Shoulder rests!

May 26, 2016 at 04:22 PM · Which shoulder rest should I get? Any suggestions?

I really dislike Kun brands just because of their built quality not really impressive

Replies (42)

May 26, 2016 at 05:03 PM · You should get viva la musica shoulder rests. Or a Mach One.

May 26, 2016 at 05:27 PM · I second the viva la musica, I like the Professional model the best. I just replace my old one starting to fall apart, after 4 years of use.

BonMusica is nice too, except, too big for most cases, I personally disliked Mach One. This is really a style/taste thing.

May 26, 2016 at 05:33 PM · I found the Mach One shaped the wrong way: it scoops annoyingly inwards onto my collarbone and then outwards just where I need it to lean on my chest to avoid swivelling. I use a Kun which follows round in front of my collarbone. But shoulders are as varied as noses!

May 26, 2016 at 06:33 PM · Best ones for me in terms of sound and in this order:

Pirastro Korkfer

Viva la Musica

Kun Bravo

May 26, 2016 at 11:53 PM · I've never heard of an "Oops!" shoulder rest! Is that the kind that goes "thunk!" on the floor three or four times during a Suzuki concert?

May 27, 2016 at 12:52 AM · Everest... Not as pretty as viva la musica, but more comfortable

May 27, 2016 at 03:41 AM · thank you! I haven't heard of the viva la music but I will definitely check it out!

May 27, 2016 at 04:17 AM · Love the VLM Diamond, as it can be set low and in a very unintrusive manner. Having used many Kuns and Wolves (Wolf Primo/Secondo), I prefer the Diamond (the Secondo is nice, though-but it's kind of pointless to recommend anything given that players need different things, and some may do better with none at all.)

May 27, 2016 at 05:47 AM · true,

i dont use rest but i tried the LM Diamond once and thought it was one of the best rests around by a long way. In most cases , in my experience, most kun and the huge models that seem to be insistin g that filling thT space to the nth degre ecause the most problems. The two wolfe models are old but reliable tools .

May 27, 2016 at 09:06 AM · For many folks, shoulder rests are much too high and cause aches and pains when they should be relieving them.

The Wolf rests can be bent, and above all, twisted. but they are ugly, and if they slip, will do horrid things to the violin.

May 27, 2016 at 01:58 PM · have any of you tried the bon musica shoulder rest by any chance?

May 28, 2016 at 02:23 AM · Isn't titling a post "Shoulder rests!" on a violinists web site something like yelling "Yankees s***k" in New York City? ;-)

I don't always play/practice with a rest, but when I do It's an old Kolitsch rest. I love it because it stays put better than my Kun, which I don't use anymore. It's flat rather than contoured (meaning it allows mobility in how far left I hold the violin or how I angle/tilt it), and also very low profile so that it doesn't really raise my violin. It's covered with a corduroy that gives it a little traction so that my violin doesn't slip too easily.

But what really helped me more than a shoulder rest was a new chinrest. I got a raised chinrest, which helps tremendously in filling the gap. And keeping my violin lower made things less difficult for my bow arm. I also like that my chinrest does not shift around or fall off, which some shoulder rests have a tendency to do.

May 28, 2016 at 07:58 PM · Joshua - as you can see, you have gotten a vote for just about every SR. They are all good rests for someone, but maybe not for you. There is no substitute for going to a luthier and trying some of them. See what seems most comfortable and works best; get that one. Good luck!

May 28, 2016 at 09:45 PM · hence the Buri-ism 'When your shoulder rests your wallet sleeps.'

June 3, 2016 at 07:57 PM · Have you tried the "invisi-rest". It never falls off, and gives an uninterrupted view of the back of the violin.

Cheers Carlo

June 3, 2016 at 07:57 PM · Very, very, lightweight. You barely notice it is there.

Cheers Carlo

June 3, 2016 at 07:58 PM · I forgot to mention the stunning build quality.

Cheers Carlo

June 3, 2016 at 10:24 PM · I made my own homemade shoulder pad out of rubbery drawer/shelf liner. But I don't need a thick pad/rest - this won't work for everyone.

You could always try what Buri wrote re: the ferret in his post near the beginning of this old thread - probably my all-time favorite shoulder rest idea :) ha

June 3, 2016 at 10:31 PM · I love my Mach One.

June 4, 2016 at 02:04 AM · In all honesty, you shouldn't be shopping by brand or style. You should be shopping by the shoulder rest that works for you. Are you able to hold the violin without your left arm? If you take the violin away, your shoulder should be no different than when it is at rest.

If those criteria are met and the shoulder rest that meets them is made by Joe Shoulder Guy in East Cupcake, then that's the shoulder rest for you.

June 4, 2016 at 02:23 AM · If you don't like the Kun build quality, you might want to try a Kun Bravo. Much nicer. But I like my VLM Diamond a great deal for its adjustability -- but I like a low rest, and what works for an individual is really different. (I liked my Mach One too, but I got a dealer to custom-wrangle the legs for me for a lower height, and I was very sad when I left the rest behind in a dressing-room and it vanished.)

Go to a good violin shop and try every rest that you can.

June 4, 2016 at 06:31 AM ·

June 4, 2016 at 06:38 AM ·

June 4, 2016 at 07:11 AM · Interesting thread. To those of you familiar with both KUN and VLM: Can the VLM models be adjusted lower than a KUN standard? I find that in combination with my Berber chin rest (which suits me very well) the KUN at its lowest is just a little too high.

June 4, 2016 at 12:25 PM · Other advantages of Carlo's "Invisi-Rest" that occur to me:

it doesn't adversely affect the tone or projection;

I find it enables easier access to the higher reaches of the fingerboard;

moving the violin around as required when playing is easier;

it packs incredibly neatly into any violin case;

it is remarkably inexpensive and is obtainable anywhere;

I've never heard of one being lost or mislaid;

I've never had mine fall off or become loose while playing;

it is the ultimate in Traditional, both in appearance and performance.

June 4, 2016 at 02:39 PM · I love the picture of a wolf holding the rest in his mouth! Kind of reminding you it is time to practice ;)

June 4, 2016 at 10:59 PM · Ms. Sailer, having both, it's my opinion that yes, the VLM Diamond can be set lower than the Kun. I still keep my Bravo and Forte Secondo for reference, but honestly only use the Diamond nowadays.

Many people also do only with the VLM Professional, but when I compared both years ago now in a violin shop, the adjustment I was able to get from the Diamond was more to my liking.

Additionally, ironically nowadays if I wanted to emulate the playing ease and comfort with the other two rests, I can make the Secondo Forte more "Diamond like", but have less success with the Kun Bravo.

The Bravo is a nice and proven rest, but the way I hold the violin at this point really doesn't favor it compared to the others I mentioned. It "gets in the way" more than I'd like.

(For what it's worth, I use and love a low Teka chinrest.)

June 5, 2016 at 06:20 AM · Mr. Valle-Rivera, thank you, that has been very helpful and I think I'm going to give the Diamond a try!

I'm not unhappy with my KUN Standard, I've used it for many years, but I like the idea of an (unobtrusive) rest that may bring the violin nearer to my collarbone. Also, in combination with my Berber chinrest I feel the KUN is even at its lowest setting just a tiny bit too high - hence my question regarding the low setting. Guess it's time to try something new and I'm very impressed by the positive reviews the VLM Diamond has been receiving.

June 5, 2016 at 10:08 PM · The "invisi-rest" definitely goes lower than both the Kun and the VLM diamond. For a limited time I can direct market on of these to you, with free postage anywhere in the world, for only $9.99.

Cheers Carlo

June 6, 2016 at 04:32 PM · The invisi-rest sounds fabulous! I just sent you $9.99 (invisi-cash).

June 6, 2016 at 10:17 PM · Douglas, I have posted it to you (virtually)!

Cheers Carlo

June 7, 2016 at 01:27 AM · I recently purchased the Pirastro Korkfer. It's super light weight and quality throughout. So far, I'm having trouble figuring out how to customize it and adjust the hardware. The instructions are detailed but I can't seem to figure things out as there are hinges and parts that rotate, etc which effect many things relating to fit. Has anyone seen a video that shows you how to custom fit it? Thanks

June 7, 2016 at 07:47 AM · The "Invisi-Rest'" is aways bespoke for each player.

Cheers Carlo

June 8, 2016 at 10:32 AM · So perhaps you guys could help me out further. Many suggestions have been given and doubtless those suggestions either work for you or someone you know. The issue I have with these suggestions is they give me no basis for comparison. What body types do you have and how does the shoulder rest you prefer compensate?

I have a muscular athletic build with very wide shoulders and a very thick neck. I think I am going to try to use the sponge or rubber idea with a rubber band. I liked no shoulder rest but that had issues with shifting and holding the violin too tightly because of the slippery wood.


June 9, 2016 at 05:17 AM · You can use that rubber-like material used under rugs as a makeshift shoulder rest with a rubber band to hold it. Easy to do, doesn't hurt the Violin and prevents slips and such if you're not wanting to use a standard should rest.

June 10, 2016 at 05:06 PM · As previous posters suggested, a shoulder rest is very personal. The best way is to visit a large violin shop and spend some time to try as many shoulder rests as possible. If you are familiar with Kuhn but do not like it, I second Everest shoulder rest. But try it first.

June 10, 2016 at 05:23 PM · I completely agree with Sung, a shoulder rest is very personal and different to each person. I've seen people using just pads, sponges, shoulder rests, no shoulder rests, and a combination of the former two. I have also seen many different build qualities. I personally have used Everest for at least the past year, and have loved it. It has a sturdy plastic build quality with a really soft cushion for the shoulder pad. I highly recommend it, but then again one of my orchestra buddies just uses a sponge for her shoulder rest. Good luck in finding one that matches you!

June 11, 2016 at 03:09 AM · I will second and third the Everest recommendation - but , again, it is a very personal choice. This is the one that fit me best - I tried every one on the market except the Bon Musica. (and the newer Kun)

I like the good grip of the Everest, height is easily adjustable with no flimsy wiggling parts, and the padding/cushion is very supportive.

Oh, and I just bought a collapsible one in addition to my early model one.

Oh, I'll add I have a long neck and bony shoulders. Without a rest, the violin just slides off and is not quite high enough.

June 11, 2016 at 12:18 PM · Using double sided tape, I put rubber shelf liner on my shoulder rests and found that stopped the unwanted slipping and sliding.

June 12, 2016 at 09:34 AM · I have also found that with looser clothes, it's often the outer garment slipping on the inner one which makes us mistakenly incriminate the SR.

BTW I use a Kun Bravo, but Kun still haven't noticed that shoulders are more horizontal than chests. Wolf rests can be bent and twisted.

June 14, 2016 at 03:46 AM · Acoustifoam. You have a huge choice of thicknesses, it provides just enough support on the collarbone, and it leaves the fiddle free to move. Also, it is small enough to fit in any case.

June 14, 2016 at 07:19 AM · I just ran into an excellent player on a gig who sewed a foam pad INTO the collar area of his tuxedo jacket! Works perfect for him...

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