#13760 Reply

Dianne Adkins

Hi Hexensohn! If you have the KUN shoulder rest, or just go and look at it’s shape, and imagine how it sits on the shoulder. There is an inward curve that fits over the shoulder and and outward curve that fills in the space over your heart. If you carry your violin a little further in front, the KUN will not fit your anatomy correctly. Here is a photo of a good violin position:

violin placement on the shoulder

I tell my students to imagine an ‘upside down letter L’ with the violin being the bottom of the ‘L’ and the body being the straight up and down part.

There are many reasons why the relationship of the body to the placement of the violin is critically important. But mostly it has to do with the angle of the bow in creating a good tone. Even when your bow arm is working perfectly, if your violin is positioned just a little off, it effects the bow to string angle and messes up the tone. To accommodate, the player has to pull the bow down and back to maintain a perfect angle. This works, but is not efficient, considering how the body works naturally.

Lots of players play well IN SPITE of their poor positions, but never BECAUSE OF IT. It’s worth noting that beginners often want to look at their fingers, and so find it easier to bring the violin in front, rather than turn the head and lean back over the violin. This is why it should constantly be checked and fixed.

So I would like to encourage you give careful attention to the position of the violin on the shoulder, keep the scroll in line with the height of your mouth. Practice letting go often. If nothing else, consider how you look, and how your position influences the perception of others regarding how well you play.

How well do you think this person plays?

violin playing position

How well do you think this person plays?

bad violin position

I’m happy to answer your questions anytime! And to listen to videos or evaluate pictures you post here of your positions. Happy practicing!
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Here is a link to the KUN Violin Shoulder Rest. I use this shoulder rest myself and recommend it to all my students.