Shoulder Rest Chest Pain

September 9, 2019, 4:13 PM · I dont use a shoulder rest but when I do use one sometimes (Kun 4/4 shoulder rest), I notice that the end of the shoulder rest pokes into my chest which hurts. I've tried adjusting the height of the shoulder rest, the angle etc but nothing seems to work. What should I do?

Also when I dont use a shoulder rest and hold my violin by using my arm instead of clenching my shoulder like I used to do, my arm gets tired pretty quickly. Any advice?

Thanks to all in advance.

Replies (10)

September 9, 2019, 5:01 PM · - Try attaching some foam where the rest pinches your chest
- set your shoulder rest so that one side is significantly lower than the other
- try using a sponge or piece of foam instead of a shoulder rest
- if you wish to go restless, work on finding a comfortable chinrest that will let you get a comfortable grip with your chin so your arm doesn't have to work so hard
- if you are new to playing restless, your muscles may need some time to get used to the new workload
September 9, 2019, 5:29 PM · There are other brands of shoulder rests that might fit you better. The Wolf SRs, for example. But there are many others as well. Trying them in a music store with your own violin is the easiest way.

I have certainly found that different brands of shoulder rests fit me not only in different ways, but differently at diferent stages of my life. I stopped using Kun designs a long time ago - nothing wrong with them - they just didn't fit me any longer - and I stopped using Wolf 10 years ago.

Edited: September 9, 2019, 6:21 PM · Maybe try another rest, they don't cost much, something wider and more heavily padded like a wolf forte primo.
September 9, 2019, 6:49 PM · I've been playing restless for several years now. After a 3 hour orchestra rehearsal, the left shoulder-back area had some type of pain. I knew that my shoulder was raised but it didn't really bother me. It was just that my posture was bad and that the scroll of my violin was angled down. I believe this may be due to the clenching of the shoulder but I'm not sure. Correct me if I'm wrong. I also use a hypoallegernic chin rest because I'm allergic to the nickel part of a regular chin rest which may inhibit me from finding a good chin rest that will fit me.
September 9, 2019, 7:24 PM · Simple solution: don't use a shoulder rest!
September 9, 2019, 8:03 PM · You should not have to clench with your shoulder if you play restless. It's all about balancing the violin between collarbone/chin and left arm/hand. If you have chinrest allergies, consider covering your chinrest with a cloth, adhesive soft foam or a product like the strad pad. Also, if you have a long neck, consider a higher chinrest. You can either use a higher hypoallergenic chinrest like the kreddle or wittner adjustable, or add some cork or rubber under your current chinrest. A chinrest pad can also increase height.
September 10, 2019, 8:22 AM · Mark: I always never liked using a shoulder rest, but when I tried going without a shoulder rest, holding the violin felt awkward and different. So I kept the shoulder rest for many years and had to deal with physical and massage therapists very frequently to manage the neck/shoulder/back pain (this was costing me at least $200 per week). This all changed when I discovered an amazing product called The Chinrest Lip. To be honest, I was a bit skeptical at first. But a good number of violinists recommended this to me. Therefore, I gave it a try and spent $14.99 plus shipping. OMG — This was the BEST EVER $15.00 that I have spent in my life!!! Within few hours of use, my pain started to go away. I was literally in tears of joy! It’s been about a month since I have started to use this and there is no turning back! In fact, I have acquired 12 more Chinrest Lips to give as gifts to my friends and students to try. In addition to the elimination of pain, It has helped me tremendously in all aspects of violin playing — shifting, vibrato, tone production and bow technique. One of my closest friends recently said, “You sound better than ever! Are you using a new violin? Did you change your violin teacher AGAIN????” This is an example of a product with huge financial and technical returns — I SPENT $15 and now I’m SAVING $800 per month (from physical therapy and massage therapy sessions) AND my technique has further improved. If you have any questions from a user’s perspective, contact me directly. (DISCLAIMER: I am not a sales representative or the creator of this product). If you are interested, check out the product’s website —

P.S. Ella Yu’s comment about using a “higher” chinrest is an interesting concept, because you are filling in space gap between the collarbone and chin. This Chinrest Lip product makes it fast,easy and comfortable for you to achieve this.

September 10, 2019, 9:13 AM · Its the curve of the Kun, I had the same problem. You can go restless, which has the added benefit of bragging endlessly about it (I'm kidding, folks), or use a rest like a wolf (inexpensive) or Korfkerrest (very expensive) that have a better and customizable shape. If it hurts, don't do it! The violin is unforgiving as it is.
September 10, 2019, 12:13 PM · The Wolf rests are aluminium rather than wood or plastic, and can be twisted so that the chest end is more vertical than the shoulder end.
Edited: September 13, 2019, 5:18 PM · I can suggest you some ideas(they may be stupid):
You can use instead of a shoulder rest a
Chinrest cover/ a strad pad.
You can also take an other shoulder rest brand.You can TRY to find out wich dimension is good for you(are try some other brand in a music shop or to go in violin maker's shop to see if you can TRY
Other shoulder rest)
These are ONLY my ideas.

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