Help chooslng sholder rest
I know this is a controversial topic, but I need to replace my sholder rest and I'm undecided about 3 options. The problem: I can't try them out before ordering.
1. Kun Solo
2. Viva la Musica VLM Diamond Dark Maple
3. Viva la Musica Professional Walnut Gold
I would like to know which ones usually work best for my body type. I'm 28, slim/normal weight, 1.71m / 1.72m height (5'7" / 5'8"). I have defined sholders and chest (not curved down or flat sholders like some people have).
I've played without a sholder rest for some time, less than a year, but I eventually gave up, never felt secure when shifting. But the experience made me less tense on my neck and I learned to use the left hand to also hold the violin leaving the neck more free, I use to say that playing without sholder rest made me learn how to play with sholder rest.
I want something that gives the feel of no sholder rest, it's not too agressive but at the same time makes the violin scure.
Thank you to everyone who could share opinions.
Buy all three and send back all but the best one.
What Paul said. There is no way we can really advise you because the choice is so personal.
And can I just send two back and they will refund me? Do you know if Thomann does that? I live in Portugal.
WLM diamond worked well for me. Much less probe to falling off than the Kun. Now I prefer the Pirastro Korfker rest. Light and more adaptable than the WLM.
Covering decades of violin playing, I have only used Kun collapsible, Wolf Forte, Wolf Forte Secondo, Kun Bravo (I think I got it twice-memory hazy), and Viva La Musica "Augustin" Diamond. The latter I still use, as is the least obstrusive of all of those. Kuns are decent, but at least the Bravo used to slip every once in a while (haven't used the Solo.) The "Wolves" are nice, but have huge rubber feet.
Buy all three and then put them in the garbage.
@David- what part felt insecure when playing without a SR? The part closest to your neck, felt like it would slide out? Or the scroll end of the instrument where you hold it?
@Cotton—- That made me laugh!
@Craig First Everything felt insecure, I couldn't hold the violin without the left hand too much, that made shifting very hard, I was always wanting to raise my left sholder...
No Cotton. Buy all three and use two at a time!!
A few suggestions:
I am using Wolf forte secondo right now. But I am still thinking about change. I would like to try Kun Solo. My reason for disliking Wolf it is mainly from that it is really high if I turn it down as it can be it is still too much for my short neck. And I am putting it very far from me on my violin. I have also very flat and small chinrest.
I recently went through the same kind of process. I'd been playing with a Bonmusica for some time but never quite managed to get it 100% comfortable - I found that my left arm ached - I could sort of choose which part of my arm ached, but despite constant tweaking, I never got rid of the ache.
Something my local violin shop offers, is for one to go in and try lots of different brands of shoulder rests. Do you have a local music shop / violin shop that could also offer this? Good luck in your hunt! I use a Wolf, have done since being a child. The Kun Solo is also nice, I found it comfortable to use. Definitely try as many as possible, return the ones you don't like etc! Good luck
I've only ever used a Kun original or a Wolf FS. I did not like the Kun after a while, switched to the Wolf for a year and a half, then switched back to the Kun. I found I needed the horizontal adjustment that the Kun offered - which I believe alternate/more pricey models also offer, but right now my setup is working well and for less money.
I started off with a flattish, bouncy shoulder rest. Hated it. Bought a solid wood Hidersine Maesbury because the photo made it look nice and curvy. I have no complaints, although I use it with a Teka chinrest -the Guarneri was a disaster. You'll have to find a shoulder rest + chinrest combination that works for your neck length.
Good news people... For my surprise, a school where I teach got VLM Standard 3/4/4/4 for the school's violins. Damn those sholder rests are from another world compared to Kun... Kun feels like cheap plastic and rubbish construction after having one of these in my hands. They attach much better to the violin, they are very comforatle, and the inclination angle stays. With Kun, the inclination goes away right after you put the violin on your sholder.
The Wolf models have the advantage that they are extremely adjustable; you can bend them to fit your shoulder and chest better. The mounts of the feet can be flipped to reduce the height if you have a short neck. For a long neck, you can extend the screws (they are a screw in a screw). You may wish to check "Magic posture" for ideas how to adjust them:
I've never put my korfker rest in the oven and it works perfectly.
The old Korfkers you had to put in the oven, but the new ones are adjustable anytime, no cooking required.
I understand Mr. Korfker is alive and deserves to be paid, but it's a pricey proposition that which they sell. The argument "if you really care about violin playing, you should..." doesn't hold water. Strings (even Pirastro's own), nice quality fittings, bow, rosin, actual music scores, etc. offer to this particular player a better value.
My Korfker lets my violin produce more ring under the ear than with a VLM Diamond.
Lydia, even if only the player notices the difference, that then leads to them playing better (in my experience). I have a theory that this is why real strads often sound so good; not because the violin itself is necessarily better, but because the player feels they playing on something special, and that shows up in how they play it.
I have to admit, though, I really want one of the korfker cradles, but still, I'm a broke kid.
Having used shoulder rests for about 50 years of my 80 years of violin playing I would like to suggest that one of the following three might be helpful: