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Playing WIth or Without Shoulder Rest


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Sorry if someone mentioned this already--if someone has, I'll reinforce it. (Normally I'd read the whole thread, but I have to practice now, and in a way I've read this thread many times!)

Use whatever set-up works best for you physically. I was talking to my teacher about the sound benefits of playing without a shoulder rest or sponge. She said, "What's the point of sound if you can't play?" To put her rhetorical question into perspective: she once changed chinrests because a luthier told her the clamp design would dampen less vibrations. The new chinrest forced her to change her head position, which in turn strained her neck, which in turn strained some muscles in her right shoulder, which started to spasm, which cut of circulation coming out of her right arm, which made her fingers swell while she played. All because of sound. ("The violin is not a trumpet.")

Some people like a sponge. Some people like one or more of those red cosmetic sponges. Some people like a Kun. Or a Wolf, or a Resonans, or maybe a Playonair. (Zukerman uses a doorstop.) Some people would fold their lapels, or stuff their jackets. Some people played with no chinrest.

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