Perfect shoulder rest

Grace said: Sep 18, 2007
 Violin
110 posts

That’s quite a name, I know! But has anyone tried these?
There are 3 designs: original, komfort kurve, & plus.

http://www.swstrings.com/Store/Shopping.jsp?Category=Accessories&SubCategory=Violin&Group=PSR

said: Sep 19, 2007
 Violin
5 posts

These look good. I have not tried them, but they are similar to the ones I’ve found to work for almost everybody:

http://m_kimber.tripod.com/mkpolypad.html

The “poly-pads” are available only directly from their creator, but they’re wonderful, in my experience, and they come in all sizes—extra small, too.

Thanks for posting the link to the ones at SW Strings! Those are good to know about, too. The plus model looks like it would be good for adolescents with really bony shoulders.

“Beautiful tone, beautiful heart”
~Shinichi Suzuki

Grace said: Sep 19, 2007
 Violin
110 posts

Are polypads just like the zarets? They look like the same thing. They are $3.95 from SW strings but $6 from polypads.

http://www.swstrings.com/Store/Shopping.jsp?Category=Accessories&SubCategory=Violin&Group=193

Jennifer Visick said: Sep 19, 2007
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
997 posts

No, they are not the same. Polypads are shaped differently from Zarets. I find the zarets to have an inferior shape but a better “grip” on the back of the instrument. The polypads have an excellent shape for many shoulders, but I tend to have to insert a thin cosmetic sponge between the polypad & the back of the instrument in order to keep it from slipping around.

NOTHING fits everyone, and there is no perfect shoulder rest!

Customize the shoulder rest for everyone. I find that Wolf shoulder rests with a metal frame can be bent into a more curved shape which tends to fit each student individually. I find that cosmetic sponges can be rubberbanded to almost anything (sponge or rest) to add height on one side or the other.

Suretone and Bonmusica shoulder rests are on the more expensive side, but they are designed to be customizable, which is worthwhile. Not everyone needs one, though.

These “perfect shoulder rest”s look like they might work for some body types.

Lynn said: Sep 20, 2007
 
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
173 posts

It’s hard to see it in the photos, but the unlike the Zaret, the polypads are tapered front to back. That is, the “scroll” side is thicker than the “neck” side. A couple of my students came back from Institute with them, and I like what I see so far. The inside edge isn’t too thick, but the outside edge is thick enough to support the violin. Not too high under the chin and high enough to support the violin and keep the scroll level. Exactly what doesn’t work with the Zaret pads, or pads devised out of cosmetic sponges. Actually, if you look at most bar rests, they either have built-in or some capacity to tilt.

Grace said: Sep 20, 2007
 Violin
110 posts

Thanks for all the advice! I’m going to order some poly-pads.

Another tip to keep the sponges from slipping around is to use rubberized shelf liner:

http://www.amazon.com/Griptex-Wonderliner-Plus-3-Pack-Almond/dp/B000H7TSNQ/ref=sr_1_3/002-6522945-3997655?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1190306243&sr=1-3

It’s cheap & works great (I get it at the dollar store). I also use it under my cutting boards when I am chopping! :)

Jennifer Visick said: Sep 21, 2007
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
997 posts

Just want to point out that when customizing a shoulder rest, it’s always a good idea to double check that the chinrest is also the proper height. Chinrests can be customized too (to some extent).

Grace said: Sep 25, 2007
 Violin
110 posts

Just want to point out that when customizing a shoulder rest, it’s always a good idea to double check that the chinrest is also the proper height. Chinrests can be customized too (to some extent).

I would love some suggestions on chinrests for little students. I’ve had 2 or 3 kids complaining this week that the chinrest is digging into their jaw. I covered it with a folded up cloth, but I would love a better solution.

I received the polypads yesterday. I can’t wait to try them out this afternoon on my students. They are definitely better-shaped than the zarets. It’s amazing to me that you don’t pay the guy upfront! Also, his shipping rates are SO cheap! I’m definitely ordering more if my kiddos like them today.

Debbie said: Sep 26, 2007
Debbie MiViolin
138 posts

For Chinrests digging into chins, the best trick I have found is to take some spongy material (I have used Dr. Scholl’s Molefoam) and build up the cup of the chinrest (so not around the edges, but more in the center) so that the center is more up at the level as the edges, thus causing the student to feel more of an even surface.

The only problems I have had with this is that the adhesive on the molefoam tends to remove the paint off of the chinrest. So, there may be another material that would work better.

Another cool chinrest to try is the Wittner chinrest. This will not solve the “digging into the chin” problem but it if you notice the student having trouble keeping the violin up on their shoulder, this can sometimes help. Especially with the instruction to put the “jaw into the jawrest” instead of the chin into the chinrest. (more of a side angle than a front angle).

Jennifer Visick said: Sep 26, 2007
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
997 posts

alternatively, instead of building up the middle, you can sand down the edges of a chinrest. Both plastic and wooden chinrests can be sanded. After sanding it down, use very fine sandpaper and/or steel wool to return it to a smooth surface.

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