Shoulder rest suggestions

June 8, 2020, 4:08 PM · Hi!
So I have experienced a lot of shoulder pain lately and came to the conclusion that my shoulder rest is too short. It is at it's tallest point.
I searched in the internet and in the archieve but I would like to have more opinions.

Anyone has some suggestions of tall shoulder rests?
I have used the kun and now I am using a cheap no brand one.
(For almost a year I played with no shoulder rest but I couldn't play high on the e string without almost dropping the violin)

I have two on my list. The Wolf forte Secondo and the VLM flex.
It will also help to know what do you think about this two.

Thanks to everyone!
Stay healthy and safe!
Catalina

Replies (17)

June 8, 2020, 4:21 PM · You will get a range of answers from user's favorites to sometimes aggressive comments about not using one at all.

The problem with asking on the forum is that no one knows how tall you need it to be.

The one I use is very expensive but, for me, was worth it. I asked a V.com member about her experiences before I bought it, because it was so pricey I didn't want to just try on a whim.

Can you visit a local store and try a few out?

June 8, 2020, 5:22 PM · @Dimitri Pappas
I would love to go and try a few but sadly I can't. The shop is closed because of quarentine and they don't allow trials. So my only option is to gather some tips and opinions and then formulate one of my own.

June 8, 2020, 5:50 PM · Can your current shoulder rest legs be replaced? You can look at places online like Shar or Johnson Strings or Southwest Strings and see if longer legs are available for your particular shoulder rest. They don't all use the same threads so you can't just order them without being sure they'll fit your shoulder rest.

One word of caution, depending on how much longer you need to make the legs, it can become easier for your shoulder rest to fall off the instrument.

Edited: June 9, 2020, 8:07 PM · There is a practical limit as to how high your shoulder rest should be; I learned this by trial and error, and by reading this forum. I was using a Bon Musica shoulder rest, but wanted more height. I got the Wolf Forte Primo and gave it the longer Kun legs; finding the rest was still not high enough for my comfort, I learned that the chin rest needed to be higher, not the shoulder rest! Reason: The higher the shoulder rest, the higher one's left arm needs to go to reach the fingerboard; this places undue strain on the left shoulder/arm. Using a higher chin rest fills the collarbone/jaw space more effectively. I take it you have a long neck. You can buy a taller chinrest online ( I bought a WAVE), or a rubber pad (online) to attach to your current chinrest: it's called The Impressionist, and can be molded to fit you. P.S. If you still want to change legs, I discovered that the Kun extra long legs fit on my Wolf Primo Forte shoulder rest. The longer leg on the Bon Musica is almost as long as the longer Kun leg, but not quite. Kun legs will not work on the Bon Musica. You should be able to get both the Wolf SR and the Kun longer legs online or by mail from a local shop. I ended up with a higher chin rest and the Wolf Forte Primo with long Kun legs, but I no longer need the extra length of the long Kun legs. The Wolf and the higher WAVE chin rest do it; you might find you are OK with either the Wolf or the Bon Musica and a higher chinrest.
June 8, 2020, 6:40 PM · Like others have said, it's a really individual thing and what works for one person will not work for another. If you have a long neck, I would also consider a raised chinrest. You can raise your current chinrest by either sticking some foam on top or inserting a thin layer of rubber material underneath. For taller shoulder rests, you can seek out longer legs (as someone else mentioned), or tape some foam to make it a bit higher. Another shoulder rest that can go very high is the Bon Musica. It does hook over the shoulder, which can restrict motion, but the hook can be straightened so it's less noticeable plus a whole host of other adjustments. The wolf is similar in that regard. I'm not totally sure about the features of the Viva la musica, but I'm sure it's a solid shoulder rest with some adjustability.
June 8, 2020, 8:19 PM · I would try a taller chin rest first before moving on the shoulder rest. Like Erin said you can only go so tall on shoulder rest to where it remains practical. Eventually you’ll have it so high that in addition you having to reach up higher for the fingerboard like Erin said, your bow arm will also be thrown off.
June 8, 2020, 8:30 PM · The Everest is similar in shape to the Kun but a little taller. So that might be a good transition for you.
June 8, 2020, 9:18 PM · First thing to do is maybe switch the legs on the Kun shoulder rest. For some reason they put different length legs on either side. An extra long Kun leg is available for modest cost. Everyone is different. I started with Resonans several decades ago. After some expensive experimenting I recently switched to the inexpensive Everest.
June 8, 2020, 9:59 PM · Catalina if you are in the US send me a direct message. I have 2 extra long Kun feet that are sitting in a parts drawer. I can mail them to you for free.
June 9, 2020, 10:05 AM · Thanks for all the great responses!
I have taken into consideration buying a taller chinrest, maybe I'll try a TEKA. The one I am using right is quite low, it is the one my teacher was using (I bought from her my violin).

@Dimitri Pappas Thank you so much for this offer! But I don't live in the US.

If I put my violin in my collarbone I have a big space between my shoulder and the violin. The shoulder rest I am using right now does not fill the gap, it is about half way. So I think the solution is a taller shoulder rest, aside from a taller chin rest.

Anyway, if someone has used the Wolf or the Viva I would like to know your experience with them!

It was helpful to read all of this answers, thanks!

June 9, 2020, 10:52 AM · Two options: taller chin rest. I had a mix of very low old ones and standard Guarneri models. Replacing them with the Flesch centered ones was a huge improvement, and those can be beefed up with a little extra cork under the feet.

The other option is to check with my provider of shoulder rests: http://www.acoustifoamshoulderrests.com/ . They sell all sorts of thicknesses, and since the pads can be adjusted to sit right on your collarbone they should provide most of what you need. That product does make for a little extra freedom for the fiddle, but I find it only contributes to good sound, without making it more difficult to play.

June 9, 2020, 11:22 AM · Go for a VLM model, best quality and looks.
June 9, 2020, 2:36 PM · I like the Kun bravo! Less weight than normal Kun and impacts the sound a lot less, the feet are also longer.
June 9, 2020, 7:06 PM · For me I found that a tall SR caused shoulder pain and instability, what I needed was a very low SR and a tall CR. I use a VLM and a custom height Wave CR. My shoulder is much happier...
June 9, 2020, 8:05 PM · I'm apparently a long-necked guy, and I went to a good violin shop, and they let me try a bunch of options. They went straight to the taller chinrest (off center, with the fancy titanium hardware--which weirdly sounded much better than the center-mounted rest I had), and then I was thrilled by the Kun Bravo as well. Here's a weird thing--the folding-leg version sounded better than the not-folding version. Your experience may vary.
Edited: June 10, 2020, 10:46 AM · I already wrote to you about my experience with the Wolf Forte Primo shoulder rest with the WAVE chin rest. I want to add that you do not need to try out the WAVE; the website tells you how to measure your neck (collarbone to jaw) to order the correct size.
Edited: June 12, 2020, 2:39 PM · Can Maxim Vengerov be any good? I mean, I recently saw a video of him playing with a SH-SH-sh ... (Oh dear, can't say it)!
Recently on my way from the opticians I called somewhere, we needed to do some playing (we could social distance), instruments were there, but my shoulder rests were at home. I improvised by sticking a pile of dusters under my shirt. It didn't work too badly. If on a concert platform you don't mind looking a bit like a war casualty when you're not playing,, it mightn't suit you too badly either - Who knows, you might start a new fashion!

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