Intro to Fife

“What do I do first?”


Reading Notation

  1. Notation is the standard media for communication between musicians
  2. Even if musicians don't speak the same verbal language, they can still communicate using notation
  3. First lessons will have note names underneath each note
  4. Shortly after your first lessons you must memorize the notes and the fingerings to the notes
  5. Songs are based on scales so your introductory lessons are generally scale based
  6. Scale patterns generally use the same finger patterns which makes learning songs easier

Fingering Chart


  1. Practice playing long tones with a steady column of air.
  2. The + represents the speed of your air.
  3. Click here for the interactive fingering chart


Parts of a Fife

Head Band- Top of Fife
Blow Hole - Blow here to produce sound
Hole 1 - Played with left hand index finger
Hole 2 - Played with left hand middle finger
Hole 3 - Played with left hand ring finger
Hole 4 - Played with right hand index finger
Hole 5 - Played with right hand middle finger
Hole 6 - Played with right hand ring finger
Foot Band - Bottom of fife

Interactive Fife Lessons - Download Scorch(Notation Player)

Beginner Lessons
Intermediate Lessons
Interactive Songs
Interactive Songs
Lesson 11 God Bless America
Lesson 12
Lesson 13
Lesson 4 STAR Brigade
Lesson 5
Lesson 6
Lesson 18
Lesson 19
Lesson 10
Lesson 20

Video Fife Lessons

Making a Sound
Hand Position
Lesson excerpts
Video Song Samples
Lesson 1 Q.time - iPod
America Q.time - iPod
Lesson 2 Q.time - iPod
Billy Boy Q.time - iPod
Lesson 3 Q.time - iPod
Brighton Camp Q.time - iPod
Yankee Doodle Q.time - iPod
British Grenediers
Star Spangled Banner

Download the Fife Music (pdf format)

America-Melody Billy Boy March Brighton Camp Yankee Doodle-Melody
America-Harmony British Grenediers Star Spangled Banner Yankee Doodle-Harmony

Listen to the Somers MS Fife & Drum Band

America Billy Boy Brighton Camp Yankee Doodle

Fife Vocabulary