Shoulder rest: Yes or No Poll

November 23, 2006 at 05:10 PM · I continue to work with balancing my instrument, and would appreciate it if you could either answer yes or no to whether you use a shoulder rest.

I know the topic has been beaten to pieces, but I'm just looking for numbers.

Replies (100)

November 23, 2006 at 05:17 PM · yes

November 23, 2006 at 05:28 PM · no

edit: i do, however, use one of those little red cosmetic sponges held in place by a rubber band--my violin isn't completely naked.

November 23, 2006 at 05:32 PM · Yes!

November 23, 2006 at 05:33 PM · Hi Mr. Al,

Yes.

But do what works best for you.

November 23, 2006 at 05:49 PM · No.

November 23, 2006 at 05:55 PM · Yes

November 23, 2006 at 05:56 PM · yup

November 23, 2006 at 06:41 PM · No

November 23, 2006 at 06:43 PM · YES!

November 23, 2006 at 07:37 PM · No

November 23, 2006 at 07:39 PM · no

November 23, 2006 at 08:24 PM · yes

November 23, 2006 at 08:49 PM · Yes, a wolf.

November 23, 2006 at 09:10 PM · Yeh!

It even comes in 2 bits!

November 23, 2006 at 09:40 PM · yes

November 23, 2006 at 10:01 PM · No.

November 23, 2006 at 10:06 PM · Definitely maybe!!!!!!

Neil

November 23, 2006 at 10:13 PM · no

November 23, 2006 at 10:44 PM · dups.

November 23, 2006 at 11:14 PM · No, but it's a personal thing. :) Most of my students use some form of rest, pad, etc...

November 23, 2006 at 11:21 PM · Yes and No

November 23, 2006 at 11:37 PM · no

November 24, 2006 at 01:32 AM · yes for me

...

...

...

but...

yes-if you have a long neck

no-if you have a short neck

November 24, 2006 at 01:36 AM · Yeah, I would

I agree with Michelle,

yes-long neck

no-short neck

November 24, 2006 at 02:46 AM · Foam pad.

November 24, 2006 at 02:59 AM · No. But a foam wedge to tilt the violin.

November 24, 2006 at 03:02 AM · I use one, sometimes I take it off when I practice.

November 24, 2006 at 04:10 AM · Nope. (short neck)

November 24, 2006 at 04:18 AM · yes

November 24, 2006 at 05:32 AM · No.

I don't see what neck size has to do with it...I have a long neck and don't see the need for a shoulder rest!

November 24, 2006 at 08:54 AM · Yes.

Long neck -- how to change position downwards, without dropping the violin or doing unhealthy things to my neck and shoulder?

November 24, 2006 at 09:48 AM · yes

November 24, 2006 at 10:59 AM · Ya.

MP.

November 24, 2006 at 12:45 PM · yes

November 24, 2006 at 02:36 PM · No.

November 24, 2006 at 02:42 PM · yes, but i didn't use one when i first started playing the violin.

November 24, 2006 at 02:52 PM · yes

November 24, 2006 at 03:36 PM · Friedrich, it's all about balance. :) Neck length doesn't really have that much to do with it, I've found....

November 24, 2006 at 04:38 PM · no

November 24, 2006 at 05:13 PM · yes

November 24, 2006 at 05:40 PM · Yes. Neck hurts to think of being without one.

November 24, 2006 at 06:56 PM · No (long neck)

November 24, 2006 at 08:18 PM · No

November 24, 2006 at 08:40 PM · No

November 24, 2006 at 09:41 PM · yes.it hurts my neck when I play without shoulder rest.

November 24, 2006 at 11:34 PM · No

November 24, 2006 at 11:44 PM · I tried to play without a shoulder rest, because the kun I had kept falling off, but it was uncomfortable for me (I have a very long neck). Now I use a wolf, and I like it much better. I guess it just depends on your own personal preference.

November 25, 2006 at 03:25 AM · No.

November 25, 2006 at 04:10 AM · My neck is very long yet I don't use one.

November 25, 2006 at 04:45 AM · my neck is short and I DO use one.

November 25, 2006 at 05:00 AM · Ouch!

November 25, 2006 at 05:16 AM · I dunno whether my neck is long or short, but I knu I NEED one...

November 25, 2006 at 07:37 AM · Yes

November 25, 2006 at 08:57 AM · NO and I have a long neck.

i use a white cloth that's folded 4times to give me support (usually under my shirt/tux). The tone and sound I get from my violin sounds very different when using/not using a shoulder rest

November 25, 2006 at 01:21 PM · Yes

November 25, 2006 at 03:43 PM · Yes- and I have the shortest neck of anyone I know. I'm also one of the shortest people of anyone I know.... :(

November 25, 2006 at 04:31 PM · Yup, I use a shoulder rest.

November 25, 2006 at 06:08 PM · Yes.

November 25, 2006 at 08:48 PM · Yes.

November 26, 2006 at 05:25 AM · No.

But its not for everybody.

BTW, it's not how "tall" or "short" it is but how you use it :)

November 26, 2006 at 11:56 AM · No.

November 26, 2006 at 12:35 PM · yes (i just started learning this year)

November 26, 2006 at 09:53 PM · Yes. I am surprised to see how many no. Almost everyone in my local, VERY good pro orchestra,the Rochester Philharmonic, plays with a rest of some kind. I don't count folded cloths,maybe don't count make-up(red)sponges, but any of those foam block things are rests in my book. Sue

November 26, 2006 at 10:09 PM · I'm running polls elsewhere and will compile the results somehow--maybe in my blog, for everyone's convenience. Thanks for participating.

November 27, 2006 at 12:56 AM · no.

but i made a suede thing for the part of the violin that has contact with my shoulder / collarbone to save the varnish and stop slipping.

November 27, 2006 at 01:20 AM · Yes

November 27, 2006 at 02:09 AM · yes

November 27, 2006 at 02:33 AM · No for acoustic, but yes for solid body

November 27, 2006 at 02:41 AM · Yes. my neck is too long. Can't possible hold a violin without shoulder rest.

November 27, 2006 at 02:55 AM · Yes -- a Viva shoulder rest (and a "Strad pad" on the chinrest!!!!)

November 27, 2006 at 04:04 AM · No.

After more than 15+ years of using a KUN! It has changed everything for me to get away from holding and gripping the violin to balancing and moving freely and allowing the instrument to play itself. The change in the sound I was able to produce was really dramatic, I was able to find my voice on the violin for what feels like the first time ever! But I also had to be mindful of my entire body being relaxed, and there are lots of muscles to continue to think about!

November 27, 2006 at 04:33 AM · no

November 27, 2006 at 04:43 AM · Jennifer V.--EXACTLY! :)

November 27, 2006 at 04:45 AM · no.

*note: an excellent book complete with photos on how to play without a shoulder rest is dalton's book on william primrose called 'playing the viola'. all the techniques he discusses apply to violin as well.

November 27, 2006 at 06:00 AM · Yes, i do hope you share with us the results. It's one thing to talk about the pros and cons, and another to see what people really do!

November 27, 2006 at 05:58 AM · I have to add something-

I can play comfortably with or without one (I tried a bunch and liked the Mach 5 the best) and find each way has subtle advantages.

HOWEVER, I just HATE the feel of having a shoulder rest. It makes the violin much less personal, less a part of me. It's klunky and hard. Bleah. This is very important to me, enough to have made me learn to play without one.

November 27, 2006 at 12:10 PM · Yes. I like the feeling without, but cannot figure out vibrato that way. Also, my teacher uses a rest.

November 27, 2006 at 01:08 PM · Non

November 27, 2006 at 01:43 PM · no.

November 27, 2006 at 02:57 PM · Yes.

November 27, 2006 at 04:21 PM · No (I used one for most of 25+ years - then switched over to none about 6 or 7 years ago. I was called stork neck as a teenager but I find having a long enck is no impediment now.)

November 27, 2006 at 11:24 PM · no.

November 27, 2006 at 11:27 PM · Yes.

One year I did play without one, but then I got my new violin and my teacher suggested using one again, to preserve the varnish ont he violins back.

November 28, 2006 at 12:43 AM · Yes

Kun Bravo with Strad Pad. Very comfy.

November 28, 2006 at 04:43 AM · no

November 28, 2006 at 07:14 AM · No. Long neck. Vibrato technique is evolving.

November 28, 2006 at 07:44 AM · nope

November 28, 2006 at 11:23 PM · yes

November 29, 2006 at 03:07 PM · No.

I quit the shoulder rest about 2 months ago and I'm so glad I did. The sound improved, my shoulder is freer as it sits on the collarbone and balances on the left thumb. It's a balancing act, but I enjoy the freedom.

Noel

November 29, 2006 at 03:32 PM · Yes

November 29, 2006 at 03:07 PM · No.

I quit the shoulder rest about 2 months ago and I'm so glad I did. The sound improved, my shoulder is freer as it sits on the collarbone and balances on the left thumb. It's a balancing act, but I enjoy the freedom.

Noel

November 29, 2006 at 05:30 PM · yes, but you can play with a small pillow too, as something in between.

November 29, 2006 at 06:18 PM · No.

November 29, 2006 at 06:58 PM · Yes and no. Actually it is not a big deal you use it or not. Right using of own body- it is important, not shoulder rest.

November 29, 2006 at 10:42 PM · exactly

November 30, 2006 at 03:59 AM · Yes.

November 30, 2006 at 05:49 AM · Yes, a wolf, but I occasionally take it off too and play with a cosmetic sponge instead just because.

November 30, 2006 at 05:51 AM · Yes. I use Viva La Musica (German, I think) - very comfortable.

November 30, 2006 at 08:21 AM · Yes.

I tried playing without shoulder rest but this resulted in shoulder and neck problems so I quit the idea.

November 30, 2006 at 07:08 AM · Intermediate Results show 45% not using a shoulder rest compared to 55% who do. At another site, the numbers are 80:20 yes/no.

My own experiments (like I really need to be experimenting at this point), tell me the violin sounds somehow better without one, though I've only spent about a total hour without one. And I haven't figured this 'how' out either.

Does anyone know the history of shoulder rests? When they were invented etc...

This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

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