All posts by rossobrown@gmail.com

How To Care For your Fiddle or Violin While Traveling

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From Montana, we drove to Austin, then we flew to Costa Rica. Then we flew back to Austin, then we flew to Portugal then Italy then Bali then Cambodia then Thailand and then Singapore then Australia then New Zealand then Canada then Peru.

While doing all of this travel my fiddle was in some of the strangest climates on Earth. We went from hot to cold, humid to dry, high-elevation to low elevation, and even a life at sea for a month.

After getting back to Montana I saw one of my favorite fiddle gurus on planet Earth whose name is Lisa Barrett. she judged the fiddle contests that my brother and I played in as kids and she is a world-renowned violin and instrument luthier.

Lisa took one look at my fiddle and could almost tell me exactly where I had been and what damage was done to my fiddle.

After hiring her to fix my fiddle by removing the top and adjusting the blocks, soundpost, bridge, strings, and everything in between, I implored her to tell me all about how to care for my fiddle going forward so that this doesn’t happen again.

Being a professional fiddle/violin player you would think that I would already know how to properly care for a violin but apparently I did not. In this post I’m going to share all that I learned and how to avoid an expensive repair bill after you travel around the world like we did. Let’s dive In.

What is an ok humidity range for my violin or fiddle?

Lisa told me to purchase a small humidity gauge that can live in my fiddle case and monitor the humidity to keep it between 40-60%.

In order to lower the humidity she had me purchased a bag of silica gel packs that reduce the humidity and are usually used to protect electronics etc during shipment.

Here’s the bag that I bought, they’re very cheap and useful and now I put them in my laptop sleeve, headphone case, studio case, pretty much everywhere I don’t want moisture ruining my gear.

What temperature is ok for my fiddle or violin?

This one wasn’t as much of a problem for me but you definitely want to keep your violin out of extreme heat and extreme cold. It’s made of wood and glue, and it’s under a high amount of tension.

This means too cold and it’ll get brittle and break, too hot and it’ll literally melt the glue that holds it together.

What to do when flying on an airplane with your fiddle or violin?

This one is pretty crucial, and Lisa told me that I need to loosen the strings whenever I fly, and give my violin a few days if possible in the new location before tightening it back up.

You don’t want to loosen the strings so much that the sound post falls out, just enough to relax the neck and body so there’s room for it to tighten up a little if it needs to.

I’ve really realized that these things are living and breathing like us, so you have to let it acclimate to all the changes in conditions, same as you would for your body.

Best music instrument insurance for travelers

Before we left to travel the world, I did a very wise thing, which was purchase instrument insurance from MusicPro.

After paying a hefty repair bill from the damage to my fiddle, I was able to submit it to MusicPro and they reimbursed the cost except for a $100 deductible.

I would highly recommend purchasing insurance through them and the good part is under the same policy, you can get all your gear insured.

I had my computer, my wife’s computer, my speakers, guitars, violins, recording input, microphone, keyboard, cameras, just about everything that helps me make music.

The insurance is cheap so there’s really no reason not to do it.

Conclusion

Ok I think that’s all I’ve got on this matter of caring for your violin. I learned a lot from letting my fiddle get out of hand and hopefully it will help you avoid my mistakes.

I’m not an expert by any means in this area, this post is simply meant to shine some light on the matter.

Please comment or reach out if I could improve this post or if you have any questions/comments.

Ross

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The Complete Buyers Guide To Used Pelican Cases

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Everyone knows Pelican cases are amazing. Pushing your high-value gear into that foam for safekeeping is one of the best feelings one can have.

In this post, you’ll find a full list of where to buy used Pelican cases so we can save money and still keep our gear safe while traveling.

If you know of any other places that I’ve missed here, please leave it in the comments and I’ll add it to the post for people to use.

Ok here we go:

Where to buy used Pelican cases online

You might not know it but Amazon has a ‘warehouse’ feature that you can search and find lots of great gear. I did a search for Pelican and you can check out the options below, this is the first place I would start looking.

CLICK HERE

The following locations are a little harder to find what you need but worth a look:

Satphone Outfitters

Sweetwater

Facebook marketplace

Ebay

Letgo

Let me know if you have other places that sell used pelican cases and I’ll add them here!

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How To Setup Your Phone With Google Voice To Travel Long Term

My sister in law recently moved to Spain and she kept paying Verizon huge amounts of money to keep her phone service.

When I heard about this I told her she needs to port her phone to google voice and download the voice app. Then when she gets to a new country she just buys a cheap local sim card and makes calls and sends messages from her old phone number through the Voice app.

No more paying Verizon huge amounts of money to keep your phone number while international traveling.

Here’s how to do it…

Go to Google.com/voice and set up your account with your Google account.

Important! Check with your service provider to see if their is a termination fee for canceling your service.

If you sort out the cancellation fee, then go to google.com/voice and find the option to port your number to google voice in the menu.

This will cost you $20 one time and then your phone number will be parked on your google account.

After that’s done, download the voice app to your cell phone and follow the prompts to setup your phone number to ring on your cell phone.

You may need to go into voice settings and your phone settings to make sure that your phone number rings on your phone and when you place a call from your voice app, it uses your phone number.

This way you’ll show up the same on people’s caller ID. They’ll never know the difference.

A good way to test this out is to get a friend’s cell phone and have them call you and then you call them to make sure everything is working alright.

Let me know if you have any problems in the comments below and I’ll do what I can to help!

 

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