I looked up as my older brother Rudi entered the room. My memory is cloudy as to what he said, but he brought with him a gift, a gift that would keep on giving! It was a new Kun shoulder rest. I was thirteen then, and I had been playing the violin/fiddle for about 10 years already, but in my brother’s mind I needed something new. Something that would help me become a better player. Yes, he had the secret right there in his hand!
I never imagined what an impact that small, solid, sharp looking tool would have on my playing. I must admit that at first, I really didn’t want to use it. Set in my ways already at thirteen! But he talked me into it, and I put it on. Since then (nearly 20 years ago!) I have barely ever played without it. I have told many friends through the years that I can barely play without it! The Kun rest has been designed to meet the fiddler’s/violinist’s need in more ways than one. The first thing in my playing that was affected was my form.
Ever since I can remember before I began using the Kun rest, I had the hardest time keeping my fiddle from hanging down, and had a terrible habit of just letting myself play that way. I do have somewhat of a good excuse though: I started playing too large of an instrument before I was really ready. A dear friend gave me a 4/4 size violin when I was needing to graduate to a 3/4, so I just began playing the full size instead. It was really heavy for me, and naturally I didn’t keep it up as high as I should of with my arm. So I created a really bad habit. My Mom still calls it the “sad fiddle” position. Once I started using the Kun, I have been enjoying the “happy fiddle” position and loving it!
Another huge way that I have been helped in using the Kun is the way in which my left hand has been freed up to finger the strings, without having to hold up my violin at the same time! I feel as free as a cloud in the breeze. I can also vibrato easier, and reach a lot of notes that I never could reach before. I will stop here, but I could go on, telling of many more helps the Kun rest has provided for me, it’s easy adjustability, comfortability and so much more. I also have seen it’s great benefits in helping many of my own student’s to play well. I recommend this shoulder rest to everyone I teach, and anyone who plays! For more details, and how to purchase your own Kun shoulder rest, go to kunrest.com. You won’t be disappointed! -Brendan Booher