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Slipping violin
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (3 votes) 
Little Rock, AR
Honorary advisor

March 4, 2013 - 4:01 pm
Member Since: January 28, 2012
Forum Posts: 207
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Hey everyone,

I am having a problem.  I can't ever get a good solid position for my instrument.  I try to start off with good form, but it seems that as I play longer and longer, the violin works its way down from my shoulder/neck area to my chest.  Then I have to try and readjust mid performance or stop completely.

I have a shoulder rest for it that seems to grip my shoulder well.  I have noticed that my check and chin will start to get oily when placed on the chin rest for extended periods and that may be part of the issue.

Any suggestions?

Never mind maneuvers, just go straight at them.

Merritt Island, Fla
Pro advisor

March 4, 2013 - 4:20 pm
Member Since: June 25, 2012
Forum Posts: 1281
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without a vid its hard to say the cause. so leaping blindly I give my 2 cents.

I wear cotton polo shirts and nothing silky or smooth that could shift under the weight of the instrument. 

The shoulder rest should make contact with the chest area all of its length and not just the shoulder area, there are many types that are poseable and adjustable to give you this.

You shouldnt have to strain your neck or over tilt your head to grip the instrument with your jaw. If you do and your shoulder rest is adjusted to its max then a custom height chinrest might be in order. 

http://www.violinistinbalance......ncingv.htm  this website is an informative resource for violin positioning, posture and its effect on ones playing.

Lastly you are going to want to check if  you are applying inward (towards the neck) pressure with your left hand, this can move the instrument and should be avoided. It was a subconscious habit of mine that led to "left hand creep". 

I hope this helps, I hope its not bad advice too. lol. good luck

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.


March 4, 2013 - 5:58 pm
Member Since: May 4, 2012
Forum Posts: 2379
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Maybe use a cloth over the chinrest clamp and chinrest?  Cloth or soft thin leather could keep oil off the chinrest as well as give some traction, or in a lower budget range maybe a piece cut from one of those fake chamois cloths they sell for polishing cars?

Also might check if the lower rim of the violin is actually resting on your collarbone.  That's the main way I can think of that the violin could creep down to the chest while playing.

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

Fort Lauderdale
March 4, 2013 - 7:16 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 14344

The "Strad Pad" is great for that. Soft and gives a great grip.
Make sure that your elbow is under the violin slightly.

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

Little Rock, AR
Honorary advisor

March 6, 2013 - 10:13 am
Member Since: January 28, 2012
Forum Posts: 207
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Thanks everyone.  I'm constantly trying new things, so I will let you know how it goes.

Never mind maneuvers, just go straight at them.

Honorary tenured advisor

March 6, 2013 - 12:18 pm
Member Since: September 7, 2012
Forum Posts: 985
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Not to upset your way of doing things, but I notice in the video in your recent thread at that you seem to hold your instrument at a level that is unusually low on the shoulder. Notice the position of your chin relative to the tail piece. 

The video is a little dark, but it looks like you have a Guarnieri chin rest.  Such a chinrest has a prominence like an elongated hump bridging the tailpiece.  I don't know that it is universal or anything, but I and at least some others hold so that that prominence fits under the jaw, pressing up on the soft parts of the underside of the jaw, and fitting between the two symmetric bones of the lower jaw.

Not to say that you should change that part of your grip, since I am not an expert.  But I would encourage awareness of how you are doing things and the best practices of others.  Maybe you could look at a lot of videos, noting how people hold.

I would also have you notice whether your shirt is slipping against your chest.  The violin could be going lower even though it is gripping your shirt.  There is a kind of rubberized non-slip fabric that can prevent your shirt from slipping against you.

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