"Chopping" the Waist of a Violin

October 25, 2022, 9:23 PM · Dear all,

It makes me cringe to think about this: in the first several months of my violin studies, I had a nasty habit of hitting the heel of my bow on the very edge of my violin's waist (C-bout) on the right side. This problem mainly occurred whenever I tried to execute a robust, fast down-bow from above the string. I would powerfully crash down onto the E string and, to my dismay, the edge of the wood as well. Each time that happened, a small white nick would appear, and these marks added up over time.

I broke that habit long ago but ended up chipping away enough of the edge's surface that there is a white area of wood about three inches long and one millimeter deep. There are no cracks (thank goodness), but my violin is a student rental instrument, and I am concerned about being charged a fee for this type of damage. The violin is worth about $1000. Is this a serious problem? Does anyone know if it would be difficult for a luthier to fix it?

Replies (9)

October 25, 2022, 9:45 PM · I had a small ding that got fixed easily. Honestly, I probably couldn't even find it on my fiddle.
October 25, 2022, 10:08 PM · It's not a serious problem but you should outgrow the tendency to carve holes in your violin with your bow before having it fixed. They do make c-bout protectors for this issue. It's just a piece of plastic that fits over that part of your violin. It won't "wreck your tone" either.
October 25, 2022, 10:26 PM · Paul, it sounds like he figured his technique out.
October 26, 2022, 12:02 AM · What you’re describing is a fairly common type of damage. It can be repaired easily if only the varnish is chipped away. If the wood is also damaged (it sounds like this is the case in your post), it can be a little more work to rectify, but not a major issue. Since your violin is a rental, you should be covered if your plan includes an “insurance” fee.
October 26, 2022, 1:05 PM · https://www.sharmusic.com/C-Clip-Protector-Violin?quantity=1

$6 for peace of mind, like Paul said.

October 27, 2022, 1:56 PM · Willie Nelson's guitar "Trigger" has a hole worn right through the top. It doesn't seem to have slowed him down much.
October 27, 2022, 8:39 PM · Their was a violinist at Juilliard when I was there that was loaned a very fine Italian violin from the Juilliard collection who chopped the c bout of the instrument very badly. It was because the e string side of the bridge was too low. Apparently it was a very expensive repair and she was not allowed to use the instrument or another from the Juilliard collection, a suitable "punishment" I thought.
October 29, 2022, 1:51 PM · Thanks, everyone. The damage doesn't seem significant and isn't affecting the instrument's function, but it is unsightly. I should be upgrading my instrument soon (though still renting). Let's hope the shop doesn't mind too much about the chopping.
October 29, 2022, 8:19 PM · I would imagine in a rental situation this type of wear and tear should be expected.

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