Frequently Asked Questions:

Do professional violinists use shoulder rests? Yes

Why does my neck hurt when I play violin? Neck, shoulder, and jaw pain can result from straining and overusing the muscles to hold the violin.  Distorting the natural shape of the neck by reaching forward too much, shrugging the left shoulder significatly, and clamping down hard with the chin can all lead to tension and pain in the left shoulder, neck and even head.  

What kind of chinrest should I use?  Chinrests are most effective when they provide a comfortable platform to the jaw to rest on without being stuck.  The best chinrests fit player's jaws by giving them a ridge the chin can pull back on, a channel for the jaw to escape over the left edge of the rest, and placement such that the player needs only to look over towards the scroll and release the jaw downwards very slightly.  

Does my chinrest affect my shoulder rest?  Yes.  The chinrest you use will determine where the violin sits best on your shoulder.  The most effective way to determine where a chinrest and shoulder rest should go is to take both off and place the violin on the collarbone gently, so that it rests in the left hand approximately in first position.  This placement is where the left hand is most comfortable, and the chinrest and shoulderrest should serve this placement.  

Does a shoulder rest affect my violin's sound?  Yes.  A shoulder rest always raises the violin away from the shoulder somewhat, even the slimmest pads.  Often a shoulder rest will make a violin's sounds deeper with more low register frequencies, as the violin can actually resonate more freely when it's off the shoulder.  The sound can change from one shoulder rest to another, usually the heavier the rest dampening the resonance more than the lighter rests.  A tight shoulder rest will dampen more than a looser one.  Wooden platformed shoulder rests sometimes seem to provide more resonance than plastic ones, though the sound of plastic has also appeared more focused.  Usually differences in tone are minimal when using a shoulder rest, negligent compared to the rest of the instrument's functioning and benefits of comfort from using a rest.

How long should a shoulder rest last?  Shoulder rests can last decades.  Usually decay happens to the foam after ten years, depending on use.  

Why does my shoulder rest keep falling off?  If you are using your shoulder rest at an angle, there is a high probability that it will slide off.  The best position for most shoulder rests to grab onto the violin is directly across the instrument at the widest point.  Any variation in this is mechanically at a disadvantage, and pressure from playing will likely slide the rest off the violin during play.  Some shoulder rests have legs that can clamp on with enough friction to prevent slippage.

How do I make my shoulder rest higher?  You can either adjust the legs by unscrewing them, replace the legs with longer versions that are often available, or add padding to the foam.  

Where should my shoulder rest attach to my violin?  The best placement of the shoulder rest is approximately straight across the widest part of the violin.  Other placements can work as well for the player, but this is the best place to prevent slippage

How much does a custom shoulder rest cost?  The Librio customization service is currenly $275 + the cost of a commercial shoulder rest (which is either provided by the client or purchased by Librio for the client at no additional cost).

Where can I get a custom shoulder rest?  Librio Rests currently operates out of New York City, with production in Niskayuna, NY.  Fitting sessions are conducted in Manhattan, or can be done at client's homes for an additional fee to cover travel expenses.

Will a customized shoulder rest cure my neck pain?  Librio Rests is not a source of medical diagnosis, nor do we guarantee pain will be cured.  However, nearly all of our clients have reported their neck pain has greatly diminished, while simultaneously their stamina has increased.  

Will a custom shoulder rest help my playing?  ​Most people report that their Librio rest has opened up their playing considerably.  They feel their tone is more focused and resonante, intonation is easier, vibrato is more natural, and shifting is more fluid as well.  Many have also reported that pains they used to suffer with after playing for extended periods of time have vanished.  
Take a listen to our co-founder Noah Luft-Weissberg playing with his Librio rest!  He switches back and forth between his modified Kun™ and modified Viva La Musica™ models.

  1. photo credit: Mark Baker
  2. Managing Director
  3. Managing Director
The Librio insert uses advanced lightweight materials to provide both support and comfort.  A multilayered foam structure gives the Librio rest a durable, ultra lightweight, comfortable configuration.  This structure provides both the firmness to conform to the contours of the individual violinist’s shoulder and the flexibility and softness to connect comfortably to the shoulder.  
In play, the rest balances on the shoulder precisely without requiring readjustment of the instrument or body.  The slender profile allows for excellent freedom of motion.
The process of fitting the rest to your shoulder is fast, simple, accurate, and yields a shoulder rest so comfortable and effective you won't believe you ever used anything else.  You'll never have to worry about loss or damage to your Librio insert, because your unique data will be saved electronically and can be made into a new physical rest at any time. 

What are the benefits of a customized shoulder rest?

How much does a Librio rest cost?

Our service and production fee is currently $275, plus the cost of the rest, plus shipping unless you'd like to pick it up.

How long does it take to get my Librio rest?

The fitting session takes approximately one hour, and you an expect your shoulder rest to be ready for pickup or delivery within two weeks.
your location if travel expenses are paid.  

Where can I get a Librio rest?

​To get a rest, you need to have a fitting session done in person.  Our base of operations is New York City, but we are mobile and can come right to your location if travel expenses are paid.