Fiddleheads.ca Technique Advice and FAQs
Q: I recently purchased a Bonmusica shoulder rest for my 17" viola, and I got the right size but I can't even put the darn thing on.
It's really upsetting because I was really hoping this shoulder rest could defeat my tension problems.
Somewhere in the directions it mentions something about adjusting the "angular sections" but no matter what I do they don't move. Do I need a wrench or something to loosen the nuts in order to move them? Help would be greatly appreciated, thank you.
Answer from Rhiannon
Thank you for your email. I strive to serve my customers exceptionally well and hope my input is the best you will receive.
I am guessing your instrument has wider than normal bouts (perhaps it is a Guarneri model) and the rest does need to be adjusted.
To answer your question: no, you do not loosen any screws.
The shoulder rest has to be very slightly bent back to a straighter position at this part here (see diagram at right).
This angular section on the side opposite the "hook" is bent and in order to make it fit you have to use your hands to gently straighten it. A little adjusting goes a long way here. Slightly straightening this section will widen the reach of the rest and allow it to be fitted for your larger bouts.
Note it is VERY important that it is still a snug fit as you do not want it falling off and resulting in a falling viola!
This advice is useful for adjusting a violin or viola Bon Musica shoulder rest and applies to all sizes.
Though you did not purchase your shoulder rest with Fiddleheads I offered this advice to you in good faith that you will choose to shop with us in the future.