Kun Shoulder Rest

October 20, 2017, 4:59 AM · Hello,

I am beginner and I had first violin lesson this week. My teacher told me that it would be better to buy a shoulder rest because it is harder to learn without it in the beginnings. He recommended Kun.

And now my questions :)

Is it good to use shoulder rest for beginner?
Which one of Kun shoulder rests to choose?

I consider to buy Kun Solo but I found a lot of positive reviews on Kun Collapsible.

Can you help me? Thanks

Replies (30)

October 20, 2017, 5:04 AM · As a returning adult violinist, I just purchased a KUN collapsible. I am very happy with it.
October 20, 2017, 5:46 AM · There is absolutly no general answer to this.
You need to try different ones together with someone experienced.
October 20, 2017, 6:02 AM · If your teacher recommended Kun, get Kun. Kun Solo is a different shoulder rest. Kun Collapsible is extremely close to the original Kun, but you only need Collapsible if you cannot fit the regular Kun into your case. The original Kun will be easier to put on your violin and stay there.
October 20, 2017, 6:12 AM · First, you should be sure you have a chinrest that fits your chin comfortably. You should be able to hold the violin between your chin (left jaw) and collarbone. Then (and I believe, only then) should you chose a shoulder rest that helps stabilize holding the instrument.

Personally I do use a shoulder rest (a Wolf Secondo) but only discovered shoulder rests after I had been playing for almost 30 years. I have had at least 3 of the Kun models, but none fit me comfortably enough. In the nearly 50 years since first started using a shoulder rest I have had times when I did not use one and times when I found other models more comfortable, but I'm back to Wolf right now.

October 20, 2017, 6:27 AM · Thank you for replies.

Can you tell me why is Solo a different shoulder rest? Is it different in negative way? Explain it please. It does not matter if it will fit into my case.

October 20, 2017, 9:25 AM · Drahomir,

I've got a Kun Solo and I like it better than Kun original because the pad of the Solo is a little wider and overall design more elegant.

When you buy a shoulder rest, or any violin accessary, make sure you go to a reputable vendor that has a 30-day return/exchange policy so that you can try a few things until you find the right one for you.

Edited: October 20, 2017, 9:43 AM · A good and cheap alternative to Kun is Everest shoulder rest. My daughter did not like Kun and her teacher recommended it instead. She has been using it for more than five years (replaced it once). Hope this helps.
October 20, 2017, 9:50 AM · Even cheaper, use a sponge with elastic band to begin with. You need a firm sponge if you can find one in hardware store.
Edited: October 20, 2017, 10:03 AM · Yixi,

I think sponge carving needs some experience with shoulder rest and correct posture. OP just had one lesson.

Edited: October 20, 2017, 10:10 AM · I agree, but I am not sure one needs to carve sponge. All shoulder rests fit need experience. I assume OP will have teacher help with fitting and choosing.

Sung raised a good point. As a beginner, keep in mind that your teacher should guide you through everything related to violin, not only in how to play the instrument.

Edited: October 20, 2017, 1:33 PM · First step: Determine whether or not you actually need a shoulder rest at all. Not everyone does. As I've remarked several times before: I strongly suspect that most, if not all, players who successfully ditch their SRs would have been better off not to start with them in the first place.

"My teacher told me that it would be better to buy a shoulder rest because it is harder to learn without it in the beginning."

This is a violin equivalent of what fitness trainers call "bro-science." Some teachers, regrettably, even apply this approach to preadolescent learners. I remember the story on v.com a few years back -- can't locate the thread at the moment -- of the young violinist barred from her school's beginning ensemble because she preferred playing without a shoulder rest. She had been doing just fine without one. I don't recall how the story turned out.

Shoulder rests are not some sort of "training wheels" -- devices to start with and later outgrow. When I was small, I didn't use a shoulder rest. My first teacher did use one but never even suggested that I should. I was able to start position playing and vibrato within the first 6 months. At 18 y/o, I tried a few SRs for comparison and found one I liked. I can go with or without the SR, but I prefer to go with it. FWIW, I currently use Kun Bravo on one fiddle and VLM Diamond on two others.

October 20, 2017, 2:17 PM · The wlm diamond is similar in shape to the kun but much less prone to falling off while playing.
October 20, 2017, 4:09 PM · I own both, the classical Kun and the Diamond, I think they are quite different in feel.
I think the Augustin might be closer to the KUN, but its quite some time ago I tested it.
October 21, 2017, 12:53 AM · Jim, the story was here: Is a shoulder rest necessary for children?. The OP didn't mention how the story ended, but it appears that the child may have had posture issues.
October 21, 2017, 4:50 AM · There is one piece of data here that one cannot overlook. The OP's teacher told him to get the Kun. While one should always be self-reliant to a degree and willing to consider other points of view, with violin lessons, what your teacher tells you is where you start.

As for the difference between Kun and Kun Solo, I offer the following Socratic answer: Why would they offer them under different names if they were exactly the same shoulder rest? The Collapsible Kun is their attempt to make something that fits exactly like the Kun except that the feet are hinged so that you can fold it up and fit it into your case.

Someone mentioned the Everest. The Everest is a little higher. Grown men who have developed some padding around their shoulders, necks, and jowls, probably do not need a higher rest, if anything.

October 21, 2017, 8:20 AM · @Han N. -- Thanks for the link.
October 23, 2017, 10:59 AM · Thank you all for your helpfull answers. Kun Solo is ordered so I hope it will work well. But to be honest, I like imagination to play without it.
October 23, 2017, 11:17 AM · If you are able to, it is good to play without sr. BUT, and that is a big one, your teacher needs to be able to teach that. If not it will get painfull with shifting.
So if your teacher does not want you to play without sr, you can eather us a sr or look for another teacher.
October 24, 2017, 4:30 AM · Shoulder rest has already arrived, I tried to put it on and realized that when I put wider part of the SR under chin rest the other (thinner) part does not fit very well. It goes diagonal a little bit and I need to use pressure to fit it and make it to lay in line. When I change the wider with thinner it fits well and there is no reason to use pressure.

Maybe it is a stupid question but I would like to be sure I do it right.

October 24, 2017, 6:10 AM · The RIGHT way is the way that works for YOU!
October 24, 2017, 6:17 AM · Your teacher needs to help you with this. If he cant he is not the right teacher for a beginner.
October 24, 2017, 6:56 AM · Drahomir, like you I use the sr "backwards," (narrow end on shoilder side). It is unconventional, but, for me, the more useful way.
Your teacher will help you; try that way first, but remember, the sr is supposed to help you achieve good body use. That is the ONLY reason to use (or not to use) one. If you and your teacher agree on that, then you can work together toward success.
October 24, 2017, 6:56 AM · Drahomir, like you I use the sr "backwards," (narrow end on shoilder side). It is unconventional, but, for me, the more useful way.
Your teacher will help you; try that way first, but remember, the sr is supposed to help you achieve good body use. That is the ONLY reason to use (or not to use) one. If you and your teacher agree on that, then you can work together toward success.
October 24, 2017, 7:09 AM · I am not sure if you understand what I mean by 'it does not fit very well.' I mean it does not fit well on the violin because one rubber part of SR goes a little diagonal and I need to use pressure to put it on the side of violin. When I turn it (wider part is not under chinrest) then it goes naturally 'easy' and I do not need to use pressure on it.
October 24, 2017, 1:27 PM · Maybe you could provide a photo of your violin with SR attached (upload to imgur.com and post the link here)?
Edited: October 25, 2017, 11:31 AM · The Kun is sort of a standard and a catch all rest that works for many people. This is probably why your teacher reccomended it.

Since you’re a beginner, I would heed this advice. You might find yourself making equipment changes later, and that is fine.

I keep a box with 1 of nearly every shoulder rest in my studio and this has some advantages fo fitting students. However, many do end up using a Kun rest.

I like the Kun Bravo because the wood is more ridged and therefore more secure on the instrument. But the regular Kun is good too.

October 25, 2017, 4:44 PM · Viva la musica (VLM) diamond.
Perfect and stylish. If it's good enough for Maxim Vengerov... :)
November 4, 2017, 2:44 AM · Thanks :) Here is a photo of my SR attached to the violin. Maybe it is a detail, I do not know, but it seems to me that natural 'diagonal' way of rubber parts can cause damage to the plastic part of SR because there is a need of little pressure everytime I put it on and it fits 'under pressure' then. But, as I mentioned, it can be only detail and...nevermind...Have a nice day :)



November 4, 2017, 11:01 AM · From the perspective of your photo it's difficult to see, but I think the rubber feet should clamp the violin much closer to the widest part. This is what Kun themselves say about attaching their rest. Picture included.
Edited: November 4, 2017, 6:37 PM · Drahomír, from your photo I'd say your SR is very much in the wrong place, and not fitted properly. The end of the instrument (where the SR is currently located) should rest on your shoulder (as it would without a SR). The SR should be situated closer to the C bouts to fill the gap created between the instrument and the shoulder. It is not met to raise the instrument, but rather to stabilize the instrument. If there is too much of a gap between your chin and CR when so fitted, you should get a taller Chin Rest rather.

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