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Thread: Removing a pickguard/fingerrest

  1. #1
    Gypsy Mandola Gypsy's Avatar
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    Default Removing a pickguard/fingerrest

    I donít like the pick guard on my Mandola !
    it seriously impedes my playing since Iíve never had one before and it seems to get in the way. Iím determined to take it off and would need some professional advice.
    Iím not afraid of tools being I am a Silversmith.
    Are there any foreseeable issues I may have and how would I go about it ?
    screwdriver ?
    Itís on a bracket that attaches on the side Of the Mandola and two screws under the fretboard.
    Thank you
    ď A Broken Heart can be a Painfully Beautiful thing for a Songwriter ď
    ~Shari Windsor

  2. #2
    Registered User sblock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Removing a pickguard/fingerrest

    If you're soliciting advice, you really should specify what make and model of mandola you own! Posting a picture or two would certainly help. Not all pickguards attach in the same way. Some, like Gibsons, attach on the fingerboard side with two pins that slide into small holes in the side of the fingerboard. Others are glued onto a wooden ledge attached to the side of the fingerboards. Still others affix with screws, not pins.

    You wrote that yours is attached with screws under the fingerboard. Have you simply tried unscrewing these screws, and seeing if the pickguard just comes off easily? If it doesn't, then the chances are pretty good that there's also a bit of glue involved. In that case, you'll need to break the glue joint.

    On a different note, you wrote that the pickguard "seriously impedes" your playing. I have no reason to doubt you, but it really shouldn't be happening if you are using good right-hand technique. Is it possible that you're used to posting your pinky (or other fingers) on the mandolin top? In that case, the pickguard would get in the way and prevent that posting. But (ahem) you probably should consider revising your playing position to stop posting. Just a helpful thought; not a criticism.

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  4. #3
    Gypsy Mandola Gypsy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Removing a pickguard/fingerrest

    Right !
    Yes, Iím used to placing my pinky on the top. Iím self taught so thereís that.
    Iíll try unscrewing it. Thanks !
    ď A Broken Heart can be a Painfully Beautiful thing for a Songwriter ď
    ~Shari Windsor

  5. #4
    Gypsy Mandola Gypsy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Removing a pickguard/fingerrest

    I got it.
    Amazing how much louder this thing is now ! Wow !!!
    ď A Broken Heart can be a Painfully Beautiful thing for a Songwriter ď
    ~Shari Windsor

  6. #5
    Mandolin user MontanaMatt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Removing a pickguard/fingerrest

    Quote Originally Posted by sblock View Post
    If you're soliciting advice, you really should specify what make and model of mandola you own! Posting a picture or two would certainly help. Not all pickguards attach in the same way. Some, like Gibsons, attach on the fingerboard side with two pins that slide into small holes in the side of the fingerboard. Others are glued onto a wooden ledge attached to the side of the fingerboards. Still others affix with screws, not pins.

    You wrote that yours is attached with screws under the fingerboard. Have you simply tried unscrewing these screws, and seeing if the pickguard just comes off easily? If it doesn't, then the chances are pretty good that there's also a bit of glue involved. In that case, you'll need to break the glue joint.

    On a different note, you wrote that the pickguard "seriously impedes" your playing. I have no reason to doubt you, but it really shouldn't be happening if you are using good right-hand technique. Is it possible that you're used to posting your pinky (or other fingers) on the mandolin top? In that case, the pickguard would get in the way and prevent that posting. But (ahem) you probably should consider revising your playing position to stop posting. Just a helpful thought; not a criticism.

    I find pick guards interfere with my playing. I use a closed fist, without planting a finger. Future readers might interpret the above comment as an indication that pick guards are always appropriate....they are not.
    Personally, I find them generally unattractive, like a mud flap on a Ferrari
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  8. #6
    Gypsy Mandola Gypsy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Removing a pickguard/fingerrest

    Iím definitely gonna work on that pinky planting !
    I started today. Old habits ! Bad habit I now understand.
    And, yes I think my Mandola also looks a lot better without it.
    mud flaps on a Ferrari lol 😂
    ď A Broken Heart can be a Painfully Beautiful thing for a Songwriter ď
    ~Shari Windsor

  9. #7
    Registered User sblock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Removing a pickguard/fingerrest

    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaMatt View Post
    I find pick guards interfere with my playing. I use a closed fist, without planting a finger. Future readers might interpret the above comment as an indication that pick guards are always appropriate....they are not.
    Personally, I find them generally unattractive, like a mud flap on a Ferrari
    De gustibus non est disputandum. Of course, you're entitled to an opinion that pickguards are unattractive. And of course, you should feel free to remove them from any instruments you may own. You can burn them if you wish, or grind them up inside a blender, or donate them to charity. But if you play with a closed hand, as you say, and still find that a pickguard gets in your way, you must have a very unusual pickstroke.

  10. #8
    Registered User sblock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Removing a pickguard/fingerrest

    By the way, these Ferraris all sport mudflaps! Sw-e-e-e-e-t!!

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  11. #9

    Default Re: Removing a pickguard/fingerrest

    I, too, was a pinky planter. To the point where it was affecting the finish on my prized mandolin I built. I also found myself hooking my 3rd finger under the E string when playing to orient myself. I have since put slender finger rests on my main players. The are set low, coming in at the bottom of the fingerboard and angle downward at 14 degrees. The are made of ebony and sanded/polished smooth. In playing, my fingertips just brush the surface of the finger rest for registration. Every bluegrass player that has picked up my instrument has hated the finger rest. Different strokes.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  12. #10
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    Default Re: Removing a pickguard/fingerrest

    My Northfield F5S came with a pickguard, but the minute Mike Marshall saw it, he recommended I remove it.

    Why? Because, he said, if it's there then sooner of later you're going to start planting that pinky on it. (which is a no-go in his view of good RH posture)

    So that's one school of thought, but it was good enough for me. I prefer the look of it "naked" anyway.

  13. #11
    Registered User sblock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Removing a pickguard/fingerrest

    Quote Originally Posted by Gina Willis View Post
    My Northfield F5S came with a pickguard, but the minute Mike Marshall saw it, he recommended I remove it.

    Why? Because, he said, if it's there then sooner of later you're going to start planting that pinky on it. (which is a no-go in his view of good RH posture)

    So that's one school of thought, but it was good enough for me. I prefer the look of it "naked" anyway.
    Aaaagh. But the OP sought to remove his pickguard because he found it more difficult to plant his pinky on it, being used to planting his pinky directly on the top! So now, we have folks wanting to have it both ways: remove the pickguard to make pinky planting easier, and remove the pickguard to make pinky planting harder! Sigh.

    It's probably worth repeating: If you have proper right hand technique, and don't plant your pinky, and your pickstroke is in the correct plane, then the pickguard does not get in the way.

  14. #12
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Removing a pickguard/fingerrest

    I believe Gypsy is a woman.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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