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#2087972 - 05/24/13 11:26 AM Off topic: Suggestions for violin shoulder rest?  
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 2,036
TwoSnowflakes Offline
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TwoSnowflakes  Offline
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My daughter's birthday is coming up and she would love a new shoulder rest. I see some beautiful flamed wood shoulder rests, and I don't know if there's a particular one that people like.

Right now she's got the Kun collapsible, and it seems to fall off her violin with frequency. I can't figure out why. It's a 3/4 size violin, but the rest is supposed to work for that size. She'll be moving up to a full size within the year.

Anyway, any violinists out there who can recommend a really nice one?

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#2088040 - 05/24/13 01:03 PM Re: Off topic: Suggestions for violin shoulder rest? [Re: TwoSnowflakes]  
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Nigel Keay Offline
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Paris
A wise decision not to post this question on a violin forum - let's just say that there are some strongly held opinions about whether a shoulder rest should be used or not!

In any case Kun collapsibles are perfectly good rests, that's what I use. It may simply be a question of adjustment, moving it in a notch to make it tighter, or, the other thing that can happen is the plastic material covering the feet hardens with age and use - it's just a matter of replacing that. Difficult to say though without seeing it.

#2088046 - 05/24/13 01:08 PM Re: Off topic: Suggestions for violin shoulder rest? [Re: TwoSnowflakes]  
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Mark_C Offline
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I'm really glad you got such a good answer (wish I could have given one -- I couldn't even though I've played some violin) .....because it's great that you're putting this kind of thought and research into the gift! And good luck to your daughter with her music. smile

#2088608 - 05/25/13 01:37 PM Re: Off topic: Suggestions for violin shoulder rest? [Re: TwoSnowflakes]  
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kck Offline
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I play violin and so does my daughter. I played through my childhood and have many different shoulder devices. I think you really need to let her try them out. It varies widely depending on shoulder width, neck length, preference for feel, etc. I've ordered a couple for me and my daughter that have been complete failures on recommendation. I'd take her to a violin shop as a fun field trip with her instrument and see what works!


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#2088755 - 05/25/13 05:43 PM Re: Off topic: Suggestions for violin shoulder rest? [Re: TwoSnowflakes]  
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currawong Offline
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I think I'd consult with her teacher, too.


Du holde Kunst...
#2090365 - 05/27/13 10:43 PM Re: Off topic: Suggestions for violin shoulder rest? [Re: TwoSnowflakes]  
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TwoSnowflakes Offline
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Unfortunately, her teacher is in China this month on tour with, it appears, the rest of the orchestra!

Oh well, I wanted to surprise her, and if we ultimately exchange it, ok, I just figured that if I could make a preliminary selection with some good advice, I stood a good chance of having the gift I buy be the thing she ultimately needed/wanted!

#2091407 - 05/29/13 12:26 PM Re: Off topic: Suggestions for violin shoulder rest? [Re: TwoSnowflakes]  
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wouter79 Offline
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Originally Posted by kck
I'd take her to a violin shop as a fun field trip with her instrument and see what works!


+1. It depends entirely on how it feels and the choice of shoulder rest.

Holding a violin is highly unnatural so finding the best fit is a big issue IMHO. It's a trade-off between many things, amount arm rotation, wrist rotation, length of pinky, head position and the "optimum"/least tension point is different for everyone.

On my viola I have a Kun shoulder rest with the front height maxed out, and a chin rest that falls somewhat over the tailpiece.

The choice of shoulder rest also make a difference in sound both for the public and for yourself. Particularly if the shoulder rest touches the violin.

I don't think picking one by looks ("beautiful flamed wood") is a good idea. What matters most is how it fits, not how it looks.

Quote

>Right now she's got the Kun collapsible, and it seems to fall off her violin with frequency. I can't figure out why.


Maybe she has it set too wide so that it's not under enough tension. Or maybe the rubbers are worn or not sitting properly. Or maybe she is not holding the violin properly or steady.


[Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image]
#2091627 - 05/29/13 07:36 PM Re: Off topic: Suggestions for violin shoulder rest? [Re: TwoSnowflakes]  
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keystring Offline
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I think your daughter and probably also her teacher should be part of the process, and this isn't something that you get as a surprise, anymore than you would surprise a dancer with dancing shoes. Recently I looked into the Wolfe Forte Secundo, which was recommended by Simon Fischer, and found out a bit later that it can also be (carefully) bent into a customized shape. If the Kun is falling off the violin, are the rubber feet still fresh or might they need replacing?

#2091915 - 05/30/13 02:51 AM Re: Off topic: Suggestions for violin shoulder rest? [Re: keystring]  
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Nigel Keay Offline
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A couple of posters after me have mentioned the same thing, that maybe the rubber feet are worn. I bought a new Kun collapsible recently and noted that the "rubber feet" are fabricated in a fancier one-piece mould that covers the entire bar. My old one had four simple sections of rubber tube as feet where the metal bar (which is essentially the same) comes into contact with the violin. Whatever the case you can put the new rubber tube on yourself (IF this is in fact necessary) by simply soaking them in hot water first. Anyway this is the sort of thing the violin shop should be able to help you with, on the other hand perhaps this new refinement in the design has been to encourage total replacement.

Finding the right shoulder and chin rest combination is a notoriously difficult business; I agree it's to accommodate a fundamentally unnatural (at best) playing position. On my Kun rest I've had to cut a little wedge in a very hard plastic, this is rammed in beside the screw to keep it sitting at the correct angle for me. Everyone is built slightly differently so solutions for comfort, which is primordial, will inevitably be personalized.

Perhaps this info on the rubber feet will be useful in the future if it turns out that wasn't really the problem.

#2092347 - 05/30/13 05:01 PM Re: Off topic: Suggestions for violin shoulder rest? [Re: Nigel Keay]  
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keystring Offline
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Originally Posted by Nigel Keay
A couple of posters after me have mentioned the same thing, that maybe the rubber feet are worn. I bought a new Kun collapsible recently and noted that the "rubber feet" are fabricated in a fancier one-piece mould that covers the entire bar. My old one had four simple sections of rubber tube as feet where the metal bar (which is essentially the same) comes into contact with the violin. Whatever the case you can put the new rubber tube on yourself (IF this is in fact necessary) by simply soaking them in hot water first. Anyway this is the sort of thing the violin shop should be able to help you with, on the other hand perhaps this new refinement in the design has been to encourage total replacement.

By coincidence I have two pictures from when I learned how to do the replacement. A luthier site helped me by suggesting to coat the metal with dishwasher detergeant, as well as the hot water soaking idea.

These are the before (left) and after (right) pictures.
[Linked Image] [Linked Image]

#2092355 - 05/30/13 05:11 PM Re: Off topic: Suggestions for violin shoulder rest? [Re: TwoSnowflakes]  
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Horowitzian Offline
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I love my Kun rest. But you should definitely consult the teacher on this matter, as one rest isn't perfect for everyone.


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