Sloping shoulders?

April 16, 2005 at 03:53 AM · I've been playing for about a year and I'm still not comfortable with holding the instrument. I have very narrow round shoulders that also slope quite a bit (abnormally, I would even say) downward. This means that my violin doesn't have a lot of space to sit on. (I always have to carry bags back-pack style or over the shoulder because of this; anything I carry on my shoulder slips right off.)

Does anyone else out there have the sloping shoulders problem? If so, what has been a good remedy? I currently am using a Kun shoulder rest, and I notice too much tension in my left shoulder because I *have* to raise it a little. Thanks!

Replies (8)

April 16, 2005 at 03:34 PM · This is totally off the cuff and I probably don't know what I'm talking about. Narrow shoulders is how we grew and we can't do much about them. But aren't round shoulders a result of how we hold our shoulders and our arms? (Part of the shoulder is actually the end of the arm as it comes into the socket.) I wonder, if you play around with how you hold your shoulders, the angle of your upper arm, how you stand and sit and balance yourself, if you might not be able to get our shoulders to be a bit less round and narrow? When I take a full breath and rise into the breath, my shoulders straighten and my upper arms rotate slightly outward which also broadens my back around the shoulder blades. (Thanks to whoever made me aware of shoulder blades and the angle of the upper arm either here or the parallel site).

April 16, 2005 at 05:47 PM · I have sloping shoulders too. I have ones that sorta looking like a rugby player's square shoulder with the "corners" cut off. Are yours like that?

I use a kun too but it often doesn't cause me any problems. It often slips off and I have to adjust the screws to sorta make the angle of the shoulder rest right again. I've found out that the screws get looser as they age so maybe that's a problem to consider? Have you tried adjusting the screws?

Or you could maybe try out a few different other shoulder rests because each one is slightly a different shape and they aren't always for everyone.

Have you spoken to your teacher about it? Maybe it might be your positioning and holding of the violin that may be the problem?

I hope your problem is solved soon!

One-Sim :)

April 17, 2005 at 03:13 AM · I had a student with this problem; he was pretty 'mature' and never found a satisfactory solution, despite trying many shoulder rests. Eventually he developed neck pain - from hunching his shoulder, I think - and jacked it in.

April 17, 2005 at 03:16 AM · Hey, there, fellow slop-er! I have the exact same issue with my shoulders, but I finally found a solution that worked, for me at least. I had been using a regular Kun, and also hunching up my shoulder to compensate. And I tried other shoulder rest brands, too, and really wasn't happy.

What I finally did, was purchase a set of extended legs for the regular Kun, and I put only one of those extended legs on my shoulder rest, on the front side where the sloping is. I can't tell you how incredibly happy I am now! I haven't had to hunch or compensate for my sloping shoulders since! =)

April 22, 2005 at 10:21 PM · Thanks to everyone who responded. It's good to know there are other slopers out there. It's not a matter of posture--all the women in my family have these very rounded shoulders.

I may try that "extra" high leg on just the one side of the Kun. Good idea!

And I will also get my teacher to help me position my violin perfectly and then perhaps I can sew a custom padded rest!

April 23, 2005 at 02:00 AM · I, too, have inherited the sloping shoulders of my mother's family. I just tried the "front leg higher". Thank you for the suggestion. I had an amazing result.

April 24, 2005 at 12:11 AM · You're very welcome! I'm glad it helped. =)

April 24, 2005 at 11:59 AM · Hi!

I am just like you and have sloping shoulders, but I also have scoliosis and round my shoulders when playing. My violin scroll isn't level and I often get marked down in competition. Any suggestions?


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