A-Toodz Section Contents

Note: Links to the lesson materials are at the bottom of this page.  Rather have the Atoodz in book form??  Watch for announcements about the coming re-release of my book “Rock ‘n’ Blues Fiddle Jam A-Toodz” in digital download format from our school store!!

“A-toodz” or Etudes as they are called in the Classical music world, are practice exercises designed to help you build up your vocabulary of the cool stuff, so you have more ideas to use in your jams.  Think of them as muscle memory finger training.

The Atoodz are presented in 3 levels of difficulty:

Level 1 “Jammer” features simple rhythms and starts with a scale, moving from single string ideas to fun pentatonic licks.  Great for the 1st year player.

Level 2 “Gigger” takes it one step further introducing the in-between “blue” notes of each key.  Knowledge of flats and sharps, and non-key accidentals is needed.  This is where the cool stuff really starts to get interesting, and might be a good place for the classically trained to start.

Level 3 “Artist” goes into more advanced rhythms and double strings (double “stops”).  They are set up to be a challenge even for the classically trained near the end, though still quite do-able for the novice with a little practice.

Groove-Toodz are mini-tunes that apply what you’ve learned in the exercises.  They are meant to help you further assimilate what you’ve learned while playing to a steady beat (more like it will be in the “real” world outside of your practice room!).

Instructions: Check out the chart* (.jpg file), practicing slowly up to each double bar… then, as soon as you are ready try playing along with the “Call & Answer” video/audio.  It is important to play along with a steady beat as soon as you can.  Don’t worry, the recording** is nice and slow to start.  For the “alternative string” styles we are preparing for here, it’s more useful and important to develop a sense of slow “groove” early on than to stumble your way through it fast!  Try not to “flinch”… you’ll know in your gut whether you do or not… but no worries, just go back to the chart and work on that phrase until comfortable, then try it again!

**Feb. 2013: Not all the Atoodz have recordings yet.  We’ll finish and post these ASAP.

Alternate learning option: You can also use the call & answer tracks to train your ears… try not looking at the chart on the screen, and see if you can “answer” by ear alone!  It is an excellent challenge, but don’t sweat it if you can’t get every note exactly right… remember, the primary mission of the Fiddle Jam Institute is to teach you how to improvise, so in this case, getting something close will do just fine too!

*Note: At this time, the ability to read staff notation is necessary to play these Atoodz.  See Alternate Learning above for a non-reading option.  Contact me if you’d like to see a note name/finger number edition to these charts.  If there is enough demand, I will re-edit them.  Geoff

PS: These A-toodz are currently being edited into their 3rd edition (to be released as a stand-alone product), but rather than have you wait, I will post the 2nd editions now so you can get started, and update them with the newer editions as I finish them.  New audio tracks coming too!


Keys: (Fiddle Jam Book materials also feature these popular keys)

D major – All levels in One Post  Level 1Level 2Level 3

G major

A major

E minor

B minor

G minor

D minor

A minor


Auto-updated sort list of every lesson that has the “Atoodz” category assigned to it:

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