The Art of Bowing
Online Video Series

– Play exciting tunes
– Grow as a fiddler
– Build your musical foundation

I played fiddle for 5 years before anyone pointed out bowing and rhythm to me. I had no idea I was supposed to be paying attention to my right hand and I struggled because of it. I never knew if my bow would end on the upstroke or the downstroke. It didn’t sound good to me. When someone finally brought my attention to bowing it changed everything about my fiddling. I went from struggling to confident and rockin’ in no time at all.

It motivated me to create the teaching program that I wish people would have offered me when I picked up the fiddle 20 years ago.

I have designed a unique teaching approach focusing on using memory aid techniques, the language of bowing, and an understanding of how humans learn best, to teach the foundational rhythms that make old time music so energetic and exciting.

My approach – which includes bow rhythms, mnemonics, breaking things down into smaller steps – makes it easier for people to learn and retain bow rhythms, melodies, whole tunes, and understand the old-time genre.

Whether you are itching to get started with your first fiddle lesson, or have been at it for decades and hit a wall in your progress, I can get you started on a path to more rhythmic playing and way more fun jamming!

Art of Bowing Instructional Video Series

This full, step-by-step course of 40 fiddle video lessons will guide you through the richness and complexity of old time bowing.

If private lessons are not realistic for you yet, this video series is exactly what you need. You can go at your own pace and watch lessons again and again.

With these video lessons, you can avoid the guesswork of learning tunes from recordings or performance videos. From close-up views of the exact notes I’m playing to demos of techniques that’ll improve your fiddling, I’ll show you step by step how each tune is put together and how you can make it sound great.

Bowing is at the center of these lessons… and of Old Time Music. Bowing and rhythm are what set Old Time Music apart from all other styles. If you are new to Old Time fiddle, or new to fiddling entirely, then bowing is THE perfect place to start.

Here’s the best part: These videos aren’t just about how to imitate me. They’ll also give you the tools to understand, learn, and play any old-time fiddle tune—from old field recordings, from modern performers, from archival footage of old fiddlers, and even from peers at jams.

How to get access:

  • You can purchase the videos in lesson packs of 5 videos each.
  • Our All Access Pass gets you lifetime access to all current and future instructional fiddle lesson videos—our best value.
  • When you sign up for a private lesson, the associated video is included at no additional charge.

Dive in today!

Testimonials

“Michael’s classes and lessons have been life-changing for me. He introduced me to old-time fiddling and broke down the intricate rhythmic bowing patterns which are so essential to getting the correct sound. It provided me with the foundation I needed to be able to jam. He makes it very easy to learn!” – Julie

“When I stepped into my first fiddle lesson with Michael, I had no idea that I’d go home that night and be able to play a tune. He is patient, intentional, and thoughtful. His approach to teaching bowing is exactly the foundation needed not only to learn his curriculum, but also to pursue further self guided exploration. He is an excellent fiddle teacher, and I’d recommend him to anyone!.”- Shane

“Wonderful fiddle teacher! His approach to the complexities of bowing Appalachian Old Time tunes makes it simple, accessible, and easy to learn. Very highly recommended!” – Cliff

“He is an excellent teacher with many years of experience…so glad he is online!! What a treasure!” – Jean

“I have just completed all 5 fiddle tunes from your Basics of Bowing Series.  I want to thank you for being the first fiddler I’ve met who can actually teach what they know.  your lessons have helped me sound like a fiddler.  I am a clawhammer banjo player, but the fiddle has always been a love of mine.  Unfortunately, I’ve never gotten the fiddle sound.  While I have had great musicians as teachers, they couldn’t do what you can do.  Learning the rhythm, bowing pattern, and the actual tune have all helped me feel like a fiddler.” – Jim from Missouri
“I’ve just done the second lesson. I think it’s a miracle that you’ve figured out how to break this music down into its essential components, teach left hand and bow arm independence without it seeming like a big deal, show how to put it all back together, and then deliver it all, effectively, online no less. Thank you!
It’s so different than reading music, hurray! I don’t have an opportunity to learn ‘knee to knee’ as you put it. I’m so happy to have a chance to approximate that experience, on a screen.” – Diana

Ready to Work Together?

Fiddle Video Options

The Art of Bowing:
An Instructional Video Series with Michael Ismerio

All Access Pass

$19999one time fee
  • All 40 Current Lessons
  • All Future Lessons
  • Lifetime Access
  • Access to Exclusive Facebook Student Group
  • 1 Free Private Lesson
  • BEST VALUE

Lesson Packs

4999each
  • Packs of 5 Lessons
  • Lifetime Access
  • Access to Exclusive Facebook Student Group

Welcome to my instructional videos! They represent over 15 years of teaching and analyzing how my students learn.

These videos are organized intentionally. Starting with the foundational rhythms of old time fiddle music, they slowly build in complexity, weaving in more and more essential techniques to enhance your fiddling.

My use of mnemonics, or memory aids, sets these videos apart. Learning mnemonics will help you remember complex bowing patterns, and each tune will “stick” more easily in your mind.

These videos are stand-alone teaching aids that make fiddling accessible to everyone. You can use them to learn tunes, technique, and bow rhythms even without a private teacher.

If you want more guidance or support, the videos work incredibly well combined with online private lessons with me. You can start your learning process with the videos, and then, in a one-on-one lesson, we’ll problem-solve, fine-tune, and answer your questions.

Lifetime access to the videos can be purchased in lesson packs of 5, or via our All Access Pass. Note that the All Access Pass is the best value, and includes all current and FUTURE videos.

All Access Pass

If you are convinced that learning bowing is for you and you like the way I teach than the All Access Pass is the way to go.  It’s the most economical way to access my videos and it will only become a better value as I continue to add more videos to the series.

I will continue to add more content to the site and you will be able to see it all.

AND, if you purchase the All Access Pass I will throw in a free 30 minute private lesson using Zoom.

Michael Imserio teaches fiddle to a young girl

Lesson Packs

If your not ready to make the commitment of the All Access Pass, you can enroll in Lesson Packs consisting of 5 videos each.

The series is designed to start at the beginning, with the foundational rhythms of old time music, and than increase in complexity.  You can move at any pace you like but I highly recommend going in order as the series builds upon itself, using techniques taught in earlier videos.

If you’ve got any questions, don’t hesitate to drop me a note at michael.ismerio@gmail.com

Lesson Packs are listed below…

Detailed Listings and Additional Content

Each lesson page contains much more than just the video of me teaching the tune.  My intention is to give you as much context as possible about the people who played this music and the environment from which they came.

So along with each tune I include:

  • Notes on the fiddle techniques used in the tune
  • The source recording that I used to learn the tune
  • Any tune lineage I can track down
  • Biographical information about the fiddler
  • Videos of the fiddler or related fiddlers

Click on the green links below to view the additional content available with each lesson.

Lesson Pack 1

Lesson pack #1 starts with what I consider the 5 foundational rhythms that are heard over and over again in Old Time music.  The tunes are all in cross G tuning which is more beginner friendly than standard tuning.

Lesson Pack 2

Lesson pack #2 continues in cross G tuning.  We now delve into the wide world of fiddle tunes by mixing and matching the foundational rhythms in different orders depending on the melody.  We also get into the 3rd dimension of fiddling by learning Ornaments and Circles to add additional rhythym to the melodies.

Lesson Pack 3

Lesson pack #3 continues working with circles to increase rhythm and then moves on to foot tapping, and switching rhythms on the fly.

Lesson Pack 4

Lesson pack #4 takes us to Standard Tuning to explore another way of playing in the key of G

Lesson Pack 5

Lesson pack #5 takes us to High Bass tuning (ADae) in order to have some fun with the key of D before returning to Standard Tuning to play a C tune.

Tunes included in Lesson Pack 5 include…

#21 – Step Around Johnny (included in the Free Sample Course)

#22 –Lady of the Lake

#23 – Hawks and Eagles

#24 – Sally Ann

#25 – Altamont

Lesson Pack 6

Lesson pack #6 continues in the Key of C and then explores the alternate tunings of GDad (key of G) and AEac# (Key of A)

Tunes included in Lesson Pack 6 include…

#26 –Indian Ate The Woodchuck

#27 – Saturday Night Breakdown

#28 – Got A Little Home To Go To

#29 – Saddle up the Gray

#30 – Bear Creek Sally Goodin

Lesson Pack 7

Lesson pack #7 takes us back to Cross G tuning (GDgd) to explore some intermediate tunes.

Tunes included in Lesson Pack 7 include…

#31 – Happy Hollow

#32 – Cat on a Leash

#33 –  Old Blue Tick

#34 – George Gann/Fire On The Mountain

#35 – Trouble on my Mind

Lesson Pack 8

Lesson pack #8 wraps up the current version of this course with some complex rhythm patterns in cross G and standard tunings.

Tunes included in Lesson Pack 8 include…

#36 – Kansas City Reel

#37 – Pretty Betty Martin

#38 – Jenny get around

#39 – Johnny Come Along

#40 – Ora Lee (included in Free Sample Course)

Old Time Music Fans
Check Out My Video Encyclopedia of Old Geezer Fiddlers

Watch a replay of my FREE webinar:

” The Secret to Old Time Fiddle Playing that Hardly Anyone Is Talking about”

Private Student Facebook Group

Learn with peers — Build community — Share the joy of music

Becoming a musician doesn’t have to be a solitary journey! How much more fun will fiddling be when you can celebrate successes and navigate roadblocks with others who are walking the same path?

When you enroll in my online programs or sign up for private lessons, you gain access to an exclusive online group for my Art of Bowing fiddle students.

In this private Facebook group, you can ask questions, post videos of yourself playing, engage with other students, and share your progress and challenges in a safe and supportive environment.

This group allows me to answer individuals’ questions in a forum where everyone can benefit from the answers. You’ll also get input and encouragement from your fellow learners… and you may see chances to support someone else’s learning journey.

If you want to experience the ease and connection of joining a community of budding musicians—and to feel the excitement of realizing you’ve progressed far enough to help others—then try a lesson or check out some videos  to find out how peer support can help you take your learning to the next level.