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Performa Padauk Wood Violin Shoulder Rest in 4/4 Size

Item # : PFW44


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20 Reviews

“Never fight gravity when you play.” Acclaimed violinist Cyrus Forough said this – then spent years developing this shoulder rest. Made of padauk, an African heartwood with exceptional stability and resilience. Padauk is stronger than oak, and also favored by experts for use in musical instruments.

This patented shoulder rest for violins is completely
 customizable in height (11mm to 25mm) and thickness (2mm to 5mm). It releases tension, unifies both player and instrument, and makes your playing comfortable and natural.


Performa Padauk Wood Violin Shoulder Rest in 4/4 Size

Ratings & Reviews

6/3/2022 12:21:00 pm

Performa shoulder rests

From the comments that I am reading, Performa rests are quite comfortable. Why are they not available in other sizes? I have a 3/4 size violin and the shoulder rests are uncomfortable or don’t stay in place. I was hoping Performa rests would be the answer. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you for your time.

1/7/2022 5:02:00 am

Wonderful tone but needs more options for adjusting

"I’ve used this shoulder rest for over six months now. I immediately noticed an improvement in my sound and the rest is very comfortable. However, I am having trouble getting the shoulder rest to stay where I would really like it on my violin. I have a full size violin, but I have noticed that it does seem a bit narrower than other violins I’ve compared it to, so this may be part of the issue. But with the current options for the feet, the shoulder rest either ends up too tight or too loose. Perhaps if there were some smaller increments on at least one of the feet, this would solve the problem."

1/7/2022 5:07:00 am

I wish this were the one!

This is a 5-star product, if it fits you. It would appear to work well for the normal length and short-necked player. Unfortunately it is not sufficient for the long-necked player. Insufficient height is the only reason that I had to return it. My violin sounded more focused with this rest. It seems to me that making height adapters would not be too difficult.

3/11/2019 11:20:00 pm


Very nice looking rest but IT WOULD NOT FIT IN MY CASE! I have a Musafia oblong violin case and I could not figure out how to fit it inside of the case. I am not willing to carry it separately, outside of the case, therefore, I had to return it.

2/25/2019 6:01:00 am

Feet damage varnish and edges

I have been using one of these for a many months, and recently noticed that the hard rubber feet have been scraping the varnish off the edges of my violin down to the wood. See picture. This is a serious defect that only becomes apparent over time. I would caution anyone using one of these to check the edges of your violin to see if you are experiencing the same effect, and stop using it if you see this. I think the feet need to be redesigned with softer materials and a non-abrasive grip, and Shar should offer replacement feet to current owners.

5/14/2018 12:25:00 am

Going back in the box

It is beautiful, but it just doesn't work for me. It is very limited in that the feet only rotate in one axis. Most other shoulder rests accommodate two axles of rotation. While the feet have good adhesion, due to the discrete length choices, I've had it fall off. There is no flexibility anywhere to use spring force to keep it attached. So far the shoulder rest that works best for me is the Wolf Secondo. It is moldable and can accommodate my thin build.

6/18/2017 7:35:00 pm

Very good shoulder rest

After consideration, I decided to try this new shoulder rest for the trial period. I watched the video and read the blogs. I am a professional violinist. Having used the half moon Gewa for many years, I wanted an alternate that I could switch between. I bought the wood as it was expressed that it was lighter. Once I adjusted the shoulder rest, I was very pleasantly surprised. It is quite comfortable and the contact points are slight so my instrument actually sounds much more vibrant! I am still adjusting of course but it seems like my left hand is more relaxed and I do not have any back or neck pain after a 3 hour rehearsal. This is new to me. That in itself is a good thing. I just have to get used to it being longer as opposed to the short half moon so my left arm needs to adjust slightly with regards to shifting to upper positions. If you already use a bar then that would not be an issue. I would say yes! Try it! I am happy. I hope they make a cushioned pouch for it in the future as it does not collapse and I need to place it in outer zipper of my case.

3/27/2016 1:19:00 pm

Very comfortable and heavier than typical shoulder rests

I just received both the wood and plastic performa versions. I lean more towards the plastic because it's heavier. Yes - heavier. The wood does look nice, but the heavier shoulder rest makes my Luis Clark carbon violin much more comfortable to play....it brings the center of balance much more towards my shoulder. Before the performa, my "go to" shoulder rest was the Wittner Isny shoulder rest. I'm very biased on Wittner products. The Wittner Isny allows me to rotate and move my violin forward and back. The Wittner doesn't "lock your violin in". If you're comparing, here are some specs: Performa Wood = 83gr / Performa plastic = 110gr / Everest EZ 4/4 size = 76gr / Wittner Isny = 48gr / Kun Voce carbon = 57gr / Everest spring blue 3/4 - 4/4 size = 72gr. The wide shoulder area of the performa really does spread the weight out. The additional padding is nice too. I find the performa and wide platform balances out the weight of the violin better (and again much more closer to the body of the violin and your shoulder). Like I said, I'm more biased towards the heavier black perorma model. As light as my Luis Clark carbon violin is, the heavier shoulder rest makes the carbon violin even lighter. In terms of dampening noise, you will need to rely on other comments and reviews. For me, I cannot tell whether the wood vs. plastic models dampens the sound more or less. But I can tell that Wittner Isny shoulder rest produces the best sound (for me) because the Isny shoulder rest is completely floating from the body. I do notice any shoulder rest that has to squeeze the body to stay on will dampen the noise a tick.....again - personal preference. There is no perfect shoulder rest for everyone....just a better or more perfect shoulder rest for you. For kids, I think the performa would be a good idea too. The larger platform and additional padding layers could be a lot more comfortable for young kids and teenagers.

7/23/2015 9:53:00 pm


This is the shoulder rest, (wooden model), that I've been looking for. Very comfotable, very stable, great fit on my violin and presents the violin at a nice angle. I am 5 feet 10.5 inches tall, male, the distance between my jaw line and collar bone is approx. 3.5 inches when standing erect. (If this helps anybody else to determine fit. The legs are adjustable to fine tune.) I am very pleased with the Performa, and highly recommend it.

2/7/2015 5:46:00 am

This is Something Special

I tried a prototype in a lesson with Mr. Forough at a festival 2 years ago. I am an extreme anti-shoulder rest kind of person but this is an exception. It allows you to hold the violin on the collarbone in the old school way and have that real connection to the instrument like you would without a shoulder rest. Can't wait to get the newest version!

9/8/2014 9:27:00 am


Totally excellentÖ Iíve waited 50 years for this thing.

6/6/2014 9:31:00 pm

Wonderful tone but needs more options for adjusting

Iíve used this shoulder rest for over six months now. I immediately noticed an improvement in my sound and the rest is very comfortable. However, I am having trouble getting the shoulder rest to stay where I would really like it on my violin. I have a full size violin, but I have noticed that it does seem a bit narrower than other violins Iíve compared it to, so this may be part of the issue. But with the current options for the feet, the shoulder rest either ends up too tight or too loose. Perhaps if there were some smaller increments on at least one of the feet, this would solve the problem.

2/15/2014 4:12:00 pm

I love it!

Iíve been primarily playing without a shoulder rest for the past 3 years. I recently went back to using a regular shoulder rest but was not satisfied. This shoulder rest is perfect for those that love the freedom that playing without a rest but need a little bit of support. I had to adjust the angle and height for a bit before finding the perfect settings, but it was perfect once I found that sweet spot. If youíre expecting it to feel the same as other rests, then you might not like it. It is super sturdy and does not fall off my violin.

Christina Bouey
1/21/2013 6:55:00 pm

Violinist of Ulysses Quartet

This shoulder rest is a MUST for anyone who is serious about taking their sound to the next level. The lower level shoulder rests by Kun and Everest just don't compare. The Performa allows your violin to have the most incredible tone along with a very robust projection. My violin actually sounds more open with this shoulder rest then playing with no shoulder rest at all. It's the best of all worlds.

7/22/2012 12:14:00 am

Very nice product!!!

I am sorry that was not the right shoulder rest for me. I returned....But I'm sure that many players will find it comfortable. In my opinion needs a little more"cushioning".

6/4/2012 2:07:00 pm

Performa Wooden Viola Shoulder Rest

How soon will the Performa Viola Shoulder Rest be available?

3/26/2012 1:18:00 pm

This is the one!

I have a drawer full of shoulder rests, collected over 25 years. They've all needed additional padding here and there and none felt "natural" or secure. Until this one! The larger surface area distributes the downward pressure of the chin in such a way that the shoulder rest feels like it's a part of the shoulder: it doesn't slip; it feels light; and it holds the violin when the head moves. I have an ease of movement that I've never had before, and my quartet mates saw this immediately!

1/2/2011 11:51:00 am

a excelent shoulder rest

An excellent shoulder rest, very well made and really resembles playing without a shoulder rest, both sound, projection and sensation on the shoulder. I used to wear an everest shoulder rest that is good for what it costs, but without a doubt the performa shoulder rest has completely changed the projection of my instrument, a much more defined sound. the performa is a shoulder rest for the next level in your sound if you use shoulder rest

9/20/2010 1:32:00 am

10 Stars

I would give my Padauk wood Performa 10stars if you had them. I've been playing violin for 81 years now. The first 30 without a shoulder rest, the next 30-35 with SR and the last 10-15 or so trying other things and "cushions" (mostly restless) - and the last month with my Performa. The Performa in its lowest setting suits my current needs perfectly. I added the 5mm cushion to the 2mm already on it for added shoulder comfort. I can't wait for the matching VIOLA Performa !

3/30/2010 10:19:00 am


This shoulder rest is everything I've thought a shoulder rest should be plus more. I noticed a difference in comfort level right out of the box, but I had to experiment with the feet and angle of placement on the violin before I found the perfect fit. I'm a lot more relaxed and I'm experiencing virtually no pain while playing. Since I don't have to fidget with how I'm holding the violin, I feel like I've gained an extra 30 minutes of productive practice time. If I happen to do something weird that would aggravate an injury, I have the mental space to actually address the issue. I'm so excited that I'll be able to focus more in the practice room and I'm excited for the progress I'll be making.