playing without shoulder rest -suggestions..?

December 18, 2008 at 06:09 PM ·

 I played for a good time of my life so far with a shoulder rest , and my old teacher tought me to think that it is an indispensable accesoire.  However, the teacher that I have been having for an year so far plays without using one . Also , I know Heifetz forced  all his students to not use shoulder retsts, because he thought the shoulder rest affects the sound.

   By keeping watching my teacher , I finally took the decision to have a change in approach and mindset, and , first time when I tried playing without shoulder rest , was approximately a month ago. I kept changing between with and without shoulder rest , however mostly with.

   Now , I started playing only without it.

However, some problems appeared ,and I am wondering if they are normal. First of all, after the first 1-2 hours of my practice , I start feeling a strong tension in my shoulders. The only position when I don't feel that tension , is when I keep the violin very much towards the side , upward, but I won't stay in that position all that time. After I am done practicing , my shoulder  muscles are really hearting , and sometimes even my neck myscles.

Than, playing without shoulder rest sometimes affects my fluency through fast passages .

Regarding vibrato , it seems to have been enriched since I stopped using shoulder rest , however, at some moments it gets affetcted by the general incomfortability felt by my upper body.


Also , to play well without shoulder rest , I seem to need to wear clothing that will not cover my shoulders , so that my left shoulder can really keep tight to the violin . If I wear a long sleeves top , it gets considerable harder to sustain the violin while playing, as it slips away all the time..


Is there something I am doing wrong? If you have any suggestions ,I would be happy to hear them.

Thank you,


Replies (27)

December 18, 2008 at 09:43 PM ·

Regarding the violin, sans rest, slipping, my studio teacher, Naomie Gjevre suggested a ChamoisI find them in the automotive section in Super Markets since car buffs use them to buff their cars. Anyway, it seems to work well enough.

Kind Regards,


PS: With or Without a rest has been thoroughly discussed here at Go to the archives for some interesting stuff regarding this topic! :)

December 18, 2008 at 08:12 PM ·

Hi Larisa,

     Just a couple of thoughts about what you're experiencing.  With the shoulder rest you might be used to having something pressing on your left shoulder - when you play without, the violin just rests on your neck/collarbone area and there's a sorta space between the body and the shoulder.  You might be raising your shoulder to grip the body for that familiar feel, and that might be causing some tension.  It'll probably take some time to get used to the freedom of this space. 

     One thing about playing without a rest as well is that some technical aspects of left arm/hand movement and are more important than if you play with a rest (a shoulder rest allows you to be lazy in some ways).  Like when you shift higher up the fingerboard, you really need to let your elbow rotate right just before the shift (and the reverse as you shift down) - anyway, best to discuss the technical aspects with your teacher in a lesson.   It's very difficult via this medium...

Best of luck!


December 18, 2008 at 08:20 PM ·

How long is your neck and do you have little narrow or wide shoulders? Sorry to get fast to the point and I don't want again to talk about genetics because violinists should not be treated as auction cows but grr... in this thread, their is some...  Sorry for those who already know my story and neck type...  I have a very very long neck and delicate shoulders. My teacher has larger shoulders and no neck.  I don't know if it is the russian genetic or simply luck but her shoulders are not only wider but thicker and it creates the perfect little (what I call a nest!) for the violin.  Fleshy shoulders hold better the violin and it slips less. ( bones that are really exposed don't offer much place to depose the violin and it hurts the player) Rest or not, everything is find for her, even if she uses one and the violin never slips and is always tight between the neck and shoulder and I swear the left shoulder never goes up.

In my case, all the comercial rests were too small so I was forced to play restless and have been forced to invent myself a device(to give the right angle) that works!  I have notice that even the soloists said "restless" of the elder generation hided all kind of things under their suits to help maintain the violin in place (sponges, clothes even little pad sewed on the collar of their suits). I said to myself, as a women, I do not play in suits, but I could make my own little cushion that would stay (with elastics) behind my violin. Many use cosmetic sponges or chamois but then again it is too thin for a very long neck person. After having make many models and trying many heigths, I have succeded in knowing exactly where I want it and how thick etc + knowing in what angle I want my violin. So it is a lot of work and trouble and time but it is the best thing ever for me. (even if it requires a little more balance than with a rest.) (when absoluntly nothing comercial worked!) Everyone has different shapes and if you are not in the average, it becomes really difficult for what I call "finding our own ergonomic fit". It is hard for a teacher that is very different from you to "feel" what it is to play with a different neck type and just how it looks is often not ennough to really tell if someone is comfortable! But a few things are true for all, the violin must touch even if it is in a tiny point your collar bone (for stability) otherwise you have the impression to play on a tennis ball, it hurts and when you shift, you pull away your violin from you! + The cushion (even if it is thick) must not cover a big surface on the back of your violin because otherwise you "muff" the sound and it sounds awful.  + behind your  cushion, put something in rubber if it slips to much.  For the pain, really keep your shoulder down (don't exagerate either because this hurts too!), experiment different angles with your violin and make a cushion that maintains it in the good angle that works for you (this is very personal!) and it changes the contact points of the left hand with the neck. (with can be great because you want to find the position where your left hand is relaxed!) With the good angle and the shoulder down, the pain should really go away!

Here is my best advice, I can not say my method is the best because I am not Hilary Hahn lol, but I am the only one I know in the conservatory I attend who plays restless or with something different from a rest.  (It's not because I'm rebellious, I said why at the begining of this comment!). I think it is because you need much time (that I had back then :( to experiment and invent your things (it is good to develop your balance and sound but just too long and too much trouble for many students). It can take two months or... two years to find the actual ideal cushion or whatever device. (I forgot to tell, mine is firm. When it was too soft, my violin was like on a trempoline and I hated it). 

good luck and experiment.  It can slower your progress for a while but if you never give a fair try to any method, you might pass on front of something fantastic (at least that you are doing very good with a rest and don't have any doubts it is for you).


December 18, 2008 at 08:55 PM ·

Welcome to the wonderful tradition of not using a shoulder rest.  It is rarely seen anymore and in fact I am the only violinist in my circle of friends that does not use one.  I understand your plight completely, pains and discomfort are just a pinch of a movement away when you're not using a shoulder rest.  I find that when I practice by myself I am able to maintain the proper posture for this (violin over the shoulder, weight on the left foot, back arched back and to the left, relaxed grip with the thumb).  It is really a wonderful thing to do as a solo violinist.  My problems kick in when I'm in an orchestra having to share my space with other violinists, drooping stands, watching the conductor, bad lighting, small score, etc. As soon as I get out of the "right" posture my back starts to hurt, my violin starts to slip, and I start to strain.  The only combat to that situation is to uncompromisingly adhere to your posture no matter what - this usually means I have to angle my chair to the right more so than others so that I can balance my fiddle as it is meant to be balanced.  It's more preferable than sitting my violin on a shoulder shelf (shoulder rest haha).

December 18, 2008 at 08:58 PM ·

The chin rest which works with you shoulder rest may be completely wrong for going without a shoulder rest.  Make sure you have that part taken care of.

Then a  chamois or anti-slip mat as discussed here:

December 18, 2008 at 09:55 PM ·

The biggest difference is that with the  shoulder rest, you hold the fiddle with the head leaning onto the chinrest, and the left hand takes no weight from the violin. Violin is in a fixed position

Without the shoulder rest, the weight of the instrument is distributed between left hand and collarbone. Collarbone, mind NOT shoulder.

You can move the violin around with the left hand. This makes no difference to playing in a single position, or shifting up (as your neck stops the fiddle), but some find shifting down difficult because the violin tends to move away with the shifting hand.

A light resting of the head on the chin rest will prevent this movement away,





December 18, 2008 at 10:39 PM ·

The only correct way to play with no shoulder rest is to rest the violin on the collarbone and hold it up with the left hand exclusively. Lifting the shoulder and clenching the violin is dangerous and will eventually lead to injury. Using the shoulder rest is another form of clenching and it will lead to injury as well but just at a slower rate. 

Holding the violin with the left hand is like taking off the training wheels of a bicycle. It isn't easy at first but once you master the balancing you'll wonder how you ever played with a shoulder rest.

December 19, 2008 at 02:26 AM ·

I have slim shoulders and a long neck and arms that are too long for my height (think orangatain) and recently have stopped using a shoulder rest due to shoulder pain in high positions (the shoulder rest wouldn't let me lift my shoulder at all without moving the violin forwards...and when I rotate my arms it feels much healtier and natural for the shoulder to rise, fall and move slightly back and forth than to have to force it to sit still). 

I had tried many times in the past w/o success but this time I watched a LOT of videos of older violinists and think I've figured out some things that have helped.  My teacher in high school and her husband didn't use shoulder rests so I'd seen people do this up close for a long time also. 

1) The violin has to be held further to the left and flatter so that the whole back will rest on the collar bone.  If you have trouble bowing I've read that the angle can be changed by altering the chinrest, but it's pretty hard to hold the violin sticking out in front of you like with a shoulder rest. 

2) you have to support the violin w/ the left hand.  I did this already but I discovered that I had a habit of pushing the violin left while shifting that disrupts the violin w/o the shoulder rest.  I also found that raising the violin during large shifts gave my shoulder the most freedom. 

3) If you want to be able to hold the violin without the hands you need to hook the chinrest from the back of your jaw to the chin instead of just the tip of the chin.  I think this is only necessary if doing a large back-shift from above fourth position.  I tried playing Paganini Caprice #9 without touching the chinrest at all and it worked until I had to shift up the G string and then I couldn't support the violin without some chin pressure. 

4) The violin is flatter so chords are hard unless you let go of the chinrest or nod the chin down so that the violin tilts down.  This lets me reach the G string without having to rotate my arm as much and also makes bowing chords easier. 

5) I replaced the chinrest w/ a Priska model, raised it, and made it tilt so it was higher over the tailpiece.  That gave me the most control over the tilt of the violin.

One thing I haven't figured out is how to play without cloth covering the collar bone without having the chinrest claps destroy the skin.  With my dark skin it makes a horrible brownish splotch if I play without a cloth for a few days.  The other thing is I'm less comfortable on the G string by about as much as I'm more comfortable on the E in terms of stability so I'm still experimenting with that. 

Anyway, I hope that what I've said gives some ideas even if it doesn't help much.  I've found people who never have used a shoulder rest have a hard time understanding why it's hard for us to stop using one and give somewhat vague advice...

December 19, 2008 at 02:59 AM ·

I started out using a shoulder rest but it was never comfortable for me plus I was using pressure from my head to keep the violin place...just like Corwin described.  Once I figured out that the main contact points were the collar bone, left hand, and left jaw, it started to fall into place.  I also changed chin rests.  Try many chin rests until you find the one that works best for you and your playing style.  We are all of different body design and we all hold the violin slightly differently so there just is not a 'one size fits all' when it comes to a comfortable set up. 

Experiment until you find what works for you.  With or without a shoulder rest.

December 19, 2008 at 03:07 AM ·

"I KINDA RESENT THIS THREAD" !" Yeah, I'm shouting!

My first inclination is to recommend finding a teacher who understands the good and bad points of shoulder rests.


With so many of today's virtuoso violinists playing with shoulder rests. And, just looki at the pro orchestra violinists who use them. I conclude that the thing that is wrong about using a shoulder rest is largely your teacher.

Now, I do agree with those who articulate the advantages of playing without a shoulder rest. Everything that Clayton Haslop says about it is true. But it is also true that Isaac Stern joked about playing without a shoulder rest, but kept a cushion under the shoulder pad of his ubiquitous jacket.

I played the violin without a shoulder rest for 30 years because ALL my violin teachers had been short men with short necks - of central European extraction. Then, at age 35 I found the ideal CHINREST for me - and things greatly improved. But even so, I tried a shoulder rest -- whatever was around then (40 years ago) and found that helped even more.

Even with the shoulder rest, I held the violin between my jaw and my collar bone, with the shoulder rest acting only the way a cushion under the coat would. (I have tried almost all the shoulder rests that are sold these past 10 - 20 years and have found that different ones work better at different angles, and even for me different ones work better on different violins of mine.)

But most of the shoulder rests sold today do more than just act as a support, they also RESTRICT the motion of the violin on your shoulder. So you are pretty much stuck with the instrument at a certain (sideways) angle to the floor. It may be too flat to play the G string conveniently - OR too tilted to do justice to E-string spiccatos, etc.

I had to give up my shoulder rest last year, because arthritis in my left hand joints demanded that I be able to move the violin around more (and to support it with my left hand - at times) to be able to move up the G string.

The compromise I am now using is the Acoustifoam shoulder rest ( ) that gives me the advantage of a bit of shoulder "rise" bot without restricting motion of the fiddle on my shoulder at all. It comes in a variety of heights, and each is not adjustable, so if you are going to transition from a conventional shoulder rest to one of these, you should first pick a height equal to the lowest point on your current rest.

But the perfect chinrest is essential first. And it is just fine to protect your skin with a cloth -- nothing seems to work better than chamois (which was once something else's skin).


December 19, 2008 at 09:14 AM ·

Hello Larisa, i have been playing without a shoulder-rest for about a year. The reason why i think that your muscles are undergoing stress is because your muscles from the start was accustomed to play in a shoulder-rest position and by suddenly switching out of it your muscles willl react and the same thing happened to me when i first started. It wasn't until recently by observing master Heifetz hours a day you envisage in your mind how to hold your violin the "proper" way. I basically cover almost all of the chinrest and have your instrument pointed at a 45 degree angle from your front and have your left arm be pointed at the same direction in a relaxed position. Recently i found out that you have to keep your left arm in a solitary position by not shifting it left or right during string crossings and shifts in order to keep the violin at bay and it helps a lot in keeping your tone and sound consistant throughout. It is all in your fingers, the larger muscles accomidates the fluidity of your smaller muscles. Also you have to stand up straight and it is the chin that holds the violin, not the shoulder or arms. Anyway i wish you the best and happy holidays.

With Sincerity,


December 19, 2008 at 01:51 PM ·

Larissa - without getting into the (I think pointless) debate of whether you should or should not use a shoulder rest, if you want to go restless, you need your teacher to watch you carefully to help you transition properly.  Your teacher needs to make sure you are doing everything right and have not picked up some bad habit that is causing the problems.  We cannot see you play without, so it is difficult to completely help.  Good luck! 

December 19, 2008 at 02:32 PM ·

I am an adult student, that learned without a shoulder rest...I do hold my violin "flatter" as some others who don't use rests have mentioned.  I like the freedom of being able to move the violin, and when I try a violin with a rest, it feels too static.  I DO use a small suede pad to keep the violin from slipping and that it is very comfortable. 

December 19, 2008 at 04:32 PM ·


May this website: help you to find the setup that will allow you to play comfortably for a very long time.

To shoulder rest or not to shoulder rest is probably _not_ the question.

Good luck,


December 19, 2008 at 06:12 PM ·


Hi Larisa, I will send you an e-mail, with a  video  detailing some of my ideas.

December 19, 2008 at 07:13 PM ·

When I started, the shoulder rest made it a little easier to keep the violin from falling off my shoulder, so it had its purpose then. But I soon found it a major hassle to have to attach the darn thing every time I took the violin out of its case. I thought, "why don't they make the cases such that you can put a violin with its shoulder rest attached into the case?". Many times I would forget to attach it, start my practise without and only realise it some 20 or 30 minutes later, so I thought "if I don't even realise that I practise without, why bother?".

Now that I have gotten used to playing without all the time it feels natural and I have come to recognise some of the benefits that proponents of playing without often cite. Yet, in my office I have a Yamaha silent violin so I can practise a little during breaks. That silent violin I find to be unplayable without its shoulder rest, so I play it with shoulder rest.

At the end of the day it is about what works for you. And what works for you may not work for somebody else. If I had the kind of troubles you describe when playing without, I wouldn't want to play without. Like others have said, you need to discuss this with your teacher and if he or she is unable to help you to get rid of the problems you describe, especially the physical pain which is probably indicating danger of injury, then perhaps you should consider going back to using the shoulder rest.

December 20, 2008 at 01:15 AM ·

  Thank you , everybody for your answers. My little adventure of violin without shoulder rest has begun  , and to be honest I do feel that since I am not using a shoulder rest any more the violin responds better to me- in terms of expressivity and sound .i actually feel I am bonding more with the instrument this way , so I will continue . The journey seems however hard. it seems though that the more I practice, the more I become somewhat more comfortable with it(well of course, speaking in millimetres ..:D).

I am excited to hear more about your experiences of playing restless, and more advices.


Thank you ,


December 20, 2008 at 05:06 AM ·

I too am using an acoustifoam  pad as a  happy compromise between a full fledged shoulder rest and nothing at all, and like Andrew, have found that the chin rest is absolutely crucial to the choice made in what support you use below. I am using a lightweight boxwood Berber chinrest , which is center mounted with raised cork to reduce the surface area touching the top of the violin. The Berber allows your jaw to rest on the chin rest but, unlike the Guarneri chin rest, has enough additional surface area to allow your chin a place to rest as well without turning your neck. This makes the chin rest very comfortable and, together with the acoustifoam,  I have experienced greater freedom and ease of playing than ever before.  With the acoustofoam, there is no blockage in the upper chest which can happen with shoulder rests that set the angle of the violin too rigidly for which your only recourse is to arch your back  to change the tilt of the violin to favor playing on the G string or the  E string. With the acoustifoam you also have the freedom to change angles in your hand.

     However, another observation I made is that it may not really be necessary to constantly tilt the violin back and forth between G and E string and that in fact, more crucial is the ability to raise the violin higher and lower to assist shifting and to allow the resistance of the violin rising to meet the bow to be part of how one produces a ringing, resonant, unconstricted, unstrained sound instead of thinking only about arm weight from the right arm and hand supported by the back muscles.

     In sum, the chin rest should fit your jaw/chin type, be set on the violin so you do not have to turn the neck too much, if at all, nor have the head drop too much, and when it does so should only do so from the base of the skull not from the part of the neck that is at the same height as your shoulders. If you use a shoulder pad or rest below, it should not impede  the muscles in the chest that you can feel moving when you are shifting or vibrating and it should not rest on the acromion where the collar bone and shoulder meet. It should be possible to have the neck rest in your hand/thumb area in such a way that the responsibility for holding the violin is shared far more so between hand and collarbone and a gentle resting of the head/jaw on the chinrest and not  solely supported by a shoulder rest.




December 20, 2008 at 06:56 AM ·

Ha ha, Benjamin, it's nice to hear someone else who is motivated to try playing without a shoulder rest mostly because of the hassle of taking it off, putting it on, and trying to cram it into the case compartment just so. :) 

My teacher's having me try playing rest-less for a while---even though he himself uses one---because---as Kenneth said---it's less forgiving of technical issues (and thus compels one to work on them).  I was always taught before that the left hand should not be supporting the instrument at all, and so when I tried going rest-less in the past, I did all sort of horrible things with my shoulder to try and maintain that.  I appreciate my current teacher and people here articulating so clearly that YES, the left hand IS supposed to bear weight!

With so much misinformation flying around, it's no wonder that people have such strong feelings about their personal choices.  Instead of getting into the perennial war, maybe we'd do better to try and learn from each other.  Joseph, I particularly appreciate your points on the transition and will keep them in mind.

December 20, 2008 at 11:02 AM ·

In the "old days", violinists had no SR and no CR.  One glance at the wear pattern on an old violin proves this.  So, I tried it.  In a word: great!  But, I didn't want to detroy the top of my violin,so I went back to a CR.  I followed I Stern's advice to use a simple foam pad under my shirt on the shoulder.  I tried many CRs, and the ones that work for me are the Berber and new-Flesch.  This CR no SR combo is much better than a CR+SR combo.  Good luck!


December 20, 2008 at 06:31 PM ·

I practiced  with my chin not touching the chin rest. This taught me to support the violin with the left hand. Shifting from high to low is pretty challenging doing this, so put your chin on the rest briefly when doing this.

December 21, 2008 at 06:16 PM ·

After just switching teachers and watching him for a semester play without a shoulder rest, I finally decided to get rid of mine.  The shoulder rest just caused so many problems for me.  It was never truly comfortable, I was always fidgeting with it, constantly re-adjusting it while playing.  It even made it hard to start pieces!  And of course, the particular rest I had was such a sound dampener and killed the tone of my instrument.

I have been fooling around with my shoulder/chin rests for about a year coming up to this point.  A few months ago, I switched to one of those rests those center mounted chinrests, which I also think is a necessity for playing restless.  Those guarneri rests seem to be the most awkwardly made chinrests, at least for  my physical stature.  My chin would always fall on the treble side of the tailpiece. It is called the Berber chinrest ( it has another name with an O) and is available through shar.  It seems to be working out very well so far, though I have considered switching to the SAS chinrest.

The key is to stay relaxed.  There is no need to keep the violin in the same position (frankly that goes against playing without a rest).   The violin needs mobility. No pressing or pushing is needed from either the shoulder or the head.  Just rest the violin on your collarbone and you will be fine.  Play through the awkward stage!  you wont be perfect.  Like everything else, you need to get used to it.  Your vibrato will probably suffer and so will your shifting, but guess what, it will come back.  You will learn to compensate and how to play.  Your tone will be miles and miles better.  Just remember, tension free :)


Thats my 2 cents.

December 22, 2008 at 04:25 AM ·


there is not much left to cover here.  I think it is worth experimenting with spinge/acousticfoam etc.   They often provide a compomise that work for people with long necks or not much area to support the insturment.  Its a question of weaning off rather thna going cold turkey.

Firts I would stres sthe need to be aware of the friction beteen neck and insturment as an extra means of support.  By all means use a chamois. I do. It helps a great deal.

Second, put the violin up as follows.  Hold the right lower bout in the right hand with the scroll pointing to the floor. Place your left hand on your right shoulder. In doing so you create a table around your collar bone on which the violin is placed. Bring up the violin and place it on the table.  Now put your left hand back so it is holding the neck.

Recognize that teh violin must be much more mobile.  If you shift up the violin goes up and to the left, but even on down shifting it is good to raise the violin a little.

When you shift from lower to higher there is an opposite moveemnt of the upper arm to the forearm.  In order to create the space for this movement to happen the left shoulder should actually move back and perhsps down a little.  When moving form a higher to lowe rposition the left shoulder actually moves very slightly forward to allow the left upper arm space to move back in contrary motion to the forearm. It sounds scomplex but a small amount of time on slow shifting pracitce makes this process clear and it becomes automatic. Menuhin stated thta he found alomst 100 percent of the time that a defective shift was cause by lack of preparatory micro omvement in the left shoulder.

Recognoize thta it will take you at least a year to get really comfortable at this but thta it is worth it. The more one stireng scales and shifting exercises you practicing focusing exclusively on holding the violin with the left hand the faster you will get comfortable.

As Marain hinted at earlier,  you cannot get away with anything if you are restless.  If it is not working do not get frustarted with the actually proces sof playing restless. Taht is not the problem. The problem is somethign you are doing wrong in your posture or generla body movement and it isa wondferful opportunity to seek that out and apply remedial measures.  This is one difference between using and not using a rest.  Technical probles of body use tend to be masked by the rest making is apparently easier when inthe long run it might actually bebetter to solve the issue itslef. Not an anti rest statement. Simply pointing out that whatever one chooses to do it is better not to do anything wrong;)

There is one noticeable differnec betwene palyign with and without and rest. The bow is is substabntially lower and I strongly belief this substantially redcues the risk of injury.  The current massive percentage of injuries sported by orchestral players is food for thought.    More often than not a higher chinrest isa bette roption than support under the violin.



December 22, 2008 at 06:20 AM ·


Nate , it would be great to see the video you mention on v.commie.

Larisa,  I just saw the following comment on Clayton Haslops latest blog.

>The trick is to understand the moments of the whole left arm, not just the fingers, wrist, and to a lesser extent the forearm in the upper positions. The upper arm and shoulder are involved too, and if left out of the equation will limit your effectiveness big time.





December 22, 2008 at 02:07 PM ·

Thank you for this thread!  I, too, have just begun playing without a rest (I used the thick blue sponge before) and find it a challenge, but also with rewards.  I definitely "feel" the music more, and some shifts seem to be easier.  But downshifts are harder, and I am not yet used to the mobility, or the need to balance the weight with the left hand.  I look forward to trying some of the suggestions made above. 

My biggest issue is this tendency to grab tightly to the violin with my left hand, which sends tension up my arm and makes everything harder.  Will I learn to stop this as I get used to the fact that the violin isn't going to fall?  Or are there exercises I can do to train myself to be more relaxed?

BTW, I use a flat flesch center-mounted chinrest that actually works pretty well restless.  It sits fairly high, with a wide surface for my chin, and I think I will stick with it.  It might work well for others experimenting with restless-ness.  (for reference I am kind of small, with a bony collarbone and a medium-long neck. )

Good luck to the OP!   I too feel very awkward at the moment, but like what you described as "bonding" with the instrument.


December 22, 2008 at 03:52 PM ·

Larisa: when you play the violin that way, you do not use the left shoulder: It must be free and not supporting the violin. The violin is "resting" on the collar-bone and the left-hand only and the left thumb becomes very active...

December 22, 2008 at 04:20 PM ·

Hi everybody!Thank you for your suggestions .

Indeed , now I almost got rid of wanting to lift the left shoulder , and , as a result of some wonderful suggestions I reveived , I do "support " the violin on the base of the neck , with the left had ,and the chin seems to play a  big part in this too (now it is covering almost all of the chinrest , as opposed to when I played with shoulder rest , and I noticed that if it stays at a certain angle , it gives the violin a great balance- basically I feel now that by keeping the chin at that angle and having a straight posture , there is like a little "box "created between the collar bone and the chin , just perfect to place the violin there.This way , all of the elements I involve now in supporting the violin have a "fair" share , but they are all relaxed , the violin seems to stay flat, and secure, and also I don't feel the need to move it around that much .)


You are right , Buri , playing without shoulder rest does reveal me mistakes that I maybe used to do but were covered by the shoulder-rest.

Yesterday , I took the chance and had my first recital restless. I wanted to see how I will control the violin restless in front of public.

Also, since I don't try to lift the left shoulder anymore, the violin is not slipping away any more.


So , I guess I am starting to gain more courage in my adventure restless :).

Thanks again , everybody for taking the time to reply !

Happy Holidays !



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