Violin vs viola: Are you using the same chin and shoulder rest for both, or different?

Edited: December 21, 2019, 9:04 PM · Curiosity question: If you play both violin and viola, do you use the same combo of chin and shoulder rest on both instruments or do you have different combos for the two instruments? I love what I have so not looking for recommendations. This topic has been posted in a number of other places so if you've already answered, there is not need to. I'm just getting as many responses as possible because I'm just really curious. Here's my combos (to give you an idea what I'm asking):

Violin: Wittner center mount chinrest (positioned off center and raised with some rubber material for my longer neck) and medium-height Kun shoulder rest
Viola: Flesch flat center mount chinrest and low-set Kun shoulder rest

So basically I'm using two similar chinrests on my instruments. I apparently used to not like Wittners because they felt slippery but now I love them... On violin I can use a side-mount that goes over the tailpiece but on viola the larger size requires me to go center-mounted and the greater thickness requires me to have a lower shoulder rest. How about you?

Replies (17)

December 21, 2019, 3:05 PM · Violin - centre Wittner and artino pad

Viola - centre Wittner and very low set wolf or kun depending on my mood, I’m still trying to decide which is more comfortable.

So a fairly similar set up. Before I switched to the artino pad, it was identical for violin and viola.

December 22, 2019, 6:53 AM · I use the same for both. Berber chin rest and Kun shoulder rest.
Edited: December 22, 2019, 8:20 AM · I selected a chinrest for my violas that gave me the same distance from my collarbone to my jaw as the chinrest I use for my violins. That seems to work well for me.

I had tried using the same chinrest for both instruments but it made the violas too "thick."

I no longer use a shoulder rest with my violas and have been using only a Gelrest Micro on violin. (Just checked and found the Post Office is holding my new Performa shoulder rest for pickup - claimed they attempted delivery - well I was home, where were they?)

Edited: December 22, 2019, 12:36 PM · I am using a Wolf Primo shoulder rest for both violin and viola (but different size for each) and Wittner chin rest with height adjusters on violin, Flesch chin rest on viola, both center mounted. I think I will change them around and adjust them for the rest of my life; there always seems to be a better way...haven't worked up the patience to adjust my Korfkerest yet!
Edited: December 22, 2019, 12:44 PM · I hold the Viola more towards the front than the Violin, so theoretically I should use different chin-rests and shoulder-rests, but after a lot of expensive experimenting I recently chose the Morawitz CR and the inexpensive Everest SR for both instruments.
Edited: December 22, 2019, 1:05 PM · Teka-style wooden chinrest and Kun Bravo on both instruments.
(I have a long-ish neck and broad but sloping shoulders..)

My chinrests are much modified (worthy of a patent?).
To allow my short pinky to do a flexible vibrato on the lowest strings, my violin tilts at 30° and my viola at 45°. On the viola, my right eye thus looks straight down the lowest string.

On my shoulder rests, the left foot is higher than the right one.

No hickey, no tension, at 71 yo!

December 22, 2019, 5:52 PM · Violin I use a Berber chinrest and a wolf secondo put NW - SE when looking at the back of the violin which I think is opposite of what most people do. However, I’m expecting a kun bravo collapsible because I won a giveaway that kun was doing so I’ll be trying that soon.

Viola I use some sort of side mount chin rest (I think a teka but can’t remember for sure off the top of my head I’ll have to check when I get back home) and a kun bravo shoulder rest.

I prefer a center mount for violin, but viola I prefer a side mount. Probably because of the bigger size of the instrument

December 22, 2019, 7:33 PM · Christian, I'm the opposite! I can be comfy with a side-mount on violin as long as it's the kind that goes over the tailpiece, but on viola I'm in huge trouble without a center mount... We're all different.
Edited: December 23, 2019, 12:16 PM · While we're at it... Which low profile chinrests for viola would come with an inherent tilt (falling off to) the bass side? Some Flesch models seem to do so but most don't), Alexander Accessories seems to have a special "Gilkes" Guarnerius model that's lower an also a bit "hanging to the left", and then there's the Wittner Augsburg. A very low side mounted (Bergonzi, Huberman, Kaufmann, Mirage...) that doesn't reach over the tailpiece might also be an option - with hill style feet it would still work if one changed the cork to a cuneiform one, or just use the groove formed by CR and tailpiece... It's hard to find a really comfortable setup for me & my viola...
Edited: December 23, 2019, 2:42 PM · I just changed my violin to the same shoulder rest as I've been using for the viola (Korfker). The chinrest is different, though, although feels nearly the same. I may change that to match as well. On the viola, I use the "Hollywood" chinrest - not easy to find anymore for some reason. I has a fairly prominent hump, and sits on the left side of the tailpiece but has a part that extends over the tailpiece. For the violin, I've been using a "Strad" style.
December 23, 2019, 5:31 PM · Nuuska, the Wittner hypoallergenic chinrests have some tilt to them. They come in both side and center mount. The Augsburg is useful if you need a higher chinrest, but just stick to the regular Wittners if you need a lower one.
December 23, 2019, 10:30 PM · Violin - Wittner center chin rest and Everest shoulder rest.

Viola - Kun shoulder rest and the side chin rest that came with my viola.

I’m happy with the way the shoulder rests are working out, but I want to change the chin rest situation. I’m thinking something in between the side and center. The Wittner feels a little unstable, like I need more to hang on to, and for the viola I want something closer to the center.

December 24, 2019, 8:40 AM · Helen - the Berber might be the chin rest you are looking for. It is between side and center. I use it on both my instruments.
December 24, 2019, 11:10 AM · Violin: Everest and modified Kaufmann.
Viola: Kun and Wittner side mount.
Thinking of switching to a beefier violin CR.
December 24, 2019, 11:36 AM · @K.W>-- That "Hollywood" chin rest is a good one. It might be the same design as my "Weisshaar" C.R. that was on a violin I bought several decades ago from his shop in Hollywood.
December 24, 2019, 12:22 PM · @Joel - interesting! I was wondering where the "Hollywood" name came from - maybe that's it! Yes, it's a great chinrest profile IMO and works way better than anything else on my viola, for my chin.
January 18, 2020, 12:12 AM · Ohrenform chinrest on both. For quite awhile I used a side chinrest for my viola and it was such a relief when I switched. For SR, the opposite of Paul Deck. But that was rather random: I bought the Kun for my violin because "everyone" used it. When I came to my luthier with my new viola for a shoulder rest, she recommended the Everest
and I love it. Practically speaking, I feel I need something more solid than the Kun for the heavier viola.

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