From Shoulder Rest to Collar Bone Rest
“The left shoulder free and the instrument stable…”
1. The role of the shoulder rest
The shoulder rest acts as a wedge under the instrument which should extend from the middle of the collar bone to on or near the breast bone. It has different functions for different players: helping the strings tilt towards the bow, helping to keep the fingerboard horizontal, and/or preventing the instrument from slipping down along the chest. It should not be used to fill up the space between the collar bone and jaw, because this is the job of the chin rest.
The shoulder rest should give support while allowing: