Violin leaving marks on neck

December 17, 2018, 5:02 PM · Hello,
So I haven't posted anything here in a good while (I've wanted to but didn't want to make pointless posts). Anyway, I've got a question for you all, yesterday I had a day off and spent a lot of time practicing the violin (probably about six hours). Today I've ended up having a couple of really nasty red marks around my neck where I grip my violin, I wanted to see if anyone has any recommendations on how to prevent this best as it has happened before.

Cheers,
Peter

Replies (27)

Edited: December 17, 2018, 5:36 PM · As far as I know, the modern way of holding the violin makes ths inevitable, even with a good chinrest and a pad. Back in Paganini's day, the violin was held down with scroll about breast level and only ever touched the chin (hence *chin*rest). It's slowly been creeping up towards the base of the jaw...

Maybe move the chinrest over the tailpiece and use some sort of cloth. Will still give you marks but possibly less.

December 17, 2018, 5:44 PM · I might have to try using a cloth then, see if it makes a difference at all. If not I guess I'll just have to carry my marks with pride? ??
December 17, 2018, 5:46 PM · A chamois "cloth" is most effective - even the ones they sell at auto parts stores.
December 17, 2018, 7:04 PM · "A clean handkerchief a day keeps skin doctor away!"
December 17, 2018, 8:48 PM · Search "violin hickey" for more remedies.
Edited: December 18, 2018, 12:44 AM · I figured it out! I have a big full-beard :)

Now much more longer than on profile image :)

December 18, 2018, 3:16 AM · It's with shame that I have to admit that I can grow scraggy stubble at best. I guess I'll try using a cloth like an artificial beard haha
December 18, 2018, 7:27 AM · When I was younger, I regarded the violin hickey as inevitable and even a badge of honor. However now with my particular setup I never have one. I guess I've just found the chin rest and, yes, shoulder rest (!) that works. Not to restart that old debate here, but I went for years without using a shoulder rest, after using one in college. Neither had the slightest impact on the hickey. But now in my 50s and 60s, I have none at all.
December 18, 2018, 7:28 AM · When I was younger, I regarded the violin hickey as inevitable and even a badge of honor. However now with my particular setup I never have one. I guess I've just found the chin rest and, yes, shoulder rest (!) that works. Not to restart that old debate here, but I went for years without using a shoulder rest, after using one in college. Neither had the slightest impact on the hickey. But now in my 50s and 60s, I have none at all.
December 18, 2018, 8:40 AM · Unless you have an allergy, this is almost always a setup issue...

I often see folks with the wrong shape of chinrest for their jaw, and then the shoulder rest will be jacked way up on the shoulder side, pushing the ill-fitting chinrest into the jaw/neck.

Find a chinrest that works well, and that doesn't require you to extend your shoulder rest to the heavens.

December 18, 2018, 9:10 AM · I've discovered my quite small, but red-purple quarter sized hickey was the result of a setup issue - since I've made some changes, my long-standing hickey is going away! WOOHOO! This said, I don't practice 6 hours a day, I'm lucky if I can squeeze 1.5-2hrs in.
December 18, 2018, 9:20 AM · I too use a beard!

But I also find that carving the chin-rest until I no longer feel it spreads the contact over a larger area without pinching or dragging my oh-so-delicate neck.

December 18, 2018, 9:54 AM · "It's with shame that I have to admit that I can grow scraggy stubble at best. I guess I'll try using a cloth like an artificial beard haha "

Here ya go: Black beard with elastic band, $1.50 :-)
LINK

Edited: December 18, 2018, 10:03 AM · What a deal! And so realistic :-D

I once had a collegaue who didn't shave the left side of his face, under his jaw, to help prevent the violin mark and cushion the chinrest. His reasoning was the that audience never saw the left side of his face anyway. Still, looked really strange to the rest of us.

December 18, 2018, 12:13 PM · IMHO, Andrew has the right idea. Chamois cloth provides protection and stays in place better.
Regular cloth has the tendency to slip.
December 18, 2018, 7:34 PM · Strad pad. Best thing ever!
December 18, 2018, 7:41 PM · ZINC ALLERGY!

I had a dreadful violin hickey - which some wear with pride - but most are due to an allergy against zinc in the chrome of the hardware associated with your chinrest.

There are two cures - one is to cover it. IMO the stradpad is of limited use as its non-natural and not absorbent and I found it irritating. I prefer a piece of chamoise that I attach to the chinrest with an elastic band and that flaps under the violin. It serves multiple functions (I play without an SR to it protects the back and end of the violin from me!) and it is highly absorbent allowing for long duration playing without any stickiness issues.

The other cure is to get zinc-free hardware there is titanium and other choices (hey, what about gold bling...).

I discovered that I had a zinc allergy from a silver necklace that was not sterling (which has tin in it). One use of the necklace and I could end up with a welt encircling my neck for weeks.

December 18, 2018, 10:01 PM · Natural chamois is the best. It really prevents irritation. Having said that, my "badge of honour" pretty much disappeared when I stopped using a shoulder rest... probably not an option for most players.
December 19, 2018, 12:20 AM · David Burgess: haha artificial beard is cool :D almost like mine :D
December 19, 2018, 12:40 PM · So the choice is chamois or an arificial beard? I know which the smart option is but I'm weirdly attracted to the other one!
Edited: December 19, 2018, 3:07 PM · How about going back and forth between the two, with the freedom of never needing to decide? ;-)
December 19, 2018, 3:54 PM · How about the human-hair impregnated chamois? Beast of both worlds :P
December 19, 2018, 7:59 PM · Better yet, stitch a velcro pad into your jaw, and make stick-on covers out of chamois and woven beard hair. You could swap 'em out on the fly in seconds!
December 19, 2018, 9:06 PM · I guess I’m lucky to never have gotten a violin mark. I must be doing one thing correctly.
December 20, 2018, 2:17 AM · That won't help at all Tom. Its the zinc in the metal hardware (see above) - which isn't covered by the gel pad.

Marty - in as much as you didn't get an allergy :P

Edited: December 20, 2018, 9:00 AM · Sensitivities to metals can be very irritating. My issue was not sensitivity but I wore my hardware down to the point where it was turning green and I didn't want that crap sloughing off onto my instrument. I got the Stradpet titanium hardware but I had to redrill my CR for it. I wish they would sell different widths for the different CRs that are commonly available.

I bought an extra one because I'm going to analyze it and see if it's actually titanium.

If you want a CR that is truly hypoallergenic I recommend the Wittner. Of course, if it fits.

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