Playing the viola can be challenging, and investing in the right equipment is crucial for your comfort and success. Along with the instrument itself, a viola shoulder rest is a necessary accessory, especially for those pursuing a career in music.
Even beginners can benefit from a shoulder rest, as it can alleviate neck and shoulder pain caused by prolonged practice sessions. Choosing the right shoulder rest is essential for achieving the correct posture, reducing tension, and ultimately, playing better. Don’t overlook the importance of investing in a quality shoulder rest to help you on your musical journey.
Top 5 Best Viola Shoulder Rests
When it comes to choosing a viola shoulder rest, the materials used can play a significant role in your comfort and performance. Most shoulder rests feature a combination of a hard base material and a softer cushion material that rests against your shoulder. While wood and foam are popular choices for shoulder rest materials, there are other options to consider, including plastic, metal, and rubber. Ultimately, the best shoulder rest for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences, so don’t be afraid to try out a few different materials and designs before making your decision.
|MI&VI Classic Rest||4.6|
|Everest (EZ Model)||4.7|
|Kun Adjustable Rest||4.5|
|Alice Deluxe Universal||4.2|
|Wolf Forte Secundo||4.4|
1. MIVI Music’s Collapsible Classic Viola Shoulder Rest
When I was looking for a new shoulder rest for my viola, I stumbled upon this collapsible shoulder rest. The idea of having a shoulder rest that I could easily carry with me from gig to gig sounded perfect, so I decided to give it a try.
Upon receiving the shoulder rest, I was impressed with its Maplewood base.
It had a nice, smooth finish and was curved in a way that felt incredibly comfortable on my shoulder. The thin layer of padding provided just enough cushioning without feeling too bulky.
The feet of the shoulder rest are made from rubber, which is great because it prevents any unwanted dampening of the sound. I also appreciated how easy it was to collapse the feet when I needed to pack it up. This feature came in handy when I was running late to a performance and needed to quickly toss my shoulder rest into my case.
This collapsible shoulder rest is for any violist who is always on the go. It’s comfortable, portable, and doesn’t compromise the sound of your instrument.
- Pure Maplewood base
- Flexible rubber feet
- Attractive wood color
- Foam padding
- Collapsible, space-saving design
- Curved for perfect shoulder fit
- Generous padding
- The legs collapse outwards, not inwards
2. Everest Viola Shoulder Rest (EZ Model)
If you’re just starting to play the viola, you know how important it is to have the right shoulder rest. The Kun Collapsible Violin Shoulder Rest is a great option for beginners. We’ve tried and tested this product, and we were very impressed with its durability, flexibility, and affordability.
The main material used in this shoulder rest is premium-quality ABS plastic, which is cushioned with a foam layer. We found that the plastic material has a little more give than wood, making it feel more comfortable on the shoulder.
Additionally, the computer-based modeling of this product ensures that the dimensions are well-placed, making it fully ergonomic.
The adjustable grippers are easy to use, and with the screw mechanism, you can customize it to get into a comfortable playing position. The shoulder rest also comes with removable legs that are almost identical, making it easy to attach and use. There’s no need to follow a specific order when attaching the legs, which is a great convenience.
I think the Kun Collapsible Violin Shoulder Rest is a great product for beginners. It’s affordable, flexible, and durable, making it a great investment for anyone starting out on the viola.
- Premium quality material
- Foam padding
- Designed to fit various sizes of violas
- Adjustable grippers
- Highly ergonomic
- Easy to attach
- Comfortably padded
- It can feel a bit short to some players, even at full extension.
3. Kun Adjustable Viola Shoulder Rest
I recently tried the Kun Viola shoulder rest and was pleased with the adjustability it offered. Being able to adjust the rest in three directions allowed me to find the ideal angle and position that suited my needs.
While the feet aren’t made of rubber as some other shoulder rests, they feature a unique locking mechanism that prevents them from touching the viola’s body. This mechanism provided extra peace of mind when playing, as I didn’t have to worry about potential damage to my instrument.
The Kun shoulder rest is also versatile, fitting violas ranging from 14 inches to 17 inches in size. The sleek design and black color also made it visually appealing. This shoulder rest is a great option for anyone looking for adjustability and versatility.
- Lockable feet
- Classic shoulder rest design
- Foam padding
- Curved base
- Easy to install
- It doesn’t interfere with the resonance
- Poorly constructed; its parts may often fall off too soon
4. Alice Viola Shoulder Rest – Tiger Stripes Design
The tiger stripe natural wood finish looked beautiful and expensive, giving me the feeling of playing with a high-end accessory.
While using it, I noticed that it was designed for 15 and 16-inch violas, and it fit mine perfectly. One of the great things about this shoulder rest is that it comes with a cloth, which was useful in keeping it clean and looking new.
However, it didn’t offer the same level of comfort as some of the more expensive shoulder rests I had tried in the past. Nevertheless, it still did its job well, and I was able to play for hours without any significant discomfort.
If you’re a beginner violist on a budget, this contoured Maplewood viola shoulder rest is worth considering for its decent quality and attractive finish.
- Maplewood base
- Foam padding
- Contoured design
- Free cloth
- Ridiculously cheap
- Gorgeous design
- Attaches easily and firmly
- It tends to slide back sometimes.
5. Wolf Forte Secundo Viola Shoulder Rest
I have tried and tested several shoulder rests, and this one truly stands out. The metal base of this shoulder rest is a game-changer – it is incredibly flexible and contours perfectly to my shoulder. The rubber padding on the bar ensures that there is no slipping or sliding while playing.
One of the best features of this shoulder rest is its adjustability. I was able to adjust the height and angle to find the perfect playing position, which helped me play for longer without any discomfort.
Even though it’s slightly pricier than other shoulder rests, it’s worth every penny for the added comfort and improved playing posture.
This shoulder rest is for any violist looking for an upgrade from their current shoulder rest. It’s well worth the investment!
- Bendable metal base
- Thick rubber padding
- Adjustable height and angle
- Folds to fit the shoulder comfortably
- Its feet don’t interfere with the resonance
- Metal can be a bit tough to bend
Frequently Asked Questions
Your three main options are wood, plastic, and metal. Wood is stiff, so it’s often contoured to fit the shoulder. Some players find it too stiff, so they prefer more pliable materials like plastic and soft metals. Plastic is flexible and often comfortable, even with thin padding. Soft metal, like aluminum, is used to make the bases of metallic shoulder rests. These options are ideal for beginners who might find wood too uncomfortable to play with.
It must be comfortable, flexible, and highly adjustable to suit your specific playing posture. The best shoulder rests are incredibly durable too. Plus, comfortable padding, which can be foam or rubber, is necessary to make longer practice sessions possible.
Of course, it is the size of your viola. Shoulder rests only fit specifically sized violas, so picking one that’s too small or too big is the one you should strive to avoid. Luckily, most shoulder rests specify the size of the viola they are made for.
Our Top Pick
The MIVI Music’s Collapsible Viola Shoulder Rest is a clear-cut winner in this list. It is pretty compatible (fits 13” to 17” violas), has collapsible feet, and is finished in beautiful wood color. Moreover, its generous padding and comfortable contoured design make it an excellent option for all expertise players, and thus, our top pick, too.