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Thread: Arm rest. Y or N?

  1. #1
    Registered User LastMohican's Avatar
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    Default Arm rest. Y or N?

    So, I'm considering grabbing an armrest from Northfield for the new F-5S. My main motivation is as a means for protecting the finish in the area where your forearm remains in contact with the mandolin body. But, in terms of benefits, it that the only one or is the use of an arm rest also suppose provide for a superior playing position? Enlighten me, cats!
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    Pittsburgh Bill
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    Default Re: Arm rest. Y or N?

    Yes for me, but you just need to try one to see if they work for you. It is a minimal investment and you should be able to recoup at least half of your investment by reselling it if you don't like it.
    I do not use one for the purpose of mandolin finish protection, but instead to support my arm. I assume this isn't an issue for most people I see as they either rest the heel of their hand on the bridge or plant their pinky. Instead.while I may on occassion plant the heel of my hand on the bridge .I usually play with a free hand. The armrest assists me in keeping my hand in position for my playing technique.
    See what works for you.
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  3. #3
    Registered User John Soper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arm rest. Y or N?

    Arm rest in the summer keeps insect repellant or sunscreen off of you instrument, if you play outdoors. Or you could wear a "shooter's sleeve" that basketball players sometimes wear, but that can be rather warm in North Carolina summers.

  4. #4
    Hands of Pot Metal
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    Default Re: Arm rest. Y or N?

    They can elevate your wrist off the face, which can be good, and damage the finish, depending on the type of finish. I have a couple, but don't use them typically. That said, I have 2 mandolins that have them on all the time, but I'm not playing those a lot now. I thought I'd notice a big difference, and perhaps I did originally, but obviously I don't now.

    Don't seem to be wearing the finish.

    My $.02. Ymmv.
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    Default Re: Arm rest. Y or N?

    I put one on my Eastman 315 a few years ago, and immediately noticed it sounded better, due to my arm not dampening the top. My dad liked what it did on the Eastman, and put them on all of his. Beyond the function, I think they look cool.

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    Default Re: Arm rest. Y or N?

    Everything mentioned above is true. In reality, it's a matter of personal preference. My 2
    David Hopkins

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  7. #7
    Registered User Jake Biddix's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arm rest. Y or N?

    I played without one on my Weber for many years. The finish was satin from the factory, now it is glossed in that area by me!

    But I will say, I bought one for my other mandolin and now I can't help but want one for both. To me it is a comfort thing. I bought a McClung, and it really made it more comfortable to play for extended amounts of time. So my opinion is yes, try it out! I don't regret buying one at all.
    Jake B.
    Charleston, SC

  8. #8
    Registered User Chris W.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Arm rest. Y or N?

    In addition to the benefits already stated above, I find that an armrest helps offset the weight of the headstock. Especially on an F5 shape with a tonegard on.
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  10. #9
    I really look like that soliver's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arm rest. Y or N?

    Yes... I'm a fan of armrests.
    aka: Spencer
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  12. #10
    F5G & MD305 Astro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arm rest. Y or N?

    yes
    No matter where I go, there I am...Unless I'm running a little late.

  13. #11
    Hands of Pot Metal
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    Default Re: Arm rest. Y or N?

    Quote Originally Posted by soliver View Post
    Yes... I'm a fan of armrests.
    Duh

    Yours lives on my Ratliff A.
    Last edited by Bill McCall; Jun-27-2020 at 10:27pm.
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  14. #12
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    Default Re: Arm rest. Y or N?

    Quote Originally Posted by soliver View Post
    Yes... I'm a fan of armrests.
    I'll bet you are and you make good ones, too.
    David Hopkins

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    Registered User John Flynn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arm rest. Y or N?

    Yes, definitely.

  16. #14
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    Default Re: Arm rest. Y or N?

    It protects the finish of the instrument, especially in the summer when we wear short sleeves. I use a terry cloth wrist band like tennis players use, worn a little higher up my left arm. Works the same way. Does everything I need doing.
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  17. #15

    Default Re: Arm rest. Y or N?

    Emphatic yes! In addition to really disliking sweaty mandolas/mandolins, my elbow tends to fall just wrong enough that it's really uncomfortable without. Two of mine are angled from Doug at Hill Country String Works & that has the added benefit of positioning my hand better than I do on my own.

  18. #16
    not a donut Kevin Winn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arm rest. Y or N?

    Y.
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    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arm rest. Y or N?

    Another yes - due to protecting finish. Especially in summer. I sweat a ton, and have damaged the finish on many of my guitars over the years. Do I hear a difference? Not really. Do I like the looks? Yes. Are they more comfortable? Yes.

    Like some others, I also try to have more of a floating right hand and find it helps keep the hand in place. And that becomes doubly necessary on my Eastman OM. Elevates the arm to a position where everything is comfortable.
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    Default Re: Arm rest. Y or N?

    I'm considering an armrest for my 1919 Gibson A. Will it (or will some armrests in particular) fit in the original Gibson case?

  21. #19
    Registered User J Mangio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arm rest. Y or N?

    No arm rest here, in the past I used them on my Gibson and Kentucky because of the sharp edge where my arm pressed against the side, it worked for that, my forearm still would rest on the mando top behind the bridge.
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  22. #20
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    Default Re: Arm rest. Y or N?

    The armrest I installed on my 1914 Gibson A reminds me to hold the instrument in the correct position. Otherwise, I tend to hug it, the way I played the Carl Fischer bowlback I learned on.

  23. #21
    Mandolin user MontanaMatt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arm rest. Y or N?

    The short answer, Y.
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    Registered User CWRoyds's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arm rest. Y or N?

    Yes, and I advise you to get a McClung.
    https://hillcountrystringworks.com/armrest5.html

    I love Northfield mandolins, but I have had an armrest like the one they offer, and they are nowhere near as comfy as a McClung.
    The McClung is a bit wider and curved, so it becomes unnoticeable under your arm.
    They are beautiful too.
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    Registered User Buck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arm rest. Y or N?

    Big no for me. I dislike the looks, the feel, and the fact that the guards themselves often damage the finish. I'd much rather see wear from playing than wear from the clamp. I feel the same way about the stick-on JP armrests on guitars.
    Todd Yates

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  28. #24
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    Default Re: Arm rest. Y or N?

    I had a guy make me arm rests decades ago. My sweat was fogging the varnish, and the purfling was giving my forearm a permanent crease. Never looked back. BTW, no indication of any finish damage on any of me arm-rested instruments.

  29. #25
    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arm rest. Y or N?

    Quote Originally Posted by Buck View Post
    Big no for me. I dislike the looks, the feel, and the fact that the guards themselves often damage the finish. I'd much rather see wear from playing than wear from the clamp. I feel the same way about the stick-on JP armrests on guitars.
    +1 for me. Same goes for Tonegard.
    ...

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