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Mine came with the Guarnieri style that seems to be on most new violins. My teacher almost immediately changed it to a side mounted Wittner. The fixed one, not the adjustable style. It works much better. The Stuber looks similar to me. I think I'm going to try one of those too.
I tried the Stuber. That is my pick now. I like how my chin has a more positive purchase. Between it and my Bon Musica shoulder rest my violin is not going anywhere I don't want it to.
Hmm, I'd be interested in a chinrest recommendation for my viola. I currently use the Kaufmann chinrest that came with it; it's supposedly one of the lower chinrests on the market but I find that it still digs into my jawbone a little more than I'd like. (I'm also already using a low-mounted shoulder rest -- it's a Mach One, but with shorter legs borrowed from a Muco shoulder rest.)
This is on Jane. I shaved the rest down to its lowest possible point, but it was at an angle so I put a folded leather piece under to raise it up. There is not much room between the rest and the tailpiece vertically. There is a slight lip rearward and a leather patch on the rest that my jaw finds comfortable. Jane also has a leather wrap on her rib.
zpilot: I believe that when you put your chin on the left side of the violin, the G string is easier to play. Many beginners have small hands and this makes a difference to them. At one time I played with my chin on the right side of the violin and I liked it, but I was having trouble with the G string so I moved to a center rest.
Since I play a right handed fiddle left handed I. Used a couple of different normal right handed chin rests on on the other side, then a whitner center chin rest, finally found a left handed Guarneri chin rest for sale that I tried and with the addition of the thin chin rest pad I like it very well.
Master the Frog and you have mastered the bow.
I used to have a copy of Violin for Dummies, until I ditched it. And it showed you a few pictures of chinrests, but I can't remember any of what it said about them.
Chinrest is a misnomer, isn't it? Your chin doesn't touch it - it's for your jawbone or your cheek.
I had a friend who owned a camping shop 35 years ago and he said that although all the rucksacks nowadays are anatomically designed, walk 5 miles with one on your back and they are all as uncomfortable as each other. I wonder if chinrests are like that?
So I'm more likely to buy one because it's an attractive piece of carved wood than because I believe it will be comfortable after a few hours' playing.
And do I need a better book? Is there a violin bible anyone can recommend? One that has information about all aspects of the instrument, its history, design, accessories, but doesn't teach you how to play it?
I'm glad this chinrest thread was revived.
My old rotator cuff injury (bow side) is starting to get irritated again and I started favoring that shoulder. The result was some serious backsliding in my bow crossings (like those at the end of Suzuki Book 1.)
At first I thought the "ouch" feeling was because my golf game was off and I was chunking the ball every now and then.
As in golf, sometimes you try to correct a problem but exacerbate it instead. I removed my guarneri chinrest and cranked the already well extended feet of my Bonmusica to the max. I liked the feel on my soft-ish chin/jaw line but I still had to lower my head forward to make contact. Worse than that, I had to raise my right arm even higher to get the bow on top of the strings. More ouch.
Then I remembered what Felix Manuel Perez Cuza (Fiddlershop's master luthier) said the last two times he adjusted my violin's string length:
"Your shoulder rest is way too high!"
I know that Felix is quite the advocate of ergonomics but I couldn't imagine what he was talking about. After all, I needed to take up that gap between collar bone and chin/jaw with something.
The lightbulb moment:
Get a very high chinrest and then see how little shoulder rest or foam (or none) I can get away with. I'm pretty sure that will allow the violin to ride lower in relation to my bow arm and make life much more plesant. I have no clue how anyone plays with no shoulder rest or just sponges but I'll give it a go.
I've actually made a lesson appointment with Felix at Fiddlershop next week and will report back. Any suggestions on specifie gear welcome. Thanks, Holly
I think chinrests do matter. I got a custom-made chinrest this summer, and it's made a huge difference. Unlike rucksacks, the longer you play, the easier it is to tell the difference. I've played as much as 8 hours in a day with with the new chinrest, with no discomfort, and it's made shifting and vibrato much easier.
Until February 2018, I used the Kaufman chinrest that came with my viola. It's already one of the lowest on the market, 17 mm high, and it was already too high. I could not fit the viola between my jaw and collarbone at all, so I had to rely entirely on my shoulder to hold the weight of my viola. It caused back pain when playing for long periods, but I thought I had no choice because I hadn't seen anything lower.
In February, I learned that violin and viola chinrests differ only in clamp length, and bought a Joachim violin chinrest (I attached it using the viola clamp I already had), which is only 12 mm high but flatter. That mostly solved the problem of being unable to rest my viola on my collarbone, but I found that it caused shoulder and neck strain because it was too flat and would slide out from under my jaw if I didn't either raise my shoulder or clamp down with my head. I ended up switching back to the Kaufman in April, because it caused fewer problems.
Finally, in late May, I attended a concert at a chamber music festival where I noticed a violist using an ultra-low chinrest. I asked her about it at the end of the concert. She told me it was a custom-made chinrest by Frisch & Denig, and that it actually wasn't super expensive. It took me longer than most people to get a fitting scheduled, because most of the people who do fittings have only the kit for long necks and the nearest person with the short-neck fitting kit was in San Francisco, but I had my custom chinrest by mid-July. I had to pay separately for a fitting session (the fitters are mostly teachers and luthiers, not F&D employees, and charge for their time) so the total cost to me, including both the fitting session and the actual chinrest, was about $180. The cost is likely to be lower for most people. I used my new chinrest at a chamber music workshop in late July where I played viola for about 37 hours in six days without discomfort.
As for the chinrest itself, it's a modified Brandt chinrest, ultra-low with a pronounced lip in only one corner. (Frisch & Denig chinrests are based on existing chinrest patterns, with height and horizontal position adjusted to fit.) My chinrest is 10 mm high at the bottom of the cup, and modified to allow it to be placed much closer to the tailpiece than is typical for side-mounted chinrests. I can't use a center-mounted chinrest because I need it to be lower than the tailpiece, so the custom chinrest got me as close as possible. One huge benefit: my viola stays in place at a comfortable angle when I'm facing straight ahead, which greatly reduces neck strain.
I think custom chinrests are an option worth trying if off-the-shelf chinrests are not working. Also, a one-time expense might be better than spending a lot of money constantly changing from one chinrest to another. I'm told that most F&D customers are people with long necks who need extra-high chinrests.
I personally use a Flesch type chinrest for my main violin, simply because that's the only type of chinrest that I've tried that work for my body. I've tried Guarneri (which I've no idea how anyone could use comfortably.) and Varga. On my other violins I think I got Guarneris, looks like it and it's what came with the violins when I bought them. When I play my other violins I just rest the violin on the shoulder and not using my jaw at all to hold it up, simply because I find the chinrest too uncomfortable to use.
'Armed with theory, practice becomes meaningful. Through practice, theory becomes fulfilled.' - Egon von Neindorff.
I second the use of the Flesch type. I thought that I had cornered the market on them but they appear to be producing faster than I am buying.
Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing. —Werner von Braun
Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible. —Frank Zappa
Experience is a difficult teacher, it gives the test first and the lesson after.
The picture doesn't show the heights very well. Of these, the Kaufman is much lower than the others. Other low chinrest types include Kreutzer and Brandt. That said... for me, they're all too high when mounted on a viola, hence my need for a custom chinrest, namely a lowered and recentered Brandt.