A shoulder rest provides support for violinists. Here is how to correctly put a shoulder rest on your violin so you can have a better posture and technique.
Steps to put shoulder rest on violin
Here are the steps for putting shoulder rest on violin properly. If you were to take our Singapore violin classes, your tutors will teach you how to do it too!
Position your violin
To safely attach the shoulder rest, make sure your violin is placed on a flat, stable surface, such as a table or your lap. This ensures that your violin does not accidentally slip or get damaged during the process.
Inspect the shoulder rest
Familiarize yourself with the shoulder rest, particularly its adjustable elements. Most shoulder rests have adjustable legs that can be lengthened or shortened to fit your shoulder’s shape and the size of your violin.
Adjust the legs
Start by adjusting the length of the shoulder rest legs to match the width of your violin. To do this, locate the knobs or fasteners on the shoulder rest’s legs and loosen them. Extend or retract the legs to fit your violin’s width. It should securely attach to the lower bouts (the curved part) of your instrument.
Position the shoulder rest
With the legs adjusted to the correct width, place the shoulder rest on the back of your violin. The curved, padded part of the shoulder rest should rest against the back of your violin’s body.
Hold the violin
Hold your violin with your left hand (assuming you are right-handed) while gripping the neck and the upper bout of the instrument. Ensure you have a firm hold, but do not squeeze too tightly. Here is more on how to hold a violin.
Secure the shoulder rest
While holding your violin with your left hand, carefully attach the shoulder rest by sliding it onto the back of the instrument. Make sure the legs of the shoulder rest encircle the violin’s body snugly. You may need to apply a bit of pressure to slide the shoulder rest onto the violin. It should rest against your shoulder, with the legs extending outward on both sides of the violin.
Adjust the shoulder rest
Once the shoulder rest is securely in place, you can further adjust it for comfort. Most shoulder rests have adjustable height and tilt settings. Make sure the rest is resting on your shoulder and the padded section is in contact with your shoulder and neck. You can tilt the shoulder rest slightly to match your shoulder’s contour.
Check for stability
After securing and adjusting the shoulder rest, gently tilt the violin left and right to ensure it is securely attached. It should not wobble or slip when you move the instrument.
Test for comfort
Place the violin under your chin, ensuring that the shoulder rest sits comfortably against your shoulder. If necessary, make further adjustments to the rest’s height or tilt to achieve the most comfortable and secure fit.