June 2, 2015 at 3:09 am #2349
Hi everyone! Thanks in advance for checking out this thread.
So, some background info:
Originally, I started on an unknown-brand shoulder rest with screw-on legs. I did a lot of adjusting, since I needed it to fit in my violin case pocket when not using it, and, as a beginner, I had no clue what height was best for me. As a result, the screws became stripped and I found myself in need of a new rest.
I ended up selecting a soft, short, foam-shaped rest that attached to the violin with rubber bands around the corners. This did not last very long, since my teacher noticed that I was doing a lot of slouching with that rest. She told me it was due to the rest’s, well, squishy-ness and lack of height. I didn’t mind getting a new one so much: the design idea was cool, but the rubber bands were wearing out and driving me nuts.
My teacher had showed me two of her own rests: a Wolf and a Resonan’s. Both seemed fine, so I went back to the luthier and found that he didn’t currently carry Wolf rests, but I was able to get a Resonan’s. For awhile it was okay, but now the screws that can be used to “flatten” the rest are now loose and move too easily. I.e., I put the rest on and originally it is parallel to the violin, but as I play, the rest becomes angled due to the pressure I’m putting on the side closer to me. The side further from me hardly touches my shoulder at all because I have a small frame. Eventually, I reach a very uncomfortable position and have to realign the shoulder rest entirely. I have tried positioning the rest in several different places, but I haven’t been able to find one that works for me.
My goal is to find a rest that will allow me to secure the violin using only my shoulder/collarbone and chin. I need a lot of security because I am learning higher positions (5th and 7th), and due to a double-jointed thumb, I cannot use my thumb to do vibrato.
With that said, should I get a Wolf online? I’ve also seen “Menuhin-style” or collarbone rests: might those be applicable to me? Should I consider getting a new chin rest? Would that be instead of or in addition to a new shoulder rest?
PS: Getting a new chin rest is a whole ‘nother story. I’ve gone through a few that had vibration issues with my tailpiece. Even the one I’ve got now loosens up every so often and I have to carry around a paperclip. So I’d probably have to get a new instrument, which I need to do at some point anyway (wood weakening issues).June 8, 2015 at 11:13 pm #2605
After some experimentation with various styles of shoulder rests I eventually found an adjustable shoulder rest from Bonmuscia. It is easy to adjust and once you decide upon the appropriate angle you won’t worry about it slipping off the violin nor off your shoulder. I recommend removing the shoulder rest before putting the violin in the case; if you must leave it attached to the violin, use some coloured tape or paint (nail polish?) to mark the correct position of the screws connected to the feet. Regardless of the shoulder rest it is essential to remember not to apply too much pressure with your chin/jaw against the chin rest.June 9, 2015 at 12:00 am #2606
Thank you for your response! Can you send me a link to the shoulder rest from Bonmuscia?June 9, 2015 at 3:40 am #2640
Great thread! I think the BonMusica is a good shoulder rest. I don’t sell these on my site yet, but here is a link to the Bonmusica on Amazon.June 9, 2015 at 1:27 pm #2642
I use the Everest shoulder rest and like it a lot.
Michael, can you give us a pro/con of some of the different shoulder rests on the market…what makes them good or bad or less useful than the others.
Is this the shoulder rest that you use Michael? – I could not remember the name of it, I just remember it was high and wood. I have been wanting to try it out. Your thoughts on this one?June 9, 2015 at 10:32 pm #2660
Aha! That was it! The Everest shoulder rest… I suppose I’d be willing to give it another try (especially for the price!!). Thanks for mentioning it, Tracye!June 14, 2015 at 5:57 pm #2874
This is a really tough question to answer as choosing a shoulder rest is all about player preference. I can tell you that Kun shoulder rests are the most popular on the market, and I have used them for about half of my career. There is nothing wrong with Everest shoulder rests, and I do have students currently using them. As a teacher, here are the things I would be looking for when it comes to holding your violin, which a shoulder rest should help out with:
1. Being able to fully support the violin with your chin and shoulder.
2. Have comfort to never grab the violin with more pressure in the hand when you shift.
3. Ability to keep the violin parallel to the ground at all times.
Technically, you can achieve all the points above without a shoulder rest, but most people find that they can help with the points above. You might not have known this, but some violin teachers fully support not using a shoulder rest at all. What they would all agree on though, are the points I highlighted above. Not using a shoulder rest in my opinion promotes holding the violin improperly as the violin can be uncomfortable when pushed up against your collarbone.June 14, 2015 at 7:07 pm #2877
Yeah. Unfortunately, my Everest came extremely well-used. There was even a chunk of foam missing. So when I eventually stripped the screws, I jumped at the chance to replace it. Looking back, that was the best rest I owned.
Today I learned how important friction is in a shoulder rest. Mid-performance. Yikes!July 1, 2015 at 1:56 pm #3415
I’ve had a few instances where I’ve had my shoulder rest slip off during a performance. Not the best experience! It definitely is important to have friction and fortunately most shoulder rests out there have them. Make sure if you have a Kun that you adjust the feet so that they snug up against the sides of the violin. That is where you can have it easily slip off while you are playing!July 4, 2015 at 5:37 am #3466
I like the shoulder rest your currently using. You told the class you got it from one of your students. Could you can find out where your student got it from? I have not seen a shoulder rest that looks like that online, or in stores.
Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 25 total)
Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 25 total)