Shoulder rest

Shoulder rest for violin

In order to keep the violin securely between chin and shoulder, most players use a shoulder rest. It is clamped to the musical instrument in the lower part and rests on the shoulder of the violinist. It is the most important equipment to regulate the posture while playing. There are shoulder rests made of metal, wood and plastic, a few also made of carbon. Modern models are ergonomically designed and can be bent into the appropriate shape. This increases the comfort very clearly. For easy handling, it is advantageous if the shoulder rest can be made as small as possible so that it doesn't take up too much space for itself in the violin case.

Important characteristics of the shoulder rest

There are two important criteria in the selection of the shoulder rest. First of all it has to fit - that is, they have to rest very well on the shoulder of the player and also feel subjectively good. This is very important so that you do not tense while playing the instrument Some rests that are used by violinist, can be bent into the "correct" shape, such as the models by WOLF or Bonmusica. Also, the height of the bracket can be adapted flexibly, so they are easily adjustable in height. In most cases, you can exchange the feet of the shoulder rest by longer or shorter versions in order to achieve the optimal setting of the violin. 

The second important point is the soundeffect of the shoulder rest to the sound of the violin or viola. The material of the rest and its attachment play an important role here. The material, because it varies greatly in dampening the vibrations of violins, receives or specifically affects sound spectra in both positive and negative ways. How the materials affect in the individual cases, basically attenuate severe shoulder rests slightly faster than light. Very important is also the holder. A shoulder rest which is directly fixed to the instrument, tend to be stronger in damping than it is the case with free-floating models such as the high-tech WITTNER shoulder support. A system that completely bypasses the problem of attenuation, the PIRASTO Ultimate Combination system. It is secured in the region of the corner blocks and the sub-pad, without affecting the free oscillation of the violins thereby. In any case, the equipment for professional violinist must be adjustable in height.

Shoulder pads


Despite the wide range of solid shoulder rests, sometimes it won't properly. In this case, the inflatable shoulder pad Playonair can help. They fit perfectly, can be inflated individually and are available in different sizes.

Maintenance of the shoulder rest

If you don't want the shoulder rest to damage your instrument, you should regularly check the condition of the brackets and replace or renew if necessary. This guarantees optimum grip of the shoulder rest on the instrument. Individual feet are available and can be replaced.