Fiddle Hell Schedule

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2019 Saturday

Saturday FOOD Hotel Breakfast Buffet in Stony Brook Café 7AM-11AM Saturday

Start the day with the Westford Regency's hot breakfast buffet ($15.00 + tax + gratuity; or $9.00 + tax + gratuity for continental breakfast). Alternatively, Cash Breakfast Concession (quick breakfast, snacks, and coffee) opens at 8AM in the Fiddle Hell Lower Hallway.


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). Then, look for your fellow fiddlers; cellists; and mandolin, guitar, and banjo players everywhere around you. A half-dozen excellent early bird sessions start at 8:30AM today, with regular sessions starting at 9:30AM.

T-shirts and instructors' CDs and books are also in R5, which closes at 11:15PM Saturday. 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 travel instruments to show today through Sunday. Dave Golber will have his Hardanger violins to show Sunday.

Saturday 8:00AM FOOD Quick Breakfast, Snacks, and Coffee in Lower Hallway 8AM-11AM Saturday

Cash Breakfast Concession with inexpensive choices: Quiche, Oatmeal, Bagel and Cream Cheese, Muffin/Danish/Croissant, Gluten Free Muffin, Yogurt, Fruit, Granola Bar, COFFEE, Soda, Bottled Water. Eat on the go or at a session.

Saturday 8:30-9:15AM Basic Bowing Technique with Doug: F L1 L2 R6 PROTSIK[F]

Doug will help you control the bow with your right arm (larger muscles) rather than your hand for better tone and smoother playing. He has a number of excellent bowing ideas, techniques, and exercises for you. 

Saturday 8:30-9:15AM An Easy Québécois Reel "Elmer's Tune": F L1 R33 MALKIN[F]

We'll learn this easy Québécois tune with traditional ornaments and style. It's a fine way to start your Saturday at Fiddle Hell.

Saturday 8:30-9:15AM Achieving Your Best Tone on Cello: C L1 L2 R8 JAMES[C]

This early bird session is for cellists at L1 or L2 who want to improve their tone. Left hand(!), right hand; bow grip, alignment, speed, pressure, and more from McKinley.

Saturday 8:30-9:15AM Oldtime Banjo Boot Camp 1: B L1 L2 L3 R31 COLLINS[B]

Bring your banjos and get ready to sweat! Tom will be your friendly drill sergeant during this fun, energetic workshop designed to bolster your clawhammer mechanics.

Saturday 8:30-9:15AM Irish Mandolin Workshop with Flynn: M L2 R4 F. COHEN[M]

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

Saturday 8:30-9:15AM Music Theory Secrets for Jamming: Any L2 R36 SCHALLERT[F]

Learn key nuances of a jam session that nobody tells you about, and that draw on basic music theory. What does it mean when someone asks: "What key is this in? Any funny chords? Kick it off! Take a break?  Play the rhythm." What are chords, and how do you play them on a fiddle? Also see Fiddle Hell Jamming Guidelines.

Saturday 8:30-9:15AM WARMUP DROP-IN Saturday Warmup Stretch, Scales, Fingers, Bow, Head, Body: F C M G L2 L3 L4 R1 R2 CARLSON[F]

Stretches (thanks to Marsha Rich), followed by warmup scales, arpeggios, patterns, rhythms,  and bowing. Get ready for the third big day at Fiddle Hell by warming up your body and mind. 

Saturday 8:30-9:15AM A Traditional Galician Fiddle Tune from Northwest Spain: Fiddle, Mandolin L2 R3 LYONN LIEBERMAN[F]

Galician music hails from Northwest Spain. Bagpipes—gaita—have preserved many of the traditional tunes. The art of the blind fiddlers from the 1800s is currently being reinvigorated after disappearing for a long stretch. Julie will teach a wonderful tune, “Xota de Fontaneira.”

Saturday 8:30-9:15AM Tunes from New Brunswick Fiddler Gerry Robichaud: F L4 R7 FOWLER[F] BRYAN[G]

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

Saturday 9:30-10:30AM JAM Easy New England Jam with Jam Tips: Any L1 L2 R33 SUTHERLAND[F] SURETTE[G] JAMES[C]

Says Pete: "Some doggone great traditional Yankee dance music is quite easy to learn and play. We're going THERE, with some helpful suggestions on jam etiquette, fitting in when you don’t really know the tune, and more."

Saturday 9:30-10:30AM Piano Backup 8 Different Ways (Demo): P Any L1 L2 L3 L4 R1 R2 EID-REINER[P] LESTER[F]

Eric will demo and discuss ideas of 8 different ways (8 times through the tune) to back up a reel on piano. We'll talk about ways to vary the energy and feel -- from chords to rhythm to pedaling and much more. Questions welcome! Autumn Rose Lester will play melody on fiddle.

Saturday 9:30-10:30AM An Irish Reel to Learn East Clare "Lift": F L2 R349 MARTIN[F]

Laurel will teach a lovely reel from East Clare, and will teach an approach to bowing that gives the music its characteristic East Clare "lift." Of course, your spirit will be lifted as well.

Saturday 9:30-10:30AM Creative Irish Guitar Backup in Standard Tuning: G L2 L3 R353 F. COHEN[G] MARCH[F]

Guitarists will learn chord voicings outside of first position (not barre chords), including playing up-the-neck over open drone strings. If there’s time we will learn some of John McGann’s special standard tuning chords as well. This workshop will focus on playing along with Irish fiddle music.

Saturday 9:30-10:30AM Essential Bowing Patterns Workshop: F C L2 L3 R3 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. 

Saturday 9:30-10:30AM KIDS Cape Breton Tune Workshop for Kids: F M L2 R347 BEATON[F,P] MOYNIHAN[F]

We’ll learn "Stan Chapman's Jig," written by Jerry Holland and frequently played in Cape Breton. And we'll tell some jokes!

Saturday 9:30-10:30AM Learn a Favorite Québécois Jam Tune "Le Step à Ti-Phonse": F M L2 R34 FAVREAU[F]

This tune is from the fiddler André Alain. It's simple but if you add some ingredients the recipe is refined! It's a very popular tune in every jam in Québec.

Saturday 9:30-10:30AM Singing with Strength for Singers: V L2 L3 R8 L. HAMMOND[V]

Volume control, pitch control, vocal range and stamina are hallmarks of singing with strength. In this session, we’ll learn some “tricks of the trade” that help strong singers succeed.

Saturday 9:30-10:30AM Friendly Intro to Modes: Any L2 R245 SIMOS[G,F]

Ever wonder why some tunes get called “modal”? The secret behind the mysterious sound of those cool archaic tunes? The modes are a rainbow of scales and chords opening many moods and colors between conventional major and minor. In this workshop we’ll listen, sing, wave hands in the air and—yes, even play!—to explore the sounds of varied modes in different traditional styles. Come thou and gaze upon the Mode Star!

Saturday 9:30-10:30AM Backing Up Cajun and Creole Tunes on Guitar: G L2 L3 R346 REED[G] C. MASON[F]

For guitarists. We'll look at the two most influential styles of playing Cajun guitar: the Rodney Balfa style, and the Preston Manuel style. Cathy will fiddle the Cajun tunes to be backed up.

Saturday 9:30-10:30AM Intermediate Ukulele Techniques: Uke L2 L3 R4 AISENBERG[Uke]

The ukulele is a versatile instrument, and can be used for many styles, going beyond strumming open position chords. We’ll learn some moveable chord shapes for playing up the neck, and then use these chords for creating and playing fun chord-melody style arrangements. Ukes rule!

Saturday 9:30-10:30AM Learn and Sing "Cluck Old Hen" (Oldtime Reel from CTL): B L2 R37 COLLINS[B]

"Cluck Old Hen" is a Southern Reel from our Common Tune List (CTL). This simple tune is the perfect entry into the wild world of singing and playing clawhammer banjo at the same time. By ear, tab provided. "My old hen’s a good old hen, She lays eggs for the railroad men, Sometimes one, sometimes two, Sometime enough for the whole dang crew."

Saturday 9:30-10:30AM Learn a Couple of Bruce's Favorites: F M L3 R31 MOLSKY[F] WYSLOUCH[G]

Come and work through the details of how to play a couple of Bruce’s favorites, with bowings and ornaments. Be prepared to play in alternate tunings. Will this take you to an alternate reality?

Saturday 9:30-10:30AM Techniques for Bringing Waltzes and Airs to Life: F C L3 R36 UNGAR[F] M. MASON[G,P] NEWTON[C]

Learn how and why a waltz can make dancers feel light on their feet and can touch your heart and bring a tear to your eye. An air may waft into this workshop as well.

Saturday 9:30-10:30AM Learn a Great Rock Violin Solo on "Stairway to Heaven": F L3 R247 DENINZON[F]

Learn a great rock violin solo from Jimmy Page's playing on "Stairway to Heaven," which he composed in 1971 when he was playing with Led Zeppelin  It’s string friendly, with blues riffs in A minor that are easy to play.

Saturday 9:30-10:30AM Cadences: A Fun Gateway into Variations and Improvisation: Any L3 L4 R35 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’ll use classic cadences as a springboard to build many of the skills you’ll need to improvise fearlessly and effortlessly. This class was a big hit at FH 2018.

Saturday 9:30-10:30AM The Complete Technique of the Irish Roll and Where to Use It: F L3 R6 CLANCY[F]

Learn to make your rolls more rhythmic and percussive. We'll examine the roll anatomy from the root note, high cut, low lift and the bow. Rose will also discuss where and when to use the roll with specific examples using common tunes. She'll be your "roll" model.

Saturday 9:30-10:30AM Hot Techniques for Swing Mandolin: M L4 R345 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.”

Saturday 9:30-10:30AM Contra Dance Fiddle - Learn "Lady Walpole's Reel": F L4 R32 SCHNECKENBURGER[F]

Lissa plays this wonderful tune, at least 160 years old, on her "Dance" CD. It's also the name of a celebrated contra dance. Said caller and musician Ralph Page: "Many times the head couple chose the contra they wanted to dance, and very often it would be "Lady Walpole's Reel". It was a great favorite with us."

Saturday 9:30-10:30AM Highland Pipe Tunes: F M C L4 R7 HEELY[F]

Take a journey with Seán to the Scottish Highlands with pipe marches, strathspeys and reels. Learn different types of pipe ornaments, droning, how to blend and how not to blend with the pipes.

Saturday 10:30-11:00AM TEENS Teen Meetup On Saturday Morning (Ages 13-18 only): Any L1 L2 L3 L4 R7

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

Saturday 10:30-11:00AM FLASH SING Québécois Songs with Éric: V L2 R347 FAVREAU[V]

Catchy, fun and easy to sing!  It helps to know a bit of French, of course, to have "une p'tite session de chansons".  Did you know that several Québécois bands are named after songs? [Le Vent du Nord, La Bottine Souriante].

Saturday 10:30-11:00AM FLASH SING Shape Note Singing (No Teaching): V L3 R37 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. Also, Pete will lead a whole shape note workshop at 12:30PM Sunday.

Saturday FOOD Quick Lunches, Snacks, and Coffee in Lower Hallway 11AM-6PM Saturday

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.


Three very different mandolin players, from Northern, world, and bluegrass styles, backed up by two legendary guitarists. An enjoyable 60 minutes to inspire mandolin and guitar players and delight other listeners as well.

Saturday 11:00AM-12:00PM A Simple Cape Breton Reel, "Put Me In the Big Chest": F M L1 R33 BEATON[F]

You’ll learn a good old traditional tune, "Put Me In the Big Chest," which is one of Andrea's favorites as played on Cape Breton Island. This will be at a relaxed pace for beginners. It's a simple A reel with a fun variation part.

Saturday 11:00AM-12:00PM JAM Guided Jam for Beginners: Any L1 R34 VANDERSTEEL[F] BRYAN[G]

There is a similar supportive jam at the Maine Fiddle Camp. It'll feature common tunes and tunes that the attendees suggest (and sometimes lead off), played at a beginner slow pace. Come and enjoy!

Saturday 11:00AM-12:00PM A Really Easy Clawhammer Banjo Tune, "Western Country": B L1 R346 COLLINS[B]

Ahhh, so easy! Learn a simple version of a classic, and walk away with ideas to take it to the next level. By ear, tab provided.

Saturday 11:00AM-12:00PM "Cold Frosty Morning" (Oldtime Southern Reel from CTL): F M L2 R6 KAUFMAN[F,M]

This beautiful tune shows up in lots of oldtime sessions. And it's pretty easy. Alan will teach the basics and suggest bowings and drones.

Saturday 11:00AM-12:00PM KIDS Jazz/Swing Rhythms for Kids: F L2 L3 R7 FLAX[F,G]

Want to improvise, but don't know a lot of cool licks? Take a simple idea and play with the rhythm. We'll explore rhythms from all over the world, using techniques not usually taught to fiddlers, and then apply them to an awesome tune.

Saturday 11:00AM-12:00PM TEACHERS How to Make Music with Different Levels of Students in the Same Jam Class: F C Any L2 L3 L4 R4 ADAMS[F,C]

Joy's got some great ideas to share in this hands-on workshop about a common situation. Especially for teachers, but all are welcome.

Saturday 11:00AM-12:00PM Learn Great Tunes from Rustic Roots Camp: F M C L2 R8 MALONEY[F]

Rustic Roots Camp happens next August 18-24, 2020, in Colorado, run by Andy Reiner and Joy Adams. It's a musical-foodie-outdoors retreat in the mountains, with wonderful, inclusive tunes that draw from oldtime, East European, blues, folk traditions, and more. Rachel was the original source of many great RR tunes and will teach a couple. They may have been played last night at The Whomp! Or should have been...

Saturday 11:00AM-12:00PM Yoga for Musicians 1: Any L2 L3 R31 MORAHN[Yoga]

Learn to listen to and with your whole body, not just your ears! A gentle, musician-centered class, w/focus on breath, philosophy, mindfulness, alignment and inward self-awareness, bringing these practices from the mat to our music. Bring a mat or towel if you have one. Participants (not Fiddle Hell) are responsible for their own well-being in this yoga session and must fill out a short waiver upon arrival to class.

Saturday 11:00AM-12:00PM Seriously Cool Harmonica Techniques (Bring C Harmonica): C Diatonic Harmonica L3 L4 R35 TURNER[Harmonica,V] BRYANT[G,V]

Bring a diatonic harmonica in the key of C (you can find these for $10 in the Fiddle Hell store). Chris will introduce you to harmonica wizardry, from bends and tongue blocking to shakes, warbles, slides, rakes and more. Jerry will back up on guitar and may burst into song without warning. 

Saturday 11:00AM-12:00PM JAM Dudley Street Jam (Cape Breton, Scottish, Acadian, Irish, …): Trad F M G C TB L3 R36 FERREL[F] RANDALL[P]

A fun new jam led by Frank Ferrel in the tradition of Boston's old Dudley Street dance halls of the 1930s, `40s and `50s -- Boston's historic "Crossroads of Celtic Culture." Several styles will be intermingled, as happened 80 years ago, but they didn't have Janine Randall on piano back then.

Saturday 11:00AM-12:00PM Cajun and Creole Cello - Lead and Backup: C L3 R247 REED[C] C. MASON[F]

Learn how to play the Cajun tune "Mon Vieux Wagon" and the Creole tune "Freeman Fontenot" on the cello. After learning the leads, we'll have time to look at what cellists can do for backup as well.

Saturday 11:00AM-12:00PM Contemporary Fiddle Licks & Ideas for Bluegrass and More: F L4 R32 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.

Saturday 11:00AM-12:00PM Learn a Splendid Tune from Jenna and Bring It to Life: F M L4 R345 MOYNIHAN[F]

Come learn Jenna’s favorite tune of the moment! It might be Scottish; it might be Swedish...

Saturday 11:00AM-12:00PM Learn Two Flowing and Rhythmic Oldtime Tunes: F M C L4 R245 SIMOS[F]

Tunes with few notes are hard to get right. They need flawless flow and phrasing. While it’s helpful to know rhythmic bowing techniques, it’s hard to employ these to reveal, not obscure, the heart of the tune. We’ll “work up" two such tunes - one familiar and one a lesser-known gem.

Saturday FOOD and DRINK at Old Joe Clark's Pub 12:30PM-11PM Saturday R9

Hungry? Thirsty? Food and drinks available at Old Joe Clark's Pub off the Lobby. Limited menu for Fiddle Hell, leisurely paced. A much faster alternative for lunch is the concessions in the Lower Hallway, and a much faster alternative for dinner is the Quick Dinner Buffet from 5PM-7PM in the Lobby.

Saturday 12:30-1:30PM CONCERT Open Mic for Original Tunes: Any F M C R1 R2 A. REINER[OM,F] ADAMS[V,C,B]

We'll have ten 5-minute slots for FH attendees to play an original tune they wrote. Use your own accompanist, or ask for help from Andy or Joy - ideally providing them with a lead sheet chord chart. Signups will be done at a time and place to be announced (first come first served). Listeners, feel free to pick up some lunch at the hallway concession outside and munch while you hear exciting original tunes.

Saturday 12:30-1:30PM An Easy Old-time Tune from The Horse Flies: F M L1 R31 HYMAN[F] CLAUS[G]

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!

Saturday 12:30-1:30PM How to Learn Tunes by Ear with Lissa: Any L1 L2 R32 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.

Saturday 12:30-1:30PM DROP-IN Left and Right Hand Techniques for Bowed Strings: F F5 C L1 L2 L3 R4 LYONN LIEBERMAN[F]

An ergonomic approach to left- and right-hand position and usage. Information will be based on individual body type as well as natural joint and muscle function. Principles, not rules, re: how to get the most out of your playing! Coaching will follow a brief presentation.

Saturday 12:30-1:30PM Learn Songs to Sing to Children: V Any or None L1 L2 R245 L. HAMMOND[V,M]

There is nothing like hearing the voice of a loved one sing to you. We all love that regardless of age. Come learn a few songs to share with the kids in your life. 

Saturday 12:30-1:30PM Intro to Swing Fiddle in The Style of Jason Anick: F M L2 R33 J. ANICK[F] P. ANICK[G]

Learn the essential practice tools for developing a perfect swing feel and groove. Hear more gypsy jazz and swing at the 3:30PM concert later today.

Saturday 12:30-1:30PM JAM Easy Oldtime Jam: Trad L2 R36 C. MASON[F] HARTY[G] ARKIN[B]

Cathy, Paul, and Steve 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.

Saturday 12:30-1:30PM KIDS Learn a Fine Irish Tune in Traditional Style: F L2 R8 KLEIN[F]

Ellery will teach a polka -and maybe a jig too- that were tried and true favorites of her youth students at the Saturday Irish music school Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann.

Saturday 12:30-1:30PM Learn Oldtime Tune "Twin Sisters" from Sidna Myers: B L2 R7 Allison de Groot (banjo)

We will learn "Twin Sisters" from the elegant playing of banjoist Sidna Myers (1890-1972). We'll also discuss the process of learning from a field recording and finding variations.

Saturday 12:30-1:30PM Learn a Traditional Cajun Waltz: F L2 R247 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.

Saturday 12:30-1:30PM Celtic Fingerstyle Guitar: G L3 L4 R346 SURETTE[G]

Come and learn a couple of Celtic tunes arranged in DADGAD tuning for finger style guitar, and get a look at techniques of arrangement, execution and ornamentation in this style.

Saturday 12:30-1:30PM A Scandinavian Tune from Blue Moose & the Unbuttoned Zippers Repertoire: G F M L3 R6 WYSLOUCH[G] VANDERSTEEL[F]

Join Mariel and Stash, half of the old-time/Scandinavian fusion band, Blue Moose & the Unbuttoned Zippers. Mariel will teach melody on fiddle; Stash, chords and groove on guitar. Another focus will be some useful theory on why certain chords work for certain melodic phrases.

Saturday 12:30-1:30PM Beyond Ornaments: Melodic Variations in Irish Trad Tunes: F M L4 R345 MARTIN[F]

You may include ornaments and interesting bowing but want other ways to make trad tunes your own. This is for you! We'll consider conventions of variation in traditional Irish music, and then we’ll work together to apply variations to a traditional Irish reel, creating our own signature version of the tune.

Saturday 12:30-1:30PM Québécois Gaspésie Style Workshop: F M L4 R34 FAVREAU[F]

Gaspesian style, Magdalen Islands style and Acadian Style, all have something in common in the use of a variety of syncopated and accentuation elements. We'll explore the "Style Gaspésie".

Saturday 12:30-1:30PM Learn a Challenging Tune from Brendan McGlinchey of Northern Ireland: F M L4 R35 CLANCY[F]

Armagh fiddler Brendan McGlinchey was hugely influential to a generation of fiddle players. "Sweeney’s Buttermilk" is one of his well-known tunes, in Bm with nice rolls.

Saturday 2:00-3:00PM Making Sense of Chords: F M C L1 L2 L3 R6 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.

Saturday 2:00-3:00PM The Wonderful Sounds of O’Carolan Tunes On the Cello: C L1 L2 R35 NEWTON[C]

I will talk a bit about the history of the incredible Irish tunesmith Turlough O’Carolan and show how beautifully many of his tunes work on the cello. I describe him in the liner notes to my CD Crossing to Scotland as Bach’s Country Cousin. I will teach one of his sweet easy tunes.

Saturday 2:00-3:00PM Picking Techniques for Mandolin: M OM L1 L2 R8 SURETTE[M]

David 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.

Saturday 2:00-3:00PM Tune Writing Strategies: Any L1 L2 L3 L4 R1 R2 SIMOS[F,G,V]

Mark will present exercises and techniques for writing new tunes in traditional styles, sharing some of his own tunesmith’s secrets, and drawing on approaches described in his book Songwriting Strategies: A 360º Approach (Berklee Press; FH store). Come get acquainted with Smitty, the Tunesmith Genie!

Saturday 2:00-3:00PM Backing Up a Fiddler on Guitar: G L2 L3 R33 M. MASON[G] UNGAR[F]

Basic rhythmic techniques and bass runs to accompany some very different fiddle tunes.

Saturday 2:00-3:00PM Basics & Parameters of Oldtime Guitar (Listeners Welcome): G L2 R37 WYSLOUCH[G]

Explore the guitar’s boom-chuck in old time fiddle and dance music. This foundational workshop is for anybody starting to play backup on guitar, equally focused on listening as playing.

Saturday 2:00-3:00PM JAM Irish Jam Session with Sharon and Rose: Trad F M C G Flute L2 L3 R32 PYNE[Flute] CLANCY[F]

You may know Sharon Pyne from the Maine Fiddle Camp, where she leads fine Irish jams. Joining Sharon is first-rate fiddler Rose Clancy. Join this seisiún to play a variety of tunes and rhythms at an easy going Saturday afternoon pace. 

Saturday 2:00-3:00PM Play Faster by Playing Less: Any L2 R346 MARCH[F] COLLINS-HILL[M]

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 Baron will demonstrate and help you learn to do the same.

Saturday 2:00-3:00PM Intermediate DADGAD Guitar: G L2 L3 R349 SEFTON[G] MARTIN[F]

DADGAD open tuning is neither intrinsically major nor minor; it facilitates moveable chords and drones. Eamon will cover intermediate techniques in this alternate guitar tuning, with Laurel Martin playing melody.

Saturday 2:00-3:00PM Bow to the Beat with the "Top of Maol" Irish Polka: F M C L2 R247 KLEIN[F]

Haven't thought much about how you use your bow? As we learn Top of Maol, we'll utilize traditional "Sliabh Liucra" polka bowing and explore using consistent bow strokes with an even pulse/beat, even as the number of notes varies. We'll be controlling our bow from the groove, not the notes. The tune is part of the play list for Ellery Klein and Shannon Heaton's monthly (2nd Saturdays) open Irish session at the Armory for the Arts in Somerville, MA.

Saturday 2:00-3:00PM Play Puirt à Beul (Mouth Music from Scotland) on Your Instrument: Melody Instrument L2 L3 R34 HEELY[V,F]

Oftentimes, folks in the highlands would sing "mouth music" or Puirt à Beul for dancers. The lyrics would often be about simple subjects and it was important for the lyrics to fit into the rhythm of the tune. No prior Gaelic speaking or singing experience needed.

Saturday 2:00-3:00PM JAM Cape Breton Jam Session: Trad L3 R36 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.

Saturday 2:00-3:00PM JAM Up-to-Speed Bluegrass Jam with Dr. Brown: Trad V L3 L4 R345 BROWN[M] DILLON[G] GERTEIS[Bass]

This should be an outstanding bluegrass jam, ably led by Dr. Richie Brown on mandolin, with Dave Dillon on guitar and Margaret Gerteis on bass. They're all fine singers, too. Joe Val Festival meets Fiddle Hell, right here in the Bill Monroe Room!

Saturday 2:00-3:00PM KIDS Learn a Bluegrass Tune "Big Sandy River": F G M L3 R353 CARLSON[F] WATT[G,M]

Here's a great tune in A that shows up in a lot of bluegrass jams. Ellen and Tony will work with fiddle, guitar, and mandolin players to quickly learn the essence of the tune. Then there will be time to practice playing it together as a bluegrass band would do.

Saturday 2:00-3:00PM Rhythm and Groove: Any L3 R31 HARGREAVES[F]

An exploration of polyrhythms and grooves to increase rhythmic stability regardless of genre. Some work will be done away from our primary instrument with clapping, singing and walking. Any instrument welcome.

Saturday 2:00-3:00PM Learn a Tune from the Acadian Side of PEI: F L3 R245 FAVREAU[F]

A tune from Prince Edward Island (PEI) on the Acadian side, from Marie Livingstone. In addition to being a great fiddler, Marie is also a prolific composer of tunes (such as "Eddy and Amand Reel"). Lobster flavor!

Saturday 2:00-3:00PM The Rhythmic Side of Gypsy Jazz: F M G L3 R4 J. ANICK[F,M PADILLA[G]

A deep study into the different common rhythmic grooves in Gypsy jazz (Swing, Bossa, waltz, and 6/8 feel). The Jazz and Swing concert is coming up at 3:30PM today.

Saturday 2:00-3:00PM Introduction to the Nyckelharpa Repertoire: F F5 Nyck L3 R347 IEVINS[Nyck]

Bring your fiddle (or nyckelharpa). Uppland, just north of Stockholm, is the one province in the world where nyckelharpa has remained in living tradition for hundreds of years. Its quintessential type of polska (dance and tune) is called a bondpolska. We'll learn a bondpolska tune called "Första gången" that is commonly played on either nyckelharpa or fiddle.

Saturday 2:00-3:00PM Contradance Tune "Money Musk" on Cello: C L3 R7 JAMES[C]

"Moneymusk" was originally a pipe tune, taking its name from an Aberdeenshire, Scotland, baronial estate called Monymusk House. It was a popular melody and a country dance in America by the 1790's, and can be played as a strathspey, reel, or fling. It's a great cello tune for a contradance or jam.

Saturday 2:00-3:00PM Oldtime Fiddling: The Bow is Your Drumstick: F L4 R3 MOLSKY[F]

In some types of music, the drummer lays down a rhythmic groove. But there's no drummer in oldtime music. Fortunately, the bow is your drumstick! In this fast-paced workshop, Bruce will show you how to wield the bow in the context of several driving oldtime tunes.

Saturday 3:05-3:20PM FLASH MOB "Cellosaurus Stomp" (CTL): Any or None L1 L2 L3 L4 R3 A. REINER[Violinadactyl] ADAMS[Celloceratops] KARLSON[Bassasaurus Rex]

Play it, sing it, dance it! Or just listen. We'll meet in Room 3 and step into the hallway when we're ready. The music and words are on the New 52 CDs. Dinosaur supplies available for FH cosplay.

Saturday 3:30-4:30PM CONCERT Swing & Jazz Showcase: R1 R2 PADILLA[F]/P. ANICK[G] HARGREAVES[F]/PADILLA[G] J. ANICK[F]/P. ANICK[G]

Swing and jazz take over FIddle Hell for an hour with 3 absolutely world-class acts. Duane Padilla (jazz and swing) kicks it off, followed by Jason Anick (gypsy jazz), and ending with Alex Hargreaves (jazz and world). Just the right backup playing from Peter Anick and Duane Padilla (playing a dual role).

Saturday 3:30-4:30PM DROP-IN Help on Cello from McKinley: C L1 L2 L3 L4 R4 JAMES[C]

McKinley will help you with technique, tone, bowing, tunes, styles, the role of a cello in a jam or band, and more. Stay a little while or for the whole hour.

Saturday 3:30-4:30PM How to Make Your Fiddling More Bluesy: F C L2 L3 R346 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.

Saturday 3:30-4:30PM JAM Intermediate New England Jam: Any L2 L3 R36 KAYNOR[F] EID-REINER[P]

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

Saturday 3:30-4:30PM JAM Swedish Jam with lydia: Trad L2 L3 R31 IEVINS[F]

Just what it sounds like! Come have fun playing your favorite Scandinavian tunes with friends! Polskas, Schottises, Hambos, Waltzes, Snoas, Gånglåtar etc.

Saturday 3:30-4:30PM KIDS Learn a Classic Scottish Tune "Cock O' the North" on Fiddle or Cello: F C L2 R35 E.ANDERSON[F] B. ANDERSON[C]

Scottish fiddle and cello duo Elizabeth and Ben will teach a fun and hypnotic 6/8 bagpipe march (and jig): "Cock O' the North." The tune is more than 300 years old.

Saturday 3:30-4:30PM Learn an Easy Scottish Strathspey on Cello & Discuss the History: C L2 R247 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.

Saturday 3:30-4:30PM Learn to Sing a Couple of Great Old Ballads: V L2 L3 R245 SUTHERLAND[V,G]

Like many Vermont musicians, Pete is a great fan of the Flanders collection, a 15-year project begun in 1930 that sought to preserve a vanishing old world family-learned repertoire of sometimes incalculably old and rare ballads. He will present and teach a couple of these eminently singable songs including one from his own family.

Saturday 3:30-4:30PM Backing Up Irish Tunes on Mandolin: M L2 R345 COLLINS-HILL[M] KLEIN[F]

Learn to add energy and finesse to an Irish tune without overtaking the melody. Melodies provided by Ellery.

Saturday 3:30-4:30PM Essential Bowing Techniques for Scottish and Other Styles: F L2 L3 R33 MOYNIHAN[F]

Our left hand sometimes gets all the attention, but it’s the bow that helps us pull the tune out of out instruments and color it. What habits have we fallen into? Re-thinking our bowing can totally transform a melody. 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? 

Saturday 3:30-4:30PM Singing Bluegrass Harmonies Made Easy: V L2 R7 WATT[V,G] CARLSON[V,F]

We will learn about the bluegrass terminology of “tenor and baritone” parts and sing some standard bluegrass songs and their harmonies — "Will the Circle Be Unbroken," "I’ll Fly Away," and others.

Saturday 3:30-4:30PM JAM Full Speed Oldtime Jam with The Mountain Drifters: Trad L3 L4 R32 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.

Saturday 3:30-4:30PM Learn Jay Ungar's "The Love of My Life": F M C G L3 R34 UNGAR[F] M. MASON[P]

A beautiful air with sweet chords, riveting ornaments, and roots in Scottish and Klezmer traditions.

Saturday 3:30-4:30PM Getting Deeper into the Bluegrass Mandolin Style of Bill Monroe: M L3 L4 R6 BROWN[M] DILLON[G]

Learn from a great player who himself learned directly from Bill Monroe. Dr. Brown plays excellent bluegrass mandolin and can show you several important techniques in the context of tunes. Dave Dillon, who played with Joe Val, will be on guitar. (Easier intro to this style on Friday at 6:30PM.)

Saturday 3:30-4:30PM Modern Acoustic Fingerstyle Guitar Techniques: G L3 L4 R8 AISENBERG[G]

Open tunings, a slide (a la John Fahey, Leo Kottke), and percussive, two-handed tapping (pioneered by Michael Hedges and others) are all part of the modern acoustic guitarist’s toolbox. We will explore several of these techniques, and learn a piece utilizing them.

Saturday 5:00-6:30PM FOOD Quick Dinner Buffet in Lobby 5PM-7PM Saturday

Want a quick dinner before the concert and dance? The hotel is running a Fiddle Hell buffet for us in the Stoney Brook Café next to the main lobby. Help yourself to pasta primavera in cream sauce, penne pasta with a tomato basil sauce, meatballs, caesar salad, garlic bread, 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.

Saturday 5:00-6:00PM Learn the Bones (A Few Extras Available): Bones L1 R345 BRYANT[Bones] MARTIN[F]

The bones are a musical instrument which consists of a pair of pieces of wood, or animal bones. The bones have contributed to 19th century minstrel shows, traditional Irish and Scottish music, the blues, zydeco, French-Canadian music, and even music from Cape Breton. Bring your bones (Jerry may have a few extra pairs), and learn how to play them. Laurel will provide melodies. Puns encouraged if not mandatory.

Saturday 5:00-6:00PM A Fine Reel or Two (For Both Melody & Backup Players): Any L2 L3 R36 UNGAR[F] M. MASON[G]

Says Jay: "You’ll have to be there to learn more."

Saturday 5:00-6:00PM Appalachian Mountain Songs, Everyone Welcome: V Any L2 R347 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.

Saturday 5:00-6:00PM Bruce's Tour of "Other" Fiddle Traditions - Listen & Learn: F L2 R34 MOLSKY[F]

Bruce says: "I’ll demo a couple of Scandinavian styles, Métís, and maybe Balkan, then teach a simple tune from one of those traditions."

Saturday 5:00-6:00PM Cello Groove for Specific Genres: C F5 L2 L3 R4 ADAMS[C]

Just like the fiddle, the cello is more than capable of hopping from one genre to the next. But when it comes to laying down cello grooves, there are specific patterns that make each genre tick. Explore the differences between backing up an oldtime tune, a bluegrass tune, a jig and a reel.

Saturday 5:00-6:00PM JAM It's a Blues Jam!: Any V L2 L3 R346 FLAX[F,M,G,V] KARLSON[Bass]

Who says you have to wait until late at night for some 12-bar blues, led by our own Blue Person Group? This will be a fun jam on 1 1 1 1 4 4 1 1 5 4 1 5 and other blues progressions.

Saturday 5:00-6:00PM Scottish Phrasing and Dynamics: F M C L2 R33 MOYNIHAN[F]

We'll explore the power of the bow and breath in your playing, two integral aspects to finding your own voice on your fiddle. We'll talk about ways to experiment with these through exercises, and will learn a simple tune to put these ideas to work.

Saturday 5:00-6:00PM Fiddle Hell Plays Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe: Trad L3 L4 R6 CARLSON[F] WATT[G]

Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe is an classic bluegrass album with great tunes! Road to Columbus, Brown County Breakdown, Lonesome Moonlight Waltz, Jerusalem Ridge, and 8 more. We’ll play through most of the tunes from this album. Not a teaching session, but a chance to play some classic tunes. Listeners welcome. In the Kenny Baker Room, of course.

Saturday 5:00-6:00PM Finding Chords to Slippery Tunes: Any L3 R247 SIMOS[F,G]

Some tunes lend themselves to standard chord progressions. But some of the coolest tunes to play are also the most elusive to accompany: they go right when you think they’ll go left, stay put just when you think they’ll go… In this hands-on, entertaining, and practical session, Mark will draw on lessons of many years accompanying traditional Celtic music, to share some handy tricks of the vamper’s trade you can apply in many styles. He’ll come prepared with a couple of “problem child” tunes, then will ask for a head-scratcher or two from you.

Saturday 5:00-6:00PM Maine Fiddle Style - Tunes and Techniques: F L3 L4 R35 PROTSIK[F]

Doug founded and runs Maine Fiddle Camp and plays many instruments and styles. In this relatively fast-moving workshop, he'll take you through a few Maine fiddle tunes and eloquently describe some underlying techniques.

Saturday 5:00-6:00PM A Traditional Oldtime Waltz (with Harmony): F M L3 R353 KAUFMAN[F]

Some of the most outstanding traditional fiddle tunes are waltzes. First, we'll learn a lovely and memorable old-time waltz, and then we'll add a tasteful harmony to it to further bring out its beauty.

Saturday 5:00-6:00PM Creative Ideas for Improvising: Any L3 R245 HARGREAVES[F]

Harmony, voice leading and rhythm are all fundamental to improvisation, but how do you create your own unique voice? We will attempt to find the answer through exploring and practicing conceptual exercises.

Saturday 5:00-6:00PM Elements of Round Peak Style Banjo: B L3 R349 COLLINS[B]

Learn the intricacies of this beautiful regional style of clawhammer banjo. Tom will show you the moving parts of Round Peak, and show you how the style can transform your playing.

Saturday 5:00-6:00PM Some Challenging New England Tunes: F M C L4 R8 SCHNECKENBURGER[F]

Lissa is a quintessential New England fiddler, from notes to ornaments to bowing to that ineffable "dance feel." She'll teach a couple of challenging New England tunes that she loves to play.

Saturday 5:00-6:00PM Playing and Backing Up Irish Jigs on Cello: C L4 R7 JAMES[C] KLEIN[F]

Irish jigs sound great on a cello, and backed by a cello. McKinley will show you how, including teaching a fine jig. For the backup and ensemble playing aspects, Ellery Klein will provide her Irish fiddle magic.

Saturday 5:00-6:00PM Advanced Cajun Fiddle Techniques: F L4 R37 REED[F]

We will learn "Lake Arthur Stomp" and "Perrodin Two-Step." These are what I call “Show-off Tunes” and are both a fun challenge and a source of useful techniques, especially for advanced players. 

Saturday DRINKS: Beer, soft drinks, & liquor are available in Lower Hallway 6PM-11PM

Avoid the line at Old Joe Clark's Pub. Beer, soft drinks, and various types of liquor are available to go in the Lower Hallway (outside the Registration Room). These may be brought into the Saturday night concert. Age 21 and older for beer and liquor, obviously. No outside alcohol is allowed to be brought into or consumed in public areas of the hotel.

Saturday 7:00-9:30PM CONCERT Traditional Music Concert - Fiddle and More (Open to the Public): R1 R2 R3 20+ Fiddle Hell Instructors

Please invite your families and tell your friends about this great concert! Short appearances by more than twenty excellent traditional musicians (see list of performers here). Doors open at 6:30PM. Free for Fiddle Hell attendees who have paid for Saturday. Walk-ins are $20 (includes contra dance at 9:30PM). Thanks to Colin McKinley and Oliver Scanlon for sound engineering, and Eric Kilburn of Wellspring Sound for lighting.

Saturday 9:30-11:00PM DANCE New England Contra Dance [No Dance Experience Necessary]: L2 L3 R1 R2 R3 GREENLEAF[Caller] LESTER[F] FOWLER[F] KAYNOR[F] EID-REINER[P]

Free if you're at the concert; no separate tickets for the dance. Lisa Greenleaf will call fun, easy contras and circle dances for all, with exuberant, rich, inclusive music by an enormous, expertly-guided folk orchestra. Fiddle Hell attendees are also welcome to sit in with the band to play well-known New England tunes for the dancers.

Saturday 9:30-10:30PM Easy Mandolin Technique (Bring Mandolin) (until10:30PM): M L1 R6 L. HAMMOND[M]

Lorraine says: "Come be inspired to play, play, play! Learn your way around the fingerboard with accessible tricks for lead and backup that we will test drive on easy tunes. Some quick help with right-hand picking as well."

Saturday 9:30-10:30PM Secrets to Improvise Over Chords on Western Swing Tunes (until10:30PM): F M C L3 R4 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.

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

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

Saturday 11:00PM-12:00AM Free Improvisation (actually starts at 11:30PM): F M C L1 L2 L3 L4 R7 A. REINER[F,OM]

Featuring small group musical explorations in a welcoming environment with a strong focus on listening and musicality. A perfect introduction to improvising, and just as appropriate and deeper for more experienced players. A Fiddle Hell tradition - take a break from fiddle tunes and get weird!

Saturday 11:00PM-12:00AM DROP-IN Sing Along with Fine Irish Ballads and Songs: V L1 L2 L3 R6 HARTY[V,G]

Bring the day to a rousing close by singing some classic ballads, led by Paul. Irish ballads have simple melodies and great refrains, and sometimes there's even Whiskey in the Jar.

Saturday 11:00PM-12:00AM JAM Late Night Bluegrass Jam: Trad V L2 L3 R3 WATT[G,M,V] M'GONIGLE[F,V] KARLSON[Bass,V]

This is a loosely guided bluegrass jam. We'll go around the circle asking folks to choose songs they want to sing and/or play. The best way to get prepared is to learn a common bluegrass song to sing (you can bring the verses along to read from), or practice your favorite instrumental tune.

Saturday 11:00PM-12:00AM Learn Mariel's Favorite Scandinavian Fiddle Tunes: F M C L2 R37 VANDERSTEEL[F]

Mariel lived in Norway while studying the hardingfele, and plays fiddle with various groups including Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers. Swedish, Norwegian, and more - this will be a fun late evening workshop.

Saturday 11:00PM-12:00AM Bowing and Ornamentation in Cajun and Creole Fiddle Music: F L2 R4 REEDF]

We will break down the Creole song "Barres de la Prison" (by Canray Fontenot) and the Cajun tune "Danse Carrée". Then we will learn about slides, bow triplets and slurs using these tunes as examples.

Saturday 11:00PM-12:00AM JAM Intermediate Irish Jam with Flynn: Trad L2 L3 R35 F. COHEN[G,M]

Time for some fine late night Irish tunes with Flynn. Relax with intermediate tunes, not too fast. The Fiddle Hell version of McDermott's Pub in Doolin, Ireland?

Saturday 11:00PM-12:00AM JAM Late Night Oldtime Jam with Judy, Allison and Jeff: Trad L3 R36 HYMAN[F] DEGROOT[B] CLAUS[G]

Judy and Jeff are founding members of the alt-folk rock band, The Horse Flies, which has toured extensively and recorded many albums. Allison's on OT banjo; she plays with Molsky's Mountain Drifters and others. Join their joyful jam tonight! Tunes will be at a moderate tempo and played long enough to seek trance.

Saturday 11:00PM-12:00AM Adventures in Rhythm and Language: Any L3 R8 FLAX[F,G]

Around the world, many musical cultures with complex drumming patterns use language to describe their rhythms, instead of writing it down. In this workshop we’ll learn to play and sing rhythms from Africa, the Middle East, India, and Brazil, then apply these ideas to fiddle tune rhythms.


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

Saturday 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. 
No cute poem tonight - just keep playing!