Hi my friend! Gayle! I’m so glad you got your strings parallel to the floor. That is going to be so much better! And it just may be that the bulk between the bottom of your shoulder rest and the top of your chin rest is more than you have between shoulder and chin. I have a few ideas. If you want to submit another video, just talking about how you hold your violin, show me how you put it in position and I can get a good look at what you’re working with.
Meanwhile, let’s just try this. Set the violin on your shoulder while looking straight ahead. Maybe look in a mirror to keep it parallel to the floor. Then, simply turn your head, naturally to the left, maybe lifting the chin just a tiny bit, then drop ‘heavy head’ on the chin rest. Sometimes it is just what’s touching the chin rest that can make a difference. In reality, we don’t turn the head sharply and put the chin in the chin rest. The chin sort of points more downward to the tailpiece and the jaw sits in the chin rest. See if this helps. Superior Violins has a couple Violin Chin Rests to look at. But before you change out chin rests, I want to suggest you might just need something to cover your current chin rest. I use a ‘Strad Pad’. I’ve seen famous violinists just lay a soft cloth over the chin rest as they set the violin. So play around with it. I know some chin rests have an edge that pushes up into the neck and these are really uncomfortable!
Since the violin was misaligned before, you will probably notice better tone now that your bow and strings make a perfect ‘plus’ sign shape. But if you are thinking about getting a bow that tightens and loosens properly for you — I actually do think this is really important — please have a look at some of the bargains from the Superior Violin Bow selections. If you really need to save $$, the Brazilwood Violin Bow is probably a good choice, although it is also probably what you already have. You can click on the link (red words) from here to go directly to that product and check it out. A step up from that is the J. LaSalle Carbon Fiber Violin Bow. This bow is so strong, it never warps! I noticed today the prices have changed a little on Superior Violins and for less than $100.00 more you can get a fine pernambuco wood Otis Leandro Violin Bow. This is an investment that will increase in value over the years. You know Superior Violins has a try it before you buy it guarantee too, right? That particular bow is usually almost $150 more than the current sale price.
Holding the violin with the neck and head is a strain on all those muscles, so maybe stretch the neck to both sides before practice, at intervals during practice, and take frequent breaks when you start to feel strain. You’re building muscle strength, but we just want to get the correct position sorted out so there is no injury or unnecessary tension. Message me anytime Gayle!