We are a small family company that became involved in violin ergonomics through the efforts of GelRest inventor Stephen Kallai, a lifelong violinist and fiddler, who sought to ease a chronic, nagging pain in his back that seemed to flare up within a few minutes every time he picked up his instrument. Although he tried different stretching excercises, postures, and shoulder rests, nothing really helped.
Inspiration came one evening when he heard the story of someone who was being treated for chronic back pain. The origin of their pain, it turns out, was traced to dental work the patient had received years before. Apparently, the stress from the dental work on their mouth and jaw had migrated to their back!
His attention turned now to his chinrest. He decided to experiment with gel materials similar to the kind in his computer mouse pad. His idea was to develop a pad that molds to a player’s unique bone structure, that could be easily be attached to a violin chinrest.
Early models were pretty crude, but even then, one clear result told him he was on the right track: his back pain had disappeared!
Since then, The GelRest has improved greatly and as of this writing in 2011, over 30,000 have been sold! For anyone with back pain, neck pain, or just the common red mark associated with playing the violin, a soft chinrest that molds to you can make a big difference!
Try it and you’ll know why our customer’s say, “You’ll wonder how you ever played without it!”
When he’s not making GelRests, Stephen plays with his band 77 El Deora. Check out this clip from their European tour. Song is written by bandleader and guitarist Maurice Tani.
Check out this clip from the bluegrass band Savannah Blu, playing at the 2009 Grass Valley Bluegrass Festival in Grass Valley, California. Song written by guitarist Dore Coller.