Having been using a Wolfe shoulder rest since I started playing two years ago, I have put it to one side and am experimenting without. This is because of a slight tendency to tighten in the shoulders and I'm not happy with the fixation to the upper body that can be encouraged by using a shoulder rest.
Despite having a long neck and had the shoulder-rest extended quite high, I am now managing surprisingly well with just a piece of chamois leather over my collar-bone where the violin sits, while my thumb balances the neck. I am gradually getting used to shifting without it wobbling.
I'm a teacher of the Alexander Technique so I'm very conscious of maintaining free, expansive poise for support.
I see from videos that Menuhin had his left thumb to the side of the neck and not underneath, while maintaining a significant gap between the knuckle of his forefinger and the neck. In otherwords, the instrument seemed to hover to the side of his thumb, without apparent support otherwise. If anyone can offer a tip or advice to how to achieve this, I'll be very grateful. Thanks, Noel
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