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Posted: December 31, 1969


Posted: February 24, 2012

Eileen, about the stretching exercises, will you please give a more detailed explanation of how to do these exercise(s) because some nights I do feel discomfort (not numb) in my left wrist. It is nothing that keep me awake, but it will be good to do some kind of stretching before and after I play the violin like I used to do years ago before dance lessons.


Beth Blackerby
Posted: February 23, 2012
Lot of good discussion here, but folks….love your calluses, they're nature's bandaids!(Have you ever seen a dancer's toes, or a bass player's fingers?) Thick calluses only mean you practice a lot. 

Posted: February 23, 2012

He, he, Liquid anti-oxidant. Ha, ha. Is so funny. lol!!


Do you have calluses on your finger tips? There shouldn't be any …tips should be soft. If you do have calluses, again this is a STRONG indicator that you are pressing to hard …I had this problem for over a year. I was pressing so hard that I had to file down the calluses nearly every night. The scroll against the wall really helped with this problem.


Robyn, I like to read when you post interesting and very useful information, but I love to read your funny and creative replies. Using others words, I like to read all of your posts. Please do not change.

Thank you


Posted: February 22, 2012
I feel like I should have paid an admission price for the laughter this stream of comments gave me. Thanks for the giggles.

Beth Blackerby
Posted: February 22, 2012
 Robyn! That is priceless. The liquid anti-oxidant holder….lol!!

Ok, I'll share a little secret. I haven't shared this or done a tutorial (and WON'T!) because it's quite ungraceful as Prof V said. I've had pain in my neck for years and have often out of desperation done this little trick.  It's something I imagined while playing the Haydn "Seasons" a monstrously long choral work. 

Cut off a leg of a pair of pantyhose (not to sheer, opaque works best), then tie it in the way Prof V demonstrated around the neck and under the arm.  (There is a modified position for ladies if you know what I mean). Then, rather than slipping it over the chin rest, tuck the hooked part of the Bon Musica under the panty hose leg, from the side closer to your head (not your shoulder), ad Voilá!

In the last few weeks, I found something that works better for home practice. Take an empty duct tape ring, polka a hole in it, hang a picture hanger on the wall (at the height of your scroll), hang the duct tape ring on the picture hanger, stuff a washcloth into the ring. You have a scroll cradle! I've been warming up like this, so that I can get good left hand finger action exercises without taxing my neck. It's wonderfully liberating. 

Now I have to figure out how to rig the liquid antioxidant holder on the wall too!

Posted: February 22, 2012
Hi Dick,

You mentioned "tendency to grip the neck".  I know that feeling exactly. In the beginning stages, I used to grip until my hand ached. It took quite a while to retrain my hand to eliminate the tendency, but it is possible.   I think that there is a need for the neck to rest on your left hand, but there is no "need to grip".

On a more humourous note, there just seems to be no end to violin inventions:

There's this to get rid of that inelegant look (which to me looks suspiciously like one of my wife's scarves):

And then there's this which carries with it the following advice:
CAUTION: Young children should be supervised when using the VioStrap to insure a proper fit and to insure that inappropriate use does not cause choking.:

And finally there's this that looks sort of like a bent shoe tree insert:
(I've got a Kun rest so if I can find a shoe tree,  I might have to MacGyver something like this).

Posted: February 22, 2012
I know, Robyn! haha Maybe they can come up with some sort of unit that stands up next to the music stand and the violin will just attach to it and when you're ready to play, you just walk up and set your chin on it!

Posted: February 22, 2012

Maybe you could wear it under a coat.  If they are going to that extreme, why not just have it on a stand where you don't use any paart of your body at all? 

Posted: February 22, 2012
Professor V has a low-cost/low-tech way to free up the neck (unfortunately there's still the looking ridiculous factor). See here about the 2 minute mark:

Posted: February 21, 2012
Hahaaa "the looking ridiculous part...".  I was thinking the same thing!  Even if it felt like the most comfortable shoulder rest and chin rest set-up EVER, I don't think I could bring myself to use one.  It is sort of silly looking in a way.  Perhaps that is why they made it so expensive...so if anyone laughs at it, you can always say "how can you possibly be laughing at such a high-end piece of equipment?" 

Beth Blackerby
Posted: February 21, 2012
Well, there's the looking ridiculous part…. I can't get past the $350, frankly. I would love to have my neck liberated, but from the looks of it, it might put pressure on the shoulder, which may in turn create it's own set of problems. I'd at least like to see a video of someone using it. I can't really accurately assess unless I try it. We carry Steinberger electric instruments at the shop. Maybe they'll send us one for demo. I'll speak to my husband about it.