After searching the site for hours, there seems not to be a definitive answer nor opinion on whether having a long neck means playing without a shoulder rest is possible. I've read several posts by Nate Robinson and even Grigor Kalinovsky about this with Grigor suggesting shoulder rests for those with long necks. My teacher doesnt play with a rest and for about a year I have been playing without a rest. I have tried using a piece of chamois underneath the violin but that does little for the psychologocial aspect of shifting. I have realised that because of my long neck I have resorted to extra tension from my head in clamping the violin down for support. My teacher keeps telling me about Balance and recovery and this is all well and good but still I find when I balance all the contact points, shifting is very difficult as the violin does not feel stable and as a result my thumb gets stuck in one position meaning very messy shifting. Also I do not want to go back to a shoulder rest due to the severe dampening of the natural and resonating overtones of the violin. When looking at professionals, I havent yet seen a violinist with a long neck that plays without a shoulder rest. I was hoping that a professional that doesnt play with a shoulder rest could help me out as I am due to commence tertiary studies in violin performance this year.
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