3:30PM.

Friday 2:00-3:00PM The Blues: North America's Musical Language: F C M G L3 ANGER[F] WYSLOUCH[G]

The Blues as a common language pervades EVERY style of American music. It's a harmonic and melodic system with specific moves and skills. We will analyze and PLAY the Blues, focusing on the form, and the three crucial Blue Notes in the Blues scale and how to use them. Listeners welcome.

Friday 2:00-3:00PM Essential Scottish Bowing Techniques: F L3 PEARLMAN[F]

We'll learn a classic strathspey, which will serve as a platform for applying what we learn about snaps and the up-driven bow. Did you know that J. Scott Skinner's Guide to [Scottish] Bowing was first published in 1900? For extra credit, in which year did Skinner's name appear on the back of the FH t-shirt?

Friday 2:00-3:00PM KIDS Fun with Improvisation: Any L3 KLEIN[F]
Friday 2:00-3:00PM TEACHERS Breaking Tunes Down for Students (& Idea Swap): F C L3 KOEHLER[F]

Gretchen invites teachers to swap their "best of" ideas to bring back to their teaching studios. She will offer her own tried-and-true techniques gathered over her 30+ yrs that help students "catch tunes," including tips on breaking tunes down and hands on pointers for a variety of learning styles and musical situations.

Friday 2:00-3:00PM Learn "Lover's Waltz" From the Composers Themselves: F M C G L3 UNGAR[F] M. MASON[G]

"Lovers Waltz" seems to trace the rise of romantic desire and its satisfaction in each section." Is this really true? See for yourself.

Friday 2:00-3:00PM Oldtime Fiddling: The Bow is Your Drumstick: F L4 MOLSKY[F]
Friday 2:00-3:00PM A Challenging Western Swing Tune "Maiden's Prayer": F L4 CARLSON[F] RACOWSKY[G]

Western Swing is a style typified by Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys. "Maiden's Prayer" is a classic, relaxed tune in A, which can be played on one fiddle or several. Incidentally, bluegrassers such as Richard Green have added their own take on this tune as well.

Friday 2:00-3:00PM A Favorite Tune from Pete's Posse: F M L4 SUTHERLAND[F] SCANLON[M,F]
Friday 3:00-3:30PM FLASH HISTORY The Origins of Fiddle Hell USA and FH UK: CLARKE[FH UK ORGANIZER]

Graham attended the first Fiddle Hell in Missouri, hosted by Dale Hopkins in 2004, and then organized a series of FHs in the UK in Buxton. Dave Reiner started up FH in Massachusetts in 2005. Welcome Graham and hear his stories of the good old days of Fiddle Hell.

Friday 3:00-3:30PM FLASH MOB Running Sound 101: L1 SCANLON[Sound]

Microphones, mixer, speakers - what's it all about? Oliver will talk through a few of the basics. We might use a volunteer instrumentalist or two to experiment on. A more advanced version offered as a full session by Oliver and Colin at 2PM on Saturday.

Friday 3:30-4:30PM DROP-IN Help for Beginning Fiddlers: F L1 L2 KOEHLER[F]

Drop in for a few minutes or stay for a while. Left hand, right hand, style, tone, technique - Gretchen will help wherever you'd like.

Friday 3:30-4:30PM Mandolin from the Beginning (Bring Mandolin): M L1 L. HAMMOND[M]

This gentle introduction to a versatile and fun instrument from Lorraine starts with the basics of holding the mandolin and pick, getting good sound from it, and fingering chords and easy melodies.

Friday 3:30-4:30PM DROP-IN Help on Oldtime Clawhammer Banjo: B L1 L2 L3 L4 ROWELL[B]

Drop in for just a few minutes or stay the whole time. Right hand, left hand, basic frailing, double thumbing, slides, different tunings, and whatever else is on your mind. Tim welcomes you to the rhythmic land of oldtime banjo. Look for Tim’s CDs with Jubilee Mule and the Hi-Tone Ramblers.

Friday 3:30-4:30PM Play Faster by Playing Less: F M C L2 MARCH[F] KAYNOR[F]

This session was suggested by a FH attendee last year. Sometimes there are just too many notes and the tune is going too fast. What can you do to hang in there at speed and still feel good about what you're playing? Well, you can play faster by playing less. Clayton and David will demonstrate and help you learn to do the same.

Friday 3:30-4:30PM Easy Breton Tunes for Melody Instruments: M F C L2 SURETTE[M]
Friday 3:30-4:30PM A Great Tune or Two from Maine: F M L2 D. ROY[F]

Says Don: "Tunes from one of my mentors, Bill Darrah. Originally from New Brunswick, Bill ran a crane laying railroad tracks through the White Mountains. He has some nice tunes with his own twist."

Friday 3:30-4:30PM Irish Barndance Workshop: F M C L2 KLEIN[F]

Barndances are a great relic of Irish musical history, having had their heyday in the big dancehalls of the early part of the last century. They are also fun, accessible, easy tunes to learn. We might learn "Auchdon House" or another tune, and play around with some easy ornamentation ideas.

Friday 3:30-4:30PM How to Use a Vamp or Cadence as a Vibrant Gateway into Creativity: F M C L2 LYONN LIEBERMAN[F]

Learn to use a sweet, succinct melodic/harmonic idea to build every creative skill you’ll need to improvise in any style. We will learn a few of the most classic vamps and cadences and use them as a springboard into skills essential to fearless and effortless improvisation.

Friday 3:30-4:30PM Melodic Clawhammer Banjo Workshop: B L2 L3 PERLMAN[B]

Ken is a well-known pioneer in melodic clawhammer banjo. In the context of Celtic and New England tunes, Ken will cover the skills involved in playing fiddle tunes note-for-note on the banjo, drop-thumbing on all strings, melodic fingering shapes, alternate-string pull-offs and using the fifth string for melody.

Friday 3:30-4:30PM Singing Classic Bluegrass & Country Songs: V L2 ORSHAW[V]
Friday 3:30-4:30PM Backing Up a Fiddler on Guitar: G L2 L3 M. MASON[G] UNGAR[F]
Friday 3:30-4:30PM An Intro to Bluegrass Fiddling on "Mule Skinner Blues": F L2 P. ANICK[F,V] ROBINSON[G,V]

We’ll learn “Mule Skinner Blues,” a standard bluegrass song and talk about how to achieve its bluegrassy nuances on fiddle. JR will anchor the rhythm and sing. Trivia: Peter Anick and Dave Reiner have played in many bands together, including Hot Off the Frets ("All the notes that fit, they play").

Friday 3:30-4:30PM Helpful Ways to Improvise in Jazz: F M C G L2 L3 FLAX[F,M,G]

Feel okay about taking an easy solo on some tunes, but still sometimes get confused about where you are? Do you hear a harmony player’s juicy chords, but can’t figure out how to react? Do you want to build a solo with a satisfying narrative arc? This session is for you.

Friday 3:30-4:30PM The Beauty of the Slow Air: F L2 L3 HEELY[F]
Friday 3:30-4:30PM A Lyrical Irish Jig TBD: F M L2 GORMAN[F,M]
Friday 3:30-4:30PM JAM Easy Guided Bluegrass Jam with Tony & Mali: Trad V L2 WATT[G,V] OBOMSAWIN[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).

Friday 3:30-4:30PM JAM Cape Breton Jam Session: Trad L3 BEATON[F] EID-REINER[P]

Who knew that the Ceilidh Trail led right to Westford, MA? This should be a fine session, full of fun tunes. The main purpose of Cape Breton music was always social. This tradition was something that knit together  small coal-mining communities and then spread well beyond them.

Friday 3:30-4:30PM JAM Full Speed Oldtime Jam with The Mountain Drifters: Trad L3 L4 MOLSKY[F] DE GROOT[B] WYSLOUCH[G]

Tunes will move right along, although we’ll play each one for a while in true oldtime style. Key changes will come regularly every three days :-). Read more about Molsky's Mountain Drifters.

Friday 3:30-4:30PM Québecois Bowing Workshop: F L3 FAVREAU[F]

Traditional bowing techniques really make the sound of Québecois fiddling. When you play a simple tune without many notes, you can create variations with ornamentation and different bowings. You can transform a simple melody, make it a bit more complex, and different every time, but always in a traditional style.

Friday 3:30-4:30PM Klezmer 201 - Going Beyond the Basics: Any L3 AISENBERG[F,M]]

Klezmer is a rich musical tradition, with the fiddle (aka fidl) playing a prominent role in late 19th and early 20th century Eastern European ensembles. Don't forget the intermediate Klezmer jam at 11AM on Sunday.

Friday 3:30-4:30PM Learn an Irish Tune or Two from The Dance Music of Oriel: F L4 O'CONNOR[F] F L4 O'CONNOR[F]

Learn a great tune or two that Gerry has helped resurrect and record from the South Ulster aread of Ireland.  But that's not all - at 7:30-8:00PM tonight, we'll launch Gerry's new book Rose in the Garden, which covers the Dance Music of Oriel.  Be sure to stop by!

Friday 4:30-5:00PM FLASH YODELING Intro to Yodeling: V L1 L2 L3 L4 KAUMAN[YODEL]

Quickly learn a few basics of yodeling. No experience necessary; just bring yourself and your sense of humor :-).  Alan was one of the three yodelers and yodel composers in a much-loved YouTube video .

Friday 4:30-5:00PM FLASH MOB Intro to Bodhrán (Bring One or Listen): Bodh L1 L2 F. MORLEY[Bodh] T. MORLEY[F]

Traditional Irish goatskin drum, played with a tipper. Bring yours for an easy introduction, or just listen in

Friday 5:00-6:00PM CONCERT Darol Anger & the Furies ANGER[F] PHELPS[V,G] A. REINER[OM,F] ADAMS[V,C,B]

When these powerful forces get together with Darol, the result is mythical, magical, musical mayhem that varies from bluegrass to world to folk music.

Friday 5:00-6:00PM Easy and Beautiful Gaelic Melodies from Scotland: F M L1 PEARLMAN[F]

The Highlands and Islands of Scotland have given rise to some of the most beautiful of Celtic melodies, some haunting, some upbeat. Some of the best are uncomplicated and easy to learn.

Friday 5:00-6:00PM Appalachian Mountain Songs, Everyone Welcome: V Any L1 L2 L3 L4 L. HAMMOND[V,M] B. HAMMOND[G]

Come collect a few great “little” songs that will last you forever. Singers, fiddlers, all pickers welcome to participate. "The Hammonds are folk missionaries of the first order... who love to introduce people to the joys of traditional music." - Scott Alarik, Boston Globe.

Friday 5:00-6:00PM An Easy Traditional Cajun Waltz: F L1 KAMINSKY[F]

Laissez les bon temps rouler! Michelle’s got a fine Cajun waltz to show you, with the elusive Aieee! factor. She’ll start with the skeleton or vocal line of the tune, and then add the ornaments that give it a Cajun flavor. Michelle plays with the Magnolia Cajun Band as well as others.

Friday 5:00-6:00PM Intro to Bluegrass Banjo: B L1 ARKIN[B]

Most of the banjo classes at Fiddle Hell are of the oldtime persuasion. Not this one! Bring your banjo and try out some 3-finger bluegrass picking. Steve's also got an L2 bluegrass banjo session on Saturday at 9:30PM, after the main concert.

Friday 5:00-6:00PM Mandolin Technique and a Tune for Beginners: M L1 ROWELL[M]
Friday 5:00-6:00PM Music Theory for Fiddle Music People: Any L2 F. COHEN[G,M]
Friday 5:00-6:00PM From Page to Stage - A Note Reader's Guide to Basic Oldtime Ornamentation: Any L2 KOEHLER[F]

 Players with note reading skills quickly notice that notated music leaves much to the imagination. Gretchen will show many great techniques such as shuffles, drones, slides and more that can be layered on the basic tune to give it a more authentic old time sound.

Friday 5:00-6:00PM Gypsy Jazz Rhythm Guitar Workshop: G L2 L3 O'ROURKE[G]
Friday 5:00-6:00PM How to Jam with a Percussionist: F M L3 M'GONIGLE[F] TBD[Perc]
Friday 5:00-6:00PM JAM Oldtime Jam Session with Pete: Trad L3 SUTHERLAND[F] OLSON[G]

How about a blast of oldtime Southern tunes? They're in Pete's DNA, we think.

Friday 5:00-6:00PM Brilliant Irish Tune Workshop on a Josephine Keegan Tune: F M C L3 CLANCY[F,M]

Josephine Keegan was born in 1935 in Dundee, Scotland, and moved to Co. Armagh in 1939 and Mullaghbane in 1950. She is known for being Seán Maguire's pianist, but is also an excellent fiddle player and a prolific composer. Rose Clancy founded and runs The Chatham Fiddle Company in Chatham, MA.

Friday 5:00-6:00PM A Challenging Bulgarian Dance Tune in 15/16, “Bucimis”: F M C L4 AISENBERG[F,M]

The 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 an exciting Bulgarian dance tune in 15/16, “Bucimis".

Friday 6:30-7:30PM "My Cape Breton Home" - A Very Simple Cape Breton Waltz (New 52): F L1 BEATON[F]

Andrea will show you "My Cape Breton Home," a beautiful waltz (or air) written by Jerry Holland and commonly played in Cape Breton. And of course, she'll help you make it sound Cape Breton-esque. 

Friday 6:30-7:30PM The Nitty Gritty Details of Practicing to Improve: F C L1 L2 L3 L4 TRACY[F]

Bring your issue, whether it’s about bowing, ornaments, fingering, or phrasing, and we’ll brainstorm ways to work on it. I have some techniques I have explored with my students that we will try out.

Friday 6:30-7:30PM Making Sense of Chords: F M C L1 L2 L3 D. REINER[F] RACOWSKY[G]

This will help you to harmonize, play double stops, back up a tune or song, and play along with tunes you've never heard before. Helpful handout included.

Friday 6:30-7:30PM Piano Workshop (Demonstration): P Demo L1 L2 L3 L4 PROTSIK[P]

Doug, who directs the wonderful Maine Fiddle Camp,plays “old-time piano” for dances, melodramas, honky tonk saloons, and silent movies. Doug will demonstrate, elucidate, and illuminate while answering any and all piano questions. This is primarily a listening session since we don't have pianos for everybody.

Friday 6:30-7:30PM Taming Performance Jitters - Workshop & Discussion: Any L1 L2 L3 L4 EID-REINER
Friday 6:30-7:30PM KIDS Learn Scottish Jig "Off She Goes": F C L1 MCNALLY[F]

A pleasing tune that goes places and has fun getting there. 

Friday 6:30-7:30PM Oldtime Fiddle Workshop on a Regional Tune: F L2 MOLSKY[F]

We’ll hone in on a particular regional style and focus in first on melody, then phrasing, and how to move the bow and then maybe a little ornamentation. Participants can build the tune up to the level that's comfortable for them.

Friday 6:30-7:30PM Slow Motion Irish Ornamentation: F C L2 KOEHLER[F]

Ever wish you could slow down a player to see exactly what was happening during those lightening fast ornaments? Gretchen will break down a variety of left and right hand ornamentation, offering tips on speed & weight (bow/finger) during rolls, turns, flicks, cuts, grace notes, triplets and more.

Friday 6:30-7:30PM TEACHERS Out of First Position - Shifting: F L2 L3 WILEY[F]
Friday 6:30-7:30PM Getting Into the Bluegrass Mandolin Style of Bill Monroe: M L2 L3 BROWN[M]

Learn from a great player who himself learned directly from Bill Monroe. Maybe Dave Dillon will drop by on guitar - he played with Joe Val for many years. BTW, Dr. Brown will lead off the Mandolin Summit Concert on Saturday morning at 11AM.

Friday 6:30-7:30PM Finger Picking Guitar - Play Like Yourself, Only More So: G L3 B. HAMMOND[G]
Friday 6:30-7:30PM Klezmer Scales & Rhythms - Learn "der Heyser Bulgar": F L3 B. COHEN[F]

Klezmer is a rich musical tradition, dating back to the late 19th and early 20th century Eastern European ensembles. This classic showpiece is a rhythmically spirited dance with syncopated accents and expressive energy. "Heyser" means "hot" and a "Bulgar" is a dance. Don't forget the Klezmer jam at 11AM on Sunday.

Friday 6:30-7:30PM A Lyrical Irish Jig on Mandolin: M OM L3 SURETTE[M]

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

Friday 6:30-7:30PM Franco-American Accordion Tunes on the Fiddle: F L3 D. ROY[F] C. ROY[P,Feet]

Franco-American accordion tunes are great on the fiddle, bringing energy and happiness. As do Don and Cindy...

Friday 6:30-7:30PM Learn "Minor Swing" in Am (New 52): F M OM L3 J. ANICK[F] P. ANICK[G]

Written by Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli, this is a Gypsy jazz anthem. Apart from the brief introduction and final coda or playout, there is no discernable melody, just a repeated sequence of chord changes over which players improvise continuously until the end is decided and the playout performed.

Friday 6:30-7:30PM How to Capture the Style: Any L3 LYONN LIEBERMAN[F]

What key skills do you need to capture a style? Do you know how to lock into the groove? The ornamentation? The timing of how to enter, sustain and leave each note or where to place the accents? Let’s explore one phrase across a number of styles.

Friday 6:30-7:30PM "Fisher's Hornpipe" in D (New England from New 52): F M C L3 SCHNECKENBURGER[F]
Friday 6:30-7:30PM JAM Session with Darol, Andy, & Joy: Any L3 ANGER[F] A. REINER[OM] ADAMS[C]

Darol is stylistically sweeping, melodically magical, and rhythmically remarkable. All that and he's a nice guy, too. Bring your favorite tune or just play along with Darol, Andy, Joy, and the other hellions.  Anything can happen - and will!

Friday 6:30-7:30PM New Tunes from Scotland: F M OM L4 PEARLMAN[F]

The vibrancy of Scottish music today is unbelievable and yet little of it makes it over the ocean. Learn a few contemporary favorites by today's fiddlers. Ed played a central role in creating the Boston Scottish music scene, and he's a great teacher.

Friday 7:30-8:00PM FLASH BOOK LAUNCH "Rose in the Gap" by Gerry O'Connor: O'CONNOR[Author,F]

We'll launch Gerry's new book Rose in the Gap, which covers the Dance Music of Oriel. Be sure to stop by!

Friday 7:30-8:00PM FLASH SING Shape Note Singing (No Teaching): V L2 L3 SUTHERLAND[V]

Some shape note experience is needed. This community power singing style has been a part of America's musical landscape for centuries and remains a visceral and moving experience for participants and listeners in 2018. The bigger the sound, the better. Music provided. More at 5PM Sunday.

Friday 7:30-8:00PM TEENS Teen Meetup On Friday Night (Ages 13-18 only)

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

Friday 8:00-9:00PM DANCE Easy Contradance: KAYNOR[Caller] UNGAR[F] M. MASON[P] NEWTON[C]

No dance experience necessary! All are welcome to dance or listen, with David Kaynor calling. Jay Ungar and Molly Mason are joining us at Fiddle Hell for the first time. Together with Abby Newton on cello, they're a great dance band. (No sit-ins tonight; that will happen at the Saturday night dance.)  Jay and Molly are also playing for dancing Saturday morning at 11AM - waltzes and other 3/4 dances.

Friday 8:00-9:00PM Intro to Québecois Fiddle Style: F L1 FAVREAU[F]

Éric will teach tune TBD. He's here for all four days to teach tunes in the French Canadian style of beauty, feeling, rhythm, and excitement.

Friday 8:00-9:00PM TEACHERS How to Help Suzuki Students Get Into Traditional Fiddle Styles: F C L2 BESHARA[F]

This is an important session for teachers of fiddle / violin. How can you leverage typical Suzuki student skills and knowledge, and add to this to get them playing traditional fiddle tunes?

Friday 8:00-9:00PM A Favorite New England Waltz from Becky: TRACY[F] L2
Friday 8:00-9:00PM Intro to Greek Violin: F M L2 B. COHEN[F]

We’ll learn a Greek island medley - a dance called Ballos - in a couple of different makams or modes. It'll be complete with rhythm and chords.

Friday 8:00-9:00PM An Oldtime Tune in Cross Tuning: F M L2 HYMAN[F]

Judy will teach tune TBD, a great, easy introduction to the world of alternate tunings and their blissful overtones.

Friday 8:00-9:00PM Bringing an Irish Jig to Life with Your Bow: F L3 O'CONNOR[F]]
Friday 8:00-9:00PM The Rhythmic Side of Gypsy Jazz: F M G L3 J. ANICK[F,M] O'ROURKE[G]
Friday 8:00-9:00PM JAM Traditional Scottish Session: Trad L3 MCNALLY[F] SEFTON[G]
Friday 8:00-9:00PM Learn Mariel's Favorite Scandinavian Fiddle Tunes: F L3 VANDERSTEEL[F]
Friday 8:00-9:00PM Building Variations into Oldtime Banjo Tunes: B L4 DE GROOT[B]

Allison will show you tools you can incorporate into any tune to build variations. It can be difficult to get away from the usual banjo arrangement in a jam; we will discuss how to break down a tune and then rebuild it to make it more interesting. By ear, but tablature provided.

Friday 9:30-11:00PM THE WHOMP! Glowing Gathering of Groove (Join in at Any Time): Any L2 A. REINER[F,OM] ADAMS[C,B] WYSLOUCH[G] OBOMSAWIN[Bass]

A primal gathering of the groove, with tunes and songs from oldtime, blues, world, intergalactic and other traditions. Participatory, with the emphasis on spirit and community more than technique. Echoes of Meadowlark Music Camp and Rustic Roots, now right here at Fiddle Hell for the third time!

Friday 9:30-10:30PM Play Scottish & Cape Breton Tunes (From New 52) at a Moderate Pace: Trad L2 L3 PEARLMAN[F] NEWTON[C]

Fun possibilities: Brenda Stubbert's, Calliope House, Cock of the North, Cutting Ferns, My Cape Breton Home, The Reconciliation, The Sailor's Wife, and The Stool of Repentance. Ed will guide fiddlers, mandolin players, and more; Abby will guide cellists who may play backup for these tunes if they don't know the melodies.

Friday 9:30-10:30PM JAM New England Slow Jam at Night: Any L2 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.

Friday 9:30-10:30PM An Oldtime Fiddle & Banjo Tune TBD: F B L2 M'GONIGLE[F] DEGROOT[B]
Friday 9:30-10:30PM A Gutsy Irish Tune TBD with Ornaments: F M L2 T. MORLEY[F]
Friday 9:30-10:30PM JAM Western Swing Jam at Night: F M C G V L3 HARTY[G,V] SCHATZ[F,V]

Try some hot breaks on your instrument, or just play melody and backup as Paul and Art lead you through classic tunes like Take Me Back to Tulsa. Do you think Time Changes Everything? Sorry, no Bubbles in My Beer, but maybe we'll try some twin or triple fiddling on Faded Love.

Friday 9:30-10:30PM Rhythm & Expression in Playing for New England Dances: F M L4 KAYNOR[F]

As a dance caller and dance fiddler, David is the perfect leader for this workshop. You'll learn a solid “workhorse” tune and thendevelop expressive melodic and rhythmic variations that relate to contra dance choreography. David, who will call at the Saturday night dance, promises to reveal several of his secrets and techniques.

Friday 9:30-10:30PM Playing Double Stops on Fiddle & Mandolin on Bluegrass Songs: F M L4 ORSHAW[F] WATT[M]

Fiddle and mandolin share the billing since they're tuned the same. And for both, double stops can ratchet up your playing to the next level. In this deep and exciting workshop, Laura will guide fiddlers while Tony will commune with  mandolin players.


Registration and Fiddle Hell Store close until 7:45AM Saturday morning.  But THE WHOMP! continues until 11:00PM. Plan ahead for the very helpful early sessions on Saturday, starting at 8:30AM.

Friday 11:00PM-12:00AM JAM Beginner S L O W Jam to Finish the Day (Old and New 52): Any L1 L2 LUKAČKO(F) BRYAN(G)

Terri and Art will pick easier tunes from the Original 52 and New 52 common tune lists, 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.

Friday 11:00PM-12:00AM Southern Oldtime Bowing & Rhythms: F L2 KAUFMAN[F]

From anticipation to syncopation, from bow rocks to slurs, Alan will show you the details of how it's done, in the context of a classic Southern oldtime tune or two. Alan wrote the book Beginning Old-Time Fiddle and he’s a patient and experienced teacher.

Friday 11:00PM-12:00AM JAM Irish Jam Session with Amy, Laurel and David: Trad L2 L3 BESHARA[F] MARTIN[F] SURETTE[G]

Laurel Martin's fiddle playing moves with the joyful, lilting rhythm and soulful nuance she hears in the music of Clare and East Galway. Amy Beshara channels an ancient Irish soul in her playing, and knows a slew of tunes. And David will lay down a great foundation at this energetic late-night jam.

Friday 11:00PM-12:00AM JAM Easy Guided Bluegrass Jam: Trad V L2 WATT[G,M,V] ORSHAW[F,M,V] OBOMSAWIN[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).

Friday 11:00PM-12:00AM JAM Late Night Jazz Standards Jam: Any L3 WICKEL[F] RACOWSKY[G]

Lady Be Good? How High the Moon? Take the A Train? Satin Doll? Minor Swing? EMD? All of Me? Autumn Leaves? Bring your favorites to this late night jam. Duncan and Marshall will have some good suggestions, too, depending on who shows up. Fiddle, guitar, mandolin, cello, and others are welcome.

Friday 11:00PM-12:00AM Learn One of Judy's Most Favorite Oldtime Tunes: F L3 HYMAN[F]