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Ooohhh comfy

May 30, 2009 at 3:52 AM

Hey all..

I thought I'd try to experiment around with my violin, so I took off my shoulder rest and I threw off my chin rest in a burst of poetic passion. It was such a different world!

It made me realise a few habbits it naturally do without realising - like cleching my jaw, or fidget with my bow hand (explains my trembling...) but also my left hand was free... apart from the difficulties I faced with shifting (after awhile I realised a quick shrug while shifting helps) and vibrato (no damn solution :( Maybe I need to try practice it without any equipment on)

But I could look whever I want, though I found that for me to play properly I'd have to put my chin to the right said of the tail piece - its where it naturally went. I played with my shoulders to, I raised them as high as possible, then just completely dropped them like 2 ton weights.

So I did some scales, not bad. My tone sounded warm, my bows were full.

Though yes.. It was a big change from being so reliant on a shoulder rest and chin rest..

I suppose whenever I have any problems, I'll throw everything off and play naked :) I'll find my problems then haha.

From Anne-Marie Proulx
Posted on May 30, 2009 at 1:01 PM

Even the chin rest?  Good luck! Doing experiments is a efficient way of learning.


From Christopher Liao
Posted on May 30, 2009 at 4:32 PM

This is such a bubbleburster, but my teacher told me to never remove the chin rest because I'd sweat on the violin --> ;asklfj;asd varnish.

I tried it anyway because I like rebelling against her. It's quite interesting! I suppose a cloth would do, however.

Amazing how a few inches up and down a violin can make such a difference.


From Anne-Marie Proulx
Posted on May 30, 2009 at 5:31 PM

Lucky you "short neckers" who can play without chin rests!!!  On the old violins, you clearly see the mark of the place where the owner's chin used to be on the violin. I suppose it could do this?  Christopher, if your teacher sees a mark there on your violin, be sure to prepare a little story... to save yourself!!! 


From Dimitri Adamou
Posted on May 31, 2009 at 12:20 AM

I'm of stocky build hehe. I like to experiment alot and try to find different ways, I even dream of it - I remember dreaming of my mother playing the violin resting at her left breast and she was doing bouncing bow strike. (The thing is my mum doesn't have a lick of musical talent in her..unless its my adoptive Gypsy mother XD)

The thing is I can't put my neck ONTO the violin itself, only slightly onto the right side of the tail piece itself to make a grip [which is done by a quick shrug] when im shifting down wards or the ocasional vibrato (which is hard to do like this). If I were to put my neck onto the violin, I would cause a bad balance, I wouldn't be able to focus properly and I'd probably hit myself in the eye.. among many other bad things :P

So I transfered this over to my chin rest (So on a left mounted chin rest, I am actually on the right side as far as possible), and its been such a wonderful thing, my bowing is very free and strong. I never realised how much cramping and squishing the shoulder rest did to me - I don't even need it anymore, its just a matter of finding my balance again. Though the downside is I think it may cause some extra work with my left arm. So I will try to gradually weane myself off of the shoulder rest and see how it goes. Though somehow I think this will take alot of work, and hopefully aid from great Tutor :)

If not...theres always the internet :P

From Stephen Brivati
Posted on June 2, 2009 at 10:24 PM


I would like to suggets that if you are raising your shoulder (the shrug) for the downward shift then you are on the wrong track.   I don`t even use the approach advoctaed by Flesch of a slight increase in head weight.  ButRaising the shoulder in the long run is not going to help,  in my opinion.  The mechanics of the body are such that on a downward shift there is actually an oppsing movement in the upper arm to go with the movement of the forearm. So if anything the shoulder drops down and back very slightly on a downward shift.  One reaosn you may be doing this shrug is because you are dropping the scroll as you down shift. If you focus on a slight raising or even movement to the left (which is needed on the up shift anyway) it may help.

All these things take experimentation and patience ;)



From Dimitri Adamou
Posted on June 3, 2009 at 8:14 AM

Hey Buri,

Thank you for that advice. It gives me some new leads.

I am fine with experimenting I have learnt so much from it so far :)

Hopefully a time will come when I have a teacher that can answer all of my questions.

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