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Author Topic: chin and shoulder rests  (Read 6574 times)

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wishiwasanirishman

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chin and shoulder rests
« on: Feb 01, 2004, 07:17:25 AM »
Hi everyone... I'm sure this question has been asked a million times but as a newbie to all things fiddly I need to ask. I've read that a person should be able to hold the violin upright with just the chin on the rest without supporting the neck with the left hand... how many here can do that?... because I can't, could this be one reason why I'm finding it so hard to finger since I'm busy supporting the weight of the violin? Would a different chinrest such as a centre mounted rest help with that or perhaps a shoulder rest?
Thanks...
*Rod


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Offline Mnfele

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Re:chin and shoulder rests
« Reply #1 on: Feb 01, 2004, 01:58:14 PM »
There are different fiddling styles when it comes to holding the instrument. If you are more classically inclined or want more ease in shifting, then you want to be able to hold the violin between your chin and shoulder. You may need a shoulder rest to do this. ( I personally use a Kinder-Chinder, a shoulder pad / chinrest cushion combo, if I feel the need for more support. I have a short neck and do not use a shoulder rest.)  Try finding a position that allows you to play the way you want to play.

Offline alwyswinn

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Re:chin and shoulder rests
« Reply #2 on: Feb 01, 2004, 07:28:19 PM »
I use both have no trouble holding the instrument same for the viola

Offline Pilgrum

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Re:chin and shoulder rests
« Reply #3 on: Feb 02, 2004, 12:45:08 AM »
I posted an answer here this morning and I now see its gone.  Well I'll try again and see if balck magic strikes twice.

I believe a shoulder rest puts the fiddle into a position that feels solid.  That is a feeling that I like but, I own a shoulder rest for both my fiddle and viola but never use then anymore.  

Using the shoulder rest seems to put the instrument into a position that lowers the treble side down lower than I like.  I have never been able to become comfortable with that so I stopped using them.

However most of my friends use them.

Offline violinero

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Re:chin and shoulder rests
« Reply #4 on: Feb 02, 2004, 09:34:58 AM »
   I tryed once to play the violin without the shoulder rest, and the pain in my bone, the one that is betwen the neck and the shoulder, was really horrible, so I'd just keep using the shoulder rest, in my acoustic violin I use a playonair that is like a little pillow, and my electric violin has already a shoulder rest especially for it.

Saludos.
   Violinero

Offline Steve_W

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Re:chin and shoulder rests
« Reply #5 on: Feb 02, 2004, 07:02:53 PM »
While it's true that playing with a good shoulder rest will give you a lot of stability and allow you to hold the violin without your left hand, there's a lot of discussion among classical players regarding whether this is what you really want!  I gather that players who don't use a shoulder pad do support the violin at least in part with their left hand; normally they keep a fairly loose grip with their chin and only press down hard when needed (when shifting, for example).  I 've always used a shoulder pad (currently I use a Kun) but last Summer I decided to experiment with playing without one.  I found that dispensing with the shoulder pad actually improved my position (or at least made me look more like a classical player); I was holding the violin flatter and more over my shoulder and as a result my bowing was straighter.  It did feel like I lost a little mobility in the left hand but it was manageable.  I eventually did go back to using a pad, mainly because I have a fairly long neck and I was getting neck pains when playing for long periods, but I was able to adjust the Kun rest in such a way that it kept the fiddle in the position that I found worked for me without the shoulder pad.  YMMV -Steve
« Last Edit: Feb 02, 2004, 08:41:16 PM by Steve_W »

Offline swarbrules

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Re:chin and shoulder rests
« Reply #6 on: Feb 02, 2004, 07:10:14 PM »
I have a full beard and when I started my fiddle, with what appeared to be a Guanarius chinrest would fly out like a well buttered ferret. I had it changed to a Morawetz which is deeper and easier to hold. With a shoulder rest I can hold it easily.

Offline Martin

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Re:chin and shoulder rests
« Reply #7 on: Feb 03, 2004, 12:45:58 PM »
I use a Flesch chinrest (that's mounted centrally) and a Bon Musica shoulder rest - I can easily hold the violin without the left hand, though I wouldn't want to do it for too long.

Offline Steve_W

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Re:chin and shoulder rests
« Reply #8 on: Feb 03, 2004, 06:09:59 PM »
I use a Teka chin rest on one fiddle and a Guarneri on the other, along with Kun Classic shoulder pads on both instruments and have no problem holding either of them up "no hands".  The Kun shoulder pad gives a very stable platform, but as I mentioned in my earlier post, it's easy to end up with poor position if it isn't adjusted correctly. The Teka chinrest is the best side-mounted chinrest I've found; it extends over the tailpiece and has a fairly deep cup so it's easy to grip. -Steve

Offline chifiddler

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Re:chin and shoulder rests
« Reply #9 on: Feb 03, 2004, 08:30:43 PM »
I have the Kun shoulder pad and the Teka chinrest as well and am VERY happy with them. I have a long neck and it helps me just tilt my jaw just a little to stabilize the instrument. I have seen folks without a shoulder rest, but they mostly have shorter necks than I do!

You might have to try a couple different kinds of shoulder pads to see what is comfortable for you?

wishiwasanirishman

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Re:chin and shoulder rests
« Reply #10 on: Feb 04, 2004, 10:23:18 AM »
thanks everyone for your help and info... I'll have a look around and try a few different types of shoulder rests.. :)

Offline Gstring

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Re:chin and shoulder rests
« Reply #11 on: Feb 05, 2004, 12:24:09 AM »
I just want to comment that I'm glad you asked the question - as a relative newbie, it's something I've wondered about myself.  I have a very long neck, and I've never used a shoulder rest (been playing just over a year.)  I can't support my fiddle without using my left hand, however.  I'll have to try out a shoulder rest soon and see if it will improve my playing. ;)  Good question.

Offline MusicalGirevik

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Re:chin and shoulder rests
« Reply #12 on: Feb 06, 2004, 07:04:42 AM »
My first viola teacher said that the viola is held by a combination of the chin/shoulder grip and the left hand.  So far in my very short experience that the support of the viola is a dynamic interaction - sometimes the left hand supports a greater share of the weight, sometimes it supports less, and sometimes it doesn't support any at all.  You do eventually want your left hand to be able to move freely.

My 2nd and current teacher says the shoulder rest is to keep your instrument from sliding down your shoulder.  ;D  By angling the viola a certain way, i can avoid having it dig into my collarbone.  But I feel like I have to use more left hand support without the shoulder rest - more than I like.

I have a Flesch chin rest on order from Shar Music.  Too bad it's taking them so long... but i got it after makign some inquiries and hearing that having a more centrally mounted chin rest like the Flesch may relieve shoulder strain.

Offline giannaviolins

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Re:chin and shoulder rests
« Reply #13 on: Feb 07, 2004, 04:59:28 AM »
The biggest disadvantage of the shoulder rest and chinrest combination is the static position that some adopt using them.  I can play with or without.  Vibrato is more difficult without, for sure.  I generally use both.  I prefer a fairly low chinrest and shoulder rest so that I can preserve flexibility.

Steve

Offline Richard Martin

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Re:chin and shoulder rests
« Reply #14 on: Feb 07, 2004, 01:18:28 PM »
over the years I have used a variety of chinrests and shoulder rest.

The wolf forte secondo was probably the first proper shoulder rest that wasnt made by some obscure company like "lark" - for my accoustic this was fine.
I then bought a bonmusica for my electric - this was okay but held the instrument too stable not allowing the comfortable access to its 5 strings - so I swapped them over the bonmusica on my accoustic the wolf on my electric - much better.

I then started the chin rests noticing that the plastic strad rests are smaller than wood rests and so ended with ebony strad style chin rests

This resulted in the shoulder rests being uncomfortable.

The next move was to try the kun Bravo which is a wood and brass rest - very nice quality and works exceptionaly well for me - the instruments both can be held correctly unsuported there is no strain in simply relaxing my head on the instruments to keep them in place.

I would recommend unreservedly the Kun Bravo - the bonmusica has since left for a new home and the new owner swears by it... the wolf well still hoping it will be tried again but.... seems distinctly unlikely now.

Offline ThunderFingers

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Re:chin and shoulder rests
« Reply #15 on: Feb 09, 2004, 11:57:26 PM »
I had always played with a shoulder rest but lately, sence I have started to play standing up all the time, I find the shoulder rest to be a bummer, I just leave it off now. but the chin rest is a must...

Offline fiddlingaround

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Re:chin and shoulder rests
« Reply #16 on: Feb 11, 2004, 12:07:14 AM »
I have no idea what type of chnirests I have, seeing as many of them look similar to me, but when I look in a catalogue it seems that I may have a kaufman on my best fiddle and a guarneri on my school fiddle, then of course a yamaha on my electric.

My fiddle teacher says that my kaufman is one of the best ones she has ever tried, and I am quite happy with it

Anyway with regard to shoulder rests, I have always been using one , althought at school I get lazy because needless to say I keep my fiddle in my case, so i have to heep putting shoulder rest on, so I go without it. I like it a whole lot better; most of my friends use them because they say they have trouble shifting without them. I find shifting very easy without it, although vibrato is considerably harder for me without using a shoulder rest. This is probably because I just started learning vibrato about a year ago. My preference,though; is not having shoulder rest, just my kaufman chin rest.

Offline Happy Camper

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Re:chin and shoulder rests
« Reply #17 on: Feb 15, 2004, 06:22:11 PM »
I am a newbie on the fiddle and just got a shoulder rest (KUN)  Would someone familiar with this brand please tell me for sure how to put it on the back of the fiddle.  I think you put the wide part of the shoulder rest to the left of the back - is that correct?  I did not receive any instructions with the shoulder rest so I am just guessing.

Offline Steve_W

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Re:chin and shoulder rests
« Reply #18 on: Feb 15, 2004, 06:42:58 PM »
Put it on so that if you're looking at the back of the fiddle with the scroll up, it looks like a frown, if that makes any sense.  The feet should be in about the same place on both sides of the back.  -Steve

Offline Happy Camper

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Re:chin and shoulder rests
« Reply #19 on: Feb 15, 2004, 07:02:42 PM »

Thanks Steve - I understand

Offline dogmageek

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Re:chin and shoulder rests
« Reply #20 on: Feb 16, 2004, 02:49:40 AM »
HC:

Put the fat part of the shoulder rest toward the thicker strings.

-dogma
 

Offline FiddleChickAZ

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Re:chin and shoulder rests
« Reply #21 on: May 17, 2004, 05:07:53 PM »
I prefer a shoulder pad (and a high one at that) because I have a long neck. I play better with, the position is too tiring without one.

Offline Jack002

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Re:chin and shoulder rests
« Reply #22 on: May 18, 2004, 02:54:32 PM »
If someones still wondering how to put on a Kun rest out there, do like so:

The way I always remember it is that the fat end goes on the side that the chinrest is on.

Offline Nox

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Re:chin and shoulder rests
« Reply #23 on: May 18, 2004, 03:26:46 PM »
I'm having problems with the shoulder rests too.  I never played with one before...tried a Kun with my violin.  I find it very uncomfortable both on my shoulder and it seems to lift my left arm so high I tire quickly (have arthritis as well).  I tried a Viva with the viola...same problem, just bigger LOL.  The use of a cloth over my collar bone has taken care of the viola digging in and hurting.

But my vibrato isn't coming along at all!  It's pretty much restricted to my third finger.

Not sure what to do.

Offline Katandthefiddle

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Re:chin and shoulder rests
« Reply #24 on: May 18, 2004, 05:01:47 PM »
Fiddlechick, what kind of pad do you like? I've tried a few because I also have a long neck and am not totally happy with shoulder rests.

Kathy

Offline fiddlebob

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Re:chin and shoulder rests
« Reply #25 on: May 19, 2004, 12:18:45 AM »
I use a chin rest but no shoulder rest.  Bought a shoulder rest once but never really used it.  

Fiddlebob

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Re:chin and shoulder rests
« Reply #26 on: May 19, 2004, 12:19:44 AM »
I use a chin rest but no shoulder rest.

Fiddlebob

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Re:chin and shoulder rests
« Reply #27 on: May 30, 2004, 05:56:56 PM »
I have just started "playing" at a violin and have discovered the same discomforts of the color bone and also cramping in the bow thumb. I am not sure if I have started developing arthritis in my left ring finger knuckle joint (started before I bought the violin). I liken the pain to a bad knife cut, or blistering burn, or at eh least a badly sprained ankle. Haven't been to the Doc yet to confirm any of this, but I have heard that exercising the joint helpd increase flexibility. So far exercising the finger has only spread the pain in the joint to adjoining fingers (hmmm... as compred to disjointed fingers? oh well)
Any thoughts?
The artist, Gary H.

Offline Steve_W

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Re:chin and shoulder rests
« Reply #28 on: Jun 01, 2004, 04:20:36 PM »
Definitely see a doctor.  It shouldn't hurt to play the violin!  BTW, you don't say how much you're practicing; I have a friend who's a violin teacher working with a lot of adults, and she tells her adult beginners to limit their practice no more than 20 minutes a day, so that they don't overdo it and cause problems. -Steve W.

Offline Nox

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Re:chin and shoulder rests
« Reply #29 on: Jun 02, 2004, 01:51:25 AM »
For how long?  I don't think that's enough to get anywhere in a reasonably amount of time...

Offline Steve_W

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Re:chin and shoulder rests
« Reply #30 on: Jun 02, 2004, 04:25:24 AM »
For how long?  I don't think that's enough to get anywhere in a reasonably amount of time...

I think just for a couple weeks, but I'll ask her for details next time I see her.  The idea is to start gradually to give your body time to adjust so you don't do any damage, adults being a lot less resilient than kids and all! - Steve W.

Offline Katandthefiddle

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Re:chin and shoulder rests
« Reply #31 on: Jun 03, 2004, 03:09:51 PM »
Check out www.dov-music.com. I've been very happy with the Flesh style chinrest I got, along witht he other fittings that came with it. The price si unblievable, at $20 for chin rest, tail piece, end pin, and pegs. I like the wide slot on the chin rest so I can shift it to either side if I want to.

Kathy

Offline Jackson

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Re:chin and shoulder rests
« Reply #32 on: Jul 24, 2004, 10:18:10 AM »

Using the shoulder rest seems to put the instrument into a position that lowers the treble side down lower than I like.  I have never been able to become comfortable with that so I stopped using them.


I tried several different shoulder rests, and several chinrests as well. I liked the Kun shoulder rest best (the non-folding plastic one), but like Pilgrum, the treble side was down farther than I wanted it to be. Kun makes extended length legs (the brass threaded screw is longer), and replacing the lower one (on the thin end/treble side) that came on the rest with this extended one solved the problem of the angle. I have the long one positioned out to where the threaded brass is screwed in about half way, and the upper short leg is threaded all the way in, which brought the fiddle to a more level position. That half of the problem solved, I started trying out different style chinrests, and settled on the Strad style, which I bought from Dov Schmidt -
www.dov-music.com. It couldn't be more comfortable and versatile for me, but that's me - it's different for everyone, so the best thing to do is experiment.
Harry
P.S. - now to figure out how to sell the chin/shoulder rests that didn't work out for me!...oh well, I guess I'll list them on ebay one of these days.
« Last Edit: Jul 24, 2004, 10:35:13 AM by Jackson »

Offline Svento

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Re:chin and shoulder rests
« Reply #33 on: Jul 24, 2004, 11:05:19 AM »
(..)

But my vibrato isn't coming along at all!  It's pretty much restricted to my third finger.

Not sure what to do.
Just keep developing a non-vibrato playing style. I've been playing for six years without one single vibrato and I'm doing fine

Offline Nox

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Re:chin and shoulder rests
« Reply #34 on: Jul 24, 2004, 06:13:27 PM »
Yes, of course you can play without...but I'm working on my classical music rep....and you kinda need to have it...LOL...:)

Even with the little bit of fiddling I do...I find it makes sustained notes sound so very nice...

Offline Ernst

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Re:chin and shoulder rests
« Reply #35 on: Jul 26, 2004, 05:48:03 AM »
Chin and shoulder rest posts are always interesting for me to read because I like to hear what solutions others have found. Even though they're interesting, when I was trying to find my own solution the stuff I read couldn't help me beyond giving me some brand names to try.

The problem is that we're all built a little different so what's good for me won't necessarily be good for you. I wrote down the brand names that I heard most and then tried the most popular of them. Some violin shops have a selection or rests on hand to try. There's no place like that close to my home so I had to deal with internet companies.

Some of the internet companies will let you order three or more chin & shoulder rests to try at home and then return the ones you don't want. That way the only money you waste is the return shipping; usually it's less than ten dollars to return three of each in one package.



I settled on one of the cheapest chin rests, a Dresden low model. I chose it because it fit me the best, being inexpensive was just a bonus. The Wittner hypo allergic chin rest was a close second for my fit.

For a shoulder rest the Mach One fit me better than anything else I tried. It is adjustable for height and and also for the angle of your violin. The bonus with the Mach One is that it never falls off. The Mach One is not so cheap though. The maple one is about fifty dollars. There is a plastic Mach One for about half that price and they claim the only difference is it's plastic instesd of maple. I can't verify that though; I was so happy to finally find a shouder rest that worked for me that I just kept the wooden one that I tried.

 




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