Choosing a Shoulder Rest
What is a shoulder rest?
A shoulder rest is an accessory that attaches to the back of your violin or viola to support the instrument on your shoulder whilst playing. It is a relatively recent invention, and although they are quite commonly used among modern violinists and violists, there are a small percentage of players who choose to go without. We recommend the use of a shoulder rest unless your teacher says otherwise as they help to promote good posture, make the violin or viola more comfortable to hold and also help to prevent back and neck problems from developing. If your violin or viola is slipping off your shoulder or causing you discomfort whilst playing, chances are you are using the wrong shoulder rest.
Which one should I buy?
The type of shoulder rest you buy will depend on your body type; the curve of your shoulder and the height of your neck, so it is always best to come in and try a few before deciding on one. Younger violinists and violist between the ages of 3 and 8 sometimes need no more than a thin sponge to support the instrument because their necks are so small. We stock all the popular brands including Everest, Kun, Wolf, Bonmusica and Mach One. We also stock a fun range of violin sponges for younger players called Magic Pads.
When choosing a shoulder rest it is also good to take into consideration the chin rest as well because when it comes to comfort, these two accessories go hand in hand. It may take a bit of trial and error but once you find the correct combination you will feel a very noticeable difference.
If you do plan on coming in to try different shoulder rests be sure to book an appointment and bring your violin or viola with you.