Narrow shoulders & Shoulder rests

February 7, 2021, 3:06 AM · Hi, my girl is 8yrs old and recently i noticed a problem with her shoulder rest. We have tried quite a few including BonMusica the latest one. Yet all of them seem to be resting at the edge of her shoulder/rotator cuff. We have tried adjusting the angle of the shoulder rest etc yet its not helping. I am thinking maybe its just that she has narrow shoulders or something?

Anyone has experience with that? Thanks

Replies (10)

Edited: February 7, 2021, 4:02 AM · It may be necessary to choose a narrower, flatter rest, placed symmetrically nearer the end of the violin, with elastics or strings from each foot to the corners of the lower bout, to prevent slipping an tipping.

I have to do this on my wide-bottomed viola. Then my rest sits on the end of the collarbone, and follows round just below the collarbone.

Also look at the Poehland-style pad.

Edited: February 7, 2021, 4:57 PM · I also have pretty narrow shoulders, although they're flat as opposed to sloping. One option is to narrow the shoulder rest by half a notch (only narrowing one side) to bring it closer to her neck. This may or may not work because it might get too narrow. Also, try to place the shoulder rest so that the shoulder side foot is as close to the chinrest clamp as possible if you aren't doing that already, thereby putting the shoulder rest on a diagonal angle rather than straight across the back. Also, consider a chinrest that extends over the tailpiece, I think this'll help get the shoulder rest off the shoulder joint. I hope this helps.
This video describes an adjustment to the Bon Musica that might help those with narrow shoulders, plus a lot more and general advice about adjusting shoulder rests that may be helpful.
February 7, 2021, 12:37 PM · I suggest considering the ACOUSTAGRIP. It comes in differed sizes and thicknesses and is sold by many dealers. See the website for more insformation:
February 7, 2021, 2:25 PM · Andrew - The Acoustagrip looks interesting, do you use this yourself?

To the OP, I wish you the best in finding a solution that works for your daughter. I also have quite narrow shoulders - but many other related physical issues that I've not yet found the perfect solution - assuming that's possible.

Edited: February 13, 2021, 12:08 AM · It just means your daughter needs a shoulder rest that is better suited for narrow shouldered people. She needs the support of the shoulder rest closer to her neck so that it actually contacts her collar bone. The acoustagrip or some other sponge might do the trick like Andrew recommended so that you can put it near the bottom of the violin like Adrian said so that she has more support.

Could also try a shoulder rest called the comford shoulder cradle. does the exact thing that Adrian is describing, but doesn't require rubber bands to keep the rest of slipping off the violin. My girlfriend uses it for her viola as she has narrow shoulders as well and she swears by it. Won't use any other shoulder rest. Sharmusic carries it on their website for violin and viola. They also have a junior version for kids with fractional size violins from 1/2 to 3/4. Since your daughter is 8 I'd assume she's playing on at least a 1/2 size violin so you should be good to go.

February 12, 2021, 12:06 PM · That Comford rest looks similar to the old Menuhin rest, which I found unusable because its whole width sat on my collarbone and got in the way.
But it might well suite you!
February 13, 2021, 9:55 AM · Comford, Comford, my people? (Isaiah 40:1)
Edited: February 13, 2021, 1:50 PM · I've been convinced to try the Wolf Forte Secundo - it's well suited to my small frame and narrow/sloping shoulders and is very adjustable - even more than my VLM Diamond. I was told the Comford isn't adjustable- either it works or it doesn't - but I've no experience with it. Unsure if the Wolf comes in the right size for your girl.
Edited: February 14, 2021, 7:11 PM · Before making any suggestions I think we ought to see how the SR is positioned. For all we know it could be put on backward!
Edited: February 15, 2021, 7:01 AM · Adrian, you are right, it sure resembles the old Menuhin shoulder rest, one of which I had in the old days - when TWA, Pan Am, National and Eastern Airlines were still flying airplanes.

I probably put it on my violin one time only.
May still be around:

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