The Fiddle Jam Method …what’s it all about? An excellent question! …and, a fine exercise for me to plainly explain!
#1, The Fiddle Jam Method is all about Fun on your Fiddle/Violin for Life!
#2, This is achieved mostly by learning how to be musically creative, with the cornerstone of the Fiddle Jam Method being improvisation, or “jamming” as it is commonly called.
#3, In the violin world, improvisation has been largely a forgotten art. Interestingly, in the Classical era, musicians were expected to improvise and stretch out songs as needed for dancing… much like today’s wedding or party bands might… “do another chorus Sammy, let’s keep ’em on the dance floor!”
#4: Jazz musicians have largely cornered the market on improvisation, and promoted it as a virtuosic and difficult endeavor! Though certain styles (like Jazz) can be more difficult and need more detailed musical knowledge, or Music Mechanics as I like to call it here at FJi; the idea that any creative expression is difficult, is pure rubbish! The Fiddle Jam Method makes the improvisation experience as easy and non-scary as possible! It gives me a personal satisfaction and thrill to be able to do this for players of ANY ability level!… including absolute beginners!!
#5: EZ-Zones: In my decades of teaching and playing, I discovered that there are particular keys and scales that “lay” very easily on the violin fingerboard. So easy, in fact, that any first year student can play and use them freely! “EZ-Zones” as I’ve coined them, are simply symmetrical fingering blocks on two adjacent strings… or more simply put: the same fingering on two strings right next to each other. They are super easy to memorize, and just as easy to play, so that you can feel as free as possible to make things up with them, right from your first improv experience!
#6: Music from the inside out: I believe it to be of paramount importance for violinist/fiddlers to learn to be creative in this way for a variety of reasons: 1) personal mental/musical balance for those who have been trained in the traditional Classical “from the page” only approach. 2) a well balanced foundation for the near beginner. 3) and an authority builder for the intermediate player and hobbyist, as you learn not only how to “take a solo” or “ride” as it is called in some circles, but also create background “tater-ing” parts on the spot.
#7: The bottom line is always in trust… of your-SELF! That is: learning to trust your own inner creative ideas, and developing an obedience to them. They are always the best. Everything goes so much smoother and gives you and the audience a greater level of satisfaction when you learn to follow this “voice” with a vengeance! This is the best way that I’ve found to have a touch of authoritative greatness in your playing …or really ANYTHING that you do!
Are you ready to have fun with music for the rest of your life? Join us! Already a member?… check out the original Fiddle Jam Book lessons here in our Library!