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What kind of shoulder rest do you use and why?
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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
February 3, 2011 - 8:55 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11694

Hey,

I have read many discussions about shoulder rests and would like to have one here.

Personally I don't use one. Not because I am against them in any way. It is just that I don't need one. I have a short neck and like to balance the fiddle way up over my shoulders on my collar bone, instead of having it on my chest. There are clear advantages to using a shoulder rest such as not dampening the sound by having contact on the ribs of the violin instead of where your shoulder would be touching it without a shoulder rest. I feel as though it is a good thing not to raise the violin too much to avoid the need to lift the bow arm more than necessary.

Tell us your thoughts on shoulder-rests

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

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Oliver
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March 3, 2011 - 10:03 am
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Are you suggesting that the shoulder rest is designed to move the primary platform from the collar bone to the chest ?   OR, does it just happen that way ?

Why can't a shoulder rest be sized/adjusted such that collar bone position is preserved making the SR only an extra support mode to the classical position ?

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
March 3, 2011 - 7:15 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11694

I suppose that the SR could be just that Oliver. I believe the shoulder rests prime function is for comfort. The negative effect is that the violin for many becomes extremely connected and not as free as some would like it to be. Also in many cases the violin will be angled on the chest not giving gravity it's optimal chance to work with you. I have to say that I have seen incredible violinist that use and don't use SR's and hold the violin perfectly with and without.

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

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Oliver
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March 3, 2011 - 7:59 pm
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Actually, my question was rhetorical and I go with what feels right which is probably as good as it gets !

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
March 3, 2011 - 9:45 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11694

Cool You are one of the lucky ones. Lot's of people are struggling to find what feels right.

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

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fiddlefaddle
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March 3, 2011 - 10:11 pm
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I used to play with a shoulder rest and I was so frustrated by it constantly falling off. I think that I squeezed it too hard but I couldn't help it. When I stopped using the SR I eventually felt more at ease and actually stopped raising my left shoulder. Now I only place a leather like rag on my shoulder to keep it from slipping.

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Oliver
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March 4, 2011 - 1:25 pm
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The reason my equipment feels right is because I have all modified gear to fit my shape, etc.  After all, I at least know when a pair of shoes feels right.  I think people get confused between what is traditionally correct and the practical considerations of accessories.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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Oliver
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March 4, 2011 - 1:31 pm
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Fiddlefaddle

Don't fret over a SR ….. one way or the other.  The correct answer to any problem is "what works" ? " 

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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lenasv.
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March 14, 2011 - 1:03 pm
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Do there exist any alternatives to shoulder rests and chin rests, where one could simply avoid any kind of interaction between neck and violin?

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Oliver
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March 14, 2011 - 7:20 pm
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I'm not sure about your question but the original violinists had nothing ... I would guess ! !

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
March 15, 2011 - 12:06 am
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What do you use Don? I've already seen your chin-rest. Do you need a high shoulder rest to compensate for your low chin-rest? Is your neck short enough that you don't need any shoulder rest at all? Do you feel free without one or like you might risk dropping your violin?

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

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Oliver
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March 15, 2011 - 8:54 am
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I use a high shoulder rest ( Resonans #3 ) to accommodate the low chin rest.  I like having my left hand free but I know that others play very well without a shoulder rest.  I believe it is a matter of how a player was trained but I find no reason to be re-educated.  The high shoulder rest does not raise the shoulders because the violin is tilted so much towards the bow.

I think people who fail with a shoulder rest often do not know how to fit them and forget that the shoulder rest and chin rest are (should be) matched.  Then too, all this is not necessary depending on early training.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
March 15, 2011 - 3:40 pm
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Let me begin by saying that I never try to persuade anyone to do anything differently unless they are having problems. Nor would I try to persuade violinists to play without a shoulder.

The important thing is that we all play as relaxed as possible. What works for one person will not necessarily work for another. I do think that it is best to begin by finding the right chin-rest and afterwards match the shoulder rest, or no SR, whichever works best for the player. I too have seen top soloists playing with ALL different forms of rests.

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

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Oliver
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March 15, 2011 - 5:11 pm
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Come to think of it ……… am I correct that you have students ?  If so, what do you tell them about accessories ?

Whoops !  I guess your video shows what you would teach about holding a violin !

( I notice that you locate the tailpiece button well towards the ear ( half way ? ) while others have shown location of the button almost at the throat.  I'm going to have to try your location just for fun. )

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
March 16, 2011 - 3:03 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11694

You're right Oliver,

First of all I only talk about changing accessories if the students are having tension problems of any sort while holding and playing. If they squeeze too hard or keep adjusting the violin. One shouldn't have to stop playing to readjust the position of the violin. This is an indication that the violin is too low and gravity is working against you.

My reason for having the violin so high up is that it stays balanced whether I hold it with my chin or not. When I was younger I used to have it much lower and was constantly readjusting.

By all means try my location (for fun) but don't expect it to feel comfortable right away. Remember that you have become used to having it in a certain position and getting used to a new position will feel like starting over in a way.

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

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rotex13
Philippines
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May 15, 2011 - 6:53 pm
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fiddlefaddle said:

I used to play with a shoulder rest and I was so frustrated by it constantly falling off. I think that I squeezed it too hard but I couldn't help it. When I stopped using the SR I eventually felt more at ease and actually stopped raising my left shoulder. Now I only place a leather like rag on my shoulder to keep it from slipping.

 

Just tighten your shoulder rest, in my case I adjust either of the sides by using the second hole instead of the first hole and screw it. I'm lucky because my shoulder rest is very comfortable and adjustable. Good luck 

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LoopyLoonyLuna
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May 16, 2011 - 7:13 pm
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I have tried different chin rest and I don't find them comfortable at all. I spend too much time trying to adjust them. Oddly I find the low-tech solution of a sponge and rubber band to be the most comfortable. I'd like to try the play on air type. I'll probably try a higher chin rest as well. but I don't like the chin rest brackets directly on the collar bone comfortable at all.

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LoopyLoonyLuna
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May 16, 2011 - 7:14 pm
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Sorry, I meant to say shoulder rests.

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Oliver
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May 16, 2011 - 7:49 pm
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In order to really get back to basics there is the option of no shoulder rest at all which often inspires moaning and other more rigorous verbal responses.  I recently encouraged someone about getting the right CHIN REST in order to play without a shoulder rest.  (Yes, I said "chin rest"). 

http://www.alexanderaccessorie.....ndard1.htm

I'm sure it is academic for you at this time but I thought you might like to see such a magical device.   Only $168 (and a bargain at that).

Most commercial chin rests are a disaster and are directly related to elimination of a shoulder rest.  Shoulder rests were invented because modern chin rests don't work well.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
May 16, 2011 - 10:29 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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The Berber looks a little like the one that you made yourself Oliver.
Have you tested the John Dunne Standard?

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

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