Before going into the details, we recommend the Kun Original Viola Shoulder Rest as the best viola shoulder rest. However, if that’s not your cup of tea, we bring you a few other options to pick from.
One can’t underestimate the importance of a steady and comfortable grip for a viola player.
How you adjust the shoulder rest affects the quality of performance.
We looked into most of the shoulder rests available in the market and came up with this list. The items that made it here are competitive in price, design, and mechanism.
The design of this Kun Collapsible is almost identical to the original Kun, except for the brown color on the underside. This model fits 15″ to 17″ violas. Its foldable legs allow for easy storage, even if your case is small or shaped. The ease with which you can attach it to your viola makes it a good choice for beginners as well.
This Everest EZ model offers great quality for a relatively low price. The absence of angle brackets and thumb knobs make it a truly durable and hard-to-break piece of equipment.
This model also offers identical parts for both the left and right feet meaning that you won’t be confused as to which foot attaches to which side of the body.
The padded base is designed to hold onto the shoulder, significantly improving the technique. This German-made piece of equipment is a quality shoulder rest that one will never regret owning.
The manufacturing material allows for flexible curving over the shoulder at various angles. The anti-slip feature makes it suitable for long hours of performance.
This shoulder rest is for those who are seeking Kun’s iconic look. The multi-layered laminated hardwood classic provides strength and elegance.
This shoulder rest design follows the lead of previous Kun originals where the folding ends allow for easy storage. This Italian-made accessory is unique among other wooded shoulder rests, justifying its high price.
Although this shoulder rest is basic when it comes to the design, it’s optimal for those looking for practicality and a reasonable price. The foam padding also maximizes comfort, yet, the base is not as comfortable as the pricier other options.
This shoulder rest delivers on the most necessary features, nothing fancy though. However, for this highly affordable price, you’ll get the job done.
It’s adjustable in both height and width. With the foam padding on the base, this shoulder rest greatly supports the shoulder. However, the design of the base lacks the technology that makes it comfortable as well.
This is one of the most popular viola shoulder rests, it comes from the reputable manufacturer: Kun, yet at a reasonable price. This model may not look as fancy as the other pricier Kun models but it sure does deliver on quality.
Do You Need a Viola Shoulder Rest?
Well, to many people this question might sound basic, but does everyone know what purpose the viola shoulder rest serves?
However, for most of us, a shoulder rest is needed to keep a proper posture. So, a viola shoulder rest helps with the following:
- Straightening the back.
- Making the neck more comfortable.
- Allowing your left hand to move freely with the viola.
- Supporting the viola by engaging different body parts.
How to Choose The Best Viola Rest?
When deciding on a new viola shoulder rest, comfort should be considered first. Look for a softly padded base. Another element that adds comfort is the digitally-treated curves that many of the viola shoulder rests now have. These curves hold on tightly and comfortably to the shoulders.
So, as you already know, shoulder rests come in different materials, some are made of wood, aluminum, or even plastic.
While wooden shoulder rests offer the elegance they come short in comfort and flexibility. Plastic provides lightness, however, it’s questionable when it comes to durability.
All types of viola shoulder rests have some sort of padding. Most of them use foam as the main padding material. Some use sponge or soft rubber. Although the rubber is more flexible, it’s less elegant.
Viola shoulder rests vary in their mechanisms. Some of them come as a one-piece, with no foldable clips or adjustable parts. Usually, these shoulder rests are less expensive, given their rigidity.
However, some people opt for these because they are less likely to break. These one-piece viola shoulder rests are optimal for kids. It is easy for them to use, there is nothing to break and no pieces to lose.
Whereas the more dynamic the mechanism is, the pricier the shoulder rest. You will find that most of the shoulder rests are adjustable in three dimensions. The better ones even have foldable parts to allow for easier storage.
Does My Choice Affect The Sound?
This has been an ongoing argument between experts and designers. Some people feel that the shoulder rest has a muting effect. They claim that it absorbs the vibrations. However, there is no clear answer on that matter.
The sound of the instrument is more dependent on your competence and the right posture. So our advice is to just look for a shoulder rest that is comfortable and adjustable.
For us, the top choice is clear and it’s the Kun Original Viola Shoulder Rest. While it conveys the reliability that comes with the brand, it’s moderately priced. It is also highly customizable and durable.
Our second best is the Bonmusica Viola Shoulder Rest. The flexibility with which it curves around the shoulder makes it the best option when it comes to comfort. It is also adjustable in height and width.
Whereas, if you are looking for the most practical and affordable shoulder rest you should definitely go for the D’Luca VV200-14 Viola Shoulder Rest. Although it lacks in luxuries, such as sophisticated design, it gets the job done.
A viola shoulder rest may be considered an accessory, but trust us, a comfortable one can be life-changing. Whether you are a beginner or a professional viola player, there is something for everyone.