No chin rest(but with shoulder rest)

October 9, 2016 at 08:49 PM · Hello, since my viola arrived with some deficiencies, one of the deficiencies I am yet to address is the chinrest.

I have been playing the viola with a shoulder rest, but without a chinrest. It is in fact just a perfect set-up for the time being with the viola.

I may end up adopting this over to my violin also, but there are few things that concern me, and I would like some opinions on.

1. I leave sweat stain, and man-grease on the top.

2. The viola is less than a year old, my violin is over 5 decades old. Not to mention that the violin probably has MUCH MUCH finer top and less durable possibly.

3. The violin has underwent some major surgeries, the whole bottom came off at some point, the soundpost has been patched, and neck seems to have been reset, with the joints around the neck clearly repaired and filled with non-original wood.

4. I am starting to feel lately that my current chinrest isn't up to the task. It's restricting me in some sense, and I am constantly adjusting myself while performing(There's this "barrier" from going from bass strings to treble strings, and another "barrier" to go from 3rd to 5th position, it's almost as if there are quadrant division to my playing position).

5. On another words, I am afraid of even experimenting with no chinerest on my violin.

Any suggestions if/how I should approach with taking the chinrest off of my violin?

Replies (16)

October 9, 2016 at 08:54 PM · Just use a cloth or chamois leather on the fiddle to keep it from being spoilt - or hold the instrument up and don't put the chin on at all. In other words, keep your chin up!!

October 9, 2016 at 08:58 PM · On the issue of sweat you could try a cloth/one of those gel pads over your violin. Same as what is put on top of chinrests for this reason

October 9, 2016 at 10:40 PM · You can also look at it as the process of antiquing your viola in a natural way. When you remove the vanish on the left part, move on the right. Then re-varnish it and sell as antique Chinese viola!

October 10, 2016 at 12:25 AM · Rocky, the problem is applying this to my violin playing. I don't care much for my viola, but my violin. I know I won't be able to afford another one of these in about a decade at this rate.

I think I am more worried about stress/strain damage from pressing down on the top with my chin, rather than the varnish coming off from contact with my skin.

October 10, 2016 at 02:49 AM · If you will be pushing down, I would take that as a sign that you should use a chinrest. Don't you think?

October 10, 2016 at 03:26 AM · Handkerchief a day keeps problem away.

October 10, 2016 at 04:07 AM · Craig, what happens most of the time is that my ear essentially gets as close to bass side f hole as possible. At high positions, I am looking at the bridge to make sure I am bowing on the right spot(which I hope to grow out of someday). So, essentially I will be pressing down on the top, no questions about that. I guess, I'll look for another chinrest for the violin then?

Rocky, I actually had few leather/silk pads tailored for violin playing, for the short time I played without shoulder rest. I stopped using it because it just adds one more thing that can slip in between me and the instrument, and I don't like dropping things.

January 20, 2017 at 05:55 PM · Yesterday, I've had all of my 4 wisdomteeth removed.

I am attempting to play my violin, without allowing the violin to make contact with my face, this feels a bit impossible.

I could use some suggestions.

January 20, 2017 at 05:58 PM · I'd take the week off!

January 20, 2017 at 07:23 PM · I would go try out some chinrests or have one made that suits your face, put it back on the instrument, and put a cloth or chamois (my preference) over it to prevent sweat and slippage.

But I'm a crazy old (actually young) guy that doesn't even like my chinrest (only using it out of necessity because pointy jaw), so what do I know! ;D

January 20, 2017 at 10:19 PM · You could either:

1. try a different kind of chinrest or

2. use the tailpiece as a chinrest, with or without a pad.

January 21, 2017 at 08:03 AM · I know viola players who just use a Strad Pad without a chin rest.

But as A.O. my preference is a chamois. You control the thickness, and if you work it right, the chamois can also serve as a shoulder rest.

January 23, 2017 at 04:40 AM · My friend (a professional violinist) plays with a Strad Pad with no chinrest. She loves it and no damage to the violin. The chinrest wasn't invented until 1820. Just something to think about. Paganini didn't use one! (Hope this doesn't become as heated as the shoulder-rest/no shoulder-rest wars...)

January 23, 2017 at 06:37 PM · But I assume she uses an SR?

No point to no CR plus use an SR, since you dont get the freedom of movement that results from ditching the SR FIRST. :)

January 24, 2017 at 04:15 AM · I actually did no CR play Today. No contact from jaw to violin.

My neck hurts very bad! It felt like I had to keep my head stiff and fight against instinct to press down doing shifts.

January 24, 2017 at 05:42 PM · I stopped using a shoulder rest a few weeks ago and just last night removed the chin rest as well. One bad thing is removing the chin rest revealed a crack in the wood underneath it.

Abandoning the SR and CR is all just an experiment at this point. I have been playing for less than 2 years and, except for 4 lessons, I'm completely self-taught, so nobody is giving me advice (good or bad). I focus on easy baroque and decided to try restless playing for the sake of authenticity.

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