How to use the Fiddle Jam book
#1 RELAX , breathe deep (see page 32), and take your time. Hurrying, and its cousin, worrying are both counterproductive to creativity.
#2 the basic idea, is to use the notes from the fingering charts to play along with the corresponding cut on the CD, making up whatever YOU think sounds good while you listen and play.
#3 “EZ Zones” (which are simply symmetrical fingerings on two adjacent strings) are the best way I know to get started on the road to non-thinking (which is desirable for improvising). Just begin and end on a starred tonic note (“tonic” means the name of the key or scale), and you can’t go wrong!
#4 On the CD, “Jam Stuff”, preceding each example, will guide you through the scale and give you a musical idea/riff/lick/motif to try.
#5 Though the lessons in this program are designed in a particular order that coincides with a typical string player’s development (major scales first, then EZ Zones fingering 0 1 3, then the tougher, 0 L2 3 fingerings, etc…..), feel free to try ANY lesson at ANY time. I recommend scanning through the CD to find an example that appeals to you first and give it a whirl!
#6 In each lesson, “Preparation, Simple and Advanced Instructions, Listening Lessons, Troubleshooting, and P.J. (Post Jam)” sections are there to further enhance the learning experience.
#7 “Wit and Wisdom” pages are scattered throughout the book. They are like musician’s life lesson stories and are there for your information (and hopefully enlightenment), giving you further stuff to chew on.