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shoulder rest
how to figure out which shoulder rest?
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coolgenes
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July 16, 2012 - 2:29 pm
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Hi I'm very new to this.  I just purchased a William Lewis student violin to help my son who will start with Suzuki book one this week, actually it is in the mail right now, I should get it Friday or Saturday.  I'll be learning right along with my 4 year old son.  I realize it's not necessary to get a shoulder rest, is it suggested for beginners?  Does it just help with fatigue or does it help with proper poster also?  If so how do you choose?  The Kun looks pretty adjustable but I have no idea.

Also, what does a mute actually do, I mean is this for practicing if you want to keep the noise down in the house or what?

 

Lastly, Does each violin have a string type that is best for it or is it personal preference or what.  How do I determine what strings to purchase as the next replacement ones for my new violin?

 

Thanks to anyone who offers advice

and thanks especially to Fiddlerman for a great site, I've already learned a lot and was able to help get my son a violin and a teacher thanks to all the info on your site!

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TerryT
Coleshill, Warwickshire
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July 16, 2012 - 2:47 pm
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Welcom to the forum Coolgenes,
I used a Wolf type of shoulder rest until I was shown the "SlipperRest" as made by one of our members here (ftufc)
It is so light and comfortable that I doubt I will use any other type of shoulder rest again.

Playing without a shoulder rest, though I tried it, was never really an option for me due to the aches and pains I used to experience without one.
I have only been playing for 6/7 months so my opinion shouldn't be taken as gospel. There are many more experienced players on this site who no dobt will give a differing opinion, but that's one of the beauties of this site.

I was born with nothing,
and to my surprise I still have most of it left!

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SaraO
Michigan
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July 16, 2012 - 3:52 pm
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Welcome. A lot of people can play comfortably without a shoulder rest. I cannot. Many people seem to like the Kun rest. It's pretty popular. I've heard wonderful things about the Slipper Rest, but it is a bit more of an investment.

I use a big rubber practice mute a lot when I'm playing in the evenings, so I don't disturb the rest of my family. I just recently gave my 8 yr old a little Tourte mute for her violin. She was complaining about her violin sounding too shrill. It really wasn't so bad, but the occasional squeak was driving her nuts. The Tourte mute just dampens the sound a little bit, and takes the shrillness away from the e string.

You can find a million different opinions on which strings are "best". Personally, if you're just beginning, I'd keep the strings that come with your violin for a few months, unless you're really unhappy with the sound. As you get more comfortable holding the instrument, and bowing smoothly, you may become ready for a different set.

Have fun!

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Mad_Wed
Russia, Tatarstan rep. Kazan city
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July 16, 2012 - 5:24 pm
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Hi, Coolgenes! 

I agreed with previous posts.

I also use a shoulder-rest. I have 2 of tthem (don't know the models though) - one for electric and one for the acoustic violin. I mentioned it because it's important to have comfort even with different types of violins, because of shape and weight, and it's not easy to find a good combination, LOL! So i guess nobody can say which shoulderrest will be the best choice for You! Try to hold the violin with and without it... If You have music stores in your area - You could go there and test as much sholderrests as You can. =) And then decide.

I use heavy rubber practice mute too. It makes the violin more quiet =)

Here's a great vid about them:

About strings completely agreed with SaraO!

Welcome to the forum!dancing

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screeeech
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July 16, 2012 - 7:57 pm
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Hi, Welcome!

 

I am not the expert here but I also use a shoulder rest.

 

The strings make a huge difference in sound, but I too believe you should use the original strings for a while. I have broken strings over tightening. drooling

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KindaScratchy
Massachusetts
July 16, 2012 - 8:17 pm
Member Since: March 14, 2012
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Welcome Coolgenes!

I've only been playing for five months and am already on my third shoulder rest. The one that came with my violin really shouldn't count, though. It was so cheap that it wouldn't stay on.

So, I replaced it with a Resonans, which was OK but the angle of it really wasn't right for me. I tried modifying it with foam padding, which helped for a while.

Now I'm using one that looks a little like this one, but not quite as contoured: http://fiddlershop.com/accesso.....e_slipper_

It works pretty well to get the violin up on my shoulder more, though I've added some foam to it, as well. If I get another, I might try the one above. I think it's a good design.

When the work's all done and the sun's settin' low,

I pull out my fiddle and I rosin up the bow.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
July 16, 2012 - 8:28 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11694

Hey coolgenes and welcome to the forum,

A shoulder-rest can help a child feel more comfortable. It's real hard to say without seeing the child and trying things out. If nothing else, a soft sponge or pad on the bottom of the violin can do wonders.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Kevin M.
Nicholson, Pa
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July 16, 2012 - 8:37 pm
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Like FM said a sponge works great and to buy a shoulder rest without knowing how someone holds the violin, to me is like throwing away money.  I would be more concerned with the chinrest being comfortable first.

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ftufc
SoCal
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July 16, 2012 - 9:41 pm
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Hey Bradley, welcome to the site!  That would be such an incredible experience to be able to learn violin/fiddle along with a loved one,,, I keep trying but nobody in my house is buying it, lol.  I wish I had started a age 4,,, instead of 57.

I think decent strings can make or break your first experience, I wouldn't scrimp.  And as Kevin said, the chinrest is critical in the comfort of playing, especially at first.  And I'd actually agree with him about buying a shoulder rest without being able to try it, especially one as expensive as The Slipper ($99) or The Spider (about $350), but as a couple of people have mentioned already, the shoulder rest (SR) can have a huge impact on your comfort, posture, neck strain, and your technique.

I'd suggest you go to http://www.theslipperrest.com to read the type/style of player it's designed to help; read the testimonials (one of them specifically addresses a very young player) and the blog.  If you decide you want to try it, and if you buy it through FiddlerShop.com the link that Diane [KindaScratchy] already gave you there's a money-back guarantee if you don't like it for any reason within 14 days [you only pay the $5 for return shipping], pretty easy, that way you're not taking a risk.  And if you get just one, you can both try it.  And you're not throwing good money after bad, buying rests that don't ever meet your need (that's what I did, lol).  Just an idea.

There are so many great tools and great people on this site; can't wait to hear your progress!

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ftufc
SoCal
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July 17, 2012 - 3:22 pm
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Reading this thread sparked an interest to finally try the mute I bought about 6 mo.s ago.  I tried it last night and LOVE it!  I never tried it before because I always thought it completely distort the sound and part of being a beginner for me was making sure I heard my intonation as clearly as I could.

But, while not using a mute, I was always self-conscious of disturbing the rest of my household, so I clearly postponed practicing if it was an odd time of day.  I used my mute last night though, and it was GREAT; still heard the intonation clearly but family in other rooms weren't disturbed with my playing (believe me it's disturbing, lol).

So now I feel comfortable playing whenever the hell I feel like it,,, which is very often!!!  I'm so glad this thread prompted me to try something new!bananabananabanana

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Kevin M.
Nicholson, Pa
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July 17, 2012 - 4:26 pm
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It does get bad when I try to get a sequence of note and just keep playing those 4 or 5 notes over and over again.  That's why I like the electric.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
July 17, 2012 - 4:30 pm
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Sounds like a revelation Fred 🙂
Congratulations!!!!!! Now you have no excuse but to practice, practice, practice all day and night. smile

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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TerryT
Coleshill, Warwickshire
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July 17, 2012 - 4:42 pm
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Thanks Fred, I've been struggling with some notes in 'Canon'(d, c#, d, on A string followed by open D, c# 3rd finger on G, then 4th finger on A) and been struggling like crazy coz the c# gets in the way of the 4th finger )
Now you reminded me of my mute I can crack on til I get it right.
And if someone give a tip on technique, that would be great.

Oops, sorry about the temporary thread hijack!)

I was born with nothing,
and to my surprise I still have most of it left!

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cdennyb
King for a Day, Peasant for many
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July 17, 2012 - 9:51 pm
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do it the lazy mans way Terry, just slide the finger over to the close note... like me... LOL sure beats trying to squeeze them in there together!cheers

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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ftufc
SoCal
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July 17, 2012 - 10:36 pm
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Kevin, that's actually what made me think to try it when I saw it on this thread, I sometimes practice just a couple of notes incessantly and it's annoying as hell, or I just practice a single bow stroke.

FM, YES, I am on FIRE!!!!!!  LMAO!

Terry, how else are you gonna get to 1017 posts unless you hijack a few, haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!  Yeah, I'm glad I thought to raise it on this thread; it's so simple and I know lots of people here use a mute,,, sometimes I'm just really slooooooow.lumpy-2134

Hey, I'm diggin the new Smileys!!!!!!  But when did Ireland steal Italy's GD flag!

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
July 18, 2012 - 12:00 am
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ftufc said
Hey, I'm diggin the new Smileys!!!!!!  But when did Ireland steal Italy's GD flag!

Not really sure about that one. I took all the flags available head_phones-1274

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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gkeese
Amarillo, Tx
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July 18, 2012 - 1:25 am
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With what everyone is saying...I have to agree with Mad_Wed.  Go to your local music store, take your violin with you, and try some out.  That is the BEST thing to do.  You may fall in love with a $15 shoulder rest or you may fall in love with a $100 one.  It is all about preference.  violin-student

You might also look into the same thing with your chin rest.  I know that is next on my list...(I hate the ones they all come with! blink)

"Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its entire life believing that it is stupid." -Albert Einstein

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
July 18, 2012 - 8:28 am
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Maybe Italy has more red than orange.....

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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coolgenes
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July 18, 2012 - 8:41 am
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Thanks all for your help and the extra conversation about the mute and how to practice.  I loved reading that, and glad a newbie's questions could help motivate :).  we just had our first introduction class with who I think will be my son's long term teacher.  

a few of her suggestions:

he needs a 1/10th size not 1/16, he needs a shoulder rest,

suggested he get a shoulder rest, and based on the way he leans his neck, more than just a sponge, do they make shoulder rests that small?

he needs to get one of those practice boxes to practice his hold, any suggestions?

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SaraO
Michigan
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July 18, 2012 - 9:16 am
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coolgenes said

suggested he get a shoulder rest, and based on the way he leans his neck, more than just a sponge, do they make shoulder rests that small?

 

Yes, they make very small shoulder rests.

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