Long neck issue

October 13, 2016 at 08:41 PM · I've been playing for around 7 years now but I never really feel comfortable in terms of how the violin is positioned. I always feel like I have to angle my head down uncomfortably and unconsciously clamp down on the violin.

I've tried both Kun and Everest shoulder rests both with longer screws and it still doesn't feel comfortable, although the Everest is a little better.

Recently I've been playing a lot more, up to around 7 hours a day on days with orchestra rehearsal, and my neck has started to hurt, specifically on the right side of the neck, and it hurts more if I turn my head to the left.

I'm not even totally sure if I'm using shoulder rests correctly at this point... My shoulder rest is as far back (towards the scroll) as it can go on the side under my chin, while I see almost everyone else having it much closer to the neck. I've tried it that way but it always felt weird. I don't know if that actually matters though.

Does anyone have any suggestions for dealing with this?

Replies (10)

October 13, 2016 at 08:46 PM · Is your primary support your collarbone (hopefully) or your shoulder via shoulder rest?

October 13, 2016 at 08:49 PM · The violin is on my collarbone I think, while the shoulder rest is more on my pectorals/right below my shoulder.

What do you mean by primary support?

October 14, 2016 at 12:53 AM · By primary support, Dorian certainly meant that the violin's back is actually touching your collarbone at the point nearest to your neck, and the shoulder rest simply fills the space (closest to the violin's finger board) between the back of instrument and the outer end of your shoulder. I.e. the violin isn't resting solely on the shoulder rest, which in turns is resting on your shoulder. I have a long neck and find that raising the SR doesn't work for me, it creates tension in the right shoulder, which impacts on the quality of tone production. Raising the Chin Rest was a much better solution.

October 14, 2016 at 01:30 AM · I agree with Roger that it is better to raise CR than SR. It is easier on both hands. Last thing you want to do is to lift your right shoulder in order to compensate.

By not observing you it is impossible to tell the correctness about your posture, but pain in the neck is alarming enough.

I am concerned about moving SR toward the scroll; depending on how broad your shoulders are, you might be pressing your left shoulder and limiting its movements.

If you can, get yourself a copy of "The Athletic Musician" by Barbara Paull and read it.

In the meantime, try the neck retraction and extension exercises


Also, try to sleep (or spend some time) on your belly, right hand under your head, face turned toward right with right leg bent.

All the above if and only if not in pain while doing it.

October 14, 2016 at 02:39 AM · NoOOoo don't try to fix it by raising the shoulder rest!

Like it's been said, without reference we can't say if this is an anatomy or posture issue, but many folks aren't comfortable with the standard chinrests violins are fitted with. I for example need a custom one to be comfortable (and I've posted at length about it http://www.violinist.com/discussion/response.cfm?ID=28432)

Consider looking into an extra-tall chinrest!

October 14, 2016 at 03:06 AM · This may work for you: The Impressionist Chinrest Comforter

October 14, 2016 at 09:15 AM · na ugye

October 14, 2016 at 10:12 AM ·

October 14, 2016 at 03:58 PM · I looked around for a while for a chinrest that would fill most of the gap. After a lot of experimenting, I settled on the Kreddle, which I find to be pretty good. I just bought another one that goes over the middle of my fiddle rather than off to the side, but it's pretty adjustable. My only thing is that I use the flat portion that my chin rests on from the earlier prototype version, which I don't think is available anymore. I find it much more comfortable for my anatomy than the new one. Using that in combination with a shoulder rest is my most comfortable set-up. Alexander Technique lessons have also been helpful for me. With that said, I have never done anything close to 7 hours of practice in a day, and I'm not sure that there would be anything I could do to withstand that.

October 14, 2016 at 09:22 PM · I endorse Roger and Christian. A Kreddle might be a fine solution, as it might not be the most beautiful, but the most adjustable chin rest available and allows for experimentation. I finally found my position after three months of readjustments...

Raising the shoulder rest only leads to instability. With that 360° and multiple axis adjustable chin rest you can first choose your preferred position for the violin on your collarbone ("as low as possible"), then the ideal and relaxed position for your head (they support you with tutorial videos on their homepage), then fill the gap between chin and violin by adjusting the CR, and then (if necessary) fill the gap between shoulder / pectoralis muscle and the violin with the SR.

From an ergonomic point of view this really does make sense. For the aesthetics you have decide for yourself, I think, but at least it isn't resembling an orthopedic shoe, like most of the other higher models.

Disclaimer: I have no other connection to this company than being a customer of their product.

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