Last lesson, after falling in love with my sponge temporary shoulder rest thing, I got my Kun collapsible. I love everything about it except for the fact that it gives me massive, searing pain in the shoulder. The "scoop" isn't deep enough or something because with my shoulder and chest there's no way it can lay both on my shoulder or chest without pain. I've tried putting cloth to keep contact with my chest but that just makes it slide everywhere. I had no idea that the Kun would do so much damage. I miss my sponge so much! I must be in that small percentage that Rigid shoulder rests are just out of the question.
I play tense because I have almost no clavicle for the violin to rest on; without supporting it with my left hand my violin will slide and fall, no matter what. The Kun gives me pain, no shoulder rest gives me pain, but the sponge is the closest I've ever gotten to relaxed and comfortable playing. My issue with the sponge pad is that it will move under the elastics after a while but I'd rather deal with that.
I'm curious, though, about the Bonmusica rest because it has that "hook" shape whereas the Kun just has this groove thing (that no matter what adjustments it does not help at all and of anything has made my playing back to square one- wobbly bow, hitting two strings at once). Has anyone ever switched from a Kun to a Bon Musica with success or will I just have the same issue as I did with the Kun, where it won't lay comfortably and flat on both my shoulder and chest? I love the sponge but it does move and it will "flatten" after a while, and it just doesn't have that sturdiness a Kun has.
I am almost certain that the shoulder rest debate is one of the most popular, and apparently at times vicious, debates.
I understand both sides, which confuses me even more until my teacher has decided I really ought to get one.
My left shoulder has bad tendinitis, but I know that the violin isn't supposed to be placed on my shoulder. The real problem is in my collar bone; my clavicle barely protrudes enough to just keep the violin on it even with full support of my left hand (which I was taught that I CANNOT do). Without any possible way to fill the gap between my neck/shoulder/clavicle and the violin, it's time for a shoulder rest. Unless I rest it on my shoulder and crane my neck or bunch up my shoulder, there is no physical, possible way I can play my violin without supporting/gripping with my left hand.
Does anyone else have really strange or unstable collarbone areas that shoulder rests are highly recommended because of it?
P.S. - I've tried a folded bandana and it works... for five minutes, as well as a sponge BUT the sponge is a literal kitchen one and I have no elastics to keep it steady...
Four lessons have already gone by and I couldn't be happier with my decision to once again play music (used to play flute and clarinet- big differences!). I am having a blast and am already 3/4 through my Suzuki volume 1 book!
However, my goal has never been to "finish this book by next month", or even better "I want to play by [enter date/holiday/event]" because I am new at the violin. Any expectations may seriously hinder your ability to absorb what your violin teacher may teach you.
I am in love with my violin, and my passion for music fuels me to practice everyday. It is a need to excel in anything, especially music. I think it's important to have a connection to the instrument (proper fitting, always caring for it, and general appreciation).
Anyway, I am so glad I have decided to pick up music again because a little part of me died when I was unable to play my flute due to an injury. What made me switch to a violin? It's a beautiful instrument!
I'm excited to have joined this community and happy to meet some fellow violinists from experts to beginners.
Violinist.com Editor Laurie Niles is in New York to cover the biennial event at The Juilliard School, including classes by Brian Lewis and Sarah Chang.
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