Everest collapsible violin shoulder rest: the best choice for me

Here i am with the Everest shoulder pad enabling a hands-free hold

Here i am with the Everest shoulder pad enabling a hands-free hold

After decades of playing violin, first at school, and then as an adult, I had despaired of ever finding the best violin shoulder rest to suit me. Finally, the collapsible Everest model has given me exactly what I need. Furthermore, the solid construction gives me hope that this a product that will provide me with many years of use.

Here are the qualities that make this such a great piece of equipment in my opinion:

  1. The height is adjustable by means of screws to enable the clips to be positioned exactly as desired.
  2. The clips fold in for storage and decrease the height by about one inch, making it easier to fit inside a case.
  3. The rubber clips grip the instrument really firmly.
  4. The ergonomically shaped pad sits extremely comfortably on the shoulder.
  5. I was astounded to find it selling at a price well below those of other, in my opinion inferior, brands.

My long search for the perfect shoulder pad

When I started learning the violin at school in 1965, I was given a bath sponge to put between my shoulder and the instrument. This was a interim measure until I (well, actually my mother, because I am incompetent at sewing!) produced the statutory pad.

The “statutory pad” was a small fabric cushion, about three inches by four inches, which was stuffed with kapok, old tights or a piece of sponge. A piece of narrow elastic tape was sewn from one corner to the opposite one along one of the longer edges. This was hooked over the chin rest to keep the cushion from falling, while the cushion itself was tucked underneath the fiddle. It was lumpy, awkward and moved around when I played.

My first “real” shoulder rest was a big, wooden thing. It was very solid, of course, and looked very “classical”, which suited my teenage poser style in those day. It was also extremely uncomfortable!

Some people say you are better off without anything, or at most with just a cloth (the real purists even remove the chin rest – yikes!). When I took up playing the fiddle again in my 40s, I tried that too, but found I was clamping down so hard on the chin rest with my chin, that it hurt. It also felt very insecure and I worried about dropping my fiddle.

Finally, I went through a number of branded products, including one made by Kun. These are generally considered top of the range. I was disappointed in every single one I tried. The same problems kept arising. The clips did not seem very secure. Worst of all, things seemed to loosen, or screws got lost, until the rest no longer stayed on. For the last couple of years, I have been putting up with one that would fall off constantly…

Until now! I’ve been playing with the Everest rest for the last year or so and am delighted. I can play freely and without any of the discomfort I’ve experienced in the past. I’ve taken some pictures, which I’m posting below to illustrate the features that make this product the ideal choice for a violin player.

You can get Everest collapsibe shoulder pads from Amazon US and Amazon UK.

 

The ergonomic design of the pad makes a huge difference to comfort. It is made from a non-slip dense foam.

The ergonomic design of the pad makes a huge difference to comfort. It is made from a non-slip dense foam.

The rubber clips are attached by screws so that the height can be adjusted to the player's exact requirements.

The rubber clips are attached by screws so that the height can be adjusted to the player’s exact requirements.

The clips fold down for easier storage. The hinge is solid and cannot work loose. Nor are there any bits that could get lost.

The clips fold down for easier storage. The hinge is solid and cannot work loose. Nor are there any bits that could get lost.

Musical Instruments for Toddlers

Child banging drum. 19th century trade card. Boston Public Library Flickr collection

Child banging drum. 19th century trade card. Boston Public Library Flickr collection https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Among the many activities for toddlers you might try, making music together is one of the most precious gifts you can give to your children and their friends. It is a valuable part of early childhood education, which gives them a route to enjoyment and pleasure for the rest of their lives. Most important of all, making music is fun! Toddlers love to make a noise. Channelling that urge into music-making gives toddlers a way in which to release their energy and express their emotions. They can march, dance and sing to the music as well as play instruments. Read on for ideas to stimulate an enjoyment of music in your little one and ideas for products that may help. Read the rest of this entry »