5 Best Violin Shoulder Rests (Budget to Premium)

Looking for a brilliant shoulder rest that lets you practice for hours on end without getting neck cramps?

Well, you’ve stumbled across the right corner of the internet.

Maybe you’re a beginner searching for your first shoulder rest or maybe you’re a professional violin player looking for the perfect upgrade.

Either way, I’ve found the five best violin shoulder rests on the market in 2020.

Whether you’re looking for comfort, improved resonance, or a fantastic budget option, your ideal violin shoulder rest is on this list!

Snapshot: 5 Best Violin Shoulder Rests

  1. Bonmusica Violin Shoulder Rest
  2. Pirastro Korfker Violin Shoulder RestHigh End
  3. Fiddlerman Wood Violin Shoulder Rest
  4. NANYI Violin Shoulder Rest
  5. Kun Original Violin Shoulder Rest

Buying a Great Violin Shoulder Rest

Best Violin Shoulder Rest

Many violinists don’t realize just how important it is to have a great shoulder rest.

Think of it like this – your shoulder rest is an extension of your instrument.

If your shoulder rest stops the vibrations from your violin in their tracks, your playing will sound muted and muffled.

So, how do we make sure we’re buying a great violin shoulder rest?

First of all, I think good quality materials are essential. Fantastic quality materials will help the sound of your violin resonate perfectly.

Secondly, comfort is key!

Of course, your shoulder rest has to allow you to practice for as long as possible, right?

Alongside these two key elements, I also make sure I’m getting my money’s worth. Don’t worry, I’ve made sure to cater to every budget.

If you’re looking to splash some cash on a high-end rest, I’ve got you covered.

On the other hand, if you’re just after a cheap beginner option, that’s also on the list.

The Best Violin Shoulder Rest in 2020

1. Bonmusica Violin Shoulder Rest Review

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Bonmusica 4/4 Violin Shoulder Rest
  • Fits 4/4 Violin
  • Height and Width Adjustable

In my opinion, the Bonmusica shoulder rest is a classic. I’ve used it for as long as I can remember and it’s the number one shoulder rest I recommend to beginners and pros alike.

It’s a great mid-range option as well, so it won’t break the bank!

Materials & Shape

The main body of the Bonmusica violin shoulder rest is made from metal. Some metal shoulder rests can stifle the sound of your violin, however I haven’t had that problem with this guy. The metal part of the body is incredibly thin, so it doesn’t affect the resonance of your instrument in the slightest.

It’s a classic footed shoulder rest with a curved top. I love the curved top because it’s more like a hook. Trust me, your fiddle isn’t going anywhere cause this guy literally grabs onto your shoulder. Its feet are covered to protect your violin as well which is great.

The last thing you want is to scrape your varnish or damage the wood! It’s covered in a lovely, thick foam material from top to bottom as well for added comfort!

Comfort & Playability

Speaking of comfort… I can’t even tell you how perfectly this shoulder rest fits your body. Because the metal is so thin, you can pretty much mold it to the shape of your body.

The top hooks over your shoulder and the bottom rest at the top of your chest. You can adjust the height of the rest at both ends to suit the length of your neck!

I think this is a great one for any ample breasted ladies out there (I think that’s the most polite way to get my point across)  because the more you use the shoulder rest, the more it molds to your shape.

I love how you can position the feet to support your playing style as well. If you struggle with your playing posture, this shoulder rest will help so much. Just fix the top closer to your chin rest and the bottom further round towards your fingerboard. That way, you’ll be forced to hold your violin in the correct position.

Teachers, you’re going to love this one!

Sound

Now, I wouldn’t say this shoulder rest improves the sound of your violin. Well, unless you’re used to playing with a rubbish beginner rest, then maybe it will make a difference.

However, it doesn’t get in the way of your resonance at all. If you’ve been struggling with volume and resonance but you know you’ve got a great violin model, testing out a shoulder rest like this is a great idea.

Spec Summary

  • Body Materials: Metal
  • Cushion Materials: Memory foam
  • Shape: Shoulder hook with feet
  • Adjustments: Height at top and bottom, the curve of the body, the position of the feet

This adjustable rest hooks over your shoulder and amplifies resonance, it’s the best one on the market

Final Thoughts on the Bonmusica Violin Shoulder Rest

The Bonmusica Violin Shoulder rest has always been a favorite of mine. You definitely can’t get a better model at this price point. I love that you can adjust it in so many different places to suit your body shape and playing style. I’d say this shoulder rest is a must-have for any player.

2. Pirastro Korfker Violin Shoulder Rest Review

Pirastro Korfker Violin Shoulder Rest
  • Korfker Violin Shoulder Rest

Now we’ve spoken about the best affordable violin shoulder rest on the market, it’s time to explore the best high-end model. The Pirastro Korfker is a favorite amongst professionals for its ability to improve the sound of your violin!

Materials & Shape

I love the Pirastro Korfker because it has the same hooked shape as the Bonmusica rest. It fits perfectly over your shoulder and makes you feel so secure when you’re playing.

This luxe shoulder rest is made from maple hence the benefits to your violins sound. It’s a footed shoulder rest and it only ways 32 grams. I mean, you just can’t beat it, can you?

I know it shouldn’t matter, but I absolutely love the design of this rest. It mirrors the classical look of the violin and genuinely does look like an extension of your instrument!

Comfort & Playability

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “if it’s made from wood how can you adjust it?” Well, this is what I love so much about this rest. Despite it being made from maple, you can still bend it to exactly the right shape for you. It’s incredible!

As good as that is, it’s not my favorite part of the Pirastro Korfker. The best thing about this model is how the vibrations of your violin translate through the rest.

You can feel the resonance of your violin which helps to improve your playing tremendously (wow, I’m a fan of the big words today)!

Sound

The Pirastro Korfker is the only rest I’ve ever used which I’ve thought actually improves the sound of my violin. You honestly won’t realize how much your shoulder rest affects the sound of your violin until you’ve tried this one.

When I tried it for the first time, I noticed a huge improvement in my volume, resonance, and overall sound quality. It is just awesome!

Spec Summary

  • Body Materials: Pliable maple
  • Cushion Materials: Memory foam
  • Shape: Hooked top with a curved body and feet
  • Adjustments: Fully adjustable from top to bottom

I’d recommend this shoulder rest to absolutely anybody who’s looking to improve the quality of their playing.

Final Thoughts on the Pirastro Korfker

Aside from the Pirastro Korfker being a bit pricey, there’s nothing bad I can say about it. At the end of the day, when you realize how much of a difference your rest makes to the sound of you’re violin, you probably won’t mind spending the money.

I’d recommend this shoulder rest to absolutely anybody who’s looking to improve the quality of their playing.

3. Fiddlerman Wood Violin Shoulder Rest Review

Fiddlerman Wood Violin Shoulder Rest for 4/4 and 3/4 with Collapsible and Height Adjustable Feet
  • THE PERFECT FIT: The Fiddlerman Violin Shoulder Rest includes height adjustable feet for a custom fit. The feet are also collapsible for easy storage in violin cases.
  • WORKS FOR VIOLINS AND VIOLAS: Designed to fit 4/4 and 3/4 Violins but can also fits 13" and 14" Violas.

This Fiddlerman Woof Violin Shoulder Rest is under $30 so it’s an absolute bargain. I’d say it’s perfect for beginners or intermediate violin players but it’s also a great budget option for advanced violinists.

Materials & Shape

Here we have another wooden shoulder rest. One thing I will say is that it’s not as pliable as the previous two on this list.

Although you can adjust its feet positions and leg height, you can’t mold the body of the rest to fit you. That being said, it should fit most players. Anyway, onto the positives!

This rest is ideal if you don’t have much space in your violin case because its feet are collapsible. The largest size can be adjusted to fit either a 3/4 or 4/4 size violin and the smaller size can fit a 1/2 or 1/4 size.

If your shopping for your kids this rest is perfect because you won’t have to buy them a new rest whenever it’s time to upgrade their violin. Every little helps, right?

Comfort & Playability

I’m not going to lie, I don’t think the Fiddlerman rest is quite as comfy as the Bonmusica model. It doesn’t have a hook top, so you’ll have to rely on your chin and arm to hold up your violin.

To be honest, teachers sometimes prefer their students to use rests like this as it helps you to work on your posture. Other than that, it’s pretty comfortable due to its memory foam padding.

It just comes down to whether you’d rather a more secure rest!

Sound

The Fiddlerman Wood shoulder rest doesn’t stifle your performance at all. In fact, the wood gives you nice, warm resonance. It doesn’t have quite the same amplification effects as the Pirastro Korfker, of course, but it’s still a lovely little rest.

Spec Summary

  • Body Materials: Wood
  • Cushion Materials: Memory foam
  • Shape: Curved rest with feet
  • Adjustments: Adjustable legs and feet – can fit 3/4 size as well

The ideal budget wooden violin shoulder rest for students

Final Thoughts on the Fiddlerman Wood Violin Shoulder Rest

I think this is a great student violin shoulder rest. Although it doesn’t give your violin the same amplification as higher-end models, it still adds a nice warm resonance. If you’re on a budget, I’d say this is the perfect option.

4. NANYI Violin Shoulder Rest Review

NANYI Violin Shoulder Rest for 4/4 and 3/4 with Collapsible and Height Adjustable Feet, Imitation...
  • 1. This standard NANYI Shoulder Rest is our most popular model, fits 4/4 size violin and adjustable to 3/4 size violin.
  • 2. Material: high-strength PVC board skeleton, Imitation wood grain. strong and not easy to deform!

I know I promised to include a shoulder rest for every budget so don’t worry, I’ve followed through. Here is the cheapest and most cheerful rest of them all. Well, I’m not sure about cheerful but I’m sure your bank account will be pleased!

Materials & Shape

This wooden rest is the perfect beginner rest. It’s a footed rest with adjustable legs, so you can set it to fit your body.

Like the Fiddlerman rest, it can fit both a 4/4 and a 3/4 violin, so it’s ideal for kids. It doesn’t have a shoulder hook, so again, you’ll have to rely purely on your chin and arm to hold your violin up.

If you’re a violin shoulder looking for affordable rests to lend your students, I’d say this is the perfect option. The NANYI Violin Shoulder Rest is incredibly cheap and cheerful, so you can stock up without breaking the bank!

Comfort & Playability

You can’t adjust the body of this rest and its body is made from quite a thick piece of wood. As a result, it’s a little bit on the heavier side but, at this price, that’s to be expected.

Although you have to rely on your posture more when playing, it’s still quite comfortable to hold. If you really struggle with getting the right posture, here’s a top tip from me; adjust your music stand to where you should be holding your scroll and then place it on the ledge of the stand as you play.

This should help you get used to the right posture. However, try only to use this technique at the start of your practice session then replicate the position without the stand. You don’t want to have to rely on your stand forever!

Sound

The NANYI Violin Shoulder Rest doesn’t muffle the sound of your instrument but it doesn’t amplify it either. To be honest, as a beginner violin player this is all you really need.

I mean, when I first started learning I used to secure a sponge to my violin with an elastic band and use that as a shoulder rest.

Anything beats that, trust me. You haven’t heard muffling until you’ve used a sponge as a shoulder rest!

Spec Summary

  • Body Materials: Wood
  • Cushion Materials: Dense foam
  • Shape: Curved “S” shaped body
  • Adjustments: Adjustable legs and feet – can fit 3/4 size as well

An incredibly cheap but functional violin rest for beginners or teachers who need to stock up

Final Thoughts on the NANYI Violin Shoulder Rest

For an incredibly cheap shoulder rest, this one is brilliant. I’ve seen some pretty awful beginners shoulder rests in my time, so it makes a change! I wouldn’t recommend the NANYI model to advanced or intermediate players but it will do the tick for newbies.

5. Kun Original Violin Shoulder Rest Review

Kun Original 4/4 Violin Shoulder Rest
  • Brand: kun
  • Product Code: 830300

I’ve heard a lot of talk about the Kun Original so I thought it was about time I founf out what all the hype was about. Well, I’m not going to lie, this shoulder rest is fantastic.

Plus, it’s ideal for those of you with smaller budgets. You’re welcome!

Materials & Shape

This rest is a little bit different because it’s made from composite plastic. Now, usually I’d scream and run from a shoulder rest made of plastic but I managed to keep my cool long enough to review it.

It actually has quite a nice shape! It has a slightly hooked top which works pretty well in terms of securing your violin to your shoulder. Although you can adjust the height of the legs, you shouldn’t tamper with the feet much after setting the shoulder rest to the right position.

The legs will become loose if you keep screwing/unscrewing them from the body.

Comfort & Playability

I have to say, this rest is pretty comfortable. You don’t have to rely quite so much on your chin and arm, yet it forces you to use the right posture which is good for students. I am kind of disappointed that the legs are secured to the body with plastic.

Unfortunately, you can’t play around too much with the position of its feet in case the screws become loose. This isn’t too much of a problem but we all know I’m overly particular and I like to be able to adjust as I go!

Sound

Much like the NANYI shoulder rest, this one doesn’t do much in the way of sound. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t make your violin sound worse but it doesn’t really add anything either.

Unless you’ve been using a sponge, your resonance will probably be much the same as it was before. That being said, it’s still a good option as it does what it’s meant to do.

Spec Summary

  • Body Materials: Plastic composite
  • Cushion Materials: Dense foam
  • Shape: Slightly hooked at the top, curved body with feet
  • Adjustments: Adjustable legs

A budget alternative to the Bonmusica shoulder rest

Final Thoughts on the Kun Original

I’m not exactly the biggest fan of the Kun Original. However, it’s still way better than most of the other shoulder rests on the market right now. I like that it’s slightly hooked, so it’s almost like a more version of the Bonmusica rest.

I’m just a little disappointed with the plastic composite body because it’s not very durable.

Your Shoulder Rest is an Extension of Your Violin

I hope this article has helped you find the best violin shoulder rest for your experience level and playing style.

I used to think that shoulder rests didn’t make a difference to the sound of my violin (back in my sponge days).

It wasn’t until I was given a great rest as a gift that I realized your shoulder rest really is an extension of your violin.

A brilliant rest is definitely worth the investment! If you’ve got a tight budget just now, I’d recommend saving for something a little more high-end.

You’ll be glad you did!

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