Shoulder rest for skinny people

July 22, 2020, 9:00 AM · I'm just starting out, and of course it coincided with the pandemic, so I'm trying to get my equipment figured out on my own. I'm using a Dresden-type chinrest with a suede cover, and that feels good; but on the Fiddlerman shoulder rest I've got there's a good inch or two of space between my chest and the shoulder rest. I've tried putting it in different places, from straight across to as diagonal as I can get it. I have it adjusted all the way up on the bottom end. I have a very stick-outy collarbone. Any ideas for what other SR I could consider?

Replies (15)

Edited: July 22, 2020, 9:37 AM · Car sponge and a rubber band. (seriously. Since you are without much guidance, I wouldn't risk spending money without advice from a teacher, and you're not going to find a sponge uncomfortable or dear). Alternatively, ask Fiddlerman. In the long run he might suggest an ultra-high chinrest, for example. It's not just about skinniness, it's also about neck length and chin length, and you'll need a teacher to check it all out.
July 22, 2020, 10:30 AM · I use this
July 22, 2020, 10:41 AM · That rest certainly looks high, but the basic design can be had for $20 (half that for a Chinese copy)
July 22, 2020, 1:16 PM · Thanks both. That one looks very curvy! But maybe what I need. Before investing, I'm going to try the sponge thing and see if it makes all the difference. I've seen the Wolfe which looks similar.I wonder if it's as curvy as yours. I've also written Fiddlerman so we'll see what he says. Tks again for replies.
July 22, 2020, 1:47 PM · I am a beanpole with wide but sloping shoulders..
I use a Kun, with optional extra-long screw legs. Stability can be a problem, though.

The chinrest should be high enough to allow the fiddle to contact the collar-bone.

Folks who can get away with a small sponge etc cannot understand us. Jawbones, shoulders etc are as varied as noses!

July 22, 2020, 2:13 PM · For my students with this problem I often rubber band a couple of small red make-up sponges (like these to the chest-side of the shoulder rest. I find it often works better than a taller shoulder rest because it raises it only on the side you need.
July 22, 2020, 3:57 PM · no sHOuLDer ReST bECAUse YOuR chesT cAvITy WOn't REsOnate aNd cHAKRaS wON't aLIGN Or soMeSUCH.

*Disclaimer* I am poking fun at humorless pro/anti shoulder rest people.

If you do have a nice prominent collarbone to use as a shelf, you might do well without a shoulder rest, and instead use a nice tall chinrest. You'll probably need some kind of sponge or cloth to pad the fiddle, though, because it can painfully pinch the skin over your collarbone.

If you have a truly long neck, the Bon Musical is really nice and bendable. Kind of heavy and clunky, though.

I'm a fan of the Fiddlershop. I ordered some geared pegs from there, and had a nice conversation with Pierre. I really think he'll steer you in the right direction.

July 22, 2020, 5:40 PM · I like Ingrid's suggestion. Some people need extra height on the chest side. You can also purchase extra long legs for the shoulder rest. Try some things and see what works for you.
July 22, 2020, 9:00 PM · I have long neck, and skinny collar bone, i used the kun, and fiddlerman ship own rest prior, the mach one hook is the most comfortable one that sits comfortably and allow me to get better vibrato, the build quality is also really nice with real leather so doesnt slide around
Edited: July 24, 2020, 10:46 PM · Acoustifoam in Pasadena offers many thicknesses, and should provide a firm link between the violin and your collar bone. It serves the same general function as the sponges mentioned above, but Is much firmer and makes less contact with the back of the violin.

While you are experimenting, don’t forget about the chinrest. I moved from the standard Guarneri to a center mount Flesch recently, and it has done a world of good.

July 26, 2020, 6:20 PM · So many things to consider! I've also thought about the higher chinrest thing, but am not so sure I have that long of a neck. I've also wondered about the center mount chinrest because when I started out, it always seemed like I was wanting to put my chin over the tailpiece. But since I changed to a Dresden-type chinrest with a suede cover, it's been much better. I'd love to get into fiddlerman's shop - he's near me - but am not going out in this virus-filled world, but it would be great for someone else to look at me and try to fix me up with a good setup. Tks everyone for ideas.
July 27, 2020, 4:36 PM ·
July 28, 2020, 1:04 AM · I'm skinny to the point of essentially just being a skeleton, I use the Kun Bravo because it doesn't make the violin sound worse like the regular plastic one (that one caused buzzing!). It looks pretty elegant too.
July 28, 2020, 1:27 PM · Sorry about the empty post above--I started to write a reply yesterday and must have hit reply.

I struggled with the collar bone problem for a long time and managed to finally solve it by sort of "hacking" a Bonmusica rest. In its standard conformation, the rest is held together by 2 screws connecting the larger base with a hook-like top part. I removed one screw to allow the hook component to rotate and angle towards my body. This kind of creates an indent for the collar bone to rest in and is very comfortable and stable.

(I doubt that this method will confer any added height over most of the suggestions above, but you might find that to be less of a problem if the SR setup is able to create more stability.)

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