From Erika Burns
Posted October 18, 2011 at 12:28 AM
I'm looking for a thin shoulder pad right now....less than an inch thick or high is preferable. Any suggestions?
you are not strating the rest-debate because a pad is not a shoulder rest.
The simplest version is home made from foam. Then their is somehting called Acousti Foam or similar which permits more vibration or somehting similar. Then there are those small small black pads that have a leather strap which attaches to the end button. Used to be somewhat popular in britain. You can still buy them here in Japan and the smalle rone is about an inch in depth.
the one Buri refers to is called 'Huber Pad' it's this one:
I also would recommend this one a lot, have tried it and it's great (though I don't use it as I personally cannot play with anything in between me and the violin), it will leave no patch on the violin (was worried whether it would but it doesn't) and so you don't need to use an elastic band:
I don't know if this is just a Chicago thing, but here I see a lot of round red cosmetic sponges (they're round, about 3" in diameter and 1/2" thick, some yucky flesh-like rubber). People paint rubber cement on one side and let that dry completely (several days, at least, I gather) and then stick it to the back of the violin, where it sticks without actually being glued. It's very common, and I have never seen varnish damage from one, though I won't go so far as to say it won't happen.
I see a link to it on Jo's Shar page above, with the see-similar-things link, and the black pad from Shar is a fancier version of the same thing, using a small spot of "wall-wakers" adhesive on the center of the back instead of rubber cement.
Round red sponges aren't just a Chicago thing.
Sally Beauty Supply sells a five-pack bag for $3.29.
Red makeup sponges are getting hard to find. Recent makeup trends have moved from sponge to brush application. Unfortunately, what was once a ubiquitous product is now a scarce one. Stockpile while the stockpiling is good...
I use the Sostenuto Shoulder Pad for violin, and a red sponge for viola. No pressure, no pain--they work for me.
Michael's suggestion is a very good one. Round/small cosmetic sponges are a much better option than a shoulder rest such as a Mach or Kun which throw everything out of position (tilting violin/elbow goes inwards etc.) mutes the violin's tone and takes away the individuality of a player's sound by clamping the sides of the violin. If you want to go from playing with a shoulder rest to using none, I'd recommend actually using these sponges as kind of an intermediary step before playing without one. I used to use a rubber band to afix a round cosmetic sponge to the back (one end of the rubber band on the corner and the other on the end button). This had minimal impact on muting the sound. Sponges still do mute the tone slightly however, playing without a shoulder rest will give you optimal sound and positioning.
Thank you so much, everyone!!! I'd been told about the red cosmetic sponges before, but couldn't find them in any of the stores. I will probably buy several of these and give them a shot!
When I was looking at one of the ones on Shar, I saw a link for the "Perfect Violin Shoulder Rest." Obviously that's a little presumptuous, I think, but it did look interesting. Has anyone had any experience with it?
The link is http://www.sharmusic.com/Shop-Shar/Accessories/Essentials/Shoulder-Rests/Perfect-Violin-Shoulder-Rest---One-Size.axd
Oh, yeah. We keep something nearly identical in a bunch of different sizes and heights for kids renting violins. It works pretty well. The contour is like a Kun, but it's soft. Adults never seem to buy them, but I think it would work fine.
Erika, at the end its personal preference but I'd recommend the cosmetic sponge over the PSR (perfect shoulder rest) simply because the PSR is too similar to a shoulder rest (just softer). It is all down to 'why' one wants/needs a sponge. The cosmetic sponge will set your violin free more than the PSR will.
'When I was looking at one of the ones on Shar, I saw a link for the "Perfect Violin Shoulder Rest." Obviously that's a little presumptuous, I think, but it did look interesting. Has anyone had any experience with it?'
Shar is an excellent company, but it's a business like anything else. Calling it the 'perfect' shoulder rest is old-fashioned marketing. :)
Nate, it`s a perfectly good product from a respectable company I suppose. I have no objection to throwing words like perfetc around since nobody is going to take them too literally. However, there are other aspects of the description whoich I do object to. First of al, it`s not a -shoulder rest- by any means. I know not everyone agrees with this position, but I am very strict about keeping the distinction between a pad and a shoulder rest. As I know you know, the distinction profoundly affects approach and usage. the whole psychology and theory behing -shoulder rests- is a fixed positon creating an immobile table that allows the arm to work freely without having to expend energy on `supporting` the violin in anyway shape or form. I fundamentally disagree with this extremely attractive notion but think that irrespective of the conlusions one comes to it is a postion that should be articulated. A pad on the other hand performs the function of mediation between this position and one of supproting the violin solely with the hand the latter of which I strongly advocate but take sa diffenret kind of approach, attitude and technique.
If this distinction is not kept clear then discussion and relevant advice for newbies becomes difficult and confusing. I am not at all impressed with teahcers who do not understand or are unable to articulate tis distinction and the reasons behind it.
The othe raspect of the advert that raises my hackles is the words `helps the studnet find a corretc posture,` which is the most dangerous thinking possible. The reverse is always true: one has posture and the violin adapts /is adapted to the body. The slightest suggestion of the opposite is asking for trouble .
Nonthing like a bit of extremism early in the morning,;)
I just got one of the Artino pads mentioned in Jo Parker's post above (the second link) and comparing it to the red Walgreen cosmetic sponges: The Artino is much firmer, a little thicker, and has a much smoother texture next to the skin . Although part of my reason for getting it was that I really liked the idea of black (versus the red of the cosmetic sponge), the part that touches your collarbone is a medium gray that has a texture similar to suede. I got the larger of the two sizes - thinking that the smaller one would be much too small. I should have measured my red one. The large black one is about 1/2 inch larger in diameter than the red one; the small black one would have been about 1/4 inch smaller. They recommend that you not leave the Artino pad on the violin when you're not playing, and include a nonstick "magic pad" that you use to cover the sticky spot when the pad is off of the violin. The sticky spot is not nearly as sticky as the dried rubber cement on the cosmetic sponge is, but feels like it would be secure.
For someone who is looking for something a little firmer, a little thicker, and smoother next to the skin than the red cosmetic sponge, the Artino would be worth a try. If you're happy with the size of the cosmetic sponge, I'd suggest ordering the smaller (7cm) of the Artino pads.
It was extremely effective for her as a pad...any thoughts on the effect of (already set) rubber cement on the varnish?
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