Hi Petra, if you can post a picture of your left hand here, to show me how your knuckle touches the peg, I can help you better. It seems an easy solution would be to bring the left hand in line with the beginning of the neck. If you are playing low 1 (B Flat, F natural, for example) sometimes the knuckle might touch a peg but that’s ok. When you play regular 1 (B natural, F sharp, etc), your hand should be clear of the pegs. You are in ‘first position’. The thumb is opposite the base of the first finger. None of the thumb extends up above the fingerboard. The hand is approximately 1/4 to 1/2 inch away from the peg box. Set 1 on A to play B natural. When the first finger sits down on the fingerboard comfortably, in a square shape, this is where your first position hand should be. Keep this position when playing flats. Just extend the finger back but not the whole hand.
As to the shoulder rest bending when you put your head on it. If it is touching the violin in the middle at that moment, this is not good. It can scratch your instrument. It also can cause buzzing. And it can muffle the vibration of a good sound coming from your violin. Please tell me what kind of shoulder rest are you using? Don’t let go of the violin with the left hand until we sort out why your shoulder rest feels insecure. Once you get a shoulder rest that works, you can practice letting go with the violin over your bed, so if you drop it, it will land on a nice soft mattress. Once you have a shoulder rest that works, and an environment that you feel makes a dropped violin safer, then you must overcome the fear and work on this one thing. It is the most important thing in your playing right now. If you don’t address this, then later when you do shifting, vibrato and more advanced playing, you will have troubles.
Here are the shoulder rests offered at Superior Violins.
< a href=”http://www.superiorviolins.com/kun-original-violin-shoulder-rest?acc=eccbc87e4b5ce2fe28308fd9f2a7baf3″>I use the KUN Violin Shoulder Rest and recommend it to all my students.