Want to learn to jam on the fiddle? I can get you started.

I have a unique approach to teaching basic fiddle techniques. It consists of a series one hour lessons plus a package of customized materials designed to meet you where you are along your fiddle journey.

Lessons are not the place to practice. Lessons are the place to learn how to learn

In my experience, lessons are only as good as the strategy guiding them. In fact, understanding the strategy is maybe the most important part. If you a  have a plan, you have a much better chance of successfully being able to learn on your own. In a Jam 101 fiddle lesson, we work together to find that essential thing you need learn to get you to the next level.

If This Sounds Like You, I’m The Right Teacher.

  • “I love the fiddle. I want to learn but I’m a little intimidated. Show me how to get started .”
  • “I’ve been playing the fiddle for a while. I know how to play a few fiddle tunes but I want to learn how to take breaks and improvise.”
  • “I’ve played a little classical violin but I have no idea how to approach improvising,  Bluegrass, swing and bluesy styles. “

Here’s What You’ll Learn

  • Basic technique: how to avoid bad habits. The right way vs the wrong way
  • How to play in tune: exercises and techniques designed to help learn proper intonation.
  • Rhythmical playing: get drive and swing into your bowing and phrasing.
  • How to learn fiddle tunes by ear.
  • How to think about improvising: how to decide what to play and where to go?
  • Tricks to help with improvising: simple patterns, the magic of sequencing, triads and hearing chord changes before they happen.

The Jam 101 Fiddle Course Includes The Following

  • Lesson Package ( you can choose the number you think feels right, 2, 3, on-going )
  • Customized Tool Box – a personal folder containing documents and sound files to help with your course of study.
  • Access to the Tuesday night Jam Circle 101 jam.

How Much Does it Cost?

 Intro – $80

Two, one hour lessons plus the Starter Tool Kit

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Designed to help you test the waters without making a big commitment. If you just started playing and you’re trying figure out what style to learn, how to practice and what you need to know, this is the package for you. In the first session we’ll assess where you are in the process. You’ll take the Starter Tool Kit home so you can play around with it. The following week you’ll come back and we’ll address questions and work on an on-going plan that gets you on the right path and keeps the process doable and fun.

 Next Level  – $125

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Three, one hour lessons plus the Jammer’s Tool Kit:  a customized set of materials designed  to meet your particular needs and goals.

This package is for fiddlers who’ve  been playing for a while and want to take it to the next level. I’ll assess your playing and together we’ll figure out the key place to focus first. As the great Darol Anger once told me, “Don’t try to do too much. Focus on one thing at a time or it will drive you crazy”. I’ll help you keep from going crazy. We’ll explore what to practice, how to practice and how to keep it efficient and fun. You’ll also get ideas on how to approach solos and improvising and we’ll develop a practice strategy.

Deep Dive

This is for the more serious student who wants a weekly dose of personal contact to stay motivated and focused. You get everything included in the Learn To Jam Package plus 5 lessons.  If you want to commit to an even deeper dive, sign up for 8 lessons and receive a discounted price of $30 per hour lesson.

4  Session on-going Jammers $150   Click Here To Pay Now 

8 Session on-going  Jammers $240  Click Here To Pay Now


Do I need to be able to read music?

No! You will learn the best ways to learn without having to read music. If you want to learn to read music, I can show you fun, interesting books and apps for teaching yourself in the process of learning to play the fiddle.

Do I have to take the lessons consecutively?

No! You can schedule them whenever you want and my availability allows.

Can I quit and get a refund?

If you can’t finish your course package, you can receive a refund for any remaining sessions. You can also simply reschedule any time you have a conflict without any penalty.

I want to learn a specific style, like Old-time or Celtic. Do you teach that?

I’m not your guy. I can show you basic technique but I don’t have a deep enough knowledge of those repertoires and the techniques specific to those styles.

My child wants to learn the fiddle. Would this work for him/her?

Maybe but lets talk first. Generally musicians who start playing as kids and keep playing into adulthood have the potential to become very strong players. If a kid keeps at it, music may very well become his/her chosen path in life. For this reason, I’m careful when it comes to teaching kids. There are very good, specialized methods like Suzuki or the  O’Connor Method  for teaching violin to children. The question is whether the child has the focus and patience to stick with an on-going, more structured program. Some kids get turned off from music if he/she is forced into a ridged program. The Intro package can function more as a consultation to assess the child and help you figure out a strategy for keeping him/her engaged and interested. We can also keep it loose and fun to keep him/her engaged if that’s what the child needs.  That said, there are some great teachers and resources for kids to learn fiddle in Santa Cruz! I can help you connect to them.

More Questions? Give me call or email

David Bernard


831 252-6092