From Jamie Lee
Posted March 11, 2007 at 11:17 PM
It is hard to suggest a shoulder rets or even whether or not you actually need one simply because we (well me anyway) don`t know your neck length. If you have no neck you don`t need a rest. In general I am not keen on rests but a friend of mine from Singapore sent me a photo of his head and neck which wa sso long I had no hesitation in recommending a Wolfe Forte Primo two Mac Burgers and a dead ferret as support. The ferret may have died as a result of nibbling the hamburgers. It is the people if the middle I suspect (halfway between no neck and long neck) that have the most trouble finding a set up in either direction.
So try Guarneri chnrest and Forte secondo. If you have alomger neck try the Primo.
The Mach One from Canada is a very nice rets indeed but its expensive.
If you wnat less siupport try pads first. The Gewa is stnadard and have been round for years. It suits a lot of people. When Rodney Friend wa s teahcing at the Royal College he often asked his students to chnage to this. It comes in two sizes. The bigger one is quite deep.
Playing without a rest is hard and needs training from a teahcer familiar with how to do this. It may not be a good route for you. You could try a sponge. alternatively the Playonair are very good for some people. Personaly I feel they do mute the sound.
I agree completely :)
I always found shoulder rests to be uncomfortable and restricting, with the current setup I feel much more free, balanced and relaxed. I recommend experimenting with different chinrests as well as different shoulder rests or lack thereof. (Keep in mind that a well-chosen chinrest can have a tremendous impact on the sound!)
I am a beginning adult violin student. The violin has been in my family for at least four generations (19th-century, German made) and was still in its original case when I got it!
I had the violin cleaned and revarnished, and the bow rehaired, although the luthier failed to notice that the bow was warped, so I am using a fiberglass bow because I cannot afford a wooden one.
In addition, I got a hard Bobelock case (because the instrument is priceless to me) and other accessories.
I ended up choosing a Muco shoulder rest, because of the low price, instead of a Wolf. Interestingly, the Muco has more padding than the Wolf.
If you have a luthier in your area, you might visit to try out various shoulder rests. (A reputable luthier will be glad to accommodate your request.)
I am not sure if I will stay with the Muco rest, but I decided to buy one of the least expensive shoulder rests that my luthier had, rather than buy an expensive Wolf rest, only to find that it did not work for me.
I do not know if the Muco rest came with instructions: I did not even get the box. I am still trying to ensure that I position the shoulder rest correctly (and I need one because of my neck length). I, however, have *no* idea if I am positioning the rest correctly (a topic for my next violin lesson), nor have I found any instructions for Muco shoulder rests on the Web.
There is a spectrum of prices for good shoulder rests, and the Muco is the most affordable my luthier had.
I hope that this message has been of some value, Jamie! Remember: I have had two violin lessons so far.
Finally, if anyone knows of any Web sites that provide instructions on the proper setup of a shoulder rest, I would appreciate your sharing any URL(s). I have not found a Web site for Muco, by the way.
I can see this happening, not when playing but as soon as one finishes playing and the violin is off the shoulder. I tried this shoulder rest and it happened to me a few times like that (not on stage, fortunately!) It is basically an air bag attached with somewhat stiff elastic bands which tightly grab onto the edge of violin. There’s a lot of tension stretched out both side of the air bag when it is on the violin so it really can take off like a balloon if one elastic end slips off the violin.
This one also muffles the sound the most among all the other ones I tried. I’m currently using the Menuhin style one that I got from Shar called “Maestro Shoulder Rest.” Not the best but better than Kun and Wolf. I tried sponges but I got shoulder pain. I’m still hoping to be rest free but I don’t know if my neck is designed for that. There are 5” between my jaw bone and collar bone. Any suggestion?
On the other hand, I can see that having an ill-fitting chin rest would affect the player's comfort and posture. Which would certainly affect the sound in the long run.
Say, I have a MUCO too! Never thought I would find anyone with another MUCO. I bought mine in China, and I think it is a Taiwan brand. The only adjustments to be made are the positon of the posts and heights. I have mine set so the rest rides high on my shoulder, but the violin is lower. The bottom post is set to high, to reduce the angle of the violin. I find it better than most.
I second the opinions about chin rest. I tried a few of the standards, before I met Ms K Abhuel, a luthier from Cremona. She custom makes chin rests, and has her own design. For me, its very comfortable. Her violins are excellent too, but I can't afford one yet.
Hope this helps!
Anyway, I used a foam sponge ever since i was 7 and i recently went under a huge overall with my setup and my current teacher put me on a standard kun shoulder rest...the tone of the violin is different (darker almost), but in terms of loudness and projection, it's still pretty good...also, my friend at NEC who is currently studying under Miriam Fried was converted to a shoulder rest to relieve tension in her neck...
Yes, definitley. Flesch said this and put it in writing in his book the Art of Violin playing.
MY own observation has found this to be consistent. Compare say Hugh Bean (he`s dead but you can see him as cocnertmaster on the Misletin DVD of Mozart 5) and Viktoria Mullover. Hugh had no neck at all and he just kind of swung the violin up and it stuck like glue. Can you imagine Ms. Mulloever struggling along without that really elevated Forte Primo or whatever. Shed be in hospital within a week cf Emil@s comments. I undertsand he ha sa fairly long ish neck from an old post he made..
Primrose (cf Menuhins book)said: I cna teach anyone, even a swan to play restless.
Personally I don`t think thta wa snecessarily true but it showed he also prioritized the neck as -the- factor.
Long neck and no rest violinist of the past . Szigeti. Technical shortcomings and early decline . Yes. (still the greatest....;))
I used a Playonair back in the 80s, until my neck grew longer. It was forever popping off.
I now use a maple Mach One, with Kun legs. There is a difference between the plastic and wood Machs. The plastic Mach is smaller in scale, and for me, not as comfortable.
you didn't technically answer my question...or maybe i should have been more clear. How long is a neck in terms of measurement (in centimeters for Buri and the rest of you outside the u.s.) too long for a violinist to play without a shoulder rest?
Very interesting point about Primrose...when Mrs. Primrose came to hawaii after mr. primrose's death, she began teaching here at my high school music department...anyway, from the very beginning she would always say, No Shoulder Rest! that's how I became accustomed to playing without a SR.
When I play without my Shoulder Rest, my sound is totally "opened up". It's projects better and the sound is much more clear...but then again, even with the should rest (i've tested), the projection from my violin is only a fraction muffled...
I guess the real answer to the question lies in the individual's point of view. For me, I truly believe that the violin was made to be played without a shoulder rest...then again, I can actually play comfortably with or without one.
That was my greatest inspiration for making my own. Most shoulder rest have quite a pronounced curvature to them - and the adjustable ones tend to have "feet" that eventually dig into the ribs of the instrument. I made this one 2 or 3 years ago and all I have to do is change the rubber bands on occasion (to keep it from slipping around on fabric.)
You can't really use Emil as an example, since he holds the violin up with his shrunken third arm and the weight of his protruding tongue spilling out onto the violin just below the f-hole.
Seriously though Jamie, if no shoulder pads are working, then either your neck is REALLY short or something needs adjusting in your posture/set up.
>You can't really use Emil as an example, since he holds the violin up with his shrunken third arm and the weight of his protruding tongue spilling out onto the violin just below the f-hole.
Oh. He`s already mastered AT then? Perhaps he`s ready to learn how to use his second tongue via the Feldenkreis system?
Jamie, I used Kun for years, then I tried wolf, playonair, mastro and various sponges. In the end, you'll say to yourself, enough is enough. I start to try different chinrests instead, and one day, eureka! Just listen to your body and keep trying.
Try not using one at all!
Once again: http://www.violinistinbalance.nl/
Systematic experimentation with chin, shoulder rests, plus Alexander Technique, focused on players experiencing discomfort. Shows just how variable the whole process can be, and the range of solutions that is possible.
I'm sort of in the same boat, so to speak. I've just finished trying many different chinrests and many different shoulder rests and every conceivable combination of these. I think I have an average neck, but I have droopy shoulders
Chinrests in my test were: Kaufman, Berber/Ohrenform, Flesch Flat, SAS, Teka, and Zitsman.
Shoulder rests in my test were: Viva La Musica (both the plastic and the expensive "Diamond" model), Comford Cradle, BonMusica, Resonans Medium, Mach One (plastic), Wolf Forte Primo, Everest and Kun Bravo.
The closest to coming to a combination I like is the Zitsman chinrest with the BonMusica shoulder rest, though I have to add a small piece of folded chamois to the bottom/chest section of the shoulder rest to make it feel more secure.
What I'm looking for is stability. Although several of the shoulder rests were comfortable, I found that the instrument would eventually begin to slip or slide from my collar bone/shoulder area. I am an adult beginner with only 6 lessons under my belt, although I have a lifetime of background in music. I am having difficulty breaking the habit of gradually grasping the instrument, to where I eventually have an extremely tense left hand. Extreme stability on my shoulder helps me release my "death grip" left hand without worrying that my violin will slip at the top/shoulder side. This is what works for me. I realize most people don't care for this rigidness. Perhaps, when I become more proficient, I will not care for the rigidness, either. But it seems to help a great deal now.
The Zitsman/Comford Cradle came in #2 place. I spent a great deal of time trying each combo and documenting my own findings for my own helpfulness.
So, for now, I think I've found a combo I can live with. I just needed to see what else was there that may have worked better. I wish the BonMusica had thicker padding, though, like the Wolf. Or I wish I could find a piece of material that will grip my clothing better so that I could place a piece at the top of the SR to "lock" it in place better. Any ideas?
Thanks for listening...
>Perhaps, when I become more proficient, I will not care for the rigidness, either. But it seems to help a great deal now.
I would recommend you address this sooner rather than later. The longer you continue the death grip as you call it, the harder it will be to change down the road. I am struggling with some tension problems of my own, and after years of playing, I can attest that change is difficult.
I use a Wolf Forte Secondo shoulder rest, set up as in this video: http://www.magicposture.com/. After reading this I've found this made holding the violin so much easier. It makes perfect sense, too. What he does is show you how to mold the shoulder rest to your body perfectly. Instructions are here: http://magicposture.com/instructional_video/MAGICPOSTURE2.html
Thank you, Smiley. I appreciate your personal insight, and I am trying hard to recognize the increasing tension as it occurs. Sometimes I don't notice it until after the tension has morphed into "death grip." Then I attempt to immediately stop, take a deep breathe and relax my hand. And it usually sneaks up on me when I am trying to concentrate on other things; i.e., notes, bow technique, slurs. As a beginner -- so much for my poor brain to remember!
p.s. Smiley, I so thoroughly enjoyed the posts regarding your search for a new instrument. I read the entire thread last night!!
As an addition: Yesterday, I realized that, even with my as-perfect-for-me-as-I-can-muster arrangement, my instrument was slipping. I figured out that it was due to the clothing I was wearing. I had on a thin sweater over a cotton blouse. The sweater was slip-sliding over the top of the blouse as I would move. So I quickly stopped at a drug store and purchased a package of little clear gel cushions which come 2 in a package and are made to put inside shoes at the ball of the foot. Very nonslip texture. I put one under my sweater on my shoulder area, between the sweater and blouse, and I was very happy at the extra grip it provided. Inexpensive, too!
Put into practice now what you wish to accomplish tomorrow.
I have a unique idea about holding instrument confertably ,and it is very good idea.
The name is MagiPad, it will be solve every dificulties holding and playing the Violin.
Once visit my H.P., will you ?
Inventer Hiroshi Tokyo
In case you miss it on Hiroshi's site (it's not very obvious) here is a link to a video review of his invention. Looks interesting!
Bon Musica is another worth considering. Some people swear by them (like me), some people can't get on with them - it's so personal.
I had run into Hiroshi's site a week or two ago. Excellent idea which will help a lot of people I think as a sort of 'in between' option for those who want the best of both worlds. Kind of on the hand-crafted end of the price scale though. :-)
Violin should not clump, delicate and easy change its sound.nothing is the best but Magipad is better solution holding your Violin in right posture.
Excuse,An ugly place your blog.
Shame for ignorance.
Now, what is this?
I do not understand a single sentence in this posting. Maybe it's just my bad english skills, or is it googlish instead of english?
Sometimes, in a little-all amateur musicians, but people are seated at the discretion of expensive parts and strings, and such use is "waste of money" that's gotten to are many. Theoretical technical parts properly that is to be installed.
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I didn`t understand it either. I think some very technical comentary is being fed through an instant translator. Probably the same one that does my spellign for me at the weekends...
Yikes! That gave me a headache just trying to read a couple of sentences!
Hiroshi definitely is onto something with Magipad - it's a great idea. In a nutshell its like any old round sponge but spliced in half. One round half goes under your shirt or jacket, the other sits on top. A super strong magnet makes the two sides stick solidly together through the shirt thus doing away with rubber bands etc to fasten the pad to the fiddle. Its a snap also to vary the pad position to whereever is more comfortable. Neat !
I was going to suggest trying a big sponge. Pick something thick enough you can smush it down to size. Then, look at what parts of the sponge you use and how you use it to help you pick your next rest -- or, just stay with the sponge.
Yes Jon Picard,
Thank you very much of your good advice for MagiPad.
by the way ,
I am looking some good shiop in America.
MagiPad can be change someday holding the Violin.
Give me your advice,will you ?
I'm sold on the Everest.
Deadline: February 25th, 2010
thanks, Julie Lyonn Lieberman
I wonder what happens with the MagiPad if a female violinist wear a shoulder dress?
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