One of the most notable and interesting aspects of violin and viola is shoulder placement. Virtuosos can be seen on some of the world's greatest stages playing with anything from no shoulder rest to spending hundreds of dollars on a Pirastro KorfkerRest. Hilary Hahn is becoming known for her “custom” shoulder rests where she sets the feet tall, cuts off the foam that comes on the shoulder rest, cuts her own thicker foam padding, colors it black with Sharpie, glues it on, and wraps it secure with black rubber wrapping. Anne-Sophie Mutter on the other hand can be seen on YouTube zipping up and down the Sibelius violin concerto in strapless gown with absolutely nothing on the underside of the violin.
What it comes entirely down to is the anatomy and technical needs of the violinist. On Saturday the 27th of October, I will be celebrating 9 months playing violin. My body elements I've become aware of include an exceptionally long neck, a very broad shoulder, and a flat incline from shoulder to chest. Many violinists have narrow shoulders and steep collar-bone area. For me, this is not the case.
What this creates for me is a need for an extremely tall shoulder rest height on the shoulder (G string side) and a low height on the chest end, producing a height at the chin rest to naturally secure the violin with and a reasonably steep angle (virtually always displayed by professional soloists) to comfortably and seamlessly reach high on the lower strings and even upper strings. I am particularly fond of my shoulder rest itself, but the feet were only 0.75", when I easily needed an extra-long 1.25" foot on the G side. Amazon was happy to fit my needs! I used a screw cutter to trim the new foot for the E string side.
I can't wait to begin navigating my instrument far-more-easily with this customization as I close out 9th months of playing! - 4 months ago