Tagged: violin position
February 25, 2016 at 6:06 pm #13644
So, I’ve been following the tip videos that Michael and Professor Maytan have been doing and I happened to notice that his shoulder rest is positioned past the wide curve at the bottom of the violin nearer to the c bout. I thought it was unusual because my teacher always says it should be just at the wide curve at the bottom. I tried it out and I found it pretty comfortable and it seemed to help me with my vibrato, especially on the first finger. I was just wondering if anyone else has experience with this. I’ve read that even with a shoulder rest, the violin should still make contact with the collar bone.February 26, 2016 at 7:56 pm #13649
Hey Hexensohn, can you point me to a video of Professor Maytan that shows his shoulder rest clearly? I’ll be able to help answer your question if I have that visual. I’m not sure what you’re talking about yet. Thanks!February 26, 2016 at 9:52 pm #13655
Hi again Hexensohn, I got to thinking about your post and, if Prof Maytan is using something like a KUN Shoulder Rest or a RESONANS Shoulder Rest, the default (or starting position) for placing it on the violin is equal distance from the C bouts, on the widest point of the lower violin. Moving either side further up or down is OK and can make a world of difference. Positional angles depend a lot on your body frame. If you have narrower shoulders, you’ll find pulling the bottom side of the shoulder rest lower than the other side.
Try matching the shoulder rest to the shape of your shoulder. Take the shoulder rest off the violin and lay it on your shoulder. Then bring the violin to the shoulder rest (sitting on your shoulder) and you’ll see the best angle for your shoulder rest. If you’re still growing, check this periodically as it could change over time.
I hope this helps!February 26, 2016 at 10:52 pm #13657
Here’s a pretty good video where you can see where it’s hooked on. The outer feet are close to the c bout, the feet on the inside are a little more toward the wide curve of the violin. That’s about how I have it set up now, and it’s pretty comfortable. It feels a little more secure than before.February 27, 2016 at 12:02 am #13658
Yes this way it changes the angle of the violin and brings the shoulder rest closer to your neck, as opposed to having it closer to the C bout, which might make it touch further out on your shoulder. Very good observation!
What a great video! I loved how they worked in the background. Such a nice sound he makes. And that video picked up every, single sound so I know he played flawlessly because I could even hear his breathing. Exquisite.March 1, 2016 at 5:09 pm #13759
Thank you so much for the tips Dianne. I do wonder, should the violin rest more under the jaw, because I usually carry it a little lower and under the chin.March 1, 2016 at 7:48 pm #13760
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:
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?
How well do you think this person plays?
I’m happy to answer your questions anytime! And to listen to videos or evaluate pictures you post here of your positions. Happy practicing!
Superior Violins has a 30% Off Sale going on right now!
Here is a link to the KUN Violin Shoulder Rest. I use this shoulder rest myself and recommend it to all my students.