Violin Hickey

Fogive my childish manner of writing, I would make it more fluid and eloquent if I knew how to write better, faster.

Today I am going to talk about my violin hickey. Many violinists have this mark. On most people its a red spot of irritated skin on the left side of the jaw, on some asians it is tan or very dark brown/grey/black. Totally disgusting, I know.

The irritation comes from the contact between the skin on your jaw and the violin. So it’s not a bruise like a real hickey. It just is about the same size and color.

I have had my hickey for many years now. I think I started to notice one when I was about 14 or 15. It got worse towards the end of high school when I started to play more, and peaked in grossness freshman year in college. I have tried many things. I have wasted a lot of time trying to work out my hickey situation. However, I think I may have finally found a successful approach to controlling the irritation.

I used to use these foam pads that they sell to pad the rest your chin sits on. The pads cost about 20 dollars. I stopped that this year. They get dirty very easily and are a hassle. I have also tried cloths of various fabrics. By constantly changing cloths and washing them I could avoid getting germs on my mark, preventing infection. When your hickey gets germs it start getting disgusting weird bumps. F-ing nasty. This worked for a while. It was clean. About a year ago I started playing with a ghetto band aid on my neck made of toilet paper and tape. I would lube it with Vasaline (TM). it worked the best of all the previous methods. Although my special band aid would always come off and I would have to wad more scotch tape on my jaw. It looked kind of funny too. People got used to it though. My mark was at an all time low. The bad thing was that it hurt sometimes and occassionally I got pimples on my hickey probably due to the oil in the Vasaline.

Just this quarter I have started playing with no added clothes or pads on my violin. Haven’t played “commando” since age 15 maybe. I have a new chinrest that is silicone and soft, but that doesn’t matter too much. But I found that by using no cloths, there was LESS friction created than with a cloth. Also, not squeezing and mushing around the violin with my jaw helps a lot too. No clothes, no band aids, no foam oddities, and it is working great. I just have to use some rubbing alchohol on my chinrest about once a week to keep it clean of germs

Also I take care of my hickey when not playing. I wash my chin before and after I play and at night I put on non-oily lotion. Neutrogena, good stuff. So now, my hickey is much better and almost never hurts.

I still have a mark though. I’m just going to have to live with it.

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6 Responses to “Violin Hickey”


  1. 1 Cindy March 5, 2007 at 9:26 pm

    That has to be one of the funniest work hazards I have ever heard of. Comes with the trade I suppose. Thank you – quite amusing read. Blessings, Tim.

  2. 2 littlerichard March 6, 2007 at 12:16 am

    kenshin the swordsman has a mark on his face and he’s cool.

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  1. 1 Violin hickey – Violin | Instruments Blog » Blog Archive Trackback on April 9, 2012 at 9:19 pm

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