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Which Shoulder Rest is Right for Me?

Sep 06, 2013

Beginning violin and viola players are required to purchase a shoulder rest when they rent an instrument for school; but since there are several options from which to select, students and parents often ask, “which one should I choose?”

DSC_0197_20150810120830556“Both the Kun and the Everest shoulder rests allow for adjustment of height and width, so that young musicians can customize the shoulder rest to their own personal comfort,” explained Lindsay Jones, a private strings instructor for the past twelve years. Students should follow the advice of their orchestra teachers, however, as these instructors have many years of experience and are well-versed in which shoulder rest might be best for their strings students. The Kun and Everest shoulder rests are less bulky, and the collapsible style is more convenient to use. These are recommended for students who start with a one-half size violin or larger, as well as 13 inch violas or larger.

The foam Poly-Pad shoulder rest might be appropriate for beginning players, in either the fourth or fifth grade, that need to begin with a smaller-sized violin, such as a one-eighth size or a one-quarter size, or a smaller viola, such as an 11 inch or a 12 inch size. As the students grow, both in size and in their mastery of the instrument, they will want to consider changing to a shoulder rest that has more flexibility and durability, such as the Kun or Everest, especially since these are adjustable to different sizes.

A reminder from Ms. Jones, “students should remember to always remove the shoulder rest, whichever style they have, before resting their string instruments in their cases, in order to avoid any potential damage to the instrument.”

We stock all of the above shoulder rests; they may be purchased at any of our three locations or via our online School Store.