First off, it is the WAY that lessons are taught that seems to set the Fiddle Jam Institute apart from other online lesson sites. Founder Geoffrey
Fitzhugh Perry has been called a gifted communicator and teacher, and
prides himself with being able to explain things in real-life, no-nonsense
ways that speed the student to their goals with maximum efficiency and
fun... always remembering, culled form his 35 years as a performer and
teacher, that the real goal is always "Maximum GOOSEBUMPS!" ... and
every lesson should ultimately serve that humble goal..
Materials you may ask?...
The Fiddle Jam book lessons are there of course, but so are new videos
and extra audio tracks that delve into much greater detail on those lessons,
as well as many brand new lessons and jam-along tracks.
Realizing that the logical next step in an improviser's development is to
build up a physical vocabulary of the cool stuff to draw upon, Geoff wrote a
book of practice exercises entitled "Rock 'n' Blue Fiddle Atoodz" that is
now in it's 3rd edition. These studies are being presented within the
Institute in 3 levels: "Jammer, Gigger, & Artist" (E-Z, intermediate, &
advanced) where "Call & Answer" tracks let you hear the phrase first
before trying to repeat it, and "Play-Thru" tracks at various tempos
encourage you to keep going no matter what, so you are better prepared to
play real music with real musicians!
An expanding repertoire of Traditional Folk & Fiddle Tunes are there too;
presented and taught in a multitude of ways (by ear, staff music, fiddler's
tab, note names & finger numbers, etc...) in an attempt to accommodate
the many different kinds of learners in the world.
And, if the original Fiddle Jam book materials are considered an entrylevel
"Jamming 101" course then, "Jamming 102" is learning to play and
improvise over simple Roots Music (I-IV-V) chord changes that are
typically found in Blues, Rock, Country, Folk, and Cajun/Zydeco music.
These are explained in detail with "Music Mechanics" (Theory) lessons
and are presented in Geoff's usual, E-Z to understand, Fiddle Jam teaching
More advanced styles of Traditional Jazz & Gypsy Jazz (one of Geoff's
specialties) are also explored, and learning how to create double string
back-up accompaniment parts with "Boogie Woogie" patterns and "Tatering"
as it is sometimes called, are there too.
Electric violin gear reviews and tutorials, a section on Musician's Health
(physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual), and "Cool Concepts" where
you can get advice on everything from the etiquette of sitting in with a band,
and getting over stage fright, to techniques on how to get the most out of
your practice time, and reports on the newest science behind why music
study and experience is so good for you, round out the school's vision.
Enrolled students also get perks like being able to submit special requests
for lessons on a particular song they'd like to learn, so Geoff can create
learning materials and then share them with all the students. Private oneon-
one lessons via web cam or video exchange lessons are an option
too via our school e-store.
Check out a few free lessons at the FJI site!