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Shoulder Rest NOT optional!

Posted by bj on Monday, July 26, 2010

Okay, so that isn't totally true, I can play without a shoulder rest. But after forgetting to bring it with me this weekend, I truly do NOT  want to play for any extended period without it! I've got a crick in my neck. UGH!

Those of you who have short to normal length necks may jettison that seemingly superfluous piece of extra equipment, the one that doesn't fit comfortably in many cases and is one more thing to keep track of.

Me? I need to use it or suffer pain. What's really odd is that I don't keep my chin on the chinrest while playing, just while tuning up, when I'm doing a tune with a lot of pinkie action since my hand moves some and I  need the stability, or on those couple tunes when I actually venture up the neck. But that bit of time when I do put my chin down, it is a LONG  way down if I don't have the shoulder rest on!

You can betcha I  won't forget it again!

Of course, there's also the question of why I  didn't just forego my usual evening playing sessions, since it was only for two days. Yeah, right. Me go without playing? The only time that'll happen is if I'm out cold, in a coma, physically incapable, or my ashes are floating on the breeze.

15 comments on “Shoulder Rest NOT optional!”

Cyndy Says:
Monday, July 26, 2010 @9:15:10 AM

I liked the stability a shoulder rest gave me (I tried a Kun) but it sure wasn't comfortable. What kind do you use?

bj Says:
Monday, July 26, 2010 @9:37:35 AM

I use a Kun. It took me awhile to get all the various adjustments dialled in, but now that it is, it's very comfortable. Though I'm sure there are some folks who need the shoulder rest who aren't going to be able to comfortably use the Kun, I think those people are few and far between, and you just have to keep screwing around with the adjustments, and maybe you'll get it working. Some folks might need the longer leg Kun makes available for the asking, though I didn't. I've still got it kicking around in a desk drawer somewhere.

robinja Says:
Monday, July 26, 2010 @10:00:27 AM

LOL - the pains we suffer for our art! Although long-necked myself, I'm still a tall chin-rest gal. Nothing gets between me and my fiddle!

bj Says:
Monday, July 26, 2010 @10:04:56 AM

I've been looking for one of those funkychunky chinrests, but have yet to find one. David has one on his fiddle, and I tried it and it seemed like it might work. But then again I tried it for five minutes, not a whole weekend.

M-D Says:
Monday, July 26, 2010 @10:12:02 AM

I've got a rosewood Kaufman style that is 31/32" at its highest point above the instrument's top. Of course, it dips from there, but. . . . Let me know if you're interested.

scrubber Says:
Monday, July 26, 2010 @10:39:16 AM

My problem with Kuhn shoulder rests is that THEY KEEP FALLING OFF!!

I DO use a shoulder rest for long-term playing / practicing -- Wolf shoulder rests work best for me!


WoodshopFiddler Says:
Monday, July 26, 2010 @3:20:45 PM

I have a Kuhn and a Wolf. The Kuhn works best on my primary fiddle but not very well on on my other one, just the opposite with the wolf.

bj Says:
Monday, July 26, 2010 @4:10:43 PM

M-D, I might be interested. I do wish I could test drive it for awhile though. I really wish you were around the corner instead of halfway across the country. ;-)

The reason I'm thinking the test drive is in order is because I just measured the total height of where the kun sits on my shoulder to the top of the current chinrest and I think I have more height than that kaufman with a bare fiddle would give me.

Maybe I can swap fiddles with David for a day. But only if he's finally changed his damned strings. He's had those dominants on for over 8 years (and with crosstuning!) and he's finally ordered a new set so he wouldn't hear me gripe about not being able to hear him and him constantly tuning. I betcha he hasn't put them on yet.

Scrubber and WoodshopFiddler, I use the kun on every fiddle I own. They're all the flatter strad bodies though, and though there's differences between 'em, they're not huge differences.

harwilli55 Says:
Monday, July 26, 2010 @4:19:38 PM

Yoga !!! ;-D

bj Says:
Monday, July 26, 2010 @4:25:53 PM

Now you want me to stand on my head or sit in a lotus position while I fiddle? Geez, I have enough trouble standing!

ViolaFiddler Says:
Monday, July 26, 2010 @10:39:20 PM

hhhmmm, a new combo of interests to try out..... Downward Dog fiddlin' doesn't look promising. But a standing pose, say The Tree, would work. Just won't fiddle too fast so's to not topple over.....//o-\\.

harwilli55 Says:
Tuesday, July 27, 2010 @5:42:33 PM

MindReader !!!

playmorebluegrass Says:
Monday, August 2, 2010 @7:46:48 AM

i like my kuhn and will keep it till it wears out, but it keeps falling off :(( rather embarassing. but, it sure beats playing without a shoulder rest! i don't see how ppl play wihout a shoulder rest either. i've tried playing down on my arm like a friend of mine, but my arm tends to suffers later. my trick is to rest it on my collarbone, closer to my neck, when the shoulder rest is forgotten. ..another suggestion maybe buy two. i have two or three (tuners) because i can't keep up with them. thinking about getting another shoulder rest at christmas since i have learned they mke ones that don't fall off ;))

Humbled by this instrument Says:
Monday, August 2, 2010 @4:08:25 PM

I have a Kuhn but no wolf. Maybe I need to get a wolf if everybody else has one. I want to fit in, to be like other fiddlers, so if I need a wolf, then a wolf I'll have. What do you feed them? Do they bark a lot?

bj Says:
Monday, August 2, 2010 @4:16:55 PM

Granny, will your dog bite?

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