StoneDog is now in possession of the TRAVELING FIDDLE in Warrendale, Pennsylvania. :-)
Even though I am comfortable with my shoulder rest and always used it since day 1, today I tried playing without it just because… in baroque violin there are no shoulder or even chin rest! yes I know I don't have a baroque violin but I was curious as always. so I put a soft cloth on my shoulder (to protect my neck also) and… hey this is even more comfortable then with my shoulder rest! My neck is short and the violin feels more like snuggled against me instead of braced against me.
I dunno if I will play with or without, I guess I will alternate both for a while and see which one feels more natural for me and most important: which one gives me less tension in my arm!
This is what I use
My solution sequence goes something like this: Nothing at all --> Thick (although not the abnormally thick ones) chinrest --> Small pad with a rubber band --> a full blown shoulder rest.
Ignore all famous violinists who say a shoulder rest affects tone quality or technique.
Be highly suspicious of anyone who suggests "Just hold it up with the left hand" because it aint that easy otherwise it would be commonplace amongst orchestra players and soloists.
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