With so much talk over the years about shoulder rests, something that seems to get less attention is chin rests. It shouldn't be so!
Often, it's the chin rest that can make a big difference in our comfort, arguably even more so than the shoulder rests. When we raise the chin rest, it does not raise the level of the violin on the shoulder. Also, the chin rest is a factor in how far forward or backward the violin sits on the shoulder, horizontally, and that affects our entire position. The chin rest needs to be correct for your jaw shape, neck height, so that you don't have to strain your neck, contort your body, etc. and that you can achieve a healthy posture.
I can remember in my early days, going to a violin store and trying many different shoulder rests, in an attempt to find one that fit correctly. It's something that is certainly as important as getting the right shoulder rest. In some cases, particularly in the world of period-performance, violinists and violists use no chin rest at all!
I've had a number of chin rests over the years, but the one that currently is working for me has the chin cup on the side, but is bracketed in the middle.
What kind of chin rest do you use, and are you happy with it? Did you simply stick with the one that the violin came with, or did you go on a chin rest search? Why do you feel that your current one is (or isn't) working for you? What kind is it? And can anyone offer expert advice about fitting for chin rests?
You might also like:
This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.
Violinist.com is made possible by...
Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.