"Think about why you may need to use a shoulder rest. You don't need one for basic finger patterns. You don't need one to cross the strings. You may not even need one for certain shifts."
There are many great players who do not use a shoulder rest, just as there are many who do. All players can benefit from practising at least some technical skills without a shoulder rest. Playing without a shoulder rest can increase freedom in the violin hold, allowing the violin to move sideways and upwards. A movement of the violin upwards can increase contact with the bow.
Playing without a shoulder rest can help activate a lazy left thumb since there needs to be more support from left hand and thumb.
When playing without a shoulder rest the violin balances on the collar bone. Check that the left shoulder does not push up against the violin. Freedom in the left shoulder is necessary for a free left-arm movement under the violin.
The Violin & Your Body - Introduction
Left Hand Fundamentals
- Arm Steering & 4th Finger Pizzicato
- Arm Steering & Pre-Shifting