The Essential Guide to Finding the Best Violin Shoulder Rest + Reviews
If you’re looking for the best violin shoulder rest but don’t want to go to the trouble of having to read the entire article to find the best option, the following paragraph should be of real help. After doing our own fair share of research we have come to the conclusion that the Kun Original 4/4 is the one you should consider. This is a comfortable option that will help improve your performance all at an affordable price. It features a system that allows you to adjust the height and width easily so that you get the best experience out of your purchase. The feet are soft which means that besides from being comfortable, there is also no chance of them damaging your violin. In the unfortunate event that the Kun Original 4/4 is not available for sale at your favorite store, we recommend the Playonair Deluxe as the second-best alternative.
Our Top Choice
This violin shoulder rest comes in a practical design that most players are used to, especially if they’re familiar with the previous handmade model from the same brand. It can be adjusted in three directions, while a patented locking device makes sure that the end members stay in place during your performance. The curve is not too steep, so this particular size fits a large number of players.
This model is not collapsible, meaning that it might be uncomfortable to carry to the concert venue.
If you’re looking for a comfortable shoulder rest to improve your playing, definitely try this option.
The inflatable cushioned support that this shoulder rest features is designed to increase the player’s comfort and prevent them from feeling fatigue during their performance. It also has an adjustable strap that allows a wide variety of positions, for you to find the one which delivers the best results. The device adjusts to your posture, so you don’t need to worry about moving during your performance.
Customers have complained that the size of this model will not accommodate a person with a longer neck.
You can play in any position without feeling any discomfort if you try this violin shoulder rest.
Also To Consider
You can stick this padded cushion to the back of your instrument without using any glue or clamps that might damage the delicate surface of the violin. The item will fit in your instrument case without taking up too much space, and it prevents the user from experiencing unpleasant feelings such as shoulder pain or hindered movement. Because it has no clamps, this product does not affect the volume.
It’s a tad difficult to place this item in the right position, and the fact that it uses sticky backing doesn’t help.
This model doesn’t slip, nor does it bring any damage to the delicate surface of the instrument.
9 Best Violin Shoulder Rests (Reviews) in 2020
To help you find the best shoulder rest, we have gone through some of the critically acclaimed products available today. We’ve put great care in selecting only the best products that offer great quality at an affordable price.
- 1. Kun Original Shoulder Rest – 4/4 Violin
- 2. Playonair Deluxe Violin Shoulder Rest
- 3. Acousta Grip”Concert Master” Shoulder Pad for Violin
- 4. Wolf Forte Secondo Violin Shoulder Rest Violin 4/4-3/4 Size
- 5. Viva La Musica Artist Violin Shoulder Rest 4/4-3/4
- 6. Kun 830500 Super Shoulder Rest
- 7. Viva La Musica A90G-D 3/4-4/4 Shoulder Rest for 4/4 Violin
- 8. Anton Breton VP-70 Deluxe Adjustable Violin Shoulder Rest
- Yearly Guide & Report
- Frequently asked questions about violin shoulder rests
1. Kun Original Shoulder Rest – 4/4 Violin
You will instantly fall in love with the comfort that the Kun Original 4/4 can offer you, just as other customers that have used it can attest, if you’re looking for comfort, then this is the product for you. This rest can be adjustable in three directions, and the patented locking device ensures that it will never touch the instrument.
The contoured shape helps disperse the pressure evenly so that you can play for hours on end without feeling tired.
No matter the type of body you have, the Kun Original 4/4 can be adjusted in pretty much any conceivable way, the only thing that you will have to do is find the spot that gives you the best comfort.
The compact size also makes it easy for you to store it inside your case without having to collapse it. You will be able to keep it on your side at all times without you having to buy another pouch to store it in.
It is one of those pieces of equipment that will make your playing a lot more comfortable.
You will be able to fit it any way you want because it can be adjusted in three different directions, and you will only have to find the spot that suits you best.
It comes with a patented locking device that will prevent it from touching and damaging the instrument.
The shoulder rest has a nice contoured shape that will spread the pressure evenly on your body, so you won’t feel tired after playing the instrument for many hours.
It also has a compact size and that means it’s easy to transport in your case and you won’t need to collapse it for that. You will always have it at your disposal.
It has a tendency to pop off the violin when you play the instrument more intensely.Buy from Amazon.com for ($27.75)
2. Playonair Deluxe Violin Shoulder Rest
The Playonair Deluxe, as the name already implies, is a high-quality rest that stands out due to its inflatable cushioned supports that can mold to the shoulder of every player. For an even better fit, you can use the adjustable strap that allows for a huge variety of placements.
It also fits all sizes of violins and violas which means that you won’t have to check your instrument before buying, with this alternative you have the certainty that your rest will fit nice and easy. Seeing as Playonair prides itself on their excellent workmanship with this model you have a 100% guarantee that you won’t find any defects. (By the way, do you know what is the difference between a violin and a viola?)
Seeing as the Playonair Deluxe features an inflatable cushion that can adjust to your constant body movements and change of posture while playing, you will be able to perform for longer without getting any sores. There are no metal or sharp edges for you to worry about, this option will never harm your instrument.
This is a different kind of support because it comes with an inflatable cushion that is of great quality and it will support the violin, molding on any shoulder.
The shoulder rest is very adjustable as it also comes with a strap that allows you to place the support however you want.
It is also one of those rests that is great for any violin or viola because it fits a large variety of sizes.
The great thing about this inflatable cushion is that it moves with you, it constantly adjusts its position depending on how you move, so you can have a comfortable playing experience at all times.
Furthermore, you won’t find any sharp edge or hard materials, so this shoulder rest won’t damage your instrument.
The material rubs against your shoulder and it can become uncomfortable.
You always have to get it deflated if you want it to take less space.Buy from Amazon.com for ($39.95)
3. Acousta Grip”Concert Master” Shoulder Pad for Violin
The AcoustaGrip Concert Master is a rest designed to fit ¾ and full-size violins and features a comfortable and ergonomic design that attaches securely so that it won’t fall off even when performing for long hours. You won’t have to worry that the rest will damage your instrument as this options sticks without glue or clamps so as to not damage your varnish, edges or back of your violin.
Because it does not use clamps, the AcoustaGrip Concert Master won’t mute the sound of your instruments. Clamps tend to stop the vibrations of wood, but AcoustaGrip has solved this problem by using a clever system. This will increase the volume of sound as well as add better quality with more overtones.
What’s more, the soft design of this options diminishes any sores or marks that could otherwise appear on your chin, neck, and collarbone. It also offers you total freedom of movement so that your performance is not affected in any way, only improved.
The ergonomic design of this shoulder pad will ensure that it rests securely on the violin, without falling off.
It will fit full-sized and ¾ violins, so it’s a great choice whether you’re an adult or a child playing the violin.
You can stick it to the violin using a method that doesn’t imply glue or clams, and that ensures you won’t be damaging your precious instrument.
Furthermore, because it doesn’t have any clamps, the shoulder pad won’t affect the sound of your violin. The manufacturers even say it will add more overtones to the instrument.
The product has a soft design and due to that, you won’t be having any issues with sores or marks on your body.
Because it’s so soft you also have the freedom to move with it as you wish.
Some would like this shoulder pad to be more rigid, to hold the violin more.Buy from Amazon.com for ($42.73)
4. Wolf Forte Secondo Violin Shoulder Rest Violin 4/4-3/4 Size
Adjustable in height from 1-1/4” to a full 3”, the Wolf Forte Secondo is a shoulder rest that has been a favorite of both beginner and professional violinists and violists for a very long time. There’s no wonder why once you take a look at the design that this option uses.
By using curved bar contacts, the Wolf Forte Secondo will be able to cover more body area for a secure hold. This means that the weight of the violin will be distributed evenly across your body, leaving no area exposed to more pressure than is necessary. This increases the comfort that this option offers.
With a height and pitch that are fully adjustable, you won’t have to worry that this option won’t work for you. The sliding width adjustment allows for practically unlimited positioning along the instrument body so that you can find the perfect area that will not only make you feel more comfortable, but that will also improve your performance.
Offering you the possibility to adjust it in height from 1 to 3 inches, it’s one of those shoulder rests that can be used by beginners and experienced players too.
The design is an impressive one, and due to the fact that it uses curved bar contacts, it will provide more surface area that touches your body, so you will have a secure hold.
You will have the weight of the instrument evenly spread across your body and this will help you have a better performance, and more comfort.
Because you can adjust both the height and the pitch, you will find that this rest will fit you in any situation.
It’s easy to mount on the violin and also to take it off.
Because it can be adjusted in so many ways it will be difficult to be used by an inexperienced player.Buy from Amazon.com for ($24.95)
5. Viva La Musica Artist Violin Shoulder Rest 4/4-3/4
Are you looking for a shoulder rest that will go well with your antique violin, or maybe you simply want a product that can perform just as good as it looks? Then you have come to the right place because the Viva La Musica 1044-G is ready to meet your requirements.
This ergonomically designed option that is built of solid wood is fully adjustable for height and width. For an even better fit, it also features a unique lateral adjustment system that allows you to customize the fit for your shoulder. For the best resonance and projection, the ribbed rubber feet secure the rest with only the minimum contact with the instrument.
While we don’t usually believe that looks should be the main focus, it is simply impossible not to take some time and talk about how gorgeous this alternative is. The lavish walnut wood and the gold-plated metal fittings help create a design that is simply breathtaking.
You won’t find many other shoulder rests looking better than this one and this model will fit perfectly on any antique violin.
Furthermore, this product works as well as it looks and you will be pleased with it.
It has a strong build as it’s made of solid wood, and it is also ergonomically designed to keep things comfortable for you.
You can also adjust it in height and width and that’s why it can be used on full-sized violins and on ¾ models as well.
It also comes with a lateral adjustment system that will let you position it even better.
The shoulder rest has some small rubber feet that will ensure it stays in its place, and at the same time makes minimum contact with the instrument, in order not to interfere with its resonance.
Because it’s made of wood it won’t be too comfortable when using it for long playing sessions.Buy from Amazon.com for ($35)
6. Kun 830500 Super Shoulder Rest
The Kun 830500 is another great alternative from this household brand, it offers a great comfort protecting the users from sores and marks as well as your instrument. This option will not leave any scratch marks when removing or attaching it to your violin. It also features a unique screw and extend design that protects the wood of your instrument while also providing you a comfortable and ergonomic support.
What customers love the most about the Kun 830500 is the fact that unlike other alternatives this one will not fall off easily. The feet are sturdy, and the unique design prevents excessive stress on the feet. The body is also constructed of the best materials which confer it an improved reliability.
What’s more, the curve of the rest fits every type of body perfectly. It will also help keep your instrument in place without you having to droop when playing your violin. It can be used by adults and children alike.
Due to the quality material used in making this product, the rest won’t leave scratches on your instrument and it also won’t hurt you when you use it.
To protect the wood of your instrument better, it has a screw and extend design that will also help you keep it in a comfortable position.
One great advantage of this shoulder rest is that it will stay really well fixed on the instrument, unlike other models.
The body is also constructed from strong materials, ensuring that it won’t break, even if you’re putting too much force on it.
It has a nice curvature and that will help it fit every body type, and thanks to the same curvature you will be able to hold the instrument better in place.
It’s not a collapsible model, so it will be hard to fit it in small violin cases.Buy from Amazon.com for ($27.55)
7. Viva La Musica A90G-D 3/4-4/4 Shoulder Rest for 4/4 Violin
The Viva La Musica A90G-D is a shoulder rest designed to work with ¾ and 4/4 violins. It is an extremely lightweight option that will not add a lot of weight to your instrument while also supporting its weight properly due to the ingenious design that helps distribute the load evenly. This helps prevent sores and bruises that might otherwise appear without the protection of a shoulder rest.
With an elegant rubber cover protecting the feet, the rest will not only attach itself easier to your instrument, but it will also prevent any scratches on your violin. The 360-degree circular lateral adjustment allows for great customization of the product, meaning that you can adjust it in seemingly endless ways until you find the position that works best for you.
For added comfort, the wooden base member uses an ergonomic form that will mold to your shoulder. The maple design adds the last finishing touches to a product that performs just as well as it looks.
Designed to work with full-sized violins and smaller ones (¾ models), you’re sure that this model is adjustable and can work for almost anyone.
Most shoulder rests will add too much weight to the violin, changing its balance drastically, but not this one, as it’s made of light materials.
Although lightweight, it’s still capable of supporting the weight of the instrument well due to its ingenious design.
The feet are covered in a layer of rubber, so only that material touches the instrument, ensuring that there will be no scratches or marks on the violin.
You can adjust the shoulder rest a whole 360 degrees, and that allows for great customization, positioning it in endless ways and making sure you find the position that works best for you.
The wood it’s made of can be susceptible to breaking if you put too much force on it.Buy from Amazon.com for ($42.16)
8. Anton Breton VP-70 Deluxe Adjustable Violin Shoulder Rest
Play more and feel less fatigued with the help of the Anton Breton Deluxe. This option is the most affordable one on our list, and we were surprised to see that it performs similarly to other much more expensive alternatives. This is a Menuhin-style adjustable shoulder rest that uses a wire spring structure.
The wire spring structure will absorb all shock and increase your comfort when playing on your favorite instrument. The padded velvet shoulder cushion will also help minimize fatigue when practicing for long hours. Seeing as this option is fully-adjustable, you won’t have to worry that the design will not suit your body type.
The gold plated design combined with the velvet cushion gives this option a premium look that may appeal to customers that want their product to look good. Attaching the Anton Breton Deluxe to your violin is a straightforward process as long as your violin is a 4/4 or ¾ size. The rubber feet will prevent any scratches on the wood of your violin.
Using a wire-spring structure, this adjustable rest will absorb all the shocks and that will provide more comfort for you, and it will also mean you will be able to perform better.
It also comes with a padded velvet cushion that will make things more comfortable for you, especially when playing for many hours.
This model is fully-adjustable and that means it will fit any kind of body.
The shoulder pad has an interesting design completed by the gold plating and the velvet cushion, and that gives it a vintage and interesting look.
It comes with rubber feet that will protect your instrument against scratches or any form of damage.
If you want to adjust it you just have to undergo some easy steps and you will be able to change its shape to accommodate any violin from a ¾ size to a 4/4 size.
Some users complain that this model doesn’t stick to the violin too well.Buy from Amazon.com for ($13.09)
9. Palatino PV-140 Violin Shoulder Rest
The Palatino PV-140 is another affordable alternative that does the job done without you having to break the bank. It is fully adjustable which means that there is no need to worry about it not fitting your shoulder properly. You will be able to adjust it to your heart’s desire until you find the position that gives you the most comfort and that can also improve your performance.
This is ideal for 3/4 and 4/4 size violins and attaching the Palatino PV-140 is easier than ever as the feet are made out of a special rubber. It is soft enough never to scratch your instrument while also being firm enough so that once you have attached it to your instrument, it will stay fixed until you decide to remove it.
Due to the low price and great quality, this product is ideal if you want a shoulder rest for a beginner. It offers one of the best mixes of quality and affordability that you can find today. (do you know what other accessories are good for a newbie?)
As any good shoulder rest should be, this one is also fully adjustable and that means you will be able to fit it onto any body shape.
You can also adjust it as you wish in order to find the best position for yourself, to feel comfortable when you play the instrument.
It’s an easy-to-attach shoulder pad because it’s so adjustable and it will also fit a ¾ violin as well as a 4/4 one.
To protect your instrument against scratches or any form of damage, the shoulder rest comes with rubber feet.
These feet also do a great job in securing the rest onto the violin.
It’s a really affordable piece of equipment and for what it does, it’s a great choice for a beginner.
The material making the part of the rest that sits on your shoulder is very fragile and it will crack near the screws.Buy from Amazon.com for ($9.95)
Yearly Guide & Report
A good violin shoulder rest is not easy to find, the process can be extremely tiring and time-consuming, especially if you are a beginner and just want to find a cheap violin shoulder rest that can still provide you with the quality that you require. To help you in this regard, we have compiled the buyer’s guide below. (interested about more violin products?? Check out our article on violin stands)
Because we want to give you the best information in an easy-to-read format, we have read the violin shoulder rest reviews that have garnered the best ratings so that we can learn what other customers loved about their product. Take a look below and see what features you should focus on when looking for a quality violin shoulder rest.
Finding the ideal size and shape for the best comfort and performance
If you’re looking for a violin shoulder rest, the primary reason for doing so has to be the fact that you want to be able to perform for longer periods of time without feeling fatigued or getting bruises. This is why comfort should be the main criteria to center your product around.
If your product is anything but comfortable, then it has failed its primary purpose. When buying a shoulder rest, you need to consider its size and shape. Size is an aspect that can be dealt with easier nowadays seeing as most alternatives are fully adjustable. This means that you can tweak the size until it fits both your shoulders and your violin perfectly.
If you go for a product that has a rigid size and height that cannot be adjusted you need to be careful when choosing. You want the size and height to fit your body. If you have a long neck, you will need a larger shoulder rest. A good product will help you hold the violin correctly under the chin while also making you feel comfortable.
You also need to consider the shape of the product because it can affect the sound that your instrument makes. For example, a shoulder rest that sits against the back of your instrument like a sponge can end up causing a muting of the instrument’s tone.
On the other hand, bar-style rests that have only a few touch points on the instrument will allow your instrument to resonate more underneath your chin.
Durability and quality
To make sure that you’ve got your money’s worth, you need to check that the product you want to buy can withstand the test of time. For this, you should check that the locking mechanism is sturdy and easy to use. Similarly, you want the feet to be constructed out of a soft material that has no sharp edges.
The reason for this is that you don’t want the feet of the product to scratch your precious violin. With soft feet, the product will be able to stay firmly attached to the violin without leaving any marks.
Another way of making sure that your product will be of great quality is by only settling for reputable brands. Don’t take us the wrong way, we do believe that some of the best price and quality ratio can be found in lesser known brands but if you don’t want to experiment, choosing a Wolf or Kun violin shoulder rest is the safest bet.
The material that your option is made out of matters quite a lot as well. While most rests are made out of foam and plastic, you can also find a wooden violin shoulder rest. The hardwood alternative will resonate more which makes them a great choice for more experienced artists that want to sound as good as possible.
Consider the design
Because deep down we all want our products to have a design that is beautiful, we believe that looks can have a place in your decision. We all want to look good and having a shoulder rest that looks the part and complements your violin nicely can end up making you feel more confident in your own skills.
What you should never do is base your decision solely on the look of the product. The design and look of the product is a factor that can help you decide between two or more options with similar specifications. It should never be the factor that matters most.
Materials used and budget
The price of a shoulder rest usually reflects its quality, yet today’s market offers a few shoulder rest models that are affordable and that have gathered appreciation from the users who tried them. However, if your budget is not limited, it is best to go for a more durable model, even if it is pricier.
If you often play the violin using a shoulder rest, investing in a model that features durable materials and a sturdy construction is recommended. Sticking to reputable brands is a safe thing to do if you’re not willing to experiment. Still, you can find units from emerging brands that can do a great job.
Depending on the materials used for their construction, shoulder rests are priced somewhere between $10 to $50. Keep in mind that a more expensive model might require no fixing for a long time whereas a cheaper unit might break sooner and thus call for repairs, which further translates into additional costs.
Also, make sure that, if you buy a shoulder rest that comes with replaceable parts such as the feet or the rubber used for the feet, you won’t have trouble finding those parts when they call for replacement.
Consider the materials used and the way they might affect your sonic output. Shoulder rests made from sponge might reduce the resonance of your instrument. Units that have fewer touch-points such as bar-style rests will not affect the tone of your violin as much as sponge rests do. Wooden shoulder rests usually ensure more resonance.
Ease of installation
In case you don’t use the shoulder rest every time you play the violin, then you might also want to consider the ease of installation. Using the rest just occasionally means that you will have to attach and remove the rest more often and, if the process is challenging, you might be tempted to give up using the rest altogether.
Again, think of the durability of the materials used and if attaching/removing the unit frequently might damage the product. A durable and well-made shoulder rest should not break even if it is subject to frequent installation/removal.
If possible, it is always best to try out the product before you buy it. You can thus see if it feels comfortable enough and how it affects the sound. It might take a few models before you find the one that best meets your needs.
Frequently asked questions about violin shoulder rests
Q: Should I use a shoulder rest for violin?
The use of a shoulder rest for violin is a matter of personal preference. While some musicians consider that such an accessory can actually affect the performance, others can’t imagine playing the violin without it.
Shoulder rests are meant to help the player develop and keep the correct violin posture. That is why they are often recommended for beginners as they will help them prevent painful habits such as stretching their neck from the very start. A shoulder rest will also help you reduce the pressure of the instrument on your collarbone.
The way you play and the shape of your body have a lot to say when it comes to the use of a shoulder rest or a chinrest. Such items must be adjusted to every musician, though. This is the reason why the market offers a variety of shoulder rests. You will find different shapes and sizes from different brands.
The best way to know if you need such an accessory is to try one out. Pay attention to how you feel when using it but don’t give up after a few seconds. Try to play the violin using a shoulder rest for longer and if you still find it uncomfortable after several sessions, then it might not be for you.
Q: Where does the shoulder rest go on a violin?
Shoulder rests are accessories used not only for violins but also for violas. These accessories are usually attached to the edge of the back of the instrument. To make sure the item is properly and firmly attached to the musical instrument, the shoulder rest comes with feet that are either made of soft plastic or are padded with rubber.
Various materials are used to make shoulder rests and they include wood, plastic, carbon fiber, and aluminum. Since they are used to make violin playing more comfortable by adding height to the violin player and stop the instrument from slipping, shoulder rests are generally designed to follow the curve of the shoulder.
You can thus find bendable shoulder rests to allow the user to adapt it to personal needs or units that boast a sponge-like material for a comfortable fit. The market now offers rests that come with an extension that should be hooked over the shoulder to increase stability.
The shoulder rest models that have adjustable feet are popular among players as they allow for a personalized and more comfortable fit. If the feet have a rubber surface, they might dry out and thus should be replaced after a while.
Q: How do you fix a violin shoulder rest?
If you use a shoulder rest when playing the violin and you do so quite often, if not all the time, you might find yourself with a slipping shoulder rest at some point yet that is natural. Shoulder rests are made of materials that can dry out over time and those that have adjustable feet require readjustment.
In case you can no longer play the violin without being interrupted by a slipping shoulder rest, you might want to try out some of these tips to fix it. Many shoulder rests feature rubber feet that can get dried out after a while, so check if that’s what happened and replace the rubber if needed.
A shoulder rest might not do its job properly, slip, or make you feel uncomfortable if the feet are bent to the outside. To prevent the rest from slipping, make sure the feet are bent to the inside. Also, use a rubber band around the corner of your instrument and the foot of the shoulder rest to stop the rest from slipping.
If you’ve purchased a shoulder rest that just doesn’t fit as expected yet you don’t want to return it, you might want to have an expert adjust it to meet your requirements.
Q: Is violin bad for your neck?
If you play the violin a lot and your posture when doing so is incorrect, you might experience health issues. Pain might affect your neck, hands, arm, and back; therefore, getting into the right position from the very start and trying to maintain it every time you play will contribute a lot to keeping such pains at bay.
Ask your teacher to help you adopt the correct posture and try to keep it so as much as possible. You should keep your head straight and not tilted to one side. It is very difficult not to bend your head and neck, though, so when that happens make sure you take a break and stretch your neck muscles.
Besides posture, you need to pay attention to the technique you employ when playing the violin, the instrument set-up, the number of hours you spend playing, and what you can do to relax your muscles after your practice sessions. If the muscles and joints are not in a neutral or optimal position, you can experience strain injuries.
Intense or long practice sessions without rest will affect your muscles even if your posture is correct; therefore, taking regular breaks is mandatory if you don’t want to experience pain after your rehearsal is over.