A shoulder rest is a necessary accessory for many violinists, as it provides a comfortable platform between the instrument and the body of the player. While it’s not mandatory to use one, most players find it helpful in achieving the correct posture and distributing the pressure evenly between their shoulders and jaw.
Choosing the right shoulder rest can be a daunting task, as there are many options available in the market. It’s important to consider factors like the size and shape of your violin, your playing style, and any specific comfort needs you may have.
With that in mind, we have reviewed the 7 best violin shoulder rests available in the market to help you make an informed decision. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned player, we’ve got you covered.
How to Install Shoulder Rest on the Violin?
I know how important it is to install your violin shoulder rest correctly for maximum comfort and ease of playing. If you have chosen an ordinary-legged-style shoulder rest, follow these steps to install it properly:
- Begin by selecting the lowest possible position for the left foot of the shoulder rest. Rotate it in a clockwise direction until it fits snugly against the body of the violin.
- Next, fix the right foot at a higher position on the right side of the violin. Rotate it in an anti-clockwise direction until it fits securely.
- Finally, adjust the height of the right foot to a comfortable position for your playing style. If you find that it still feels uncomfortable, try changing the angle of the shoulder rest until it feels just right.
By taking the time to properly install your violin shoulder rest, you can ensure that you are getting the most out of your instrument and your playing experience.
Top 7 Best Violin Shoulder Rests
When it comes to finding the perfect shoulder rest for your violin, there are a few things to keep in mind. You’ll want to consider factors like the material, adjustability, and how it fits with your unique body structure. Fortunately, many shoulder rests these days are designed to be adjustable, so you can find the perfect fit.
To help you narrow down your search, we’ve put together a list of the seven best violin shoulder rests currently available on the market. We’ve taken into account factors like comfort, durability, and ease of use, so you can find the one that suits you best. Let’s take a look at our top picks!
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1. Everest EZ4A Adjustable Violin Shoulder Rest
The Everest EZ Series violin shoulder rest is one of the best shoulder rests we have ever used. The durability of this shoulder rest is just amazing; it is practically unbreakable. We were surprised to find out that it is so popular among violinists.
The Everest shoulder rest is available in various colors and offers a high level of comfort. It has a fixed, ergonomically designed tilt, making it very comfortable to use. The height and width of this shoulder rest are adjustable, making it easy to fit your individual needs.
This shoulder rest is made from a high-quality adhesive and enriched neoprene foam material, which improves balance and overall comfort level. The foam provides excellent cushioning for your collarbone, while the curve encourages proper posturing.
The installation process is simple, and you need to set both legs individually. Once installed properly, the Everest shoulder rest offers excellent stability and a stronger hold. We highly recommend this shoulder rest to any violinist looking for a comfortable, adjustable, and durable option.
- Uniquely designed fixed tilt
- Highly adjustable (just unscrew grippers to try other positions)
- Replaceable components
- An affordable shoulder rest
- Suitable for beginners
- Coated legs
- Easy to set up
- The overall design looks less stylish
- The product is bulky, making it difficult to fit into most cases.
2. Kun Original Violin Shoulder Rest – Model 830300
We have personally used and tried this product, and it has exceeded our expectations.
One of the essential features of a shoulder rest is flexibility, and the Kun Original provides just that. It has a secure adjusting mechanism that allows you to adjust it in three different directions, making it an ideal choice for those who frequently adjust their shoulder rest.
Another significant advantage of the Kun Original is its contoured shape. It fits perfectly on your shoulder and offers a tight and symmetrical fit, making it comfortable to use for long hours of practice and performances.
The compact size of this shoulder rest is also a significant advantage, making it easy to pack in your case and carry with you wherever you go. The Kun Original is the most reliable brand and is preferred by many beginner and expert violinists. Overall, we highly recommend this shoulder rest to anyone looking for a high-quality, flexible, and comfortable option.
- Adjustable in three directions (over the shoulder, below the chin, and between your shoulder and forearm.)
- Flexible feet
- Contoured shape for even distribution of pressure
- Minimum contact with the violin
- Small size and lightweight
- Sturdy construction
- It might not be suitable for thinner body frames
3. Bonmusica Violin Shoulder Rest – Model BHBU0503A574
I had the pleasure of trying out the Bon Musica violin shoulder rest, and it did not disappoint. One of the standout features of this rest is its adjustability. You can mold and shape it to your exact preference for maximum comfort and support.
The soft base of the rest hooks over the shoulder, ensuring that the violin stays in place and doesn’t slip off during playing. This is particularly helpful during longer playing sessions or when practicing new techniques. It allows you to focus on your playing without worrying about readjusting the instrument constantly.
The Bon Musica shoulder rest also has a contoured shape that molds to the shape of your shoulder, providing a customized fit that is both secure and comfortable. It’s a great option for violinists of all levels, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player looking for a more adjustable and versatile shoulder rest. Overall, I recommend the Bon Musica violin shoulder rest to any violinist looking for a reliable and comfortable shoulder rest.
- Anti-slip construction
- Premium material
- Accommodates left-handed violinists
- Improves sound
- Overall superior build quality
- Difficult to adjust
4. Viva La Musica (VLM) Professional Violin Shoulder Rest
The Viva la Musica Professional violin shoulder rest is a top model from the reputable brand. Our team has used and tried this product, and we can confidently say that it is one of the best shoulder rests on the market.
One of the standout features of this rest is its specially designed clamping system, which allows for easy adjustment of both the height and width of the feet.
But what really sets this shoulder rest apart is its unique lateral adjustment feature. With this feature, you can adjust the position of the rest sideways to achieve the perfect fit and feel. This results in excellent projection and depth, as the rest makes minimal contact with the violin thanks to its ribbed rubber feet.
Another notable feature is the hard wooden base, which has been carefully crafted into an “S” shape. This innovative ergonomic design evenly spreads the pressure across the collarbone, ensuring maximum comfort during long practice sessions or performances.
Overall, the Viva la Musica Professional violin shoulder rest is for any serious violinist who wants a high-quality, adjustable, and comfortable shoulder rest.
- Unique S-shape pattern
- Sturdy wooden base
- Contoured rubber feet
- Soft sponge pad
- Narrow and delicate ergonomic
- Highly adjustable
- Color choices available
- Easy to set
- The design may not satisfy the needs of every player
- Costly product
5. Wolf Forte Secondo Violin Shoulder Rest
It is important to have a reliable shoulder rest for your instrument. The Wolf Forte Secondo shoulder rest, created by the trusted brand Wolf, is an excellent choice.
The unique crescent shape of this shoulder rest provides a wider surface area, making it an ideal option for individuals with narrow shoulders. The weight distribution is even throughout the surface area, making it extremely comfortable to use.
The Wolf Forte Secondo model offers exceptional adjustability in terms of shape and size, ensuring a perfect fit for any musician.
One of the standout features of this model is its bendable design, which makes it easy to use and adjust according to the shape of your neck and shoulders. Even if you are accustomed to traditional curved shoulder rests, the Wolf Forte Secondo model is not difficult to use and adjust to your desired position.
Overall, we highly recommend the Wolf Forte Secondo shoulder rest to any musician looking for a reliable and adjustable option.
- Very flexible
- Spacious crescent shape
- Use of thick foam
- Bendable structure
- Works great with different sizes of violins and violas
- Not a good fit for beginners
- Leg slipping occurs sometimes
6. Everest ES Hot Pink Violin Shoulder Rest
The Everest Spring Collection violin shoulder rest is a true gem for any violinist. As a professional violinist myself, I was very impressed with this model. The fine material and craftsmanship are evident in its design. It’s no surprise that the Everest brand is well-known for their quality products.
One thing I appreciated about this shoulder rest is that it is easy to install and replace. The legs are positioned equally, making it simple to set up for anyone. The curvature and form of this rest are similar to the older series, which is a plus for those who prefer that design.
The pink color is just one of the many rich colors available in the Spring Collection. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned player, this shoulder rest will offer you the same sturdiness and satisfaction. Trust me when I say that the Everest Spring Collection is a must-have for any serious violinist.
- Enhanced Stability
- Available in multiple colors
- Highly comfortable due to the use of foam
- Easy to fix
- Too simple construction
7. Play on Air Deluxe Shoulder Rest
Introducing the Play on Air violin shoulder rest deluxe model – a unique entry to our list. This inflatable cushion is designed to clip on the violin and can be inflated to achieve desired comfort.
We were intrigued by the idea of an air-filled shoulder rest, and decided to try it out for ourselves. We found that inflating the cushion was straightforward, but sometimes the air-fill tube can be a bit difficult to remove.
One of the advantages of this shoulder rest is its compatibility with instruments of different sizes, as it is air-filled and can be adjusted accordingly. Plus, it is completely safe and won’t harm your instrument, as it doesn’t contain any sharp edges or metallic body. It was interesting to try out such an innovative product, and we were pleasantly surprised by how comfortable it felt while playing.
- Inflatable, soft cushion
- It fits well on a variety of sizes
- No hard materials used
- Highly adjustable
- The rest may rub against the shoulder
- Somewhat uncomfortable
- It may deflate over time
Frequently Asked Questions
Violin shoulder rests are available in various sizes and forms. Thus, each of them may be set up differently. The only similarity is that most of them come with two feet and a rest piece that you need to attach correctly. Some shoulder rests have one foot taller than the other. In this case, you should place the taller foot on the rest piece’s thinner side.
The term “best violin shoulder rest” may include many different factors. But, it mostly depends on the preferences of a violinist. An ideal shoulder rest should be lightweight, properly sized, and highly adjustable. The shoulder rest should also have an excellent form, as it can greatly influence the tone. For example, if the shoulder rest sits behind the back of your violin like a sponge, it may mutate the violin’s sound.
Note that if the shoulder rest has a fixed height or width, you should avoid buying it. Always go for an adjustable shoulder rest.
Our Top Pick
Among all these top ten accessories, the Bonmusica violin shoulder rest grabbed our attention the most for its unique and exceptional features. Apart from comfort, a violinist should also focus on the build quality of the rest. In this area, the Bonmusica’s product seems to be sturdy enough to withstand long rehearsals and intense use. It is a full-sized rest that fits very well on standard 4/4 violins. Though it falls on the pricey side, it certainly meets the requirements of any violinist who seeks more comfort, adjustability, and premium quality product.