Fitting a shoulder rest to your violin and viola is recommended for achieving a comfortable playing position with good posture.
Despite seeming daunting for a new player, shoulder rests are simple to put on and take off, once you know the correct technique.
In the video above, our Sales Manager and violinist Myles, shows you how to put on your shoulder rest using a 'ratchet' style method of attaching one foot, and then sliding the other foot onto the instrument. This technique applies to most brands of shoulder rests available. The video above features the popular Fom Shoulder Rest.
We recommend a '9 and 3' starting position for shoulder rests, where 9 and 3 are numbers on a clock-face. When fitted correctly, the shoulder rest should appear as a smily face when looking at the back of your instrument upside down.
Note: some teachers may recommend a slightly different position based on the individual student.
To correctly take off your shoulder rest, simply reverse the motion of putting it on. You should avoid pulling at your shoulder rest to take it off as this is one of the most common ways shoulder rests break, and this motion can also damage your instrument.
It's important to ensure your shoulder rest is taken off your instrument before putting it back in your case, otherwise you risk knocking your bridge out of place, or worse, breaking it.
If you have any questions, or if you're having trouble with your shoulder rest, don't hesitate to give our team of musicians a call on 03 8802 7905.