Friday, April 11, 2008

Here you can ask Brian Wicklund a question about playing the fiddle or mandolin, comment on your experience with the American Fiddle Method or ask for suggestions from others who are using it. You can also comment on a show you saw Brian perform.

Here are Brian's responses to a few common questions:

"What kind of strings do you use?"
I use D'Addario Helicore heavy gauge. The heavy strings are a little louder than the mediums. I have my action set quite low on my fiddle (distance from the sting to the fingerboard) so the heavy strings are easy for me to use. Medium gauge is just fine for most people. - Brian Wicklund

"How much should I resin my bow?"
I resin a little every time I play. About 5 full bowstrokes on the resin cake is enough. If there is too little, the bow doesn't grab the string well, if there is too much, little puffs of resin comes off as I'm playing." - Brian Wicklund

"What's the difference between a violin and a fiddle."
A fiddle is a violin that never went to college. No, really... there isn't a difference. The instrument is the same, the set up is the same and the position is the same. The main difference is repertoire.

"Should I humidify my violin?"
If you live in a climate were the humidity changes seasonally (such as Minnesota with dry winters and humid summers), it's a good idea to humidify in the winter. The violin can crack if the wood is going through regular contraction and expansion from humidity changes. My rule is as soon as the furnace kicks on in the house I begin humidifying. Wooden instruments like 40-60% humidity best. I use a humidifier in the room where I keep my instruments. When I travel, I use two Dampits inserted in the F holes. They need to be wetted every other day." - Brian Wicklund

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