Keeping Violin from Slipping Around

May 21, 2019, 3:16 PM · Hi all, first post here. I've been playing bass for 35 years, piano/keys for 30, and guitar for 25. I just got my first violin yesterday, it's a Stagg electric that I figured would be good to get me feet wet with.

First thing I noticed was it slipping around between my chin and shoulder while trying to move around on the fingerboard, would a shoulder rest resolve this issue? If so what would you suggest? Any other suggestions besides a rest are more than welcome!

Replies (17)

Edited: May 22, 2019, 8:07 AM · First a chinrest that really fits YOU! Then a shoulder rest for the underside if there are still gaps. Don't wear silk or satin shirts!
May 21, 2019, 3:56 PM · As Andrew wrote: "First a chinrest that really fits YOU!" Once you have done that and the instrument is still sliding around there are a large number of options: shoulder rests can help but only if you really need one, some use a sponge held in place with rubber bands and one creative solution I saw recently: a piece of that rubber mat that they sell in restaurant supply store that they put on trays to keep plates from slipping. Cut a piece that fits where you need it and secure it under the bracket that holds the chin rest.
May 21, 2019, 4:07 PM · Andrew Victor any advice for choosing a chin rest that really fits?
May 21, 2019, 4:56 PM · Have your teacher or some experienced player help you determine whether you actually need a shoulder rest. Get a comparison. Some players do better without.

Regarding shoulder rests: I played restless till 18 y/o but then decided I liked the feel of an SR better than the feel of a bareback fiddle. On my current model, the Kun Bravo, which fits me very well on the low setting for shoulder side, I wrap a few rubber bands around the pad for extra grip.

About the chin rest: I use the Strad Pad on each of mine. These provide still more grip and counteract slippage. An added benefit: They also reduce or eliminate skin irritation. I have no red marks or irritation -- and I can practice and play up to 3 hours a day, which is all I can fit in on my current schedule. My Strad Pads attach by a Velcro strip. They're easily removable and washable -- not too expensive, either -- I got my last ones for about $23 USD each.

May 21, 2019, 5:00 PM · Thanks all, The chin rest that came on it is pretty shallow and round, I could use something a little deeper. It slips around on my collar bone as well.
Edited: May 21, 2019, 5:36 PM · Gabriel Soloff,

There is a chinrest that fits ME. They stopped making that exact model in Germany 50 years ago and current chinrests of the same name ("Stuber") are made in Asia and are not the same at all. I could get one made to order in UK for $160 plus shipping and almost did a couple of months ago (as I did 20 years ago when they cost only $100). BUT..

BUT first I decided to try a cheaper option this time. I bought an IMPRESSIONIST that will fit on any chinrest, can be molded to your own jaw shape with hot water and will stick to your current chinrest. It works and it worked.

Actually - I still had one of my old original STUBER chinrests and used it to make a mold of its top with an IMPRESSIONIST because that fits me better than one made modeling my own jaw. Then I used this mold to make copies of my original chinrest with another IMPRESSIONIST to put on the two chinrests I was trying to modify. That's what worked for me.

Actually, I only needed half of the material in one IMPRESIONIST to put on my chinrests, so I was able to correct two chinrests to my jaw. I use a cloth over the chinrest so mine looks and feels like any other.

Many dealers sell the IMPRESSIONIST here is the URL for

May 21, 2019, 6:02 PM · Thanks Andrew Victor! I've experimented with shoulder rests but not chin rests so I will check that out. Thanks for the info.
May 21, 2019, 6:55 PM · As far as choosing a chinrest and shoulder rest is concerned, it's pretty much just a trial and error process. You just try a whole bunch of solutions to see what works best for you. And yes, there are definitely things to consider, such as the length of your neck, jaw shape, shoulder size and shape, length of arms, hand size, playing style, etc. By the way,some excellent advice was given above.
May 21, 2019, 7:46 PM · Great suggestions!
May 22, 2019, 3:00 AM · I've seen people use the rubber mat (that George Wells mentioned) both with and without shoulder rests; I've seen several people wrap a piece around a shoulder rest for extra grip.

The leather pad on my Mach One shoulder rest is somewhat slippery, and my solution to that has been to attach cosmetic sponges to it with rubber bands. I just use the thin ones, rather than the double-thick ones that some string players use as shoulder pads, because I'm only using them for friction rather than as padding.

May 22, 2019, 3:10 AM · Wittner Augsburg is height and tilt adjustable depending on what spacers you use with it. And it sells for under $30.

It claimed to be a center mount, but I use mine side mounted on my viola just fine.

A properly fitted CR is a key element to good, and comfortable playing

May 22, 2019, 4:01 AM · Jeffrey just a piece of chamois leather might already do the trick. Drape it over your chin rest and the front of the violin so the chamois is between your collarbone and the violin. You can get them in auto shops (car lovers use them to dry their cars :-). Buy a piece and cut the size you need with scissors.
May 22, 2019, 5:21 AM · Thanks Jean, I have a chamois already and will give it a try.
May 22, 2019, 6:37 AM · Get some contact cement and glue it to your concert shirt.
May 22, 2019, 6:55 AM · You asked whether an SR would keep your violin from shifting around. This is precisely why I use one. Some violinists talk about the "freedom" of having their violin bobbling all over the place while they play. I prefer the freedom of being able to concentrate on other stuff.
May 22, 2019, 8:12 AM · I used shoulder rests for violin playing from my 30s and on into my 70s. After that I found them too restricting. I still like the way a shoulder rest fills the gap from the bottom of the fiddle to my shoulder and have found that the AcoustaGrip does the job well for me for violin playing. More and more of the other people I play with now use AcoustaGrip too.

For viola, I use a GelRest Micro that will definitely keep the instrument from slipping. Like the AcoustaGrip, it fastens to the back of the instrument with micro-suction. The GelRest Micro is only about 3/8 inch high.

May 22, 2019, 3:26 PM · Paul Deck, Using no rest feels very un-natural to me so I'm definitely going to get a padded SR. I'm just starting out so I'm sure I'll try lots of things.

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