The Irish session at the Star, Fishponds, Bristol

I lead a regular Irish session at the Star, Fishponds, Bristol. This is an excellent Irish pub, that hosts a range of music, with an enthusiastic landlord. The Wednesday night session at the Star was absolutely lovely, just a few players playing with wonderful pulse and lift (Bradon Smith on fiddle, and Sheena Vallely on … Read more

Playing fiddle in a traditional folk session

Do you want to start playing fiddle in a traditional folk session? If you are learning to play the fiddle in a traditional style, you may be aspiring to play with other people in informal groups. And with good reason – group playing is great fun! Whether that’s Irish, Scottish, English, Scandinavian, Breton, bluegrass, klezmer … Read more

Traditional Irish sessions (seisiún) in Bristol

There are many good traditional music sessions in Bristol where you can play the fiddle. Many, but not all of them, are traditional Irish music sessions. I currently run two traditional Irish sessions in Bristol – details below. I will post a list here soon of some of the other sessions that I have played … Read more

Learning by ear, and learning to read music

Learning to read music can seem complicated. Especially if you have never learned a musical instrument before. But you absolutely don’t need to be able to read music to begin learning to play the fiddle! You can learn to play the fiddle ‘by ear’. Traditional music has always been taught and learned ‘by ear’. Tunes … Read more

Fiddle…or violin?

What is the difference between a fiddle and a violin? People often find this confusing – so, what is the difference? The short answer is, there isn’t really any difference. At least, not if we are talking about the musical instrument itself. A fiddle is just another name for a violin. When people use the … Read more

Tips for the beginner fiddler

If you are a beginner fiddle player just working out how to play the fiddle, it can seem difficult to know how to begin. So below are my top 3 tips for a beginner irish fiddle player. If you are just starting out, and looking help on how to play the fiddle, including how to … Read more