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Do you have a favourite shirt for practising in, or are you comfortable in anything?
I'm still at the stage where my comfort holding the fiddle depends a lot on what shirt I'm wearing. I'm most comfortable with a T-shirt, but in the winter I have to wear more than that.
First thing I find is that with a fleece on I'm less comfortable playing, especially if its collar or neck is too builky. And all the materials have different friction coefficients, which is annoying. I may look around for a long-sleeved T-shirt for practice only (I don't like wearing them in general) and wear something thicker under it.
I've been forced to go back to using a shoulder rest, so I ordered a Maesbury from Hidersine. It hasn't arrived yet. (my previous one cost about $1 on Amazon, so I decided I deserved an upgrade, lol)
I wonder if other people are as weird as me. And if the experienced people remember when it was like this and how quickly you get used to whatever you are wearing?
Yup, I completely agree, @Gordon Shumway and I'm always a bit jealous when I see Michael O'Gieblyn in his violin demos on the Fiddlershop site just tuck the collar of his black shirt up against his neck and play.
Throughout the summer, wearing tank tops and spaghetti straps in Florida allowed maximum friction of the shoulder rest foam pad directly against my skin (not your fashion choice, I assume 🙂 But one day I forgot my "practice outfit" and showed up for my lesson wearing a man tailored shirt. Harsh comment from my teacher ensued. Although it looked a little ridiculous, I just opened up an extra button and slipped the collarbone support part of the shoulder rest under the shirt. Problem solved.
Now the weather here is cooler so if I practice early in the morning, I'll wear a t-shirt. The foam shoulder rest pad sticks nicely to the fabric but if the shirt is loose, there's slippage between my shoulder and the shirt. Now I give the t-shirt a little tug downwards before putting the violin in place. Also problem solved. I'm not sure if that would work with a fleece or jumper. Maybe?
Finally, I'm trying to have as much collarbone contact with the violin as possible and just use the shoulder rest as an afterthought. "Try" is the operative word here... but when I get it right, the whole shoulder rest slippage issue gets solved that way.
Enjoy your new shoulder rest!
For me at least, it wasn't about how quickly I got used to it, more like how quickly I learned what type of fabric I should avoid when playing. Silk, polyester and viscose quickly was rolled out, coz it make it all a slippery slope. Plus I use a wooden shoulder rest and it's not silk and polyester friendly.
Fleece is for me a relatively safe option, but I find wool to be less slippery. Actually one of my favorite things to play in are long sleeved wool undershirts. Really comfy and warm. Adding a second layer of wool and even the coldest practice rooms wouldn't be a problem and the violin stay in place.
'Armed with theory, practice becomes meaningful. Through practice, theory becomes fulfilled.' - Egon von Neindorff.
I try to be as comfortable as possible. Not too much material, but not too thin. Cotton is my material of choice. Also it depends on whether I am practicing or at my lesson. For practice, I like t-shirts for some reason. I’m not really sure why. I normally wear a polo style shirt when I go to my lessons.
- Pete -