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Thread: Pickgaurds forgotten?

  1. #26
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    Default Re: Pickgaurds forgotten?

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    The overwhelming majority of those who play without a pick guard are not top players.
    Yes, the overwhelming majority of those who play without a pick guard are not top players. But the overwhelming majority of those who play WITH a pick guard are not top players, either. In fact, the overwhelming majority of those who play are not top players.

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  3. #27
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickgaurds forgotten?

    The upshot of it all seems to be that pick gourds grow in pinky plantations
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  5. #28
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    Default Re: Pickgaurds forgotten?

    Mine would look okay without a pickguard--but it would lose some of the visual vibe...
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  6. #29
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    Default Re: Pickgaurds forgotten?

    Quote Originally Posted by sblock View Post
    5) Bill Monroe did not have a pickguard on his Loar. In fact, his Loar probably had lost it by the time he acquired it from that barber shop in Florida. Most orginal Loar pick guards have either been lost over time or rotted away by now. The ones on them today are often replacements/replicas, if they have them at all. Never discount the fact that so many bluegrass players try to copy WSM in all possible ways, including not having a pick guard.
    When Monroe purchased his Loar #73987 in Jan. '45, it was in mint condition and included the pick guard/finger rest. Telling from pics, he kept it on and off at least during the time Flatt & Scruggs were with him. Ricky Skaggs (Fretboard Journal #17; Spring 2010, p. 62) lets us know that Monroe gave him that very pick guard in 1974to use on Skaggs' newly purchased first Loar, which came without a pick guard. ("Is this off your old Loar?" He said, "Yes, it is.").

    As far as I can tell, Bluegrass mandolinists generally kept their pick guard off following Monroe's example. The first better known exceptions may have been David McLaughlin and later David Grisman and Mike Compton. I'd guess that collectors tend to keep the pick guard on. After all, a Loar without a pick guard looks like a '60s limousine without hubcaps, doesn't it?

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  8. #30
    Fatally Flawed willkamm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickgaurds forgotten?

    I guess about a quarter of the 35 or so mandolins I have owned came with a pickguard. I always took them off until I purchased a Northfield F5S. Maybe cause I purchased it brand new? IDK. I just couldn't bring myself to remove it. It's a nice one. I no longer plant or even brush near the guard (or where one would be). The three fingers not on the pick I keep curled under. I wouldn't add one, but I actually like the looks of the one on the Northfield. There was a time where I would have sworn a pickguard dampened the sound of the mandolin, especially an F hole.
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  9. #31
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    Default Re: Pickgaurds forgotten?

    Well ... the first mandolin I played, a borrowed Gibson A 3 white top, had a pickguard. So have all the ones I have since acquired. I guess I am just used to having them on the instrument. Can I play a mandolin w/o a pickguard....... I suppose .... it just hasn't come up. R/
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  10. #32
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    Default Re: Pickgaurds forgotten?

    The Loar style p/g always looked too big, taking up about 1/4 of the mandolin face. Some abbreviated guards look cool and work well. I had this made for my Gilchrist. It sits in the case
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  11. #33

    Default Re: Pickgaurds forgotten?

    Quote Originally Posted by willkamm View Post
    I guess about a quarter of the 35 or so mandolins I have owned came with a pickguard. I always took them off until I purchased a Northfield F5S. Maybe cause I purchased it brand new? IDK. I just couldn't bring myself to remove it. It's a nice one.
    Having owned right around a quarter of your grand total (9 if my recollection is working today) I was the same. Didn't care for the guard/rest and off they came, but the NF's abbreviated one just works for me. I've really thought about removing it a couple times but in the end feel it would detract rather than enhance the appearance, which is the opposite of every previous decision. And aesthetics are my only consideration since I don't touch the rest while playing.

    Perhaps it's just the abbreviated style I like, even to the point I've considered adding a small one to my KM270 after quickly dispensing with the original humongous abomination it came with. Probably won't. But maybe.

    However, I would never add a pickguard to a mandolin that was not built with one.

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  13. #34
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    Default Re: Pickgaurds forgotten?

    Both my F5's have abbreviated pickguards, but I'm still a fan of the full pickguards used on the Loars, and most Gilchrists as well. To me, they look like they belong there.

    I was taught to plant my pinky playing guitar, and of course I carried that over to mandolin. Even though I've tried to break the habit, it is hard, so the guard/rest does serve a purpose for me.
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    Default Re: Pickgaurds forgotten?

    This discussion has me seriously worried. I don't have a pickguard, and never felt the need. Still, the top of my mandolin has barely a scratch. There must be something very wrong with my technique!

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  16. #36
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    Default Re: Pickgaurds forgotten?

    I have had p-g's on and off various mandolins that I've owned. I only minded them when they would loosen, typically the abbreviated versions. Both of my Collings F's came without. I do have armrests on each and believe that I'm less likely to brush or scratch the lower surface area due to the positioning of my arm again the armrest (an aha moment).
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  17. #37
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    Default Re: Pickgaurds forgotten?

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  18. #38
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    Default Re: Pickgaurds forgotten?

    I don't plant, but let my fingers drag. I never used a pick-guard/finger rest on mandolins (mainly because they came without them) and my Elkhorn A-5 certainly shows that it's never had a pick-guard. However, I always had to dial out the sound/thump of my fingers hitting the top of the mandolin when I was plugged in. My White F-5 came with an abbreviated guard and I've left it on. While it has taken some getting used to, I have really come to like it. I feel like it's forced my right hand technique to be altered and I think in a positive way and the thump is not an issue any longer.

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  19. #39
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    Default Re: Pickgaurds forgotten?

    Hi where did you purchase that F-9?
    I had a 2002 and miss that thing...

  20. #40
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    Default Re: Pickgaurds forgotten?

    Quote Originally Posted by Demetrius View Post
    Hi where did you purchase that F-9?
    I had a 2002 and miss that thing...
    I'm guessing you're talking to me... I received the F-9 somewhat by surprise in trade for a banjo that a dear friend wanted -- he was the original owner of the F-9. It's a 2002, and like you, I'd also miss it if it were gone.

    Back on topic, I use pickguards (aka finger rests) along with armrests on all my main-playing mandolins and also on my main-playing banjos. I also use ToneGards on my main playing mandolins and resonators of one kind or another on my main playing banjos. I learned to rest my fingers by playing the banjo and for both instruments, don't like having my arms, hands or fingers on the vibrating sound board or on the head in the case of banjos.

    Here's what banjos look like with a pick guard (aka head-guard, finger rest):
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    -- Don

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  21. #41
    Registered User George R. Lane's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickgaurds forgotten?

    Quote Originally Posted by sblock View Post
    Yes, the overwhelming majority of those who play without a pick guard are not top players. But the overwhelming majority of those who play WITH a pick guard are not top players, either. In fact, the overwhelming majority of those who play are not top players.

    I resemble that.
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  22. #42
    Mandolin user MontanaMatt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickgaurds forgotten?

    I'm a professional player. 1500 shows in 13 years.
    No guards/rest.
    No wear
    Closed fist free movement method.
    I like the look of seeing both f holes.
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  23. #43
    en kunnskapssøker James Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickgaurds forgotten?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus B View Post
    I like Marla Fibish's knuckle groove much more than any pick-guard I have seen. She discusses it from about 3:40 in this video:

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  24. #44
    en kunnskapssøker James Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickgaurds forgotten?

    Some pickguards are well made...
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  25. #45

    Default Re: Pickgaurds forgotten?

    Pickguards are decorative, and many of them cover some of the lower f-hole. Most instrument decoration just looks ugly to me - scrolls, binding, inlay - and have no reason to cover an f-hole. Decoration also costs money to maintain. For instance, I just paid to have the binding on my old Martin guitar repaired and the deteriorating pickguard replaced.

    Neither of my mandos came with pickguards. Wouldn't have liked them as much if they did.

    Never noticed what other folks are doing - didn't know it was a fad. But it's nice to know I'm cutting edge after all these years!

  26. #46
    mandolin slinger Steve Ostrander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickgaurds forgotten?

    Not a fan. Don't use them. In case anyone is taking a poll.
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  27. #47
    Registered User Mike Snyder's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickgaurds forgotten?

    No pick guard/finger rest on mine, but I do bang my pinky fingernail into the top somehow. Barely noticeable on the hard nitro of the F5, but the varnish A4 was getting micro dents. So I applied a thin plastic material (Stu-Mac, I believe) in the area of the dents. Had enough for both instruments. Almost invisible effective protection. A few of the instruments I had over the years had guards and I remember various hassles keeping them from rattling.
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  28. #48

    Default Re: Pickgaurds forgotten?

    Any of y'all that have taken them off (especially those big ugly sound-blocking Gibson ones) and view them as useless ornamentation, please feel free to send them my way. PM me for mailing address.
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  29. #49
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickgaurds forgotten?

    Quote Originally Posted by sblock View Post
    In fact, the overwhelming majority of those who play are not top players.
    And, amazingly enough, that is irrespective of pickguard usage.
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  30. #50
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    Default Re: Pickgaurds forgotten?

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    And, amazingly enough, that is irrespective of pickguard usage.
    Yeah. A pickguard alone will NOT make you a better player. But better hand position will. So if the pickguard leads to that, great. But you certainly don't require it for good right-hand technique.

    What a pickguard WILL do is protect the top surface of your mandolin from finger planting, finger brushing, pick damage, and the like. Almost all mandolins whose owners plant a finger show some level of top damage. And lots and lots of mandolins whose owners brush (however lightly) eventually show some damage, as well -- it just takes longer to show up.

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