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Long neck and chinrests


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Today I came to the conclusion that I have a long neck. When I stand with good posture and put the violin (no shoulder rest) on my collarbone, there's about .5"-1" of space between my jaw and the chinrest, a no-hump Flesch with a StradPad on it. I don't want to contort my neck anymore, but life without a shoulder rest is just fine.

I still have my old Guarneri chinrest and the Flesch w/hump from Shar; I didn't like the Guarneri or the Flesch w/hump because the non-contoured part above the tailpiece (or the hump) dug into part of my jawbone near the chin, the spot on the bottom edge of the jawbone about half an inch to my right from the center of the chin. Am I supposed to have a bump there, or should I redistribute my head weight on the chinrest (especially when down-shifting)?

Would a SAS adjustable solve the height differential?

con_ritmo, in HKV's "Does anyone not use a shoulder rest" post, you described your chinrest a little. Could you describe it more?

Todles, referring to the same thread, where in Europe did you do your post-grad?

Toscha, same thread. Where might a find pieces of cork to put between the chinrest and violin?


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I just put on a new chinrest and had to raise it with cork to keep it from resting on the tailpiece.

By suggestion to me, I got little cork circles from the hardward store. They are about the size of a dime. The kind that you would put on the bottom of furniture or lamps, etc, to keep them from scratching the floor. Mine came from Lowes, but Home Depot or Walmart would have them.

They are sticky on one side, and you can stack 'em up as many as you like. They're cheap and very effective.

[This message has been edited by crystal (edited 03-04-2001).]

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If you have that much space between jaw and chinrest, get thee to your luthier and ask him / her to put a shim (preferably made from the same wood as your chinrest) on it. When my luthier buddy did it for me, he cut the bottom edge off the rest, grafted a piece of ebony onto it, drilled a new set of holes for the clamps, turned little ebony pins to fill the old holes with and glued them in, contoured the whole kit 'n' kaboodle so that it looked more like modern sculpture and less like a train wreck, and then took the time to get the height precisely right after it was installed. I can *highly* recommend it if you need it.

If you're going to try to raise your chinrest by as much as it sounds like you need to, cork will not work--it's too unstable a material and will compress badly, and might even slip off at an inopportune moment.

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The higher SAS model might solve your chinrest height problem, but will it have the right curvature to fit your jaw? You can only tell by trying one either in a dealer's shop or under some approval arrangement.

There are other chinrests of different heights - notice that the SHAR catalog grades them that way.

I looked at a new Ohrenform chinrest the other day (I believe that's the model Crystal is referring to wrt cork risers) and apparently the shape is such that they "always" come in contact with the tailpiece and thus have to be either raised or carved out some more.


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Chinrest touching the tailpiece isn't bad; chinrest pressing on tailpiece is. I think it can affect the tuning, and tailpieces are designed to be as light as possible since too much weight on the instrument is bad for the sound.

If your chin or chinrest presses down on the tailpiece, get something that straddles the tailpiece, like a Guarneri or Flesch. Either the Tekka or the Vermeer is like a Kaufmann (nothing straddling the tailpiece) with an extra bit hanging over the tailpiece.


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