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Cannot hold violin
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January 6, 2012 - 4:06 am
Member Since: January 6, 2012
Forum Posts: 3
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Hi everyone, this is my first post and I need some help...

I live in Korea working for the Army and get pretty bored so I decided to buy a violin through Amazon and tinker around and see if I can learn to play it.  I am a piano player as well as having played the Trombone from 4th grade through college and beyond. So sight reading music, and understanding music theory is no issue for me.

Oh, the violin is an electric Cecillo just like the one Fiddlerman demos on this site.

Anyway, I have watched a hundred videos on how to adjust the violin shoulder rest and nothing I try comes close to me being able to hold it.  The KUN shoulder rest does not even come close to sitting in the position on my shoulder it should, no matter what angle I put it at or which height settings. 

That said, if I hold the violin with my left hand and try to get the chin rest at a comfortable position, the neck of the violin is pointing behind me before I can bring my chin down with any type of comfort.

I have stood in front of a mirror trying just about every possible thing.

I guess my question is, are there some people that just are not built to hold a violin?  I am not deformed, have an average size neck, 6 foot tall and 185 pounds... I am also a professional engineer, so I am pretty sure I have the shoulder rest assembled correctly :)


I just don't get it.  Maybe I should have bought a Cello.....


Any suggestions would be helpful.  Otherwise I guess my grandson just inherited a new violin...  and I am stuck with only my piano.. Not that that is a bad thing..

Thanks in advance



January 6, 2012 - 5:57 am
Member Since: December 16, 2011
Forum Posts: 18
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Im a rookie myself. 

This may sound dumb, but i had a idea, and I trust the more experienced ones to shoot it down if its a bad one.

But you need clay and some plastic foil. (Perhaps some Buildfoam to make a mould.)

Now protect the Violin by wrapping it with said foil. So it wont get scratches or humidity from the clay.

Add a big amount of clay to the back side. Form the clay to fit your neck. Are you still mobile enough? Is it comfortable?

Hopefully you will be left with a Clay prototype of how your ideal chin rest could look.
Now you must remove the excess clay.
(But remember some clay becomes brittle, shrinks or cracks as it dries. So you may wrap it in plastic foil too.)

Now beeing a Engineer, you could hopefully make a better prototype of wood or plastic. That you can actually mount on the instrument. And from there modify till you got the final product.

Lots of work, I know. But if you want it perfect?

As king you must see a good in any situation.
When you cant do something smart, Do something funny.


January 6, 2012 - 6:22 am
Member Since: January 6, 2012
Forum Posts: 3
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Thanks Raggmopp,

Actually, after I posted I started looking at alternate chin rests, because as I mentioned in my post, no mater where I placed the Violin, I could not get the chin rest in a comfortable position.

I was looking at GEL type rests as well.  Being in Korea and not speaking Korean, my option to go to a music store is limited because when I ask a question I get the "deer in the headlight" stare.  Buying my piano here was hard enough and all I had to do was point and say "I want that".

Your idea of a clay mold, is very good... I will see if I can figure out how to do something like that and then hit the stores to see If I can find a match.  Kinda like fitting false teeth....




Advanced member
January 6, 2012 - 7:20 am
Member Since: November 8, 2011
Forum Posts: 98
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I am also a beginner, so no expert, but I have a similar problem in that the shoulder rest just does not seem to be able to adjust on my body the way I see in the video's. But I have just kinda of adapted the way I hold the violin.

  Another thought, you may want to look at the Sattler Strad Pad. I saw this yesterday at FM's store and when I read your post, thought this might help you.



January 6, 2012 - 9:13 am
Member Since: February 28, 2011
Forum Posts: 2439
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I have tried many of the things mentioned in this thread such as the clay molds.  The best chin rest I ever had was the one I now use. 

I took a stock chin rest and simply filed it down to fit my chin/jaw exactly as I wanted.  It took me two days.  Basically it turned out to be a chin cup with a very sharp drop off to clear the jaw.  One problem is that the chin rest is small and my chin touches the violin and I lose some volume.  However, I was immediately able to not use a shoulder rest.  

I know that there are too many styles of playing/physique to say that one way will satisfy everyone but comfort is very important to performance.

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Fort Lauderdale
January 6, 2012 - 12:13 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 16356

Finding the perfect set up is so hard. I work hard with violinists to insure that they are as comfortable as possible. Unfortunately, the equipment that comes with all cheap instruments is not optimal for comfort and practicality. There is no one chin-rest that is perfect for everyone. I have a real hard time using those cheap flat ones so I can understand your trouble. The best thing you can do is find a violin dealer or shop nearby and see how many different chin-rests and shoulder rests they sell and try all the ones that seem like they may work. If you can't afford buying anything, consider the idea of alternating the one you have or using the hardware from it and making your own from scratch. Not an easy task but maybe easier for you since you are an engineer.
As far as the shoulder-rest placement is concerned. To position it right, put the shoulder rest on your shoulder/chest so you feel that is rests well, keep the higher end towards your chest and the shorter end up by your shoulder, carefully bring your violin to the right position and connect the shoulder rest to the violin. From then on, try to remember that position.

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


January 6, 2012 - 4:20 pm
Member Since: January 6, 2012
Forum Posts: 3
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Thank you very much everyone for the ideas and support.  I will give them some thought and see what I can do.


From what I can see, I need to address my chin rest shape.




Regular advisor

January 6, 2012 - 4:53 pm
Member Since: December 14, 2011
Forum Posts: 196
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I'm also a newbie but at first I had my shoulder rest backwards. The shortest part goes on top of your shoulder the the longer part goes down your chest.

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