“From picking it up to playing in a band took about 18 months hard work – trick is to play music, not just scales”

How I did it: I stumbled into a folk club and was amazed by the music. They gave free fiddle lessons which helped me to hold the instrument properly and get on top of the bowing. The best bit was that from my first lesson I was playing a tune – the rest came later. You could spend years playing scales, but unless you’re playing real tunes it would have become boring very quickly. I learnt to perform in front of an audience by busking, and 18 months later I joined a band. That was a vertical learning curve! But I hung in there and learnt heaps. I’ve now been playing 30 years and still love it 🙂

Lessons & tips: Don’t over practice – lots of short sessions every day is better than one long session each week.
Play music you love – that way you know what it should sound like.
Keep at it regularly for more than six months – after then you are really playing music and can start to enjoy it – remember, this is a craft in which you are training muscles and that takes time.
Break each component down to a single movement and understand how your wrist keeps the bow straight.
Keep your eyes on the prize!

Resources: Irish folk music sessions!

It took me 18 months.

It made me feel great!