Bruce Bernhart Mandolin Websites


Bruce Bernhart Mandolin Topics

Original articles plus the "best of the web" by mandolin enthusiast/teacher Bruce Bernhart

New!  Tabs for Popular Fiddle Tunes:

"Cold Frosty Morning"
"Granny Does Your Dog Bite"
"Blake's March"

Updated October 25, 2012

Bruce Bernhart on Mandolin Purchase, Set Up, Temperature Effects plus new Fiddle Tune Tabs

Bruce Bernhart Mandolin Websites

The Bernhart Mandolin Webpages explore the history of the mandolin, buying and building mandolins, the various makes and models of mandolins available on the market, basic chord structures, different styles of playing, practice exercises, performance and the "best of the web" on topics of interest to mandolinists

In Minnesota, Bruce Bernhart has been a mandolin player/enthusiast since the 1980's

More to come! Look for additional Bruce Bernhart mandolin articles and websites

Bruce Bernhart Mandolin Set Up
Bernhart on Mandolin Temperature Considerations:

The only really dangerous element of cold for stringed instruments is sudden temperature change.  When going from warm to cold or cold to warm, your instrument needs to be insulated. If you have a padded case, use it.  If not, wrap the instrument in blankets or towels.  Once you arrive at your destination, keep the instrument cased or wrapped until the outside of the case has been at room temperature for several hours.  If your instrument is still icy when you open the case, zip it back up and wait a while longer.  If you take your wrapped instrument from your warm house, to the inside of your warm car, to the warm inside of a building, do not worry at all.  It is only when the instrument is left in the cold for a long period that you need to go through a warm-up procedure.

Heat is a serious problem for your instrument.  Luthier's purposefully use wood glues which soften when heated (to 145o F) so that an instrument can be disassembled for service when necessary.  Direct sunlight is hot enough to soften the glues in your instrument and weaken or destroy the joints in the piece.  Do not display an instrument anywhere that will be exposed to sun as the light moves across your room during the day.  Never leave your instruments in the car on a hot day.   If it is too hot for you to sit in the car, with all the windows closed, in the direct sun, without sweating - it is too hot for your instrument.  When you turn off the air-conditioning and leave the car, take the instrument with you if you cannot park in the shade.

It's interesting to consider why instruments which are routinely subjected to large changes in Equilibrium Moisture Content don't fall apart more frequently.  At this point, I would guess that the internal bracing and the bridge act as agents for restricting lateral movement.  The more diagonally the braces are oriented, the more resistent to movement the top will be.  

I suggest that another important and more subtle construction feature is the arch of the top of the instrument.  That is, if the instrument is somewhat arched, then tensile stresses might try to flatten the arch before splitting the wood.  Conversely, compressive stresses would simply make the arch somewhat greater.

It is also possible that the instrument sides might "give" slightly in response to stresses, but they are constrained by the orthotropic nature of the wood.  In general, longitudinal dimensional changes along the grain are about 1% when going from the green state to oven dry.  Across the grain radial changes are several times greater than along the grain changes.  Imagine a set of sides which have been joined by the heel and tail blocks (but without top or back).  Pressing inward or pulling outward at the waist causes the body length to increase or decrease.  But when the front and back are on and expanding to different degrees in different directions, the whole system is much stiffer;  altering the arch of the top and back or wood failure may be the only actual options.

Finally...... a good rule of thumb is to never leave your instrument anywhere you would not leave your pet.

When you are not playing your instrument, it should always be returned to the case. And the case should always be latched closed and be kept somewhere away from direct heat like heaters and stoves. The reason for latching is to keep the instrument in a stable temperature situation and many instruments have been damaged severely when the unlatched case was picked up and the instrument falls out.

Thank you for visiting the Bruce Bernhart mandolin websites!

Bruce Bernhart Mandolin Websites

Be sure to visit the other Bruce Bernhart Mandolin Websites:

Bruce Bernhart mandolin rock tabs

Bruce Bernhart mandolin lesson on scales, meter, using a metronome

Bruce Bernhart mandolin purchase tips

Bruce Bernhart mandolin orchestras, tuning

Bruce Bernhart mandolin lessons- chord groups and intervals

Bruce Bernhart on mandolin family history

Bruce Bernhart on string and saddle adjustment

Bruce Bernhart beginning mandolin lessons one and two

Bruce Bernhart on more chord triads, blues patterns, and self-tuning

Bruce Bernhart on the mandolin family tree

Bruce Bernhart mandolin chord diagrams

Bruce Bernhart on temperature considerations

Bruce Bernhart lessson on mandolin flats and sharps

Bruce Bernhart lesson on chromatic scales, circle of 5ths and meter

Bruce Bernhart on mandolin chord theory

Bruce Bernhart mandolin C and G major chord diagrams

Bruce Bernhart on emergence of the modern mandolin

Bruce Bernhart on two finger mandolin chords

Bruce Bernhart on whole and half steps on the mandolin

Bruce Bernhart perpetual motion practice excercises

Bruce Bernhart on playing waltzes on the mandolin

Bruce Bernhart on majors, minors and sevenths

Bruce Bernhart Mandolin Websites

Also, check out the Bruce Bernhart RV Websites and Blogs:

Solar power for your RV

The care and feeding of your RV battery

The sport of "geocaching" and RV refrigeration basics

The basics of RV power inversion

RV travel tips and tire care

Advanced discussion on power inversion

Tips on buying a house battery and cold weather maintenance

RV Insurance basics

Buying the right generator for your RV and portable power

RV television reception options

Care and maintenance of the RV air conditioner

Top RV destinations

RV long-term supplies and weight considerations

RV Insurance- Road protection and bodily injury coverage

RV battery types and winter charging considerations

Deep cycle battery basics

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