Violin Player Problems

September 1, 2016 at 02:38 PM · Hello, I just wanted to start a discussion about problems that violin players face on every-day life.

As a starter, here are some from me:

1. Touchscreens, the callus on my fingertips prevent me from using touch screen with any degree of accuracy

2. I have to ask strangers if they have any fingernails regularly, in order to open packages and removing tape.

3. I can grab food out of the oven with my left hand, using fingertips, then I burn my tongue with food.

4. Colleagues poke fun at me for having my violin case strapped to my back for the majority of the time.

5. I cringe at anything and everything that is not in tune, especially the birds.

6. Movies involving violin playing are ruined(then again, military and science background already ruined just about all movies).

7. I get funny looks for practicing bowing with pencils sometimes.

8. 1/4 of my entire bachelor's apartment is dedicated as violin playing space.

Replies (8)

September 1, 2016 at 04:06 PM · If you have thick fingertip calluses, you are pressing way, way too hard.

September 1, 2016 at 04:08 PM · I'm with Lydia. Maybe your bridge is too high, causing you to have to press too much. Maybe you just need to press less. Maybe both?

September 1, 2016 at 04:38 PM · Your hickey is often mistaken for an amorous nature.

September 1, 2016 at 05:03 PM · My main problem, although not hard to deal with, is sensitivity to cold. I need warm hands -- who doesn’t? -- and quick, reliable grip to start warming up effectively. I deal with this in cold weather by keeping my place at 72 F. and 50% humidity. A 20-minute walk before practicing pumps the blood fast and keeps me warm for a long time afterward. Triple layering, with thermal tops in the combo, helps, too. Fortunately, here in the American Southeast, about 300 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, it’s warm enough to play in the garage 8 months each year -- sometimes more.

Three of your issues:

1. Agree with previous comments on calluses. There should be a suitable toughening of the tips but not what you described.

3. Good heaven! Use an oven mitt -- and let the contents of the dish come down to a reasonable temperature before you dig in.

6. Violin playing didn’t ruin the movies for me. But plenty of other factors did. I’ve already listed them -- or most of them -- off site here.

September 1, 2016 at 07:08 PM · I have very sensitive skin, I even developed callus on my right index finger from touching the bow.

I develop callus from wearing my backpack. It's a personal physical trait.

September 1, 2016 at 07:35 PM · I get what Steven says about touchscreens. I have the same problem, but my finger calluses come from a lifetime of playing the cello. Although I've hardly touched the cello since I started playing violin in orchestras a few years ago I don't expect the calluses to diminish any time soon. It's slightly better on a smartphone screen though if I use my right hand, but that doesn't seem natural somehow, even though I'm right-handed for most tasks.

September 1, 2016 at 09:28 PM · 1. I agree with the movies thing: When you have knowledge on something and you see it faked out in a movie it breaks the suspension of disbelief. And makes said movie feel cheap, infantile.

2. I'm constantly aware of relative humidity.

3. The violin world is full of elitist snobs ("I play a 1610 Maggini, you play a modern violin therefore your violin is garbage", "my kid started playing at 2, yours started at 3, yours will never be as good as mine", "if you haven't started playing at 2 you have no chance of ever being a goood player starting at 10", "violins made in China are ALL garbage", "you can't get a GOOD violin for less than the price of a house", etc, etc). Because of that I have developed a strong anti-elitist attitude. ...wait is that actually a problem?

4. It bothers me to see depictions of violins or violin playing done wrong in art - if you go through the trouble of painting a perfect face, you better go through the trouble of painting a perfect violin (and posture) too! This one ties back with item #1. ;)

5. I don't fly if I have to take a violin with me on a trip.

6. The violin is the number-one priority! Have to make a 20-miles detour to drop it back home so it doesn't sit in the car? So be it! There's a problem with the violin? Cancel everything so I can go to the luthier the next day! Choice between new strings or food? Strings of course! I can live on Ramen and water! ;)

September 1, 2016 at 10:18 PM · Aha Fox, your number 6, I definitely have that too.

Our Kokopelli
Please support
through your
one-time donation or
sponsorship campaign. is made possible by...

Shar Music

Yamaha V3 Series Violin

Coregami Performal

Metzler Violin Shop

Connolly Music

Corilon Violins

15th International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition, Poznań, 8-23 October 2016

Anderson Musical Instrument Insurance

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases


Heifetz International Music Institute

Long Island Violin Shop

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Pro-Am Strings

Wangbow Violin Bow Workshop