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    Does anyone play without a chinrest or shoulder rest. After playing with using a combination of both I have settled on using neither. I had read many articles on learning to balance the instrument on the collarbone and finally tried it. It is working for me and I’m enjoying the freedom of movement. It has also freed up the tension I was always aware of.
    I’d be curious if anyone else does this.

    #16965 Reply


    My in-town teacher wants me to go without a shoulder rest. Would you be able to point out some of the articles you read? I cannot manage to balance my fiddle without a heavy shoulder rest AND a custom adjustable chinrest (Kreddle). Thanks so much!

    #17000 Reply


    First off, I do not advocate going “restless” unless you have tried all the standard shoulder rests and chin rest combinations and find them to not work for you.
    That was my experience. I could not find a combination that did not impart a tension I could feel all the time. So I started researching and reading articles about tension when playing.
    I discovered that there were many players who (for whatever reason) played without aa SR or a CR . Some of them without either.
    For instance if you research Baroque Violin players you will find the violin played without either. I believe that for high performance modern violin technique that a SR and/or CR might be essential. But for many of us….not so much.
    Here is an article that is interesting to read. Hope it’s OK to post some links here. If not have the mods let me know.

    Also there is a site :
    Some thought provoking text there. Although he is trying to sell his info so take it for what it’s worth.

    I found that the hardest thing was to learn to balance the violin on the collarbone without clenching the left hand on the neck. I practiced that for weeks.
    First by playing open strings only, then basic one octave scales. It also matters where you place your violin. I find that I get better balance with it further to my left (I’m right handed).
    So my chin falls on the treble side of the tailpiece. If you watch videos of Zino Francescatti playing you will see what I mean:

    Well, there is some food for thought from my perspective. Let me know if you have questions.

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