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Digital Subscriptions > The Strad > September 2019 > Asymmetric neck shaping

Asymmetric neck shaping

A method that allows for deviation from the standard neck outline, for the comfort of the individual player

Lutherie

Makers reveal their special techniques

When you hold an instrument for the first time, you get a feeling for it before playing a single note. It’s not just down to its visual appearance: consciously or unconsciously, just the act of touching it gives you a first impression. Players can sometimes find the way the neck is carved uncomfortable – but what determines whether it will feel comfortable or not?

As so often in violin making, a lot of interacting factors are responsible. A slim, smooth neck is never preferable, and some players like their necks to be quite thick. Bearing in mind that we all have different anatomies and playing techniques, there is no point in conforming rigidly to a single outline. For me, the most important variable is the manner of shaping the neck.

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About The Strad

We talk to the members of the Belcea Quartet and ask why more young people are turning to period performance. Students of Kató Havas pay tribute to the late violin teacher, and there’s a look at asymmetric instruments. Plus a Mendelssohn Masterclass and Renaud Capuçon’s Life Lessons.