My Cheek is Uneven From Practicing Violin

November 13, 2012 at 05:58 PM · So recently some of my friends and family pointed out that my right cheek is more muscular than my left cheek. And I know its from years of practicing violin. I need help and advice on what to do. Please. Thank You.

Replies (21)

November 13, 2012 at 07:18 PM · I would say don't worry at all -- it'll only make you look more interesting. Or grow a beard, if it still bothers you. Nobody is perfectly symmetrical, and as we grow older, the lives we live tend to shape our bodies in ways that express our character. Feel proud of it. The alternative would be to stop playing, which would be a loss!

November 13, 2012 at 07:32 PM · If you're really concerned, you could go see a physical therapist and have them recommend some exercises to keep things balanced.

But then you'd actually have to take the time to do the exercises...

November 13, 2012 at 08:17 PM · but maybe you should also check that you are not gripping too hard with your chin - I used to but recently a coach at a masterclass straightened me out! Now it feels more as if my violin hangs from my chinbone and all my chin does it to stop it sliding off. And wow, what an inprovement in relaxation!

PS and I do use an SLR

November 13, 2012 at 11:04 PM · Violin playing does not require a lot of cheek muscles. If your right cheek really is more muscular than your left and it is from playing violin, then I would say you are doing something wrong. Do you have a violin hickey?

November 14, 2012 at 01:18 AM · I've never had this problem... just a huge, dark red violin hickey :P ahah but I'm proud of it.. it's my way of showing off to the world that I practice! :) But as the others said, you are probably tightening your jaw and cheek, and this isn't good! You should try to relax your face more while playing.

November 14, 2012 at 03:42 AM · yes i have a violin hickey, it black!!!!

November 14, 2012 at 03:52 AM · Then you may be allergic to your chin rest. Get a chinrest cover and see if it helps.

November 14, 2012 at 05:08 AM · You may have some habit of tension that you are not aware of. You can try "listening" to what is happening in your jaw as you play, and try and consciously relax both sides of your jaw. You may be pressing your head and the violin too much into each other. Anyhoo, Alexander Technique may be worth a try to help you in your awareness of unconscious habits.

November 14, 2012 at 01:55 PM · John:

I practice wearing a t-shirt. I find shirts with a collar too uncomfortable to practice in, which doesn't make performances very fun. But I will give this a try if mine starts turning black! I met someone at Juilliard 2 years ago who had a (disgusting!) black violin hickey that was probably the size of a hockey puck! I will definitely keep your advice in mind should mine start to do this as I go into university next year!

November 14, 2012 at 02:06 PM · If you have a violin hickey then it confirms that there is significant pressure being applied to the chin rest. If you apply minimal pressure on the chin rest, you won't have one. Alexander technique is definitely worth a shot. Also consult your teacher. You may need to make some significant changes to your technique.

November 14, 2012 at 05:16 PM · I found that by switching my wallet from one back pocket to the other on alternate days, I was able to keep my cheeks more symmetrical.

November 14, 2012 at 05:36 PM · I smell an opportunity for invention here!

I will soon be marketing the Violin Balance Cheek Adjuster; wear it in your sleep, on the RIGHT side (LEFT side for left handed players); it will bring symmetry to your face. If you order before midnight tonight, I will include the Bow-Washer, which will safely clean and polish your bow without getting bow wax on your bow strings!

November 14, 2012 at 06:11 PM · David: your cheek is never symmetrical its always obtuse, butt I digress...

November 14, 2012 at 06:26 PM · A chiropractor I visited recommended mirror your posture from time to time on the opposite side of your playing side. This is just to promote muscular balance as well as stretching both sides of the neck.

November 17, 2012 at 06:50 AM · hahaha. After reading all of you guy's comments really eased my worries of growing into a lopsided faced violinist. Currently I'm trying to chew on the less muscular side.

November 17, 2012 at 11:24 AM · @Kenneth, Gregory, Elise:

I have a violin hickey.

I'm allergy to nickel, but i've replaced the clamp to titanium.

But the violin hickey is still there :D

November 18, 2012 at 01:24 AM · Wear your uneven chin proudlly. Hopefully mine will be like that someday!

November 18, 2012 at 02:59 AM · If your cheeks are growing uneven, try standing up when you practice! ;-)

November 18, 2012 at 04:20 AM · My beard is always uneven after I play. It looks like one side grows faster than the other, but it's just pushed in a little.

November 18, 2012 at 04:21 AM · Good one, Mr. Russell!

November 18, 2012 at 03:10 PM · Vanessa,

Buy a dozen of cotton handkerchiefs, put one over the chin rest and change it daily. During summer, change them even more often, especially if you sweat.

Before you practice, you may want to apply a small amount of baby powder on that spot.

After the practice, wash your face and apply a moisturizer cream.

Keep your chin rest clean at all times. Avoid gripping.

... and be glad that you are not a man - shaving brings another set of variables into this equation...

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