There is a debate among violinists about whether or not to use shoulder rests. Some people say that you should not use them because it restricts your body and the sound quality of the violin. However, most violinists these days prefer to use some padding to make playing more comfortable.
13 Best Violin Shoulder Rests
Players Economy Foam Violin Shoulder Pad
This shoulder rest provides the height and cushion many young students need. It does not lock the shoulder into place, which is suitable for children who play on a fractional violin. Make sure to purchase the sponge size corresponding to your child’s violin size.
OttoMusica SR11 Shoulder Rest Magic Pad
The Magic Pad is an excellent choice if you like the “no-shoulder-rest” philosophy but you need a little padding and friction against your shoulder. The simple, circular pad is aesthetically pleasing, and the sticky adhesion on the back leaves no mark on the varnish.
Small Red Sponge for Violin Shoulder Rest
The benefit of using these pads is that they are versatile. You can attach them to the back of a violin with rubber bands or cement. They can also be placed next to each other or stacked to get your desired height or width.
Play on Air Deluxe Shoulder Rest
The shoulder rest is a thin balloon that provides support and padding for your shoulder. Some people do not like it because it is difficult to inflate, and it sometimes falls off during performances. Other professional violinists have used this for many years without any problems. It also comes in fractional sizes so that it could work well for young students.
Kun Original Violin Shoulder Rest
It is a popular shoulder rest for beginners. It is practical and uncomplicated, according to the manufacturers.
Kun Bravo Collapsible Violin Shoulder Rest – Hardwood and Brass
The Kun Bravo Collapsible Shoulder Rest is a good choice for people who like the Kun Original but want a more professional-looking hardwood option. Some violinists believe that the Maplewood base of the Bravo makes the violin sound better than the plastic Kun Original. The high-quality rubber on the feet of the rest should allow for a secure hold on the violin. The folding ends on the collapsible model make it easier to store in violin cases.
Everest EZ4A Violin Shoulder Rest
The Everest shoulder rest is similar to the Kun Original, but it offers more cushioned padding and adjustable grippers. Some violinists find this design more ergonomic than the Kun Original, which is also available at a more affordable price. The grippers can be unscrewed and placed in alternate positions to fit your instrument, and Everest also offers a collapsible version and a Maplewood version.
Wolf Forte Secondo Violin Shoulder Rest
This shoulder rest is popular because it has a broad, flat base that helps the violin stay in place. It is also adjustable in width and height, which can help students with their posture. It might be a good choice for intermediate-level students.
Bonmusica Violin Shoulder Rest
This shoulder rest has a curved base that helps keep the violin in place. It can be helpful for people who move around a lot, but it also means that they can only move the violin around a little. People with tall necks might like this shoulder rest because it can be customized to fit them better.
Mach One Maple Violin Shoulder Rest Hook
The Mach One Hook is a more expensive shoulder rest option. It has a stylish Maplewood design and excellent sound quality. People who like this shoulder rest say that the Maplewood base helps the violin resonate more.
This shoulder rest is designed to hug the curve of your shoulder. The “hook” on this shoulder rest will help you hold onto your violin better. Some people like this shoulder rest because it makes them feel more secure and helps improve their posture. It might be too high for people with shorter necks, but it is a beautiful, visually appealing shoulder rest that will allow your violin to produce its best sound.
VIVA LA MUSICA Shoulder Rest “VLM Augustin Diamond,” Gold Hardware
This is a shoulder rest that my graduate violin professor used. It is a high-end shoulder rest with a beautiful appearance. The base is broader and flatter than the Kun, Everest, and Mach One, but it is lightweight. According to distributors, the S-shape of the ground distributes weight across the collarbone, giving the performer more stamina. The Viva La Musica brand also makes other versions of this shoulder rest in wood finishes and plated foot hardware.
Comford Violin Shoulder Cradle
The Comford Cradle is designed based on the human shoulder structure and theories of biomechanics. This scientific approach pays off because many reviewers claim the Comford Cradle is the most comfortable violin shoulder rest they have ever tried. It is designed to improve posture and reduce strain on the shoulder. The clamps’ long legs and rubber grips offer security (this rest should not fall off during performances).
Pirastro Korfker Violin Shoulder Rest
This shoulder rest is lightweight and adjustable to fit you. You can adjust the height and tilt of the rest. The wooden base is also bendable so that it will fit the curve of your shoulder. It allows the violin to resonate and sound better and helps with articulation.
Inexpensive, homemade violin shoulder rest options:
- You can find large blocks of foam at a craft store. Cut the foam to the shape of your violin, and use rubber bands to keep it in place. This won’t look pretty, but you can cover it with black cloth to make it look nicer for concerts.
- You can fold a rubber rug grip to the height you want and attach it to your violin with rubber bands.
- You can fold a handkerchief, towel, or microfiber cloth to your desired size.
Frequently Asked Questions About Best Violin Shoulder Rest
Do professional violinists use shoulder rests?
The violin can be uncomfortable, so people add chin and shoulder rests devices. Even professional violinists sometimes use these devices.
How many hours a day do violinists practice?
It can be hard to practice more than four hours a day, but studies show that you will be willing and want to play more if you do. Professional violinists often practice more than eight hours a day.
Does Perlman use a shoulder rest?
Most violinists use a shoulder rest, but some famous violinists, like Itzhak Perlman, don’t. A shoulder rest is recommended for beginners because it helps promote good posture.
Is it better to play the violin without shoulder rest?
Using a shoulder rest makes it harder to control the speed of vibrato. This is because the fingertips on the string and vibrato often come from the arm rather than the fingertip. This usually results in a one-dimensional sound. However, if you don’t use a shoulder rest, you can develop an identifiable and personal sound.
Does playing the violin affect your jawline?
The study found that violinists have greater facial height. This is because they have more muscle activity and the right side of the face is higher due to the load of the violin on the left side.