My collection of exercises is expanding! I'm starting to use the TABS underneath the "Exercises" header above. Check it out - if you hover your mouse over "Exercises" you'll see a link to Speed Drills. Wow, I'm getting so organized! Everything is still free, so check it out. 

Sheet music and mp3s for exercises can be accessed here!  These are samples, which are free to download.  My goal is to post the sheet music, mp3 backup tracks at several speeds (for your practicing enjoyment), and mp3 examples of me playing the exercise on the fiddle. Eventually the full collection will be available at my Store (which is still under construction). These aren't easy - beginner exercises will be created and loaded as my students need them.


It's important to practice scales - both for technique, and to put the "theory" into your hands and your ears. One of the most common scales in Bluegrass and Country music is the Pentatonic Scale, which is made up of 5 notes (pent = 5). The Major Pentatonic Scale uses these scale steps: 1 2 3 5 6

Major Pentatonic Scales

Here are the Major Pentatonic Scales in 12 keys. It's nice to practice these with a backup or drone to keep your pitch in line. I'll get that posted soon.

Pattern Drills

7th Chord Pattern Drills

Here are two seventh chord patterns that are great as warm-ups. These move diatonically, starting on each step of the major scale. Although you can move through all 12 keys in any order, I've put them around the circle of 5ths for this drill. The first exercise (Diatonic Sevenths Ex 1) is in cut time, so play it along with the backup mp3 called "Major Diatonic around circle cut time."  The second exercise (Diatonic Sevenths Ex 2) works with the backup mp3 called "Major Diatonic around circle common time." 
Here's another pattern drill that moves diatonically through each step of the major scale. Diatonic Triad Ex 2 uses a moveable hand shape, which is a powerful tool for fiddling, especially at top speeds. Notice that the pattern starts on the 3rd of the triad instead of the root. Things sound very predictable if all of your licks start on the root of the chord, so it's good to practice exercises that start on different chord tones. This drill works with the backup track, "Major Diatonic around circle cut time at 80" provided below.