One important part of your violin is the shoulder rest. You need a good rest as you want your instrument to be as comfortable as possible. Here is a quick guide to picking out a quality shoulder rest for your violin.
In a hurry? Here are our top picks..
What is a Shoulder Rest?
Early violin players did not use shoulder rests as this accessory did not exist. They are a cushion or support that attaches under the violin. You remove this after you play. They reduce playing tension and fatigue. They are different from the chinrest, and sometimes people get the two confused.
A Shoulder Rest Provides Comfort
If you are a beginner to the violin, it is recommended that you use one of these products as they help you maintain the correct posture when playing the instrument. You will not stretch your neck or hunch over which creates bad playing habits that may carry over into your playing as you progress.
They reduce collarbone discomfort from the violin, which some have a problem with. They are ideal when you are practicing for a long time as tension is released. You want a good one so playing the violin is as comfortable as possible. As you progress, you may or may not want to one. Some players find that they limit movement somewhat and do not use one.
How to Choose a Shoulder Rest
There are several factors that go into choosing a quality product for your violin. You want one that holds the violin in place yet remains as comfortable as possible. Your neck height, the width of your shoulders, and body size will all be factors to consider before you buy. Most adjust to your body size and are curved for the best fit, but you want to ensure that the product will fit you in the right way. Proper adjustment is critical especially for younger players that are still growing. You will want to adjust it as your body changes over time. Make sure you experiment with it and try several positions until you find the one that is the most comfortable for your needs.
Type of Rest to Buy
While you can make your own with a towel or a piece of cloth, these reduce the resonance of the violin to some degree and can mute the sound a bit. It’s better to buy one out of wood as this maintains the resonance of the instrument. You have to experiment a bit to find something that suits your needs. Beginners do not have to worry as much about sound and tone so it will be more about your overall comfort level when using one and not the tone. Beginners will get the most comfort out of products that have some foam padding or extra support in place.
The base of any shoulder rest is usually plastic or wood. The finish is smooth to make it comfortable to play. The base is hard and not bendable, so you need the right fit. Expensive brands may have an additional foam to add to the comfort level of the player. Lower quality products will have a sponge or softer foam as added cushioning. Rubber is used to make some products as it is lower cost and flexible. Metal is used in some parts of the construction to add durability and add strength. The posts are often made from metal. Some bases are made with metal and these are bendable and flexible to meet the needs of the player.
Most violin kits ship with a shoulder rest and you may want to use this initially. As you get a bit better it can be a good idea to replace the one that shipped with your kit. The reason for this is that a lot of the accessories that ship in violin kits can be of poorer quality. Replace these kit items with something a bit better as you want to be as comfortable as possible when you play. A high-quality product is a better option than going with what you get in a kit. In most cases, you end up disappointed with what you get.
Make sure you get the one that matches your violin size. For example, if you have a 4/4/ violin ensure that it will fit that size of violin. Most manufacturers sell them in various sizes so get the right one.
Using a Shoulder Rest
If you do not know how to use one talk to your violin teacher or ask at the music store. Your teacher can set it up for you and show you the right way to put it on. When you buy your model, it should have instructions about the right way to put it on the violin. Many of them have feet that you attach to your instrument. The process of applying it is not difficult.
You may have to experiment a bit to find a rest that you like using all of the time. They are relatively cheap for the most part so feel free to hive a few of them a try until you find one that meets all of your needs. Some players do not end up using them as it can get in the ways as you play. Others may find that they play better when using it.
Best Violin Shoulder Rest Reviews
1. NANYI Violin Shoulder Rest for 3/4 - 4/4 – Top Budget Product
NANYI produces excellent violin products and this one will make playing your violin more comfortable. It fits standard 3/4 and 4/4 sized violins.
The product is made with strong PVC materials it is built to last and will not warp or crack like wood. It has a sponge contact surface which is water-resistant. It is comfortable to use and convenient to place on your instrument. The clips make it easy to place on your instrument. It has an anti-skid pinch and won’t hurt your violin. You will experience added comfort when playing and reduce fatigue when you use this product.
2. SOL Universal Violin – Top Rest Kit with Extras
This product from Sound of Life will make it more comfortable for you to play your violin. It jas a few extras in the kit which make it a standout purchase.
This product helps reduce shoulder pain and it is the perfect solution for ¾ and 4/4 sized violins. It established even pressure on the shoulder and collarbone. It is easy to adjust the width and the height for the width for the best fit on your violin. Comfort and stability if provided by the elastic EVA pad. It comes with two extra rosin stones for your bow so it is an excellent value.
3. LAVYSH 3/4 & 4/4 – Best High-Quality Product
The POWPOW LAVYSH 3/4 & 4/4 is an excellent product that offers you great value and reliability.
This product is made with quality maple wood so it will last you a long time. It has silicone adjustable feet and foam padding for added comfort. The bar features an ergonomic design so it fits the shoulder area well as you play. You get added resonance thanks to the wood design so the tone of your violin is improved when you use it. The product comes with a rosin cake and a cloth for your bow. This is the top choice for violin professionals looking for a superior product.
4. Fiddlerman Wood Rest – Best Elegant Shoulder Rest
Fiddlerman offers an exceptional product to make it easier for you to play your violin in total comfort.
This product is height-adjustable, so you will find just the right level for your playing style and needs. The feet grip the violin and add stability when you play. Collapse the feet down after use for easy storage. It will fit standard 3/4 and 4/4 violins. It has an elegant look and made from wood, so it also has good resonance. It is built to last a long time and has added foam padding for additional support. You will get a full 12-month warranty when you buy it.
5. Kun Original 4/4 – Best Product for Professionals
For those that want a professional shoulder rest, the Kun Original is a solid choice it has a lot of benefits for the player.
This product has a simple design yet offers you a lot. It features adjustments in three directions for the best fit on your instrument. It is suitable for standard 4/4 sized violins. At the end, you will find locking devices so that it does not touch the surface of the instrument and scratch the finish. Many professionals as well as amateur players rely on the Kun to make playing their violin a lot easier. You will get the comfort that you need for long practice sessions.
6. AMZZ - Adjustable with Foam – Best Product with Added Protection
The AMZZ rest is made with maple wood and has a lot of features for today’s violin player.
The product will fit ¾ and 4/4 sized violins as well as some violas. It is well crafted and made with solid wood. It is adjustable for angle and height. It keeps the player comfortable during long playing sessions. The rubber feet are soft and they are made with silicone. They will not scratch the surface of your instrument. You get a 12-month warranty when you buy this product. This is a high-quality maple wood rest that makes the perfect accessory for your violin.
7. MI&VI Maple Wood – Best Adjustable Rest
For those looking for a high-quality adjustable product the MI&VI is a solid choice. It has everything you need as a player to remain comfortable as you play your violin.
It is made with solid maple wood so it is built to last. It is comfortable and has an attractive look. The bar s curved and offers an ergonomic fit for added comfort. It will grip the violin with ease as it has rubber feet that are collapsible. There are three settings for angle and height so you will get the right position for you. The feet will not scrape the surface of the violin. It fits sizes 4/4 and 3/4 instruments. You get a 90-day warranty when you order this product.
8. Kun Bravo 4/4 – Best High-Quality Rest with Brass Fittings
The Kun Bravo 4/4 is a high-quality professional rest for your instrument. It has a lot to offer today’s players.
This device fits 4/4 violins and is made from maple wood. It features polished brass fittings for a unique and attractive look. It adds to the comfort of playing your violin. It has height and width adjustments so you can put it into a position that works for your needs. There is a padded bar that keeps the unit from slipping on your instrument. It is made with high-quality parts and has adjustments in three directions so you will find the right comfort level that works for you. The ends have a locking device and it will not touch your violin. For those that need a high-quality rest, this is the one to buy.
9. MAESTRO Violin 1/2 Size – Best for Beginners
The MAESTRO Violin 1/2 Sizeis an excellent shoulder rest for those that have a smaller sized violin.
It is convenient, easy to use, and has a great grip. It won’t slip or move out of place once you put it on your violin. The foam pad has high-density foam so it is designed to be comfortable. It also features an ergonomic design to keep the shoulder area as comfortable as possible when you play. It makes the perfect choice for beginners on those that want a good product at a reasonable price for their violin.
The MIN Violin 1/4-1/8 rest is the perfect choice for students that use a small-sized violin.
This rest has collapsible feet and adjustable bars. It is easy to store and simple to use. The grips hold it in place on the violin so it remains comfortable as you play. It works for smaller sized 14-⅛ size instruments. The ergonomic body design keeps it comfortable for longe practice sessions. It has foam on the pad for extra support.
You may have to experiment a bit to find the best violin shoulder rest. There are many kinds on the market. Make sure that is will fit your violin size and that it will be as comfortable as possible for you while you play. You will improve your posture while playing and decrease your bad playing habits. Younger players will benefit from a shoulder rest and anyone that wants added comfort when they practice.
My top pick is the Fiddlerman Wood Violin Shoulder Rest. It has an elegant look and made out of excellent wood. It is a bit on the expensive side, but you get a reliable rest with feet to support it on the instrument. A beginner may want to look at the Sound of Life Shoulder rest. It has a reasonable price and the package also includes rosin so it is a good value. The Kun Bravo 4/4 is a great choice for professionals as it has a great look, extra foam support, and brass fittings. On the downside, it costs quite a bit.
No matter what your need is there are amazing shoulder rest on the market to make playing your violin a comfortable experience.