Disclaimer: This is not about the merits of SR vs. no-SR. I'm tired of that topic too. I just need some help with my set up.
I have never been really happy with my set-up and right now I am totally fed up with it. I need some advice if you don't mind. I have been using a bonmusica shoulder rest for years but lately I have switched to a simple pad that I made by rolling up a small towel. It's definitely less restrictive. I was wondering if this would dampen the tone, but I'm not sure if that's a valid concern. I realize that you'd have to hear it in person to tell me whether it really is problematic, but can someone tell me if this is generally considered to be an impediment to the tone? Under my ear I have to be honest that I cannot tell much difference, sound-wise. The main difference that I perceive between the shoulder rest and my home-made towel pad is that the towel allows for more freedom of movement, which I like.
I have attached this photo of the back of my violin with the pad in the position that I have for playing. Under my ear the tone seems quite full, but when I played for other people almost no one could tell the difference between the bonmusica, the towel, and nothing at all. My roommate said she thought I got the fullest tone with the shoulder rest but I'm thinking it's possible that I just happened to play louder with it since I'm used to it. I suppose a pad won't be quite the same tone as nothing at all, but do you think it is more or less as muffling as a regular shoulder rest? It could be my imagination but under my ear I think it sounds the same as playing with nothing. I could be wrong though.
I realize that many will tell me to go without any support at all. I don't think I have time to learn how to do that right now because I am learning Chausson's Poeme for a recital and I have auditions coming up. Years ago I injured my shoulder playing rugby and it is not comfortable to bring it forward for long hours of practice. I just want to know if anyone else uses a pad or a sponge (or even a bit of towel like me) and if you think it compromises the tone.
This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.
Violinist.com is made possible by...
Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.