arcrest Shoulder Pad System for Violins and Violas Handcrafted in the USA - new in summer 2018
The arcrest shoulder pad features a very light wood base that you attach a comfortable foam pad to that fills the gap between your instrument and shoulder, (resting on the collarbone), allowing increased freedom of movement. The pad is suspended via tiny feet / bumpers which decrease contact with the back of the instrument. This decreases damping, freeing up resonance for better sound.
There are a few qualities that really set the arcrest apart. First of all, its size and design allow freedom of movement (particularly of the left shoulder) with and around the instrument. Second, it allows optimal resonance of the instrument as it is super light weight, only touches it at 4 tiny points, and the arc creates the necessary space between the pad and the instrument to allow the instrument to resonate better. Third, it helps develop better posture and playing habits as it requires the player to learn to balance the violin in the hand. It is worth remembering that violinists and violists need to learn to balance their instrument on three contact points (collar bone, jaw and hand) with a portion of the weight being in the hand. The arcrest will allow you to approach the instrument in this more natural way and will also give enough support to make it easier. It comes in different heights to accommodate different body types. It is attached to the instrument by a high quality silicone band which will hold your arcrest firmly in place and never scratch the sides of your instrument.
Aaron Bailey and Tigran Vardanyan jointly developed the arcrest out of a desire to have a shoulder pad that would allow the violin to be held naturally and move freely to maintain good posture, all while not damping the sound. Originally developed for themselves, other violinists saw (and heard!) the advantages of the ArcRest. Currently there are many violinists, both amateur and professional, who are using the arcrest to improve their violin playing experience. These include members of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, and Pacific Symphony.