Bon Musica shoulder rest

June 27, 2023, 2:23 PM · How long did you use your Von Musica shoulder rest?
Did you eventually replace the whole thing, or just parts of it?

Replies (13)

June 28, 2023, 6:44 AM · A couple of months. I found it a bit restrictive
June 28, 2023, 12:41 PM · I tried one for viola for a couple of months. I found it too "contraption-y" and seemingly "not finished" in terms of refinement. Next I tried the Korfker and have not looked back - use those now on both violin and viola.
June 28, 2023, 2:31 PM · I agree that it's a shame they didn't keep refining the design over the years, Karl. Essentially it is a prototype that they just decided to turn into production (which financially seems to have worked well for them).
June 28, 2023, 6:05 PM · No hate from me-works well, and can be set up to be "unobtrusive" (not an instant adjustment to achieve this, however.) The stock form, which is supposed to work out of the box for many, would have injured me without the proper adjustments. Took a nice, long time to amke it my own. The sound is also not bad, though lacking in higher frequencies compared to say, a Luna. It doesn't kill the violin tone at all, but will affect it somewhat-you will still hear harmonics and have a clear sound if your setup is as such, it just emphasizes the violin's lower registers more.

It does *not* look unobtrusive at all-unwieldy appearance, difficult to store in smaller cases. I understand why many of you dislike its "giant apparatus"-looks. I used to dislike it when I was young, thinking it too cumbersome. But I was able to transform it in a way thay suits my playing and violin position, for the most part.

It could be more aesthetically pleasing for sure, but the old Wolf rests haven't changed in a while either! I think that used properly and with care, it can be a great musical tool for shoulder rests users.

I relaxed the "hook" quite a bit, and bent it in such fashion that it became quite comfortable, secure, and not dangerous at all. But admit it took a lot of tinkering and determination on my part. It does work well, but may not be the best for everyone.

June 28, 2023, 10:18 PM · Been using one for 4 or 5 years or so? Of the several I have, I've replaced a foot on one but that's it.

They work very, very well but require adjustment to fit your curvature and violin positioning. The curve out of the box is not necessarily what will work well for you. They also require finding the optimal placement on the fiddle to work correctly.

If you get it all dialed in, it's a little like fitting a prosthetic, they are very comfortable and supportive.

Edited: July 3, 2023, 4:55 PM · I've used my BonMusica rest for almost two years. I have a thin shoulder, so the hook design is comfortable. The "unfinished" look has never been a problem for me since a shoulder rest is ultimately for ergonomic rather than decorative purposes. Hilary Hahn used to wrap her shoulder rest in what looked like silver duck tape for extra comfort.

Edit: I also experimented too much with the malleable curve plate in the beginning and wound up cracking it. Luckily, Johnson String Instrument sells replacement BonMusica parts!

July 8, 2023, 11:46 AM · I don't know about others but I used mine for ~3 months before selling it off and keeping BonMusica low profile rest. For me, just the extra unhooking motion to take the violin off my shoulder was awful for left shoulder which already had 2 surgeries on. Also it restricted the shoulder movement too much for my taste.
Edited: July 20, 2023, 2:15 AM · I’ve used them for years now, with a break to go rest-less for a while. I’ve replaced the foam pads which is easy due to peel-and-stick adhesive. As Gabriel pointed out, Johnson Strings sells parts, including replacement foam pads.
Edited: July 20, 2023, 2:57 AM · A couple of hours. Mind, I've been through two or three chinrests since I bought it, so maybe it's time to give it another go. The low profile one sounds like it might suit me more.
July 21, 2023, 7:46 AM · About a week (last week!). It was the only shoulder rest I tried that didn't slip down my chest after a few minutes of playing-- I have the physique of a pre-workout Charles Atlas.

Prior to that I was playing rest-less, using instead a foam pad under the collarbone, but was becoming unhappy with the relative instability of this arrangement.

But as bent and shaped for my needs, the Bon Musica puts bare metal dangerously close to the fiddle back, so I looked for an alternative and was surprised to find no other rest that includes a rear extension or 'hook' over the back of shoulder. (Any suggestions?)

Yesterday I added an extension to a more conventional rest and we'll see how that goes.

July 21, 2023, 11:11 AM · Have you tried adding a thin sheet of foam to the back of the Bon Musica to prevent the metal from scratching the varnish in the event that it makes contact?
July 21, 2023, 2:18 PM · There's a low profile Bon Musica?
Edited: July 22, 2023, 1:47 PM · There is no low profile BonMusica that I could find from online dealers or at the manufacturer's website. I wish they made one though, for the reasons I mentioned above.

@Ella I did consider padding the sharp metal hinge that was threatening my varnish, but opted instead to improvise a hook on a Korfker rest. Fits perfectly, allows me to relax the chin hold, and at 38 total grams (vs 96 grams for the BonMusica), I barely even notice it's there.

This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

Facebook YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music Shopping Guide Shopping Guide

JR Judd Violins
JR Judd Violins

Los Angeles Philharmonic
Los Angeles Philharmonic

Corilon Violins
Corilon Violins

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Anne Cole Violin Maker
Anne Cole Violin Maker

Miroirs CA Classical Music Journal
Miroirs CA Classical Music Journal

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

Classic Violin Olympus

Coltman Chamber Music Competition

Metzler Violin Shop

Southwest Strings

Bobelock Cases

Johnson String Instrument/Carriage House Violins

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Jargar Strings


Violin Lab



Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine