Neck pain with minimal body violin
I recently bought an electric violin in order to practice at night (I live in an apartment with paper thin walls), and this particular model, the YEV104, is a complete nightmare on my neck. I’m hoping the issue is just the chin rest and not something fundamentally bad about its design, which is more or less just a fingerboard and a “Möbius strip” completely hollow body - I absolutely love the setup I have for my acoustic violin, a bonmusica shoulder rest and I’m not sure the brand of the chin rest but it has a bit of a divet to “hook” into my jaw. Unfortunately this particular violin can only work with a center mounted chin rest, so I can only interchange the shoulder rest. Does anyone know of any (center mounted) chin rests that really hook into your jaw, or maybe even something to help prop the violin up more? It sags forward and I have to really clench my neck to get it to stay up, I found a video online of someone playing it but it appears that he might have drilled a hole into the fingerboard and tied a string around his neck, which seems a bit... drastic?
I’m an adult beginner, and I don’t have enough experience to know if there’s anything beyond a new chin rest that can help this issue... I’d love to just go to a luthier to try some things out but my area is still largely shut down at the moment, so it would be great to try ordering something targeted online.
Anyway, thank you and I appreciate any suggestions!!!
I have the same violin, and I also am a relative beginner, who ends up being able to practice late at night, although I usually stick to the acoustic, as it is lighter, and doesn’t flatter my sound as much.
I can't recommend any specific center-mount chinrests that might have a deeper contour than the one that comes on the YEV mainly because the pictures don't show the one that comes with it very well. But there are a number of different center-mount chinrests available at the major violin outlets (Johnson Strings, Shar, Southwest Strings, International Violin) so you may find just what you want.
Wittner makes two
Some people do need a deeper cup on their chinrest due to the shape of their jaw. I'm pretty sure the Berber fits the bill for a center mounted chinrest with a relatively deep contour. That said it's always good to try others :)
The Ohrenform chin rest is another that is center mounted and extends to the left side.
Liz, I have no issues concerning the violinist in the video using a cord to make his YEV feel secure. The violin is an unusual shape and I'm not surprised that unusual measures to hold it safely may be felt necessary by a player.
Get a Happynex!
You might not guess it from the video of the man playing the YEV-105, because his performance here is a bit........ corny? But that’s Toshihiro Nakanishi, who I’d call the preeminent Japanese jazz violinist. He’s truly brilliant. He’s also a highly respected composer, often for films.
Thank you all SO much for your suggestions! So I do think I'm pretty sold on my shoulder rest (the Bonmusica), particularly because it is so adjustable, but I have several others around here (a Kun, Wolf, and a Playonair inflatable rest), so I may be able to play with different combinations after I get a new chin rest (but really, once I got the Bonmusica I completely forgot all the others, it made my acoustic feel like an appendage rather than an instrument I was holding up).
Liz, I’m not able to see your Toshi Nakamura video. I’m operating from a phone and I have to enter the address manually. I’m getting either “doesn’t exist” or “video not available.” I might be entering it wrong.
Liz, check out: http://happynex.com
I suspect the happynex idea has been around in some form or other since the Baroque era - well before the invention of the chinrest in 1820 anyway - and may have been used whenever a player felt the need for stability, such as when playing in very high positions. I think it is not the sort of thing that would have been seen as important enough to be mentioned in the literature of the time, or illustrated by artists in their paintings and drawings, good idea though it undoubtedly is.