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No Longer A Member of the SR Club

Nairobi Young

Written by
Published: October 30, 2013 at 10:23 AM [UTC]

Everyone, I have an announcement to make. After two years playing the viola with a shoulder, I have now joined the club of non-shoulder rest people.

It all came about during a dress rehearsal for Don Quixote. I went backstage to go get my mute, and when I came back, the viola sitting on my chair was not mine: half of the viola section had decided to trade violas. The viola sitting on my chair had no shoulder rest, and was 15.5 inches (smaller than mine). I played the whole dress rehearsal with no shoulder rest and did not die. After the show I texted my teacher, who also plays with no shoulder rest, and told her I wanted to go without the SR. She didn't want me to do this officially until she cleared me for it in my lesson.

My lesson was yesterday. She checked me for all signs for being able to do it and I passed :D. She gave me a resistant material to put on the viola, and now it's official, I am shoulder restless and I like it!


From Trevor Jennings
Posted on October 30, 2013 at 6:24 PM
It (the non-SR club) is of course one of the two oldest clubs in the history of the violin, sharing its inception with the guting instruments club.
Welcome!
From Corwin Slack
Posted on October 31, 2013 at 3:35 AM
Good for you. But be sure not to lift your shoulder. Left arm holds the viola.

I have always been amazed to watch violists pack so much between their chin and shoulder. I can imagine violinists feeling the need for something to take up the space but violists?

From Nairobi Young
Posted on October 31, 2013 at 11:02 AM
Corwin:
Oddly enough I don't raise my arm and get stiff without a shoulder rest, it happened when I had the shoulder rest. I could never get the instrument in the right position and was constantly shifting my shoulder rest around. My left arm would feel tired after 3 hrs practice, but when without a shoulder I feel fine.

Thanks for the advice!!

Trevor:

Thank you for the induction :)

Nairobi

From Scott Slapin
Posted on October 31, 2013 at 6:13 PM
Welcome to the club! While it's not good to have the shoulder in constant contact with the viola, it can be quite useful on occasion. I wouldn't rule it out entirely.

Best of luck!

From Laurie Niles
Posted on November 1, 2013 at 4:34 PM
Nairobi, if you ever have to go back to using a rest because of injury, none of us will judge you. 79 percent of us use one! But it's definitely good to experiment, especially if the experiment gives you a setup that works better for you!

From Laurie Niles
Posted on November 1, 2013 at 4:34 PM
Nairobi, if you ever have to go back to using a rest because of injury, none of us will judge you. 79 percent of us use one! But it's definitely good to experiment, especially if the experiment gives you a setup that works better for you!

From Gail Nelson
Posted on November 1, 2013 at 8:50 PM
I completely agree - I went sans shoulder rest for a while, then tried without the chin rest, then tried without either. Then I found a combination that worked. A Mach-1 style shoulder rest that sits very close to the back of my viola, so it's not very high, and a very low chin rest.

But I think whatever you decide, it has to be right for you!

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