How to Adjust your Violin Chinrest and Play Comfortably

by | Mar 27, 2019 | Interviews, Play Comfortably | 6 comments

Interview with Jordan Hayes about the fully adjustable Kreddle chinrest he created

80% of violinists have pain while playing

By changing your violin hold, way of bowing and adjusting your chinrest you can play comfortably

Before you select and adjust a chinrest, first look at the way you play now. Does your bow arm have enough space to move comfortably? Do you need to change your violin hold and adjust the chinrest accordingly?

Jordan Hayes, creator of the fully adjustable Kreddle chinrest, recommends to start with your body: how do you move when playing and what would be the best way for you to move both ergonomically as musically. 

In the interview above he explains how body posture, violin hold, bowing technique and your chinrest have to fit together

In the video I’m the guinea pig and we adjust a Kreddle chinrest to fit my body and movement. First we start with the right chinrest height without a shoulder rest. It’s better to make your chinrest higher than your shoulder rest. You want the violin to rest on your collar bone for more stability. A higher shoulder rest means a higher violin and a higher position of your arms. This can also cause fatigue and injury.

After we have the right height, we’re going to look at all the other possibilities of the chinrest to fit it exactly to my neck and cheek. 

Jordan shares a lot of tips about playing the violin comfortably.

What are my personal experiences with the Kreddle chinrest?

I’ve tried out playing with the Kreddle chinrest extensively and followed the tips from this interview and my other interview with Jordan Hayes.

No matter the adjustment, it didn’t feel 100% comfortble for me. When I switch back to my Stradivari chinrest, it felt like a relief. I decided to stick with it. 

I know it’s tempting to copy me or another violinist, but please find what works best for YOU. Choosing your set up is very important and very personal.

Disclaimer: good rests can’t compensate bad playing technique

Always remember that it’s 80% playing technique and 20% rests. D0n’t spend all your time and money on chinrests and shoulder rests. Work on your body, balance and violin hold FIRST. Choose a chinrest, shoulder rest, cushion or nothing based on a healthy posture.

I’d love to read your experiences!

What are your thoughts on the Kreddle chinrest? What chinrest and/or shoulder rest are you currently using? Are you comfortable while playing the violin? Share it in the comments below!


  1. Sherylin

    Glad to hear you are feeling better Zlata. Too much stress from getting married I think. 😉
    Anyhow, the product looks like a good one. I hope he does well with it 🙂

    • Violinist Zlata Brouwer

      I thought I would never say this, but I now have respect for wedding planners. For me it’s once and no more (in terms of organizing), haha! But… we’re very happy!

  2. John Norton

    Being 6-1/2 feet tall (about 198 cm) I have been aware of the chin rest problem (more properly a “jaw” rest) for some time. The idea that the open neck space can be filled in with a shoulder rest obviously brings the violin, or even a viola, to a position that is too high for playing with the bow at a “normal” level. This in turn causes arm and shoulder pain and may even block vision which causes more pain from twisting and turning to see the music. Finding a suitable chin rest is the first problem for the player, then finding the shoulder rest to match it follows. The presentation by Mr. Hayes is particularly interesting to me as I have tried to raise a chin rest by two centimeters, and also used a viola chin rest “blocked up” on a violin. In doing so, I have been able to increase the chin rest slope so that its height increases in the outer left direction. A potential problem now occurs in having the high portion interfere with bows in a case that is not deep enough. Mr. Hayes’ solution makes it easy to remove that portion for case storage; just make sure you have a spare wrench in your case to fix or adjust the screws. Having infinite adjustment available make his solution ideal for many of us. Also his discussion on the anatomy of the neck and head was very helpful. He has worked out solutions to many real problems I have not even thought of yet, and that alone makes me appreciate his presentation even more. Thank you for this wonderful video. In closing, I wish you and your husband happiness and all the best throughout your married life.

    • Violinist Zlata Brouwer

      First of all thank you for your kind words and wishes, John, I’m glad the interview is interesting for you!

  3. Thisbe

    Thanks, I just watched your interesting video about shoulder-rests and now this one about chin-rests. Very remarkable that they are both flexible so during the playing it will find the right position in a natural way. Really exiting, I never saw this before and I like the explaination. I will take this into account in the next weeks!


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