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Handsweat in a romantic slow movement
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lenasv.
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October 17, 2011 - 5:46 am
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Imagine now a French violin sonata with a slow romantic movement that is played high on the G and D-strings, moving up and down a lot over the strings, and lots of chances to nice glissandos,

You are playing this now in a performance, maybe a concert or so.

Suddenly, you realize that the hand sweat (even though you tried drying it off on your clothes before) makes your hand stick. All small position changes are especially tormented, you end up at the wrong place (hence play falsely) and every glissando is abrupted by the friction...and also ends up falsely. Hand sweat creates friction and vertical movement along the violin gets impossible.

How do you handle it? How do you get rid of the hand sweat, or learn to play cleanly despite it?

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Huey142
Melaka,Malaysia
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October 17, 2011 - 9:40 am
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I'm not sure since I naturally have sweatier hands than normal people and it gets even more sweaty when I'm nervous or anxious so I guess I'll just wipe my hands as many times as I need and try to stay calm (?) dunno

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Chinny
Perth
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October 17, 2011 - 11:14 am
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i dont get hand sweat? well, unless its summer and in the middle of a heat wave in which case i'd probably hit the beach or shower or lie on tiles instead of practising my violin

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myguitarnow
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October 17, 2011 - 11:51 am
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Sounds like nerves to me. The more comfortable you are at playing the more it will go away I guess. When I perform live with guitar I do sweat but it has never caused any issue as far as friction goes on the strings. I have had a guitar pick slip out of my fingers a time or two.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
October 17, 2011 - 11:55 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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lenasv. said:

Imagine now a French violin sonata with a slow romantic movement that is played high on the G and D-strings, moving up and down a lot over the strings, and lots of chances to nice glissandos,

You are playing this now in a performance, maybe a concert or so.

Suddenly, you realize that the hand sweat (even though you tried drying it off on your clothes before) makes your hand stick. All small position changes are especially tormented, you end up at the wrong place (hence play falsely) and every glissando is abrupted by the friction...and also ends up falsely. Hand sweat creates friction and vertical movement along the violin gets impossible.

How do you handle it? How do you get rid of the hand sweat, or learn to play cleanly despite it?

This is a great question Lena and nice to see you here again.smile

First of all, I normally don't sweat much but when exercising or in a hot environment I can sweat like made. A few times under very potentially embarrassing situations I have felt a slight sweat attach but kind of rare for me.

If you look at my video of when I played Bach's Chaconne I was under these intensely hot lamps while dressed in a monkey suit and sweating like a pig. This is terrifying when we are not used to it. Though my problem was that I was sliding around too easily.

  • Anyway, I know what you mean and the best way to prepare for this is to learn your positions without slides as well as with.
  • Secondly, when shifting be as loose as possible with minimum connection on the slides. Very relaxed contact with your fingers on the string.
  • Lastly, some people use hand cream but you need to find a non greasy type, to keep the feeling consistent.

Good luck for next time. violin-student

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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pky
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October 17, 2011 - 1:39 pm
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I don't think it is being nervous. Most people don't have sweat glands on their hands, but some do and that could be a problem in a situation like that. I knew two women that have sweaty hands. It was troublesome for them when they did craft work like cross stitch, embroidery, because they would wet the garment badly. My friend showed me, the sweat was actually dripping off her hands! In her situation she just had a hankie ready, whenever her hands were wet, she wiped them off. In your situations, wiping off your hands is not posible. Have you tried the kind of powder for sweaty feet? That may help if you put some on before you play.

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myguitarnow
Laguna Beach
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October 17, 2011 - 3:04 pm
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Baby powder can work for some. My experience is that the hands get slipperier when sweating.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
October 17, 2011 - 6:54 pm
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myguitarnow said:

.... .My experience is that the hands get slipperier when sweating.

That is what usually happens to me.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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gStretch
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October 17, 2011 - 10:29 pm
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my hands were kinda sweaty today too. i'm thinking fingerless gloves:D

-g

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myguitarnow
Laguna Beach
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October 18, 2011 - 2:09 am
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Oh, you got me laughing again G and Chinny 😉 Don't sweat the small stuff, just jam! jimi-hendrix

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gStretch
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October 18, 2011 - 6:27 pm
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nice play on words MGN 😛

the fingerless gloves worked with keeping my hands dry...but now my fingers 😛

-g

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Kevin M.
Nicholson, Pa
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October 18, 2011 - 8:04 pm
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How about some underarm deoderant.  You could spray it on real thick to your pits and them if your hands sweat just rub them in your pits.  Might make your violin stink but it might be worth a try.roflol

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myguitarnow
Laguna Beach
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October 18, 2011 - 8:15 pm
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Hope you're not serious about wearing fingerless gloves G 😉

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Fiddlerman
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October 18, 2011 - 8:39 pm
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I know lot's of violinists that do that for cooler outdoor concerts. Fortunately not that often.

afroafro

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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pky
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October 18, 2011 - 9:19 pm
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gStretch said:

my hands were kinda sweaty today too. i'm thinking fingerless gloves:D

-g

I think nsamusicsupplies actually sell the fingerless gloves, under micelleanous. I have fingerless gloves from michaels art and craft, they are light and comfortable, but never tried them with violin, don't know how it would work.

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Paul
Indiana
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October 18, 2011 - 9:43 pm
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We have a maple syrup festival in our area in late feburary. There are several fiddle players there for. Most of them wear fingerless gloves to help keep there hands warm. Kind of the opposite reason the conversation was started.

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gStretch
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October 18, 2011 - 11:03 pm
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Paul said:

We have a maple syrup festival in our area in late feburary.

here in henderson, texas was have a syrup festival. do they make syrup in your city during the festival?

-g 

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Paul
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October 19, 2011 - 10:37 am
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We are in a rural area. The owner taps the maple trees and boils down the sap to make the syrup. He gives tours to show the process, it's in Feburary because that's when the sap will run from the trees.

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gStretch
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October 19, 2011 - 5:48 pm
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cool 😀

ours is cane syrup.  they grind the canes and all that stuff 😛

you can even buy some canes and eat it like that...good stuff

-g

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