Shoulder rests are an optional component of the violin, sitting between your shoulder the bottom of the violin. They provide support, helping to hold up the violin so that your extended left arm does not have to hold up weight in addition to moving to sound notes. Despite being optional, most players use one as the alternative is to awkwardly tilt your head onto the chin rest to provide the needed support to hold up the violin.
There are several options for shoulder rests and each has varying levels of padding, foldability, and rigidity. As with most other components of the violin, the shoulder rest must feel comfortable to you or else you will be miserable while playing. The violin shoulder rest you choose is all about personal preference. To help you decide since there are so many violin shoulder rest options, we have listed the best violin shoulder rests for you to choose from with their corresponding prices and features.
What to Look for in Violin Shoulder Rests
Ideal violin shoulder rests adhere to a certain set of features which would distinguish them from other shoulder rests. Since each of the rests delivers distinct elements, you should be able to identify the characteristics that an optimal violin shoulder rest has. This will allow you to pick the most appropriate product for your needs.
Type of the Violin Shoulder Rest
Violin shoulder rests come in various types, each of which conforms to different needs. The type of the equipment to use rests solely on personal preference. You may opt for a more rigid shoulder rest that holds the instrument in place. Or you could also pick for the softer shoulder rest that offers more comfort on the shoulder.
Shoulder rests are also made from different materials. Some of the more common shoulder rests are made from durable plastic. If you prefer a more stylish look, you can opt for a wooden shoulder rest.
Height of the Violin Shoulder Rest
Another factor that you have to consider in choosing for the most suitable equipment is its height. The right height of the shoulder rest should correspond to the violinist who will use it. For instance, if you have a longer neck, you might need a tall shoulder rest. However, it is worth noting that many of our violin shoulder rests are now fully adjustable. This means that they could be customized to fit the needs of players.
Durability of the Violin Shoulder Rest
One of the most significant factors that you have to take note is the durability of the equipment. You have to make sure that the material and its construction are robust so that you could use it properly. Durable shoulder rests are designed to last a long time.
The features which are stated above are just some of the vital elements that you have to consider before purchasing a violin shoulder rest. You have to take note that the most suitable tool usually has most of the features presented above.
Best Violin Shoulder Rests
All Shoulder Rests
1. Kun Original Violin Shoulder Rest
The Kun Original Violin Shoulder Rest has a practical and simple design that is based on the brand’s earliest handcrafted models. The shoulder rest could be adjusted in three different directions. Moreover, the end members are fitted with a distinct locking device to make sure that it will never touch the violin. Due to its comfortable fit and feel, the violin shoulder rest is recommended for amateurs and professional players alike.
2. Bonmusica Violin Shoulder Rest
The Bonmusica Violin Shoulder Rest is designed with a padded and curved base. The base could be adjusted to fit the contour of the player’s shoulder, offering a precise and comfortable fit. Moreover, its height and width could be adjusted to suit the preference of the player. It is able to hold the violin in place while promoting a hands-free stability for vibrato and smooth shifting. The violin shoulder rest would work excellently for players with previous injuries or arthritis.
3. Wolf Forte Primo Violin Shoulder Rest
The Wolf Forte Primo Violin Shoulder Rest is able to fit violins with a 3/4 and 4/4 size. Its height and pitch could be adjusted using swiveling legs to suit the player’s shoulders. The bar is made up of metal with a foam rubber strip. It could be bent to conform to the size of any violin player. The violin shoulder rest is recommended for amateur and professional violin players.
4. YMC Violin Shoulder Rest
The YMC Violin Shoulder Rest is a wooden shoulder rest that would work excellently on violins with 3/4 and 4/4 sizes. The rest include a padding that provides comfort when it is used. Moreover, it could be adjusted to suit the particular needs of the violin player. It has a super fine craftsmanship, with a wood finish and soft plastic clips that hold the violin body.
5. Kun Collapsible Violin Shoulder Rest
The Kun Collapsible Violin Shoulder Rest is designed distinctly like a crescent. The width, height, and the pitch of the rest could be adjusted to meet the needs of every violin player. Its legs are collapsible, allowing the shoulder rest to be stored easily when it not in use. Its foam padded base would contour well on the shoulder area of the player. The rest is comfortable when used, and it is recommended for students and professionals alike.
6. Everest Blue ES Series Violin Shoulder Rest
The Everest Blue ES Series Violin Shoulder Rest is a comfortable tool that could be used by beginners and professional players alike. It is designed for 4/4 violins, but it also works for 3/4 violins when the rest is adjusted. It comes in a blue color to add to the equipment’s overall aesthetic. The shoulder rest is easy to install and adjust to suit individual preferences. Moreover, it is also able to fit on the instrument very well.
7. Wolf Forte Secundo Violin Shoulder Rest
The Wolf Forte Secundo Violin Shoulder Rest includes a wide rubber-padded bar that is comfortable when placed against the shoulder. Its height and angle could be adjusted well to suit the needs of every violin player. Hence, it is regarded as one of the most versatile shoulder rests available on the market. It is also designed to fit on violins with 3/4 and 4/4 sizes. With a flexible metal backing, it could be shaped and contoured to accommodate individual differences.
8. Portland Gold Violin Shoulder Rest
The Portland Gold Violin Shoulder Rest has a high-density composite construction for optimal durability and strength. Its robust brackets with elegant gold-brass screws could be adjusted to suit individual preferences. Moreover, it has an ergonomic curvature that provides comfort and support to any violin player. Its molded rubber feet includes steel reinforcement. The shoulder rests comes with a beautiful golden brown finish to complement the color of any standard violin. Due to its construction and design, the shoulder rest is built to last a long time.
9. Vio Music Adjustable Superb Flamed Violin Shoulder Rest
The Vio Music Adjustable Superb Flamed Violin Shoulder Rest is constructed with a flamed maple wood to ensure durability. Its length and height could be adjusted to conform to the needs of every violin player. Its padded foam provides comfort and support to the player when used. The shoulder rest comes in a curved shape that contours to the shoulders. Its plastic feet are designed to provide protection for the violin. The violin shoulder rest is built for amateurs and professionals alike.
10. Vale Adjustable Violin Shoulder Rest
The Vale Adjustable Violin Shoulder Rest is handy and easy to adjust to the shoulders. This prevents the violin from sliding off without added pressure from the chin and the neck. The shoulder rest fits on violins with 3/4 and 4/4 sizes. Its dense foam padding is constructed of thick and soft neoprene that provides support and stability. Its soft rubber feet grips cover the surface of the violin, preventing any damage and scratches. Due to its comfortable feel, the shoulder rest is recommended for students and professional violin players.
As a violin player, it is only essential that you know the features to consider before purchasing violin shoulder rests. Each of the violin shoulder rests presented above come with their distinct characteristics that may make or break your performance. In the end, the choice of the tool to buy will most likely depend on the violin shoulder rest with the features that will conform to your specific needs.