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Bonmusica Shoulder-rest
That will be interestig for those of you who uses shoulder-rests and still fights for comfort.
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (5 votes) 
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wookieman
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May 20, 2013 - 9:14 pm
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Thanks for this, I currently have the Everest EZ (it was cheap) but your photogenic review has me eyeballing the Bonmusica!

There is no failure, only results.

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Tyberius
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May 20, 2013 - 9:39 pm
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Oh, i guess i did not write all that was in my head. I too use a shoulder rest and am not entirely comfortable with mine. It works .. yadda ..yadda ...yadda , but its not of the greatest comfort for my body size/shape/posture. Like you, me and many others, it seems to be such a dilemma, this persuit of the perfect rests. I was just wondering if we as musicians in this age of playing are doing ourselves justice by using a shoulder rest at all.

Wouldn't it be great to have some specialist make a 3d image of you. Then, place a cyber violin on your rendered self in perfect position and placement. Have them build a chinrest/shoulder rest for your personalized specifications from a 3d printer or casting from the wireframe/animation?

"I find your lack of Fiddle, disturbing" - Darth Vader

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Mad_Wed
Russia, Tatarstan rep. Kazan city
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May 23, 2013 - 12:45 pm
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Tyberius said
...Wouldn't it be great to have some specialist make a 3d image of you. Then, place a cyber violin on your rendered self in perfect position and placement. Have them build a chinrest/shoulder rest for your personalized specifications from a 3d printer or casting from the wireframe/animation?

Haha XD! thumbs-up Great idea! I guess many people would like to use it!!! Ahhhh dreams birthday_balloon

cheers

 

Thanks, wookieman! I know, You play about 2 weeks, so don't rush with those things right now. I just want to say, that when i was 2-or-so-weeks-player, i couldn't figure out  what could be wrong, because everything seemed uncomfortable to me, hahahaha! XD I'm not saying, that You can't do it either, but before buying something expensive, be sure that You really need it. Some people find that Bonmusica inconvenient for themselves dunno

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Johannes

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May 28, 2013 - 2:06 am
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I use a Wolf Forte Primo, but of all the shoulder rests I've tried, the Bonmusica was the second best for my comfort. Indeed, it has the significant advantage of being slip-proof, whereas the Wolf will occasionally permit the violin to slide if my chin, usually through sweat, starts to lose its grip.

On the other hand, to me that was also the weakness of the Bonmusica. Its slip-proof curvature was too restrictive on the shoulder, preventing the kind of left arm maneuverability that felt natural to me.

It's also why so many of the previously listed virtuoso violinists don't use a shoulder rest. They've mastered the art to the point that the stability provided by a shoulder rest only becomes a restriction; the fluid flexibility and maneuverability of a shoulder rest-less violin becomes an advantage.

But for most, including most professional violinists, the added stability is a real help, and there really is nothing preventing you from going shoulder rest-less in the future if you want to.

And yes, definitely make sure you have the right chin rest for you! Pick that out before picking a shoulder rest.

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Feathers
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May 28, 2013 - 3:43 am
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Wanted to add another reason to the mix for deciding whether or not to use a shoulder rest.

In 17 years I had never used one, but also never learned to hold the violin properly with shoulder/Do you get neck tension.

Then, last summer on a very hot day while playing, I noticed that my old acoustic kind of stuck to my shirt (of course a white shirt), and low and behold the varnish had worn off on the back. Needless to say, I won't play without one now. Not to mention, it's a lot more comfortable too.....lol!

Anyway, I don't know if the idea of saving your violin's finish is helpful to anyone, but it's definitely something to consider.

 

"Music is what feelings sound like." ~ Author Unknown

 

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Mad_Wed
Russia, Tatarstan rep. Kazan city
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May 28, 2013 - 12:04 pm
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WoW, Feathers, that's an interesting observation! I could never imagine that thing can happen surprised

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Mustang
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I also use the Bonmusic shoulder rest. I've had it for over a year and it works great for me! The only thing I don't like about it is it doesn't fit in my case. xD

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LyleA
Little Rock, AR

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I'm late to the party, but great review @Mad_Wed.  I have considered using one of these.  I just purchased a green Poehland Shoulder Pad (Poehland Pad) from the "Shop" and it should be arriving today or tomorrow in the mail.

I think my biggest problem is my chinrest.  It is extremely uncomfortable in just about every position.  Luckily there is a local violin shop with a wide selection to test out before I make a blind purchase online.

Never mind maneuvers, just go straight at them.

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HDuaneaz
Chandler, Arizona

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November 14, 2013 - 3:24 pm
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I have had a bonmusica for several years, and I like it.

Duane

 

"Violin is one of the joys of my life."

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Mykel

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September 27, 2016 - 11:45 pm
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Tyberius said
I've not posted in quite a while, but this topic is one i think about alot. I am up in the air about shoulder rests. I have dabbled in using nothing more then a small bean bag on my shoulder. I presently have a Kun Bravo, but really is it honestly needed?

Many great violinists, including Tibor Varga, Aaron RosandArthur GrumiauxAnne-Sophie MutterDavid OistrakhJascha HeifetzJoseph SzigetiYehudi Menuhin, Henryk Szeryng, Ivry Gitlis, ElmanNigel Kennedy, Nathan Milstein, Pinchas Zukerman, Michael Rabin, Fritz Kreisler, Efrem Zimbalist, Isaac Stern, Eugène Ysaÿe and let us not forget the great  Itzhak Perlman have not used a shoulder rest.

Players in general seem have all kinds of muscular/tendon problems in their neck, back, and shoulder. I wonder if its because as violinist/violist that we are no longer letting our body posture support the instrument and we are letting the "rests" compensate for incorrect placement/holding. It is a relatively new "creation" for the musician comparitively speaking.

There is scientific backing for the thoughts about tone, volume, and overall dampening while the shoulder rest is in place. It can also damage the finish on the back. I just don't know.  

Itzhak Perlman, while conducting a master class in China, was asked why he didn't use a shoulder rest. His answer to that question was to pull a sponge out from under his jacket. It APPEARS that he doesn't use a shoulder rest, but Clark Kent and Superman would see it. 

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Charles
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September 28, 2016 - 10:39 am
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My take on this is that anyone who has a growth on their left shoulder (right shoulder, if they play a left-handed violin) that perfectly supports the violin should not use a shoulder rest.

For everybody else, it's optional.

According to my teacher, originally, there were no shoulder rests, or chin rests. They were invented to help people hold the violin more stably and/or more comfortably.

I can't use a standard chin rest (the Guarneri style).  A bare violin will dig into my jaw painfully if I tilt my head over - my neck is too short to do that.

I played for a while with only a shoulder rest, and sometimes with neither. The big problem I ran into was that, since I needed to tug the violin in a little to keep it from slipping away from me, I slowly drifted sharp.  That's why chinrests were invented - to give violinists a way to hold the violin in place while they move their hand farther up the neck (i.e. towards the scroll).

Shoulder rests were invented because the violin can dig painfully into one's collarbone.  Using a chinrest aggravates this.

Personally, I've always wondered why people don't use a neck strap to connect to the end pin to solve the problem of the violin trying to escape out to the left. That and a small pad to protect the collarbone (for those who need it) would seem to work better than any chinrest/shoulder rest combo I've seen or come up with.

I'm currently using a monstrosity comprised of a regular shoulder rest and two or three layers of pipe insulation to get enough height (I put it fairly far out from my neck).  It works if I'm willing to have the violin fairly far around towards the front of me. That makes things very hard on my left arm, though, so I don't really consider it to be a final solution.

Check out http://www.violinistinbalance......ex.html.  What they found, in trying to get people to use good posture, is that a wild assortment of chinrests and/or shoulder rests were needed, and what worked well for one person was frequently disastrous for another.

So the idea that "people" should not (or should) use shoulder rests is ludicrous. There is no such thing. There are individual, specific people, and each person has their own needs. No blanket statement, pro or con, can possibly be correct.

If you, personally, find that a shoulder rest harms more than it helps, then don't use one. If you find that, for you, it helps more than it hurts, do use one.

Oh, and as to the damaging the varnish? The varnish is there to protect the wood (and to some degree make it pretty).  If years of use of a should rest wears the varnish off in a couple of spots, put more on.  (Just make sure you use the same kind as is already on there.)

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
September 28, 2016 - 3:57 pm
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Maybe some pictures would help us understand your idea. I don't know what Your link is broken for me. I gather that this is the correct site:
http://www.violinistinbalance......index.html
Curious as to your system.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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