Chin Rests

When it comes to chin rests it actually comes back to the sound of the instrument again, because it's all about being comfortable with your instrument and it being an extension of yourself. After all, you spend hours with it everyday, and only if you are completely comfortable can you get the best sound from you violin or viola.

There are of course chin rests available off the peg – but I understand that sometimes you can't find the right one and this is where I come in. My chin rests are literally made to measure – and I always ask my clients to come to me. I ask them to show me how they play sitting and standing so I can see how and where they hold their instrument. I then work on the chin rest so that it is right for the individual and their instrument.

Chin Rest

With the right chin rest you find that instantly the person is more comfortable, they relax with it and the instrument sounds better.

As I said, again it comes back to sound!

I work with olive wood because unlike many other woods used for chin rests, it is not acidic. Olive wood is 'skin friendly' thanks to its natural oils: what's more it is a beautiful wood.

If you come to me for a chin rest I will look at you as a musician, how you hold your instrument, and I will see the problem. A proper chin and shoulder rest is critical for your back and shoulders and for your comfort – everyone's position is different, the height of your neck is different. I take measurements and I also draw an outline of the bottom of your instrument. I then shape the chin rest roughly to start with and ask you to come back and try it. I can then alter a few things if needs be and then I finish the chin rest for you.

I carefully carve each rest so it is as thin as possible whilst remaining structurally secure so that you will also find my rests are lighter in weight than a normal off the peg one.

In terms of the fittings, I use a 2-clamp hold on a very small area of the instrument so that you will find there is a gain in vibrations compared to using an off the shelf model, also the musician has less physical contact with the metal holding the chin rest in place which is much better for their skin and comfort. I always say to people, 'how much is your comfort worth?' With my individually carved and designed rests you can avoid so much discomfort that they are worth investing in.

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