Why do many violinists put a white clothe between their chin and chinrest?

June 9, 2005 at 04:32 PM · Why do a lot of violinist put a white clothe between their chin and chinrest?

Is it for the violin's protection from our sweat?

Or is it to have more comfort?

got curious because i use a clothe too but never really understood why professionals really use it...

I usually use it because i don't like the feel when there's a lot of sweat on my chinrest.

Replies (8)

June 9, 2005 at 05:23 AM · I think Perlman uses it...

Also remember Robert Chen, the concertmaster of Chicago symphony using it...

Can't remember everyone but there is a lot for sure =)

June 9, 2005 at 04:56 PM · I always have a handkerchief ready, in my jacket pocket in case the on stage temperature gets too hot. This can easily happen, even in winter, depending upon the lighting and other factors. If it's too hot, I use the handkerchief for the same reason you gave: I don't like the feel of sweat on the chinrest.

June 9, 2005 at 05:54 PM · Regarding cloth under the chin,

Hilary uses one (when I saw her this year) but Joshua did not when I saw him...

June 11, 2005 at 10:56 AM · The punch line for that joke is that violins don't have spit valves.

June 11, 2005 at 02:05 PM · I once had to play an outdoor concert consisiting of Britten's Four Sea Interludes and Brahms 4 (no intermission!) at Interlochen when it was over 90 degrees. Boy could we have used a spit valve/sweat valve then- we literally had to dump our chinrests every couple of minutes. I could've used a cloth then....

June 11, 2005 at 04:44 PM · Some players use it for extra traction when playing in dress clothing made out of smooth/slick fabrics. Someone who uses a handkerchief with a dress shirt or tux often does not use one at home or in the studios when playing in sweats or a t-shirt. Sometimes it's also used to protect the varnish, especially with very new instruments -- for example, Becker varnish is pretty soft for the first year or so.

June 11, 2005 at 07:24 PM · I use white cloth for performance and a Zegna silk pocket square when im practicing. I don't like getting the violin hickie on my neck and I find silk keeps it from getting there. I never sweat when I play but I do sweat a bit when I perform... I think it's pretty gross.

June 11, 2005 at 07:44 PM · I use it because apparently I'm allergic to nickel and when I play for many hours without my cloth I develop a painful rash on my neck. I know I could just change my chinrest brackets to gold but I just havent had time to get around to it. It also protects my neck from the aweful red mark I used to have when I didn't use it.

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