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Author Topic: Shoulder Rests - to or not to  (Read 4456 times)

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Offline fiddlebob

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Shoulder Rests - to or not to
« on: Jun 20, 2003, 06:02:24 PM »
I currently do not use a shoulder rest, but, most of the fiddlers I know do.  Some won't try to play without them.

Do they really help you play?  

Are they difficult to adjust?

Let me know what you think

Fiddlebob

Offline alwyswinn

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Re:Shoulder Rests - to or not to
« Reply #1 on: Jun 20, 2003, 06:46:36 PM »
Hey Bob I just recently started using one and I don't know how I played without it.  It took a little getting used to and a few adjustments from what tthe guys at the shop set it at but it sure is nice.  It increases the amount of time I can comfortably practice and I think it improved my tone a bit not that it did anything but stopped my shoulder from muffling the violin slightly but it keeps the fiddle in the same place and allows me to move around it and address it more comfortable ways.  I'm using the Viva rest I paid $33 and its small lightwieght fits in the case and is pretty dang comfortable it offers seemingly infinite adjustments so it should fit anybody.  I tried a lot of nice ones some more comfortable than others but this just felt right.  I'm sure if you got one and found you didn't like it any shop worth going to would be happy to take it back.  Find someone who will spend some time with you and who is willing to help fit a rest to your unique shape.  Remember 95% or so of all players use one so there must be something to em.  Well thats all I have to say about that.  

Offline DaveSoreff

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Re:Shoulder Rests - to or not to
« Reply #2 on: Jun 20, 2003, 07:11:05 PM »
Hey All,
    Well, in the words of my teacher, "whatever it takes to make you comfortable and play well, go for it". That being said, he makes sure all of his students use one, and he prefers the Kun rest. (I play all styles, but my studies with him are classically based in the Russian School and the Flesch method).
    The idea behind the shoulder rest was hatched when it became neccessary for players to play higher up on the neck then was previously required. What it does, is to stabilize the violin and set it in a position that makes shifting easier. If you never get out of the first position, it might not make a difference, but in fourth through seventh, (and beyond) it is definitely needed.
    Most are fairly easy to adjust, but it definitely takes a little time to find which one works best for you. It will improve your technique and your tone as soon as you slap one  on and get used to it.

Dave

Offline Fidel

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Re:Shoulder Rests - to or not to
« Reply #3 on: Jun 21, 2003, 06:03:37 AM »
 I can't find my shoulder rest, so I've been using a folded cloth.

Offline Jack002

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Re:Shoulder Rests - to or not to
« Reply #4 on: Jun 23, 2003, 02:58:59 PM »
I have a Kun rest, and I love it. I had put off trying a rest, and was glad when I got one. I can play without it, but its not as comfortable. My neck is somewhat long and I need it to hold on with. They say that you should be able to easy hold the fiddle with your chin and not support it with your hand (I guess the straight wrist thing on the L hand is easier that way too) I had put a folded towel in there before, but it wasn't nearly as comfortable as the Kun rest.

Jack

Offline Bob

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Re:Shoulder Rests - to or not to
« Reply #5 on: Jun 23, 2003, 03:09:47 PM »
They say that you should be able to easy hold the fiddle with your chin and not support it with your hand (I guess the straight wrist thing on the L hand is easier that way too)

The idea is that the player uses a 'heavy head' to secure the violin in place - ie no pressure, just the weight of the head. If the violin stays in place and doesn't drop or swing when you remove the left hand then its all stable and good. Otherwise you need to adjust/change you shoulder rest/chinrest or both.

having then achived that you can practice turning in circles, doing kneebends - and finally you can do a madfiddler on stage! Success!

Offline japo heather

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Re:Shoulder Rests - to or not to
« Reply #6 on: Jun 24, 2003, 09:12:43 AM »
i started off with a shoulder rest but the one i had kept falling off so i ditched it and played without. then i used a pillow thingo on a bit of elastic that went around the chin rest, that didnt give me enough stability so when i got my new violin i decided to go shoulder rest hunting! i eventually captured one called a Artitino and it is great! soo much easier to play now! but then my chin rest fell off so i ditched that and play without! (i see a pattern)

Offline Bob

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Re:Shoulder Rests - to or not to
« Reply #7 on: Jun 24, 2003, 09:18:25 AM »
Artino is a Taiwanese copy(ish) of a Kun - similar to a Viva. Not as well made but cheap and very good value. The best rest I've seen from that part of the world.

Offline fiddlebob

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Re:Shoulder Rests - to or not to
« Reply #8 on: Sep 23, 2003, 12:54:33 AM »
Still no shoulder rest.  Guess I'm just stubborn.

Fiddlebob

Offline Martin

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Re:Shoulder Rests - to or not to
« Reply #9 on: Sep 23, 2003, 02:34:08 PM »
I used one when I was a kid, the pad & elsatic sort, so I got one again when I resumed playing in June.

Actually I use two on different instruments- a Kun clone, and an playonair. The playonair is very comfortable (and expensive), so I use that on my main instrument, & the Kun clone I use on my backup at the office. Now I've got pretty much used to both, but for a while I couldn't get comfy with the Kun clone at all, hence the playonair.

Offline Alan Kroeger

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Re:Shoulder Rests - to or not to
« Reply #10 on: Sep 23, 2003, 03:12:40 PM »
Still no shoulder rest.  Guess I'm just stubborn.

Fiddlebob
Once you get one you will wonder what the heck you thinking not going out and getting one in the first place
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Offline Jack002

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Re:Shoulder Rests - to or not to
« Reply #11 on: Sep 23, 2003, 09:01:49 PM »
I need it for the hieght I get, but also consider how much louder you can get it with one too.

I was messing with the bridge on my backup fiddle the other day, I got it slimmed down with some sandpaper, put it back on, and was lazy and didn't put the rest on it, it didn't sound too much better, then put the rest on, ok! Now its pretty loud! It makes a difference in volume (to me) if its on there or not.

Jack

Offline Ott Lake Rambler

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Re:Shoulder Rests - to or not to
« Reply #12 on: Sep 24, 2003, 02:50:45 PM »
I started out using a shoulder rest.  Then I bought a second fiddle, but not a second shoulder rest.  Kept transferring the rest back and forth between the two fiddles -- no way would I play without a shoulder rest.  Well, after I while I got lazy (and still too stingy to purchase a second shoulder rest), so I started playing without one.  It took a little getting used to -- maybe a day or two.  Now it doesn't matter to me.  A shoulder rest is nice, but not necessary.

I'd encourage fiddlers to learn how to play without a shoulder rest, if only because at some inopportune time you might misplace or break your shoulder rest (say, before or during a gig)... and you'll nevertheless have the confidence to continue playing.

Offline fiddlebob

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Re:Shoulder Rests - to or not to
« Reply #13 on: Oct 09, 2003, 05:38:16 PM »
Finally decided to take the plunge.  Plan to get shoulder rest at Country Music Store in Texarkana next week.

Fekklebob

Offline Pilgrum

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Re:Shoulder Rests - to or not to
« Reply #14 on: Oct 09, 2003, 10:41:58 PM »
I played for some time without one, finally bought one and had the shop adjust it to fit.  After a week I stopped using it because I didn't like the angle that It coused the fiddle to set at.  Played without it for several months.  At fiddle hell Graham and I were talking and I put it back on and he re-adjusted it again.  Now and then I put it on and use it, but I still do not enjoy the angle, but I do enjoy the solid feel that it gives to holding the fiddle under my chin.  Its the angle that I'm still fighting with.  Like some others, I'm old but still trainable, it just takes me longer that's all.  Good luck on your rest.

Offline chifiddler

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Re:Shoulder Rests - to or not to
« Reply #15 on: Oct 11, 2003, 03:42:13 AM »
I use a shoulder rest so I don't have to hold the whole fiddle with my left hand, it stabilizes the instrument for me. I do know folks that use a very small one that just raises the instrument a bit, their jaw never rests on it. I would get a big crick in my neck at this point if I stopped using one, I think...

Offline madfiddler

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Re:Shoulder Rests - to or not to
« Reply #16 on: Oct 13, 2003, 03:45:34 PM »
Try out a few other makes Pilgrum.

My Willy Wolf is pretty adjustable, the legs/clamps are on screw threads and there's probably at least an inch of adjustment you can make with them to get a height which works for you. I have mine on the lowest setting.
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Offline Pilgrum

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Re:Shoulder Rests - to or not to
« Reply #17 on: Oct 13, 2003, 07:03:09 PM »
Mark, I own a Viva and it has about the same as yours, a full inch or more of adjustment both ends.  Now one end setting on my shoulder and the other end sets on my upper chest.  If there was a way to raise the chest end up about 15 to 20% then the angle would come up the same as it sets without the rest.  As stated, I do enjoy the solid feeling, but not the angle.  Old dogs, hard to retrain!

Offline Terri

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Re:Shoulder Rests - to or not to
« Reply #18 on: Oct 20, 2003, 03:08:37 AM »
I love my Playonair!!  I have a Kun, but I can't stand that thing, it's very uncomfortable to me.  I can't get the thing adjusted well enough, I think it only works well for people with long necks, not a short one like mine.

Offline Richard

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Re:Shoulder Rests - to or not to
« Reply #19 on: Oct 20, 2003, 11:29:04 AM »
I have had a Kun for ages and get on well with it. I have not bothered to try any others as I like the Kun but know that some people can only use certain ones. Try them out and see what works. There is a larger range now than when I first started so it should be easy to find one that fits you.

Before the Kun I had an awful wire and pad thing that all beginners seem to be cursed with and it always fell apart at the worst moment. The Kun has lasted me about 8 years so far and aside from being a bit manky now is still in good shape and waiting its replacement. I found it to be good when adjusted but took a while to figure out the best position and adjust the height. A sponge and rubber band just doesn't hold up - I have tried without anything (just a cloth) and found it almost impossible to play well and found accurate bowing more difficult.
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Offline Svento

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Re:Shoulder Rests - to or not to
« Reply #20 on: Nov 02, 2003, 11:15:39 PM »
Bought one, but it keeps falling off. Especially when I sing and don't rest my chin in the chin rest

Offline Ernst

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Re:Shoulder Rests - to or not to
« Reply #21 on: Nov 05, 2003, 05:16:50 AM »
I can't play without one. I wish I could but I just can't. I have a torn rotator cuff injury in my left shoulder and it hurts like the dickens if everythinng isn't lined up right. I found a supplier that let me order different models to try and then return the ones that didn't work.

For me the Mach One was the best fit. If you're experimenting with shoulder rests it's a good idea to try different chin rests at the same time. The two of them have to work together for a good fit, especially if somebody has a shoulder problem like me.

 




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