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Fiddle Lesson: Bowing Patterns & Rhythms for Backup


When we think about the role of the fiddle within the context of a bluegrass band, the first musical responsibility typically associated with the instrument is the melody. The fiddle is often a prominent instrument at the forefront of most bluegrass string bands, performing both the primary melodies of each tune and also improvised solo features. That being said, it is critical for fiddle players to understand how to pivot to a supporting role and back up other instruments and soloists in the band.


In this online fiddle lesson, master fiddler, ArtistWorks bluegrass instructor, and founding member of the popular string outfit Hawktail, Brittany Haas, teaches how to support other melodic instruments or soloists within the context of a bluegrass string band and add rhythmic variety to your backup playing.


LEARN MORE: Want to learn how to play the fiddle from a master musician like Brittany Haas? Try some free online fiddle lessons now!


“It’s important to be able to play long-tones,” Brittany explains. “However, it is just as important to be able to vary your right hand and add rhythm to your chords. It keeps the music interesting for the listeners, and for the other musicians you’re supporting.”


When incorporating new rhythmic patterns into your playing, it’s always important to start slow and practice with a metronome. Starting slow will allow you to focus on executing the rhythms with technical perfection. The metronome will allow you to focus on rhythmic accuracy. As you get increasingly comfortable with the rhythmic patterns you are working on, begin speeding up the tempo. Before you know it, you’ll be adding rhythmic variations within your backup playing at your next jam session!


“Trying out and experimenting with a wide variety of rhythmic options is a great way to develop new tools that you can pull from your toolbox when playing backup,” explains Brittany.


To learn techniques for playing backup on the fiddle and different rhythms that you can integrate into your repertoire, dive into this online fiddle lesson from Brittany Haas:


Bowing Patterns & Rhythms for Backup with Brittany Haas:




Have you always wanted to learn how to play the fiddle? Through our comprehensive fiddle lessons online and Video Exchange Learning platform here at ArtistWorks, you can learn from internationally renowned players, like Brittany Haas, and get personal feedback on your playing.


Brittany's course starts with the basics and teaches everything from beginner fiddle to advanced performance techniques, improvisation methods, classic old time and bluegrass tunes, and Brittany's unique and critically acclaimed approach to the instrument. So, whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced player, all levels are welcome and all students will grow and improve their skills as fiddle players and musicians.


Sample some free music lessons here and see what makes ArtistWorks courses some of the best online music lessons around!



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Each subscription is for a single school. Pricing and features can vary slightly per school.

1 Month membership
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Unlimited Access to Lessons
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