Shoulder Rest HeightHealth: Looking for a really really high shoulder rest
From rachel gleicher
From Jessica SmithI too am looking for a higher shoulder rest. Right now, I use a Viva, and I'm waiting for a shipment of longer legs to try...
Posted on April 20, 2005 at 05:37 PM
Sorry I couldn't be more help,
From Tom HolzmanComford has a high version of its rest. I do not know exactly how high it is.
Posted on April 20, 2005 at 06:30 PM
From Michael SchallockCareful...are you really sure you need a rest that high?
Posted on April 20, 2005 at 07:31 PM
From rachel gleicherWhen i bend my neck to hold the violin, i'm getting really bad pains in my left shoulder. I was told the reason for the pains is that my neck is not straight. So- when i use the Poly Pad which is 3 inches, it helps a lot, but wanted to know if there is something higher as well.
Posted on April 20, 2005 at 07:46 PM
From Rachel MasseyI have a long neck as well and use the Wolf shoulder rests. It has adjustable leg heights, which helps quite a bit. Good luck!
Posted on April 20, 2005 at 10:11 PM
From Michael MolnarTry the Wolf Forte Secondo. I use it.
Posted on April 20, 2005 at 10:43 PM
From Lee AI have a Bon Musica. It can be set a lot higher than my Wolf or Kun rests and can be adjusted in just about every direction to fit the user perfectly. They're not cheap, but worth the money. I still keep the Wolf on my electric violin which I leave out on a stand so that I can just pick it up and play if I don't want to bother unpacking the "real" violin. But I find it feels small, hard and weird compared to the Bon Musica.
Posted on April 20, 2005 at 10:42 PM
From Arjun MudanI use a Viva with Kun extra long legs. It's pretty high, I don't know if it's 3 inches or not
Posted on April 20, 2005 at 11:18 PM
From Russell StoweCan I suggest to lots of my 'American friends' that here in Europe especially the UK , we use the 'Stowemaster' shoulder rest. It does not clamp the violin in any way. Rather than waffle on about it they have a web site that is under construction , www.stowemaster.com . Its amazing!! I know they post far and wide. Catman
Posted on July 16, 2005 at 11:18 AM
From Ron GorthuisI bought a MUCO rest recently. Quite good. High. Adjustable. It flexes a bit, so comfortable. I have a high neck, too.
Posted on August 22, 2005 at 05:54 AM
From Preston HawesTry a combination of a higher shoulder rest and a higher chin rest. That way there aren't extremes on either end.
Posted on August 22, 2005 at 07:32 AM
From Joseph GalambaI believe resonance rests are very high.
Posted on August 22, 2005 at 11:31 PM
From Christina WilkePreston had an excellent idea of changing both the shoulder rest and the chin rest. I have an unusually short neck so I use a Wolf rest on its VERY lowest setting. However, as I was fooling with it, I saw it could go very high. They're strong and dependable as well as comfortable and easily portable.
Posted on August 23, 2005 at 01:26 AM
Just make sure that you're neck isn't bending too far back because of the added height. You don't need to grip the violin with the neck- just have it rest there and let it share the load with your left hand. Otherwise, you could create some painful spine and shoulder problems. You might find that with a bit of adjustment you could do with a rest that's only 2 inches high or something in that range. There are many people with long necks that use extremely small pads- they just have to rest it on their shoulder and have the left hand do all the work. It might be better than straining your neck. But if you find something that works, continue with that! :)
From J.P. Shanahanhello everyone, i thought i'd sort of "resurrect" this post for a bit, since I'm having serious concerns over the height of my kun collapsible. I've been taking a course in body alignment lately, and i've been focusing on standing up straight and everything, and keeping my head "floating on top of the spine" like my coach says to do, but unfortunately, this is creating difficulties with my shoulder rest. As it stands: I can elevate my left shoulder, which hurts like hell, or I can keep my shoulder (and the violin) down, and overextend the fingers of my left hand to reach the notes. now i am in dire straits, because either way, my third, fourth, and thumb fingers are starting to feel some serious pain and i know it's the beginnings of tendonitis, and if i don't get a new rest soon then i might be screwed. I tried out a MACH ONE last night which i really like, and I guess more than anything I am asking for input from others who have had this "Kun"/"long neck" problem, on which shoulder rests they have used for this relief which i so desperately pursue. Let me know about the prospect of Mach one, but also, feel no reluctance to mention other brands which you feel deserve equal or more attention (and quick--my hand is getting screwed!)
Posted on December 11, 2005 at 08:34 PM
thanks so much,
From Stephen BrivatiGreetings
Posted on December 11, 2005 at 11:01 PM
try a Wolf Forte Primo.
,> and overextend the fingers of my left hand to reach the notes.
Not completley sure what you mean by this but you may be looking at the wrong cause. If you are having to stretch for the third and fourth then youyr hand is in the wrong posiiton. The naturla function of the hand is to stretch backwards -from- the fourtyh fnger to the first. So it might help you to practice exercises like Schradieck but before you begin play some fourth fingers and get thta shape curved and comfortable. Learn tyhe feeling of where your hand is when the foutrth finger is oin good shape and relaxed. Then begin the exercise whil recreating that feeling. This kind of ex4ercise is good for scales in 3rds as well where you find the fourth finger and second with the 1st and third raised. Then keep the same hand feleing and reach back to play one and three.
From Stephen BrivatiGreetings,
Posted on December 11, 2005 at 11:11 PM
some old stuff wot I wrote
But violinists are a curious breed, in order to function we have to have passionate and deeply felt beliefs but this so often prevents genuine exchange and dialog. `This fingering is better than that.. Oistrakh plays it better than Joe Bloggs. A Strad is better than a guarneri etc.` Nowhere is this more prevalent than during short lived and acrimonious debates about the shoulder rest which almost invariably ed up at the play ground level although the Ministry of Education would quickly close down such an area if it was heaped with as much bs in real life as it is in so called intelligent exchange on the subject.
Enough!!! What has this got to do with K11. (BTW I don`t have my book with me and I have a hangover so just in case, this is the shifting study in triplets)
From Kimberley StrongI have a wolf violin shoulder rest, I don't know if it is three inches but it is a pretty high one. My violin teacher says the wolf ones are the best.
Posted on December 11, 2005 at 11:17 PM
From Pieter ViljoenI'd hesitate to buy a Stowemaster shoulder rest.
Posted on December 12, 2005 at 03:31 AM
I plunked down about $180 CAN for one 2 months ago and the thing fell apart. The other one they sent to the shop was faulty, so now they have two bad over-priced shoulder rests. Not to mention, it was me that asked them to order them in, as the dealer had no idea about these products. The company that makes them is absolutely horrible in the simple task of correspondance, so I don't imagine I'll get much of a chance to discuss any of this with them.
Finding the perfect shoulder rest/chin rest combination is so hard and very annoying. It isn't a quick thing, but when you find it, I hear it's great. I haven't found it yet, and I've done a lot. I'm thinking of scrapping the shoulder rest completely.
From Sandy UngI use a wolf shoulder rest with the extensions on it, plus an extra little pad thing so it can keep up PLUS I've had to get my chin rest raised up by 2cm.
Posted on December 12, 2005 at 03:38 AM
If you couldn't tell I have a very long neck :P
From Jonathan FrohnenMight I suggest a big ol' viola?
Posted on December 12, 2005 at 03:52 AM
From Colleen Russoas others have said, the wolf shoulder rests go pretty high... you can adjust them to how you want, they are also VERY comfy!
Posted on December 12, 2005 at 04:41 AM
From J.P. Shanahanjon, you may not suggest a big ol' viola, sorry, i'll leave that to people who suck. JK violists haha well i appreciate all your responses...i'm looking into the wolf, and though i've heard great things from you guys, i've heard from some other players i know just the opposite. anyone have any thoughts about mach one? i'm thinking about ordering one.
Posted on December 13, 2005 at 04:43 AM
From Kimberley StrongI have a comment about a mach one. It is 55.00 in the Shar catalog. The Wolf one is only 18.00.
Posted on December 13, 2005 at 07:05 PM
And the Wolf works.
From William WolcottDoes anyone know of the absolute shortest shoulder rest for the violin? Not the kind that touch the back.
Posted on January 26, 2006 at 03:53 PM
I am going to make my own, I think. On that is literally less than 1/2 inch below the back of the fiddle. I love the feel of playing with nothing, but some sound, no matter how minute, gets lost, even when using a pad like the one Tamsen Beseke invented (though that is a great concept).
I'll let everyone know what I come up with when I'm done. If anyone else is interested in a similar thing, let me know.
There was a rest I owned years ago, that Mr. Updegraff suggested...it was a black shell-like rest that didn't touch the back. It came with another pad that could be velcroed (sp?) to the back of this shell like rest. Does anyone know what I'm talking about at all? I think Mintz used this rest at one time.
From Jonathan FrohnenTry that float on air thing William...actually I bought one a while back and never liked it because it was too short, it's yours if you want
Posted on January 26, 2006 at 04:06 PM
From William WolcottThanks, Jon. Even that is too high, I'm afraid. And, I'm looking for something that doesn't touch the back at all. I actually came up with something similar, but different, to Tamsen Beseke's pad. It yielded good results, but still has ever so slightly less sound than something that doesn't touch the back at all.
Posted on January 26, 2006 at 04:17 PM
Thanks again, Jon.
From stjohn weyersI completely disagree with Pieter Viljoen.
Posted on August 12, 2006 at 10:08 PM
I first saw and tried the Stowemaster shoulder rest about a year ago as it was being used by my Head of Strings at school (where I'm Director of Music).
I was so impressed, that I bought one for my wife and we have not been disappointed. It works perfectly and is amazingly adjustable and dependable, as well as making a huge difference to the sound of the violin.
As for the firm that sold it to us (Woodbridge Violins in Suffolk, England), they couldn't have been more helpful, with the designer himself, Mr Russell Stowe, making sure that we were perfectly satisfied before declaring himself happy.
It's so much easier to use than the Kun or the Wolf and it really gives a good feeling of security when playing.
From Maura GeretyYikes! I seem to have firmly joined the ranks of the, erm, young and restless. I used to use a big ol' monster Brooklyn Bridge of a shoulder-rest, then a Kun Bravo, and now I just use one of those little red sponges. I find that playing with just the sponge has forced me to be much more aware of posture in my whole upper body, as well as shining a spotlight on the importance of balance. That in turn has helped my bow arm, and as soon as I get off the computer I will look in Joska Szigeti's book as per Buri's suggestion for that bit about shifting. Basically, the shoulder-rest seems to me to be sort of like training wheels on a bike: feels really weird and scary when you first take them off but once you stop relying on them, you're better off. I always recommend that everyone at least TRY playing without a shoulder-rest. If you really can't stand it, go back to using one, but you might be surprised.....
Posted on August 13, 2006 at 12:01 AM
From Anthony BarlettaI'm with you, Maura.
Posted on August 13, 2006 at 06:25 AM
I have a long neck. A really long neck (methinks my great great grandmother married a giraffe). Anyway, when I started the violin I bought myself an adjustable rest and cranked it up to skyscraper mode. Life was good. But then came different positions and shifting and vibrato and things began to fall apart. The instrument no longer felt secure. The search for greater heights, fatter chinrests, etc. was on.
Then one day I'm watching a Ruggiero Ricci masterclass DVD. He's sittng there holding the fiddle down below the clavicle (i.e., nowhere near his chin) and demonstrating how to crawl all over the fingerboard with the left hand. And he says something I'll never forget. He says "if you want to play like Paganini, take off the chin rest -- Paganini didn't use a chinrest." My head spun. Paganini not only didn't use a shoulder rest, he didn't use a chinrest either! Now Ricci is one of my absolute fave violinists, he's not some blithering fool. So I started messing around without a shoulder rest. At first I came very close to dropping the instrument. I thought, no way. But gradually I made adjustments. I'd alternate with the shoulder rest and began to ratchet it down until I was ok with its shortest setting. Somehow this made it easier to go entirely without, but still only for short periods. When playing restless I started to like what I was hearing and feeling. The naked violin's contact with my not very padded shoulder causes the notes to resonate through my whole thorax (much like it does when I practice vibrato with the scroll against the wall). I can literally feel when a note is in tune, which to me is incredibly cool. The positional adjustments take time and practice. But it won't be long before I'm playing restless 100% of the time.
Excuse the long post, but my point is that even those of us with long necks have other options and techniques at our disposal.
From meir sinetari have the same problem of high neck and wolf wasnt good to me too much flexibility i use a kun and not so satisfied (can't make the legs longer)did anyone use a goldencomfort ? its about 50$ but does it work ?one that was recommended here a stowmaster costs about 140 $ and one saidin this thread he was not satified .
Posted on August 13, 2006 at 09:21 AM
any suggestions ?
From Raphael KlaymanFor those interested in trying to play without a shoulder rest, see if my approach works for you.
Posted on August 13, 2006 at 12:11 PM
1. Click on my name to get to my profile here.
From Sharon LeeI think the Bon Musica goes pretty high. I use it, and I have a very long neck.
Posted on August 13, 2006 at 04:04 PM
From Jodi BernardMy daughter plays with a Bon Musica also.. One person that I know of swears by them and she said that it has saved going to the chiro for her.. They are expensive and some have had trouble putting them into the case.
Posted on August 13, 2006 at 09:17 PM
From Pieter ViljoenMr. Wolcott, you're referring to the "suretone" rest (or do they use an h in the sure?". It's a hard plastic shell, with a velcro pad. Only problem is, it attaches with elastics, and can shift around a bit while you're playing. I used this rest when I was 10 or so.
Posted on August 13, 2006 at 11:02 PM
From Bram van MelleBuri - I have just re-read your post about shifting. At first reading I did not grasp the "contraction" point you make becuase I have conceptualised the motion a bit differently.
Posted on September 4, 2006 at 08:50 AM
With a shoulder-rest you can just move your hand up and down as you like, maintaining a standard shape to the hand frame. Like the bit on a computerised lathe moving up and down along the travel... This has the disadvantage of making shifting less secure in some ways, because the hand does not prepare for the shift and you might not "land" quite in the right place when you make the "block" shift as my teacher used to put it.
Playing with a soft pad (or baroque violin with no chin at all) and in making a shift down from low finger to high finger, I "arch" the hand in a backwards direction and a little upwards, like a cat getting ready to jump. At the same time I feel the shoulder and upper arm moving down and forwards. It's like the whole curve from the shoulder, down through upper arm and forearm, and into the back of the hand and then fingers is expanding outwards, like blowing up a balloon.
Then in making the change there is just a quick snap of the fingers and the high finger is bang on the lower note. It's very quick and great fun. I think it must work because as you say the preparation "contracts" the higher finger nearer to the new position, and the hand and arm have already partly assumed the new position. There is less "shifting" to do when it comes to the jump down.
It seems particularly effective in slow legato phrases where you can maintain the intensivity of tone and vibrato through a very quick change.
From Willemijn ZwikstraThis disucssion is very old, but maybe you still like some advice. I don't like to heighten shoulder rest because then your arms raises above your shoulder level. It is better to lift your chinrest when you have a long neck. I you wants to know more about this topic, have a look at www.violinistinbalance.nl (site is in English)
Posted on May 24, 2008 at 10:09 AM
Galamian's Principles of the Violin
Long one of the standards for violin teachers and students, Ivan Galamian's Principles of Violin Playing and Teaching offers both principles and practice exercises to help develop violinists of all ages and abilities. This new edition includes a foreword by Sally Thomas.
Ning Feng has spent the last 15 years winning awards and praise for his playing, but his violin career nearly ended before it began.
Please consider supporting Violinist.com by becoming a sponsor, and reaching our dedicated community of violin professionals, students and fans!