Monday, June 8, 2015

How to Install a Shoulder Rest on a Fiddle

Shoulder rests are additions to the fiddle to make it easier to play and reduce tension in the neck. Installing a shoulder rest will only take a few minutes as it quickly attaches to the fiddle once properly assembled. Shoulder rests are a controversial subject among professional fiddle players. Many players feel you don't need a shoulder rest, that it creates unnecessary weight and limits your freedom of movement, while other players believe it reduces tension and frees your hands to play the fiddle more effectively.

Step 1

Assemble the shoulder rest. Three parts will be included in the package: two pins attached to feet and the shoulder rest itself. The tall pin fits into the narrow side of the violin while the shorter one screws into the thicker side. No tools are necessary; just screw the two pins in place.

Step 2

Unscrew the two screws on either side of the shoulder rest. The screws will look like small knobs that turn to loosen the shoulder rest and allow it to expand or contract to fit the fiddle.

Step 3

Place the rubber feet over the bottom edge of the fiddle, and then slide the other side of the shoulder neck around the outside portion of the fiddle. The small part of the shoulder rest goes on the portion of the fiddle closest to your neck. If the shoulder rest feels loose, tighten the screws to create a secure fit.

Tips

After trying out the shoulder pad, if the violin feels too high or low on your shoulder, adjust the feet by screwing them further in to the shoulder rest or loosening the screws. Some experimentation will be required.

References

String Savvy; How to Setup and Adjust a Kun Shoulder Rest; Thom Zolghadr; March 2008 [http://www.stringsavvy.com/article/how-to-setup-and-adjust-a-kun-shoulder-rest/]