To find out more about YDW workshops and publications, refer to the navigation bar & home page

Folk Fiddle tutorial pages

Welcome to the world of fiddling.

Whether you are new to the fiddle, returning to the instrument after a break, or wishing to move from violin to fiddle, this Web Publication will hopefully be of interest to you.

Prepared by Geoff Bowen for Yorkshire Dales Workshops these pages include video clips, sound recordings, and music notation, with information and advice on basic techniques and approaches to learning.

The content of this on-line tutorial is closely integrated with the widely used YDW book How to play Folk Fiddle by Geoff Bowen which you can buy on line. For payment by other methods e-mail

Audio recordings to accompany the book (originally on CD) are accessible on this site.
Click the links below to access all 72 tracks from the CD.
Reload the page if some tracks do not download on first attempt

65 Fiddle tunes from
Pages 15-22
Pages 23-30
Pages 31-37
Pages 38-44
Pages 46-48
Pages 49-51
Pages 52-56

Page 59 Bowing patterns
Pages 60-61 Scales

NB The audio and video recordings have a control bar which enables you to control the playback. You will need to stop playback of a clip before starting another - unless you want a cacophony!

Site Map

Use this site map to navigate between pages. There is a link back to this map at the foot of each tutorial page and another in the navigation bar (to the left of each page).

QuickTime Player is required for playing video clips.
(Some of these are large files which may be slow to download.)

Adobe Reader is required to open PDF music pages.

Pages listed as suitable for printing are displayed in a new (separate) window.


Introducing the fiddle

Choosing, setting up and holding the instrument

Note names, fingering and finger spacing

Introducing written music notation

Music notation reference sheet

Overview of fiddle music notation

Introducing the bow

Holding and controlling the bow

Bowing patterns

Articulation and rhythm


• Intonation and bow management


Learning by ear

Cock o' the North

Sweeney's Polka

Scales, modes and key signatures

Fingering chart


Practice and performance

'hints and tips'

Ornaments and variations

demonstration audio + video clips

• Playing for dancing - phrasing, articulation, accents and rhythm

Butter'd Peas

Goathland Square Eight

Clog dance - Alex Woodcock's Waltz

Morris dance - Lads a Bunchum


• Credits

Credits plus how to send comments & queries

• Links

Web sites and publications for further study

Back to top

Link to the SITE_MAP - English dances

Updated: Sat, Jan 28, 2012
Comments and enquiries: e-mail to
To find out more about YDW workshops and publications, refer to the navigation bar & home page