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What chinrest do you have and why?
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 
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Heinrich
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October 1, 2018 - 3:25 pm
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How much pressure should you be using to keep the violin stable? And where should your chin height be once the chin rest and shoulder rest are in place? I'm having a tough time wanting to have my left hand support the violin and of course that isn't helping me play. So, looking at this post I should play around with the height of what I currently have and maybe look for a different style if I can't get that to work. I think I have the Guarneri chin rest (came with the violin - Gliga) and a Muco shoulder rest.

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damfino
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October 1, 2018 - 3:32 pm
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Heinrich said
How much pressure should you be using to keep the violin stable? 

Very little at all. You should only need a gentle nod of the head, and feel comfortable walking around holding the violin with just your jaw resting on it, without feeling like you need to clench down to keep it from falling. 

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Fiddlerman
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October 2, 2018 - 8:10 am
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True. Also, it's completely fine to support the violin with your left hand. Think of it more like a balance thing. The majority of the weight is resting on your collar/shoulder so there isn't much weight for the left hand to support anyway. The main reason for connecting with your jaw is to keep the instrument from slipping away.
Finding comfortable equipment will help you a lot Heinrich.
We (Fiddlershop) used to have a system where we sent out a box of like 6 chinrests to customers to have them test and choose a favorite but people really didn't want to pay for the shipping and the few dollars that we made on selling one chin-rest from time to time didn't come close to our costs.

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

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Gordon Shumway
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October 2, 2018 - 8:52 am
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Fiddlerman said
we sent out a box of like 6 chinrests to customers to have them test 

Every now and then I look at an accessory and see the warning that it's not for home fitting, it should be done by a luthier, e.g. bridges and tailpieces. I thought chinrests were the same, but I guess not - you just need to understand how to tighten up those double-ended screws. But I'd fear screwing them up too tight and damaging either the fiddle or the chin-rest (that I didn't own yet). Somewhere there must be instructions on how to do that properly.

I've got a $50 fiddle outfit and a $100 fiddle outfit that a friend gave me cos her daughter wasn't interested in learning. Do you recommend stripping such cheap fiddles and reassembling them for the experience and practice, or is it something that can easily lead to disaster without much being learnt on the way?

How much work is there in carving a bridge?

I've got a nice Tellier bridge with an ebony insert for the E string - I bought it a year ago because I noticed they were becoming rare (rare on Amazon at least), but I think maybe I was being too ambitious - I didn't realise the feet would need shaping, and my woodwork skills are very poor.

(sorry, I've lumped a lot of questions into one piece of thread drift!)

Andrew

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Irv
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October 2, 2018 - 3:11 pm
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Hi Andrew and others.  Let’s start with the chin rest.  The main problem I see with people changing chin rests is that they use something too long to engage with post barrel so that it protrudes from the back of the hole and damages the rib varnish behind the post.  Often, the original chin rest was applied too soon to allow the original varnish is set and some of the cork remains engaged to the top or bottom plates.  I have no concern of this because I play cheap violins.  And make sure of clearance between the chin rest and the tailpiece to avoid buzzing.

The You Tube videos provided by Fiddlerman and Rosa String Works (among others) are excellent in explaining the process of making the necessary measurements to get the proper string height of a bridge and how to shape the bridge feet.  I found that it was much easier to use an inexpensive belt sander to reduce the depth of a bridge than to attack it with chisels (search for “belly” to find the thread where I discuss how to do it).  I would start with inexpensive Chinese bridges (I found that the Cinderella brand on eBay are very good) and fashion two at a time so that you use the best and keep the spare in the case for emergencies.  I would put a drop of superglue on the ebony insert of the Teller since it may come off during chisel/sanding otherwise.

You may want to look at my thread on roasting bridges since it is easily done and adds a good deal to the performance of the bridge.

I would advise learning how to make changes on you own instruments if they are not heirlooms.  I would wait a few days on working on the bridge since I am about to do an experiment for bocaholly on the use of a bungee cord clamp to retain the sound post.  I should have results by the end of the week.

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.

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Gordon Shumway
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October 3, 2018 - 2:17 am
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Irv said
I found that it was much easier to use an inexpensive belt sander to reduce the depth of a bridge than to attack it with chisels

Wow, I was thinking of being very, very gentle with some small files and sandpaper!

Andrew

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Fiddlerman
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October 4, 2018 - 9:13 pm
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There are so many chains of thoughts regarding how to thin a bridge but our 4 luthiers refuse using sandpaper or a belt sander even though we have both. They are very quick by just using planes, knives, and files. Sometimes even scrapers.

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

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Gordon Shumway
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October 6, 2018 - 10:49 am
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@Fiddlerman and @Irv 

Looks like one of my first DIY jobs will be to lower the nut action on my $50 fiddle (and the EV too). It wasn't so bad doing the Ab,Eb,Bb,F, but comparing it with a Stentor with absolutely perfect nut action, I realise that there is also the same intonation problem you get with a cheap uke with a high nut, only on the violin, because it's fretless, you don't notice it unless you switch to a better instrument. Luckily my muscle memory isn't very well honed at the moment, so it was good that I made the change quickly.

Also (since the thread is about chinrests), I'm pleased to find that the Stentor's (which I haven't quite identified, but it isn't a guarneri - might be a Teka), is very comfortable.

Andrew

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Fiddlerman
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October 8, 2018 - 12:26 pm
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It's a great way to learn.
Just make sure that you can either change the nut or fill the grooves if you accidentally make the grooves too deep.
Our luthiers fill gaps and grooves from time to time by mixing superglue with Ebony dust. I believe they apply the superglue to the groove and quickly apply the dust on top and pat it down. If you try to mix superglue with the dust then apply, it drys way too quickly.
You can then use finger files to shape and remake the groove. Don't overdo the grooves though.

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

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Gordon Shumway
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October 8, 2018 - 12:44 pm
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Fiddlerman said
Our luthiers fill gaps and grooves from time to time by mixing superglue with Ebony dust.

Guitarists use superglue and baking soda, I understand. I don't have any ebony dust available, but luckily a $50 fiddle's cosmetics don't matter too much.

Andrew

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Fiddlerman
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October 8, 2018 - 1:17 pm
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If you own anything made of Ebony, just sand it with fine sandpaper and collect the dust.

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

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thegael
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November 3, 2018 - 3:16 pm
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I just can't use one, I have a short neck and have just enough room to tuck the violin. 

Just bow it.

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thegael
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November 3, 2018 - 3:22 pm
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I just can't use one my neck is too short ,don't seem to like it anyway. Check out the E string notch on this old time fiddler's bridge20181103_121811.jpgImage Enlarger

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Just bow it.

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bocaholly
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November 3, 2018 - 3:31 pm
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could be an ebony insert? ... I mean that notch.

As for no chinrest, if you don't like or need the height, why not. I've tried it too and found it pretty comfortable (what I haven't tried to get comfortable!) 

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Irv
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I agree with bocaholly (as I always do).  The knotch in the bridge under the e string started its life as an ebony insert to protect the bridge from splitting via pressure from the thin string.  

If your chin is consistently over the tail piece as depicted in the photo, you should consider a flesch or similar chin rest.

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.

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bocaholly
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November 3, 2018 - 4:29 pm
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@Irv Thanks for agreeing but let's add a little spice to our harmony. Aren't Flesh chinrests - indeed all center mount chinrests - by nature moderately high to clear the tailpiece?

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Irv
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November 3, 2018 - 5:16 pm
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I have seen one that was left mounted that projected just slightly beyond the center line of the tail piece that was much lower than the normal flesch.

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.

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bocaholly
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November 3, 2018 - 5:28 pm
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... and it said "Flesch" on the Gebrauchsanweisung? 🙂

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Irv
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Item I was thinking about appears to be a mis-marked Dresden chin rest.  Just received by mail a 1/2 sized flesch chin rest with about 3/16” material above hole for tail piece (Johnson String item chvnfflebst_3).  Certainly could be used on a 4/4 violin for someone with a small neck.

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.

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thegael
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November 3, 2018 - 8:02 pm
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Lol,  silly me.

Just bow it.

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