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Violin Shoulder Rests

The 5 Best Violin Shoulder Rests (Reviewed In 2022)

One of the trademarks of playing a violin is the slightly uncomfortable looking position that you hold the instrument while you play. It is wedged between your shoulder and your jaw in a way that can be painful and even lead to muscular and nerve issues.

A violin shoulder rest is an optional accessory designed for violins and violas to ease this pressure on your neck and make playing more ergonomic.

While they do have clear benefits, violinists are split nearly 50/50 on whether they use shoulder rests or not.
This guide will cover how when to use a shoulder rest, and the best violin shoulder rests available today.

When Should You Use A Shoulder Rest For Violin?

There are several factors to take into account when deciding if you need to use a shoulder rest.

First, you must analyze your own playing. How much freedom do you need while you play? Do you move your head often to watch other players?

If you would prefer freedom rather than stability, then a small shoulder rest or none at all would be best. If you’d rather the stability, then use a shoulder rest.

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Another deciding factor is the length of your neck. If you have a neck that is relatively long, then a larger shoulder rest is recommended for you because you will be forced to bend your neck more due to its length. People with shorter necks are typically much less reliant on shoulder rests.

The most important factor, however, is comfort. If you can, go to a music store and try different kinds of shoulder rests to see if they suit your style of playing and provide some stress relief on your neck.

The Top 5 Best Violin Shoulder Rests To Buy In 2022

1. KUN Original Violin Shoulder Rest 4/4 Size

KUN Original Violin Shoulder Rest

Pros:

  • Simplistic design
  • Adjustable height

Cons:

  • No accessories
  • Padding is somewhat thin

The KUN Original Violin Shoulder Rest is one of the most commonly used shoulder rests by violinists and violists everywhere. It has a sleek, minimal design that is very lightweight and maneuverable.It is also collapsible, meaning you can adjust how high you want to have your violin raised from your shoulder. All you have to do is simply tighten or loosen the knobs and you can perfectly fine-tune your rest’s height.

Key Specs

Violin Size: 4/4
Adjustable: Yes
Padding: Slightly thin
Rubber Feet: Yes
Accessories: None
Dimensions: 7 in x 3 in x 2 in (177.8 mm x 76.2 mm x 50.8 mm)
Weight: 0.15 lb (0.07 kg)

2. Everest SR2510 4/4 Violin Shoulder Rest

Violin Shoulder Rest

Pros:

  • Very low price
  • Designed by a Johns Hopkins engineer for maximum comfort

Cons:

  • Not collapsible
  • No rubber feet to protect the violin

This violin rest by Everest is a very interesting purchasing option. It is sleek and completely minimal. It doesn’t have knobs to adjust its height, which can be a drawback, but this also helps keep the design sparse.

The SR2510 was designed by a biomedical engineer from Johns Hopkins University to prived maximum ergonomic comfort for violinists.

Key Specs

Violin Size: 4/4
Adjustable: No
Padding: Thin
Rubber Feet: No
Accessories: None
Dimensions: 8 in x 2.25 in x 2 in (203.2 mm x 57.15 mm x 50.8 mm)
Weight: 3.2 oz (0.09 kg)

3. Wolf Forte Secondo Violin Shoulder Rest 4/4 Size

Violin Shoulder Rest

Pros:

  • Thick padding
  • Adjustable height

Cons:

  • No accessories
  • No rubber feet to protect the violin

The Wolf Forte Secondo is a strong and sturdy violin rest that will offer you plenty of padding. The thick foam provides a great cushion for your violin to rest on your shoulder. It also is adjustable in height, giving you total control of your violin’s position.

Key Specs

Violin Size: 4/4
Adjustable: Yes
Padding: Thick
Rubber Feet: No
Accessories: None
Dimensions: 8.6 in x 2.9 in x 0.7 in (218.44 mm x 73.66 mm x 17.78 mm)
Weight: 0.15 lb (0.07 kg)

4. Bon Musica Violin Shoulder Rest 4/4 Size

Violin Shoulder Rest

Pros:

  • Shockingly adjustable
  • Contemporary design known to be extremely comfortable

Cons:

  • Not cheap
  • Need to use a tool to adjust the height of the shoulder rest

This shoulder rest by Bon Music is an ultra-modern looking design that is brimming with practicality. This is a sturdy, reliable shoulder rest that is incredibly adjustable. Even though it requires you to use a tool to adjust, rather than your fingers, it is very easy and worth the trouble.

This shoulder rest is slightly more expensive than others on this list. While that may be a downside, the quality you are receiving is certainly worth its price.

Key Specs

Violin Size: 4/4
Adjustable: Yes
Padding: Moderate
Rubber Feet: Yes
Accessories: None
Dimensions: N/A
Weight: 5 oz (0.14 kg)

5. Resonans Violin Shoulder Rest 4/4 Medium

Violin Shoulder Rest

Pros:

  • Low price
  • Adjustable height and grip

Cons:

  • No rubber feet to protect the violin
  • No accessories

The 4/4 shoulder rest from Resonans is a wonderfully low-priced option. It is the cheapest shoulder rest on this list, but that does not mean it isn’t a quality product. The Resonans rest has both adjustable height and legs as well, meaning you can fine-tune how the rest grips your violin. This is a great piece of gear you should definitely consider.

Key Specs

Violin Size: 4/4
Adjustable: Yes
Padding: Moderate
Rubber Feet: No
Accessories: None
Dimensions: 10 in x 2.5 in x 0.75 in (254 mm x 63.5 mm x 19.05 mm)
Weight: 2.4 oz (0.068 kg)

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do professional violinists use shoulder rests?

As it is in the rest of the violin community, the players that choose to use shoulder rests versus those who don’t is about 50/50. The use of a shoulder rest is purely due to comfort and feel.

Which shoulder rest is best for violin?

As shown in this list, there is not one clear ‘best option’ for violin shoulder rests. Since a shoulder rest in of itself is elective and based on preference, so too is the specific rest you choose.

Is it okay to leave a shoulder rest on your violin for an extended period?

While it is best to strip your violin and store it in a nice case when not being played, leaving a shoulder rest for a time will not damage your instrument. If you leave it on constantly and never take it off, then damage to the varnish is more likely.

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