Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Violin Chinrest Styles Make A Difference

By Jerri Perry

Stringed instrument have chinrest to assist a player in properly positioning their chin. It is an important tool for any violinists, regardless of age or ability. A good fit will greatly improve a player's performance, while a bad fit could make it more difficult to play and possibly even painful. The good news it that players have a few good violin chinrest styles to choose from.

Anyone who does not play the violin or other similar stringed instrument may not realize that the chinrest is not actually part of the instrument. It is a separate accessory which can be added to the instrument to properly position the player's chin. In fact, the instrument can technically be played without it.

Despite this fact, a properly fitted piece is a valuable accessory for any violinist. Having the proper chin position lets a player move freely and makes transitioning throughout a performance much easier. Therefore, a player's performance can be vastly improved. However, the wrong size or shape can negatively effect a violinist's playing ability. Hitting certain notes could be tougher due to a poor fit, and it could also cause the need for more frequent breaks. Most importantly, tilting the head too much, clenching jaw muscles or tightening the neck can possibly cause an injury.

Fortunately, there are several different types to choose from. All of them are readily available on the market. This means with a little bit of research and preferably a little help from a professional, it should be easy to find the right fit. The three main types are the side mount, center mount and Guarneri model.

The most common style is the Guarneri. The chin bed on this model is positioned to the left side of the tailpiece. It attaches to the violin in the center. The side mount and the center mount are positioned as their names would suggest, with the side mount being positioned to the left of the tailpiece, including the clamp, and the center mount being positioned directly in the center.

While it is important that violinists choose the correct chinrest style and shape for their build and their playing style, they must also choose the material it is made from. They are mostly made from wood, with the most common woods being boxwood, rosewood and ebony. They may also be made from plastic, which is considered the most hypoallergenic.

While it is best to seek professional help when choosing the best fit, it is thought that a player can judge a good fit if they can actually comfortably hold an instrument using only their chin. In addition to fit, it is always important to think about the material it's made from. Some players have been known to have allergies to the more popular woods, which would make plastic a better option.

Proper chin positioning is important for all players. A well-fitted chinrest can improve a player's performance and may even help avoid injury. With a little guidance, every player should be able to choose the best fitting option among all the violin chinrest styles currently available.

About the Author: