June 25, 2006 at 1:10 PMI am reading “Violin Playing: As I teach it” by Leopold Auer, the great violin teacher. I thought it would be a long book, and overly technical, but the books reads easily, and offers many tips on how to hold the violin, producing tone, bowing, etc. He is probably most controversial for writing that the uses of a shoulder cushion or shoulder rest should be avoided at all cost because it diminishes tone. I tried playing without a shoulder rest, and it definitely would take getting use to, however, my violin does resonate more. However, I look to Hahn, and Vengerov and they all use shoulder rests. My only concern is whether not using a shoulder rest could hurt muscles in the neck and shoulder in the long run.
There's no right or wrong about shoulder rests, despite what people say. You do what works for you, no matter how "unorthodox" it might be.
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