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Tips in choosing a chin rest?


polkat

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My present chin rest is a side mounted standard job (make unknown). Although I don't clamp down on it very hard, I still have a problem shifting down as it is fairly flat and doesn't provide much chin/cheek grip. I was thinking of trying the Gueniari(sp?) style center mount, but before I do, what tips can you all provide for choosing a chin rest. I have seem some with cups that have quite high edges (Grappelli's in his later years comes to mind) and wonder if that helps with grip?

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A non-wood chin rest may help with the grip, for example, I use a Wolf chin rest that is constructed with a thick (synthetic) fabric stretched over a frame. It's quite flat but holds well under the chin. There's also a slight amount of movement between the frame and the clamp. The amount of movement can be regulated. This movement took a little while to get used to, but now I see it as a very good thing. I also believe that the single column clamp is the best thing for the sound as the clamping is minimal.

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Some not necessarily connected thoughts:

-- Decide where you want the cup. I see a lot of players use the Guarneri chin rest with the cup on the left side. But they rest their chin on the hump over the tailpiece. The cup itself is mostly unused. I wonder if they wouldn't be more comfortable with a chinrest with the cup over the tailpiece.

-- Try selecting your chinrest based on how it feels without using the shoulder rest. If you can find a chinrest that is fairly comfortable without the shoulder rest, the shoulder rest will be that much less of a factor in your overall comfort, and you will probably be more comfortable with a broader range of shoulder rests.

-- If you get a wood chin rest with no finish on it, you can shape a custom fit for yourself with a bit of sandpaper.

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I see a lot of players use the Guarneri chin rest with the cup on the left side. But they rest their chin on the hump over the tailpiece. The cup itself is mostly unused. I wonder if they wouldn't be more comfortable with a chinrest with the cup over the tailpiece.

This is so true. But it is comfortable to play this way - the 'hump' over the tailpiece gives a secure hold, they're not too heavy and look right. The 'over the tailpiece' chinrests are often large and ugly.

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Everybody's different and it comes down to what fits you best. Regarding cups with high edges, I have a Teka on one fiddle and its deepish cup with the high back edge is a bit uncomfortable, it presses into my neck behind my jaw. Other players like this style a lot, though. I use a Guarneri on my main fiddle and it's fine although I do tend not to use most of the cup. My favorite chinrest is what I've seen referred to as a "Hollywood" rest, which came out of Weisshaar's shop in Los Angeles a number of years ago; side-mounted, medium cup and height, fairly small with a small extension that curves over the tailpiece. It fits me really well. There are a bunch of styles similar to this that might be worth looking at.

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