Need Inspiration to Play the Fiddle?


Do you need inspiration to play the fiddle (or any instrument)? I’ve been playing the fiddle off-and-on for more than ten years. I used to practice every day, for an hour, sometimes longer. I was obsessed with learning new tunes. But, because of other commitments, that changed. I’m embarrassed to admit how little I’ve practiced over the past few years. Okay, I’ll admit it: once a week, for thirty minutes. Playing the fiddle is not how I earn my living; it’s how I escape everyday stressors. I play because I enjoy it, and do perform in local coffee shops and for residents of assisted living facilities once in awhile. If you’re are interested in expertise then you might consider following the “10,000 hour rule,” that is if you believe in it. Similarly, if you’re a music student, or a performer, practicing once a week is not enough for the brain to learn new concepts, or to form muscle memory. If you play the fiddle for pure enjoyment, then in may not matter to you how often, and for how long, you practice. Some say that practicing for brief periods several days each week is better than practicing for long periods less frequently. Sessions may be as short as twenty minutes for children and as long as an hour for adults. Studies have shown that gains begin to decline after two hours of practice.

If you’re looking for inspiration to pick up your fiddle more often, here are some tips:

  • Leave your fiddle where you can see it
  • Listen to music you enjoy and are interested in learning to play
  • Join a music group, or attend sessions
  • Take lessons on a routine basis
  • Attend music camps
  • Set up a date with a friend who also plays an instrument and practice together – do this once a week, or every other week, as much as your schedule allows
  • Write down a reminder to practice in your date book
  • Set goals: “I’m going to learn tune X by the New Year”
  • Follow other musicians on social media for support and inspiration
  • Practice during a time of day when you are most alert and motivated

If you have other suggestions, please share!


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