Chinrest Lip

January 4, 2022, 5:42 PM · I just spotted a product called "chinrest lip" in the Jan. 2022 issue of The STRAD magazine that arrived this afternoon.
I googled it and wondered if anyone else has heard of it, seen or used one or is interested.
The company advertises it as an above chinrest alternative to a shoulder rest.
I don't think it would do anything for me but I thought some other people here might have an interest or some thoughts regarding its feasibility.

Replies (5)

January 4, 2022, 7:16 PM · I purchased one a few years ago. It is a good product, but I found that it was not for me. I ended up carving out a tall SAS rest for a similar effect. That has been working wonderfully since. The chin rest lip is in my box of assorted chin rests, shoulder rests, pads, etc. that I have experimented with over the years.
January 4, 2022, 10:06 PM · Personally, I think it’s a dumb product that can lead to injuries. I don’t know if you’ve seen pictures of the inventor demonstrating it, but it looks like nothing but tension. It looks like he’s clenching his jaw as well as using his neck muscles to keep the violin elevated like that. In some of the pictures and videos (on his YouTube and instagram) you can see his neck muscles tensing up. Anyone else is welcome to disagree this is purely my opinion.

I also use an SAS like the person above me for the same reason. I just didn’t need ti carve it to get the shape I needed. I’ve also used the wave chin rest that has the ridge for the same reason. Both chin rests give me the stability needed to play without of shoulder rest. Not sure which is better for me yet though.

January 5, 2022, 4:30 AM · The point of a lip on the edge is to reduce tension! It should hook slightly under the jawbone to avoid forward slipping, whether or not we used a shoulder rest.
I have filed down the left half of the lip on my Teka rest to allow the corner of my jawbone to escape, and I modified the base to give sufficient tilt to do a decent vibrato on the C string with my stubby pinky..
Edited: January 5, 2022, 10:57 AM · I agree, Adrian. I think this product is interesting and speaks to a new wave of violin ergonomic solutions circling around our little string industry. It also begs to question our approach to pedagogy and tradition regarding chinrests.

As many of us already know, chinrests can be annoying to remove. There are also so many varieties - shapes, scoops, heights - confusing and can be an expensive experiment. There are also custom options which can be cost prohibitive. Then there is side vs. center; over the tailpiece or not, etc. All of which would be determined based on the student and their body structure, particularly the length of their arms and the distance from their mandible to their collar bone.

Aside from ergonomics, swapping chinrests may change the tonality of an instrument. They are wood - ebony or whatever material - they can be different densities. Now what about in regards to the hardware?! How much cork is on the chinrest? How tight the clamp is, etc. More variables and potential confusion! ;-)

In my experiences, which also includes the observation of fine teachers working with students at all levels/abilities: Many are hesitant to address the challenges of the chinrest. The shoulder rest is more the focus as a result then the shortcomings of the chirnest. Why?

It's shape of course (i.e. how many folks find the Guarneri is the best fit for them? And this is THE industry standard), but just as importantly the height and the connection it makes with the face. Long necks, short necks, jaw shapes, more/less skin on the jaw, etc.

Now, we all may not like the answer, and this is just my honest theory (myself included depending on the student): We avoid the challenges of the chinrest because we understand as educators it presents another variable change (same as the violin luthier/maker may avoid changing a chinrest as it relates to tone). This time, it's the player's technique and we may fear potentially loosing the progress we've made or any momentum we're currently riding (for a period of time).

To me this product attempts to address this problem albeit a specific aspect: height. This is what many turn to the shoulder rest for and it may or may not be the ONLY answer. It essentially adds height (and perhaps some sensation of a deeper scoop or cup) without needing to change the chinrest or hardware. As I said earlier, that can be helpful to control the tonal variable, which is the plague of string instruments and any setup changes. The 'adjustment' this product promotes would require the player to make a deeper connection back behind the mandible. This will work very well for most 'V-shaped' jaw lines. What about players with a 'U' or squarer shaped jaw line? What about players with shorter arms where a center mount might be more appropriate?

Ultimately the question of whether it will work for everyone and every chinrest is a correct one, in my opinion. But when I see products like this it can prompt me to reflect back on my own teaching and the industry as a whole... Where am I/we asking my/our students to make a 'connection' with the chinrest? And does my/our decision suit their particular body structure and their ability to execute the technique?

I have run out of fingers and hands at this point for how many student ask me "If I don't put my chin in the chinrest, why is it called a chinrest?" That's a good question!

So let's ask ourselves... Are we following traditions we should be challenging, questioning, researching more? In that case I say 'Bravo' to the ChinrestLip for opening the 'Pandora's Box' even further!!

January 5, 2022, 1:33 PM · In the posts about chinrests over the years, we might have seen quite a bit of lip ...

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