Do you use a shoulder rest?

If you didn't immediately respond, "Of course I do," or something equally strong this tip is for you today.

Most people who do not play the violin assume that a shoulder rest is just there for the comfort of the violinist.  While comfort is important, the shoulder rest plays an important part in being able to play well.

When you hold your violin you should be supporting the violin with your chin and your shoulder.  YOUR LEFT HAND SHOULD NOT BE PART OF SUPPORTING YOUR INSTRUMENT.  The purpose of the left hand is to finger the strings.  If you are holding the violin up with your left hand you are hampering the hand's free movement and not allowing your fingers to move quickly and smoothly as they move about the fingerboard.

GET A SHOULDER REST.

Was that clear enough?

It will help position the violin properly for your chin and shoulder to hold the instrument in place solidly.  It will be more comfortable for you to play.  And, in most cases, it will improve your sound.

I have placed links on this page for you to see some of the more popular shoulder rests.  I use the Kun Original, and recommend it.  My next will probably be a Bon Musica, but I secretly long for a Kun Bravo.

The Zaret looks too simple to do anything, but a Suzuki teacher I know swore by it.  Having seen it in action I can vouch that it is a wonderful accessory for young beginners.  It helps maintain posture, and the students develop a great, strong grip on the violin if they use it consistently! 

Seriously, if you don't use a shoulder rest, consider buying one.  I've never known a violinist or fiddler who bought a good quality shoulder rest and regretted the decision.
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Violin Tip of the Day - October 16
* Violin Tips for Practice and Rehearsals.

* Violin Technique and Exercises.

* How to Care for Your Violin.

* Inspiration and Motivation for Violinists, Fiddlers, or
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Violin Tip of the Day -- Violin Student Central -- February 1
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Today's Tip in a Nutshell:
     Posture, Position and Balance Matter!
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