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Hi, I’m Vi Wickam- here with another Quick Tip of the Week.
This one is specific to violinists and violists… and it’s how you deal with, or how you avoid the dreaded… violin hickey!
This is the first tip- there will be two of these, so you really should watch them both. Because this first one is important, but the second one might be even more important.
So if you feel like you’re getting some irritation on your neck… before it gets infected, the first thing to do is to clean your violin.
I use alcohol- rubbing alcohol, and a cotton ball.
I get the cotton ball damp, but not super wet, because you don’t want to get this on the varnish. Varnish is alcohol soluble. Alcohol is an organic solvent- we don’t want to get the alcohol actually on the violin itself…
We just want to clean up the chin rest and clean off the oils from your skin that build up there- which can be irritating.
Also, it can hold some bacteria potentially, and we certainly don’t want that to be irritating our skin.
So I will also clean some of these metal pieces, as well as this side of the chin rest. And you’ll notice that has gotten a little bit dirty. Clean all the way down the bottom, and get that good and clean!
While you’re at it, you might want to also clean your fingerboard- because it can get dirty too. You can also clean the oxidation off the strings and clean the ebony there under your fingers. And also clean the neck a little bit.
Clean the ebony on the neck- but don’t get the varnish! That’s the key.
Notice that’s also got some string oxidation on it…
And that is your tip #1 for avoiding and letting yourself heal if you’re starting to get a violin hickey. So clean, clean, clean!
I usually do that probably once every six months or so.
That’s your Quick Tip for this week! Clean it off- alcohol, cotton ball. Be careful, don’t get it on the varnish!
See you next time.