NEW! Once Upon A String Fiddle Method: Volume 1

This visually appealing and easy to follow fiddle and violin method covers everything you need to play beginning tunes in an easy to understand, step-by-step fashion that is perfect for students, parents and teachers. This colourful resource includes: 

  • Beginning tunes in a graduated format with exercises and explanations that will have you playing in no time; 
  • Coverage of important concepts including posture, tone, intonation, and how to structure practice time.


Praise for Once Upon A String Fiddle Method: Volume 1: 

Shamma has done a beautiful job of combining years of teaching experience with her own mastery on the fiddle to present an effective method of instruction. This book is also well laid out and easy to follow and my own kids love the cute characters throughout its pages!  
Natalie MacMaster 
Cape Breton Fiddler 

Setting goals has always been what pushed me to become a better player and they are vitally important to getting the most out of our practice times. This book gives each student a fun and challenging way to set those goals with a strategic plan in place to help meet them.  With an emphasis on good fundamentals and a heart to learn, a lot can be accomplished in a short amount of time and will keep each player encouraged along the way. 
Andy Leftwich 
Bluegrass Fiddler  

Delightfully light-hearted and serious at the same time, Shamma takes the new fiddle student and their teacher methodically and calmly through the forest of technique and practice. Thoughtfully presented at the perfect level of detail, the Method is logically organized and full of great advice that the reader will keep coming back to.  
Bruce Molsky  
Old-Time Fiddler 




    How wonderful to be guided along by such a great fiddler and teacher! Shamma Sabir’s newest book is great on so many levels. It brings you along the road of A Major and D Major while imparting life lessons along with fiddling techniques. I love the help with bow management, intonation (how much the fiddle responds to GDAE), stretching, placement of the fingers, which way the stick of the bow should face, use of a metronome (which I hated as a young learner but which looks like it could be my friend now). The tune choices are brilliant and, again, there is a great understanding and imparting of what comes next and what is a challenge. When I learned music, my lesson books were pages full of notes; all the explanations came from my teacher. What’s incredibly nice here is to be able to read and reread sentences of instruction and encouragement, and reasons for doing things - all quite gently expressed. As I move through the book I feel a kindness on the other end bringing me along, and wanting me to do well. 
    Liz Carroll
    Irish Fiddler

    Behind the book...

    Lay a question:

    People would ask me, "Why have I stopped improving? I practice all the time, but I'm not getting any better." As I worked with students - hundreds of students over twenty years - I saw over and over again that technique is not something that we need solely in the beginning of our fiddle or violin journey, but over, and over again with each new step forward we take. If the next technical step is not learned or refined, we stop growing. 

    In Fiddle Fundamentals, I have utilized by study of the brain and music training with years of teaching to create a book that facilitates learning according to how our brain actually functions. 

    Fiddle Fundamentals uses simple ideas about learning, supported by brain research, to teach important concepts. Specifically, a main focus of my approach to teaching is about reducing the load on memory by:

    • Providing checklists for key concepts;

    • Isolating right and left hand technique;

    • Focusing on building automaticity;

    • Presenting concepts in a step-by-step format.

    Does this sound like what you have been searching for? Try it, and see why it is rated so highly by teachers and students alike!

    Praise for Once Upon A String: Fiddle Fundamentals

    Congratulations Shamma! You have put together a book that clearly explains the basics of learning to play a fiddle! I love how you have explained everything simply and effectively! The artwork throughout keeps it light and fun. Nothing to be fearful of here - just excited to learn the fiddle! We will certainly be using much of your system to help teach our own children! Thank you.

    Natalie MacMaster
    Cape Breton Fiddler


    In this book, Shamma breaks it down to the very fundamentals of fiddling and explains how to hold and play the fiddle in a way that is fun and easy to understand.  She offers fun challenges, creative practice tips, and checklists that will help you track your progress and reach your goals faster so that you will be playing the fiddle in no time!

    Andy Leftwich

    Bluegrass Fiddler


    I am constantly learning and relearning the fiddle myself, and so I am delighted that Shamma, with a stellar track record of teaching violin has given us this new book of fiddle fundamentals.  I imagine using her techniques to teach young fiddlers, but I also imagine that Shamma’s book will provide a guide for all the self-starters out there. With equal attention to practicing and achieving, this is a great beginner fiddling book!

    Liz Carroll

    Irish fiddler


    I absolutely love Shamma Sabir’s “Once Upon A String” book. I have a 7-year old student who I’ve tried with other method books to teach how to read music. Her attention span wasn’t able to be held for long due to the dryness and lack of “fun,” for lack of a better description. With “Once Upon A String,” she loves the pictures, the flow of the lessons, and she is actually learning with ease! I eagerly await the next one in the series!

    Pattie Kusturok

    Canadian Fiddler