With the aim to make the Neolin more than just “a violin with frets”, I developped a different playing position for a customer (Frank Marty) who, besides playing lots of instruments, is also a singer.
Holding the violin between chin and clavicle isn’t the only possible and existing position to play the violin anyway – just think about the Gypsies playing (very well) with the violin vertically (or turning) against the chest or the breastbone, the baroque position with the instrument on the arm like the lira da braccio,…
Being self-taught on a lot of instruments, and having longed to play the violin for a long time, Frank was demoralized by the lack of frets on the violin (like a whole lot of guitar players) and the somewhat “neck-breaking” palying position, particularly for a singer. So he found himself a playing position with which he was comfortable, but the instrument wouldn’t really cooperate… the position changes to the lower positions and the form of the resonance body where the principal obstacles.
The solution I found is a strap with a velcro fastening right under the chest (like the cardio-belts for sportsmen), with a snap-fastener as a link with the instrument (I integrated it into the button). This way, when you change to a lower position, the instrument stays fastened to your body. It can also turn on the snap-fastener to get it into a good position to be bowed, depending on the string(s) played. Under the upper part of the resonance body, I attached a modified shoulder-rest in 1/2 size, with the cushion exchanges against polished wood. Thus, the left arm can slide without meeting any obstacle.
It seems as if this playing position is very comfortable for a beginner, at least one who does not necessarily dream about playinf the Tchaikowsky concerto. Apart from that, it leaves a lot of liberty to sing (move your head, approach the mike without destroying you violin on it,….
If you’d like to learn more about it or have one like this made for you, just contact me !