We've said it before: playing the violin or viola can be a pain in the neck!
Many people look to their shoulder rest to alleviate that pain -- either finding the one with the best shape and size for you, or eliminating it all together. But something many people overlook is the chinrest, that piece of wood on the top of the fiddle that cups the chin. Oftentimes students or even longtime players simply settle for the chinrest that came on the fiddle, without much more thought.
But finding the right the chin rest can make a huge difference in one's comfort level, playing the violin or viola. For those with a tall neck, getting a thicker chinrest can fill space between the violin and the chin, without raising the violin as a shoulder rest does. For those with a short neck, a lower chinrest can increase the comfort level by lowering the height of the violin.
And another consideration is where the chinrest sits: is it to the left of the tailpiece, or over the center? Is it mounted on the side, or the center? How does that affect the angle of the violin? The idea is to find a chinrest that puts the violin at an ideal angle, while putting your head in the healthiest, most comfortable place that won't require you to turn your head at an awkward angle or clench with the neck.
What are your experiences with chinrests? Please select the answer below that best relates to your experience, and then tell us about it in the comments below. You can describe a solution that really worked for you, or you can describe a problem that you continue to have and wish to solve.
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