I just switched my chinrest from the model that comes with the Fiddlershop Concert Violin to the Conrad Gotz (low profile) Chinrest Model ZK256.
I have a short neck. Holding my violin against my neck and under my chin with a shoulder rest was kind of like trying to hold half gallon milk carton sideways and was very uncomfortable. At first I thought it was the shoulder rest causing the problem. I tried adjusting and repositioning it numerous times over the first two weeks, but the problem persisted. I finally took the shoulder rest off, and while this seemed to help, the the hard wood against my collarbone was more uncomfortable. So, I put a small sponge under my violin. That didn’t work either. Was holding a violin supposed to be this uncomfortable?
Then a new violin friend, Aywren Sojouner from Net Fiddler-Violin Blog, told me about his new chinrest. It seems Aywren suffers from SNS too. (Oh, short neck syndrome for those of you in Rio Linda.) He had just bought and fit this Conrad Gotz Chinrest on his violin and was extremely happy with it. So, I figured I’d try it and bought it from Amazon. If it didn’t help, I could always send it back. And, I’ve read that it is not uncommon to go through several chinrest shoulder rest combinations before finding one that works and is comfortable.
Fitting it on my fiddle was a learning experience, but I finally figured out how those cylinders that hold the upper part to the bracket on the back work. You can see from the two images below the difference between the contour and elevation of the two chinrests.
I added back my Fiddlershop shoulder rest. Here was the big test…
Wow! It was like night and day. All of a sudden my fiddle fit against my neck and between my chin and chest like a glove, both lying perfectly flat against their respective body parts and very comfortable. Before I switched the chinrests, I was unable to hold my fiddle comfortable under my chin without using my left hand. (Something recommended) It always started to tilt down and feel heavy like it was going to fall. Now, when I took my left hand away, it stayed in place and felt as light as a feather. I knew I had a winner.
As I started my afternoon practice, I quickly noticed my left hand grip loosen up which made it easier to try and finger the strings. It was a good practice!
I want to thank Aywren for his suggestion. Now, if you are like us and have SNS, you might want to look into the Conrad Gotz Chinrest ZK256. If you decide to buy one, consider using my link to Amazon. Whatever small commission I make goes directly back into maintaining this website. Thank you.