My Chin Rest

March 16, 2013, 12:58 PM · May_2_2011_206 1

Chin rests - How do you know which one is right for you? I can't answer that question only you can, but I can tell you my story and how I found the right chin rest for me. When I was at CU Boulder working on my violin performance degree, I was practicing many hours a day. I started to develop a very large sore on my neck and it was uncomfortable. I decided that this wasn't good for me and that I needed to make a change. I was very lucky and the first chin rest I tried I fell in love with and it worked for me. That happened to be the chin rest I still use to this day and it is a Carl Flesch chin rest with a hump. What drew me to this chinrest was that it was placed over the tailpiece and since that was how I was set up to play I figured why have the chin rest off to the side when my chin sits over the tail piece. Like I said, I fell in love with this chin rest immediately and soon after using it my "violin hickey" disappeared. Enjoy the video and your personal quest for the perfect chin rest. If you have friends and colleagues with different chin rests give them a try - this is the easiest and cheapest way to do some chinrest exploring:)


Happy Practicing!

Heather Broadbent

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March 16, 2013 at 09:44 PM · I use a Carl Flesch centered over the tailpiece also although it doesn't have the hump. I don't play anywhere near the number of hours that you do so I wasn't having any sores develop, but the standard offset chinrest was just uncomfortable. I always found myself climbing up over the chinrest anyway which puts downward pressure on something that shouldn't have any pressure. Also, the offset puts the strings at a different angle forcing the bow hand to have to reach out further. I love the centered chinrest so much I'll never go back to the offset.

The first Carl Flesch I used was a fairly large piece of lumber which the luthier said was just adding a lot of extra weight to the instrument. I downsized to a smaller piece of wood without changing the actual setup for me. Less weight makes it a lighter instrument overall and, I would guess, makes it vibrate a bit more freely.

Great video. Nice to see a professional violinist who uses something besides the "usual" that beginners are often forced to use.

March 17, 2013 at 04:58 PM · Heather can you tell me about the thin necklace you wear ? Does that ever get trapped between the collarbone skin and the hard edge of the chinrest bracket ? Many ladies wear necklaces but many people also profess a horror of things around their necks. I like the way the chinrest bump forms a good ---mechanical wedge-- under the jaw. The essence of that is to stop unwanted horizontal leftwards movement (shifting down direction) rather than to merely feel comfortable. The left raised part is useful to stop unwanted forward movement (dropping direction,as children would say). On your chinrest there is very little raise on the left. You can sometimes see players with centre mounted offset cups but they are playing with the jaw on top of the centre bump. Issac Stern did that a few times. I was trying to remember his name. Also once or twice Menuhin,on top of the bump .

So a rest can have a double wedge action.One working left and one working forwards.

March 17, 2013 at 05:30 PM · Hi John

I use to never wear jewelry at all because it would vibrate or buzz with the violin. I have never had the experience of the jewelry getting caught. I have had my hair get caught many times in my shoulder rest years ago but that has not happened for a long time.

I wanted to wear necklaces so I use to wear only leather or velvet. The specific chain I wear in the video is very fine and I have never had any problems with it vibrating against the violin or getting stuck:)


March 18, 2013 at 01:08 AM · Have you ever tried to follow Milstein and get a rest that touches the side of your face just under the ear. You are more than half way there .

March 18, 2013 at 04:30 PM · Would have been good to actually show us how it fits you by putting it there and playing a few notes, just my opinion.

March 18, 2013 at 06:42 PM · John

Thanks so much for your insight. I am very happy with my chin rest and have no desire to look further and Paul please watch the following video:)



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