How to Put on a Violin Shoulder Rest

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Violin shoulder rests can be attached to the instrument in different ways, depending on the style of rest. Attach a shoulder rest using screws or rubber bands with advice from an accomplished violinist in this free video on string instruments.

Part of the Video Series: Violin Lessons
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Video Transcript

Hey, this is Fred Carpenter, talking to you from The Violin Shop. Today, we're going to show you how to put a shoulder rest on a violin. Okay, so no special tools are required here. All you really need is the violin and a shoulder rest. Okay, so the first step of the process here is to get a good hold on the instrument against your body, with the back side up. Okay, so for the second step of the process I'm going to go with a sponge shoulder rest to start with. So, these are held on with a rubber band. Once I've got the rubber band corner to corner it's just lay it there; hold it with one hand and just come over the sponge to the end pin, and sure it makes a little triangle. That holds it in place. Okay, so the third item I'd like to cover here is the shoulder rests that have feet. Several different kinds of shoulder rests have feet. They all have that in common in that the feet grab the bottom edge, and the side that has the scoop is opposite the chin rest so it will fit on your shoulder. And then the other side; what I do is put one foot on and I just pull the other foot over. That's one way to do it. Another way is just to slide it. You can take the shoulder that hold this one on and slide it up the side like that, either way. Now, you can also adjust it if you like it this angle or this angle. To finish off step three; once you have your shoulder rest the way you like it you can change the height, as we talked about, by turning this up or down and then installing it. So, for step four, we're going to talk about a shoulder rest that you buy (or get from a friend) that is not adjusted right for your instrument. Several different shoulder rests have different ways of adjusting the size. So, with this particular kind this screws right off here, and there's several different holes we can adjust it. So, it comes off of there; goes out one notch, and that's probably going to be perfect for this violin. Other kinds of shoulder rests might not have that. They just have different holes that you'll just screw that out, and move it one hole over and screw it back down. So, that can be done on this model here. Sometimes, you even have things that have rods that you have to tighten with a screwdriver and pull out a little longer. All right, I'm Fred Carpenter, and that's some basic information about how to put on a shoulder rest.

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