Here’s some of the gear and other stuff I actually use and recommend for playing for dances and concerts. The Wiley Ol’ Possum stands by these products such that I will be glad to have you send them to me free if you don’t like them! HAHA!!
Feel free to email me for more information. I’ll be glad to share my experiences with this stuff with and would like your feedback if you’ve used any of these products.
First off you need a copy of the reprinted Ryan’s Mammoth Collection – aka Cole’s 1000 Fiddle Tunes.
My favorite fiddle string is the green label, orchestra-medium Prim steel string made in Sweden. They sound great, are forgiving on the double-stops and stay in tune under the adverse conditions you encounter at outdoor church socials, county fairs and goat ropings.
The microphone you see featured in a my YouTube videos of contra dance playing is an Audio Technica clip on condenser Pro 35. Mine is over 10 years old and is super reliable and clean sounding. Requires phantom power. By the way, I locate it by clipping onto the chinrest and then allow the foam on the mike to rest on the bridge between the G & D string. Sounds crazy, but it does not dampen the sound and there is never any feedback.
An ideal amplifier to go with this unit is the Fishman Loudbox Artist. There are two other models, but I like this one because it has more effects and two distinct channels.
The tuner I have clipped to my fiddle in nearly all of my YouTube videos is D’Addario Micro NS violin tuner. I really like this tune. It is visible in a wide range of lighting conditions and pickup the pitch quickly. Has metronome mode, but I’ve never used this. See my metronome recommendation below, too. The absolute besst thing about this tuner is you can leave it attached to your instruments so you will be less likely to ever use it.
Similarly, I use this version of the same tuner on my various guitars and mandolins.
If you interested in old school tuning this is the tuning fork I go with. I bought some cheaper tuning forks once and they were not actually A-440. Big surprise!! This is the Planet Waves tuning fork.
Rosin can really make a difference in the sound of your instrument so don’t get the cheap stuff. I use only Hill Rosin. Haven’t seen much difference between the dark and light myself. The old-timers used to claim you should use dark in the winter and light in the summer.
When we travel internationally I live in dread of having to check my fiddle in the cargo hold. With this BAM Overhead case that is a thing of the past. The down side is that there is no room for the bow or any accessories – only the fiddle will fit.