Wagon Wheel – 1st Solo Break For Fiddle Lesson

Wagon Wheel – 1st Solo Break For Fiddle Lesson
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Here’s a step-by-step lesson on how to play the 1st break to this great tune. It’s a lesson for intermediate to advanced players.

First I’ll play a mid-tempo version of the whole thing. Then we’ll slowly learn it, note by note, building notes into phrases, building phrases into quarters, until we have each part.

Left hand fingerings (TABS):
A part
first phrase: D1-2-A0-1-1-2-2-3-
second phrase: D1-2-2-1-2-H3-A0-0-1-2-3
third phrase: E0-A2-E0-1-0-A2-1-0-1-0-1-0-4-0-3-0
fourth phrase: A2-3-2-1-0-DH3-2-1-2-A0-D2-GH3-D0-GH3-2-1
fifth phrase: G2-H3-H3–2-1-1H3-2-2-1-1
Just use the tabs to get going, don’t rely on it or continue to read it once you’ve got the tune…

For a step-by-step course outline, sheet music and mp3s or to support the channel go here:

Violins, strings and accessories I recommend if you are looking:
Cremona SV-800
Cremona SV-500


Mach One shoulder rest
Mach One maple shoulder rest
Snark tuner

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How to read the tabs in this video

0=open string. (For example, D0=open D string.)
1=1st finger (left index) (For example, E1=1st finger on E, or F sharp, F#.)
2=2nd finger (left middle) (For example, D2=2nd finger on D string, or F sharp, F#)
3=3rd finger (left ring)

L2=Low second finger (For example DL2= Low 2nd finger on D string, or F natural)
4=4th finger (left pinkie)
L1=low 1st finger
L4=low 4th finger
h3=High 3rd finger

To make the tabs easier to read, the letters don’t change if you’re on the same string. For example, A0-1-2-1-D3 means you play four notes on the A string-open A, first on A, second on A, first on A, and then third on D string. I also start each line of tabs with the string letter which seems to make it easier to read. Let me know if this could be improved.

( ) Notes in parentheses at the beginning of a tune or part indicate that this is a “pickup” to be played before the part and which lead smoothly into the part. Pickups create musical flow in tunes. It usually seems best to learn a tune without pickups and add them later, part of why I use the parentheses (also because in most cases, the pickup isn’t essential for the tune).

Brackets indicate that the notes are played as a triplet.

(Note: these tabs only contain left hand fingering information;
they do not tell you the rhythm which you have to get from listening. just use them as a tool to figure out tunes or remember them. Once you get the tune in your fingers and ears try not to look at the TABS. In fact, it’s much easier to hear the tune then to try to remember the tabs.)

D0A0=Double stop(2 strings at once) with open D and A
D1A0=Double stop with 1st finger on D(E note) and open A

⬆️=Slide up to a note
⬇️=Slide down to a note


  1. Love your videos. Question: are your fiddles in standard tuning? I tune mine using any number of online violin tuners. It sounds in tune–but when I play along with you, we seem to be 1/2 step off from one another, or even less than that. We don’t seem to be tuned the same. Would that be a digital/wav thing coming through the computer, or are we just tuned differently? One day I hope to play with a group :)Love that you’re sharing your knowledge and talent with us. Thank you so much!

  2. This is the best lesson I’ve seen. But I have one question. I am a beginner who started not too long ago, so can you explain the difference between a H3 and a 4 for the finger placement?

  3. another awesome video. thank you for being an awesome teacher. I’m working on a way to repay you in this lifetime.

  4. Your channel is incredible! I literally pulled my fiddle out of the closet for the first time in about 10 years and started with this. It came back more quickly than I thought. Thanks for teaching so well.

  5. Thank you so much for posting this! I’m an adult learning how to play the violin/fiddle thanks to Ketch Secor!

  6. I don’t know who is cuter…you or the cat???!!!! Got the song down by concentrating on the cat…meow 😉

  7. Hey Jason thanks so much for the lesson I can play the first break which I learnt it using the tabs in the description, the lesson and the original recording. I am very grateful and i love your videos you’ve earnt yourself a sub! ps I learnt ashokan farewell too 🙂 p.s. THE CAT!

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