Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 36

Thread: Mandolin armrests - Yes, No, Type?

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Guildford + Falmouth England
    Posts
    220

    Default Mandolin armrests - Yes, No, Type?

    Hi:

    As I wait for my mandolin to be delivered (Brexit customs holdups from Holland according to the retailer), I'm wondering if I need an arm rest. Whaddya think - good, bad, indifferent, if good what type?

    Thanks, Max

  2. #2
    Registered User Tom Sanderson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Saint Augustine, FL
    Posts
    571

    Default Re: Mandolin armrests - Yes, No, Type?

    Iíve playing mandolin for 45 years. Never used one, or felt the need for it. But to each his own, some people like all the extra gadgets. I donít think it will affect your playing either way.

  3. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Tom Sanderson For This Useful Post:


  4. #3
    Registered User John Soper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Posts
    1,147

    Default Re: Mandolin armrests - Yes, No, Type?

    I think the opinions about armrests will be all over the map. You don't "need" one to play mandolin. I personally like the McClung armrests and have them on several instruments - they protect the top from insect repellant and sweat if you are playing outdoors in a hot & humid climate like North Carolina. They elevate the forearm off of the somewhat sharp edge of the mandolin. Some players like the change in forearm angle produced by the arm rest. On the minus side: they may leave an impression in new finish, especially if they have cork padding, and add something to the profile of the mandolin. Most cases will fit a mandolin with an armrest attached, but some won't. You will either love them, hate them or be neutral about having an armrest on your mandolin.

  5. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to John Soper For This Useful Post:


  6. #4

    Default Re: Mandolin armrests - Yes, No, Type?

    It really depends on how you hold the mandolin. If you steady the mando with your forearm you might find it's more comfortable to have an armrest.

    I think it also puts your wrist in a slightly more ergonomic position.

    I like the McClung armrest. I usually put a tonegard and an armrest on all my mandolins.
    Trillium Mandola
    Northfield NF5S
    Gernandt Octave mandolin
    Collings MT2-0
    www.singletonstreet.com

  7. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Chuck Leyda For This Useful Post:


  8. #5
    Registered User J Mangio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Spring Hope, NC
    Posts
    430

    Default Re: Mandolin armrests - Yes, No, Type?

    I've used armrests on 2 of my previously owned Mandolins to soften the edge from digging into my arm.
    I don't use one on my current player.
    2020 The Loar Supreme LM700 VS

  9. The following members say thank you to J Mangio for this post:

    maxr 

  10. #6
    Registered User Eric Hanson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Bloomington, IN / USA
    Posts
    754

    Default Re: Mandolin armrests - Yes, No, Type?

    I am of the opinion that, yes, they do offer benefits.
    What I find is they raise the forearm enough it lowers the angle of the wrist. This allowing for less tension in the wrist.
    I also find that using an armrest allows for “anchoring” my forearm to the armrest, allowing for freedom of movement in my wrist. I am not one who plants my pinky on the top or on a pickguard. I work at having a floating wrist that allows for greater ease of movement.
    Type?:
    I REALLY like the McClung Armrests. They have a ridge toward to outside edge that fits to the mandolin only where the mandolin has less resonating wood. Think on top of the binding. It also has a higher profile than a couple other brands I have either owned or seen.
    Eric Hanson
    Click #016/ Born on 2/29/08 - Sold to the next Conservator of this great mandolin!
    The search has ceased! (At least for now)
    Collings A-Style

  11. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Eric Hanson For This Useful Post:


  12. #7

    Default Re: Mandolin armrests - Yes, No, Type?

    Yes! I have one on each of my two mandolins that get the most play time. I made them, but they are similar to McClungs. Besides comfort and better wrist angle, I find that they make it easier for me to stay anchored in the sweet spot right at the end of the fingerboard.

  13. The following members say thank you to Rob Roy for this post:

    maxr 

  14. #8
    Gibson F5L Gibson A5L
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    2,321
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Mandolin armrests - Yes, No, Type?

    You may need one to protect your mandolin from your perspiration if it has a high or low Ph. And some people just like the angle change on their picking hand. As inexpensive as they are in comparison to the original outlay for your instrument you can audition one without going to the bank for a loan. Enjoy that mandolin. R/
    I love hanging out with mandolin nerds . . . . . Thanks peeps ...

  15. The following members say thank you to UsuallyPickin for this post:

    maxr 

  16. #9
    Be Wild Zach Wilson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Kent, Washington
    Posts
    1,052

    Default Re: Mandolin armrests - Yes, No, Type?

    First off, I've never used one.

    However, if you have the money to try one (or any accessory), and they are not that expensive, I don't see any reason not to give it a shot. You could always sell it here in the Classifieds if it's not your cup of tea.

    Cafe member Soliver makes some beautiful looking arm rests and post them to the Classifieds every so often. I've been interested in one of his.

  17. The following members say thank you to Zach Wilson for this post:

    maxr 

  18. #10

    Default Re: Mandolin armrests - Yes, No, Type?

    I picked up one of the basic Cumberland armrests recently, having never used an armrest before. I play seated and use my forearm to steady the instrument. Going in, I thought the armrest would improve my playing posture, in the sense that I could have my forearm a tad further from my body and still keep the instrument steady.

    While I have noticed hardly a difference in my posture (the Cumberland is very low-profile), I have noticed a big change in tone! And that's because my forearm is no longer dampening the top wood. It's a big change in sound and kind of took some getting used to. Some might like it, some might not.

    Since the Cumberlands are relatively inexpensive in the US, it seemed like a worthwhile experiment before upgrading to a McClung or other custom-made piece. I'm not sure what the equivalent entry-level armrest would be in the UK.
    Eastman MD504
    D'Addario Nickel Bronze, Light
    Dunlop Primetone Triangle, 1.4 mm

    IG: @standing.wav

  19. The following members say thank you to standing.wav for this post:

    maxr 

  20. #11
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Outer Spiral Arm, of Galaxy, NW Oregon.
    Posts
    16,335

    Default Re: Mandolin armrests - Yes, No, Type?

    Got one for my Lebeda because the way the top and sides edge binding is , results in a sharp angle.

    the Mix Carbon Fiber A5 is rounded edge & so I don't need one on It ..

    (The A Jr series old Gibson mandolins, and 1 basic model from like Weber don't cut in and add the edge binding
    so rounding of that edge .. those wouldn't need one)





    ...
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

  21. The following members say thank you to mandroid for this post:

    maxr 

  22. #12
    I really look like that soliver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Marietta, GA
    Posts
    1,570

    Default Re: Mandolin armrests - Yes, No, Type?

    Yes...

    Aside from the comfort they offer, as well as protecting the finish from your sweat, I've always been of the opinion, that much in the same way that the Tone Gard holds the mandolin off your stomach allowing the back to reverberate freely, an armrest keeps your forearm from deadening the vibration of the top.

    Plus I just think they loo cool

    I know a place to get one...
    aka: Spencer
    Silverangel Econo A #429
    Jacobson Nautilus Oval Hole Prototype
    Soliver #001 Flattop Pancake

    Soliver Hand Crafted Mandolin Armrests
    Check them out here

    "You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage
    to lose sight of the shore, ...and also a boat with no holes in it.Ē -anonymous

  23. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to soliver For This Useful Post:


  24. #13
    Fingers of Concrete ccravens's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Crockett, TX
    Posts
    956

    Default Re: Mandolin armrests - Yes, No, Type?

    I prefer the Cumberland for their lower profile, and smaller, sleeker design, which leaves a smaller "footprint" on the top of the mando.
    Chris Cravens

    Girouard A5
    Montana Flatiron A-Jr.
    Passernig Mandola
    Leo Posch D-18

  25. The following members say thank you to ccravens for this post:

    maxr 

  26. #14
    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Co. Mayo, Ireland
    Posts
    3,084

    Default Re: Mandolin armrests - Yes, No, Type?

    I really like the McClung armrests and found that they put my arm at a good angle for playing. I decided to not put one on my Girouard when it arrived and have adjusted fine to playing without one, but I do find them helpful.
    2018 Girouard Concert oval A
    2015 JP "Whitechapel" tenor banjo
    1969 Martin 00-18




    my Youtube channel
    Blog: rural.trad.punk

  27. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Jill McAuley For This Useful Post:


  28. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    High Peak - UK
    Posts
    3,081

    Default Re: Mandolin armrests - Yes, No, Type?

    None of mine have armrests and, come to think of it, I can’t ever remember seeing a mandolin with an armrest (or a case with a case cover) in the UK. Might that say something? I do now have three with Tonegards though.

  29. #16
    Registered Muser dang's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Omaha, NE
    Posts
    1,134

    Default Re: Mandolin armrests - Yes, No, Type?

    I used to use them but now I don’t. I was working on my right hand technique and I ended up liking the angle better without it, but I can’t really say why. I had them on for a long time and they did leave marks. I don’t particularly mind but it would probably impact resale value.
    I should be pickin' rather than postin'

  30. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to dang For This Useful Post:


  31. #17
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Posts
    3,241

    Default Re: Mandolin armrests - Yes, No, Type?

    Quote Originally Posted by dang View Post
    I had them on for a long time and they did leave marks. I don’t particularly mind but it would probably impact resale value.
    I put them on used mandolins (like my Gibson) that already have wear there from a previous picker’s right forearm. I haven’t worked up the courage to install one on a custom order or an instrument that I’ve bought basically new.
    1924 Gibson A Snakehead
    2005 National RM-1
    2007 Hester A5
    2009 Passernig A5
    2015 Black A2-z
    2010 Black GBOM
    2017 Poe Scout
    2014 Smart F-Style Mandola
    2018 Vessel TM5
    2019 Hogan F5

  32. The following members say thank you to pheffernan for this post:

    maxr 

  33. #18
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    1,225

    Default Re: Mandolin armrests - Yes, No, Type?

    Am split on them. A little more than half mine have them, the others don't. For me, it's more of how much does my arm dampen the sound from the top? Some sounded the same (one worse) with an armrest. The others, I couldn't tell the difference.

    It's also useful on my OM to raise my arm to a better angle to attack the strings. And I do find that if a mandolin has a pickup, it helps cut out the extra noise.

    I use both McClung and Soliver armrests. Have tried and don't really like either the Cumberland Acoustic or the Northfield version.
    2008 Weber Gallatin F, 2018 Collings MT, 1989 Flatiron Performer A, 1929 Gibson A Jr., 2018 Eastman MDO-305
    http://ericplatt.weebly.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/LauluAika/
    https://www.lauluaika.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/Longtine-Pl...4404553312723/

  34. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Eric Platt For This Useful Post:


  35. #19
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Guildford + Falmouth England
    Posts
    220

    Default Re: Mandolin armrests - Yes, No, Type?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    None of mine have armrests and, come to think of it, I can’t ever remember seeing a mandolin with an armrest (or a case with a case cover) in the UK. Might that say something? I do now have three with Tonegards though.
    What it might say, Ray, is that nobody sells them in UK. It looks like we have to get them from USA, Germany (two or three McClung stockists) or Banjolit (Dr Arm) in Czech Republic.

  36. #20

    Default Re: Mandolin armrests - Yes, No, Type?

    Seems like an unnecessary item to me. All these years of people playing perfectly well without them. Unles you play regularly with bare arms and don;t like the feel of the sid of the mandolin but more like a gimmick to me. I feel the same about the guards on the back although no doubt there will be those who swear hteir mandolin performs better.

    I've never tried the guard. I like the mandolin as it is. No pick guard either./

  37. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to jimmy powells For This Useful Post:


  38. #21
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    High Peak - UK
    Posts
    3,081

    Default Re: Mandolin armrests - Yes, No, Type?

    Quote Originally Posted by maxr View Post
    What it might say, Ray, is that nobody sells them in UK. It looks like we have to get them from USA, Germany (two or three McClung stockists) or Banjolit (Dr Arm) in Czech Republic.
    I appreciate that nobody sells them in the UK but you could get hold of one if you wanted to and it suggests to me that nobody has seen the need. The varnish on my GBOM does have a sweat mark so it could probably do with one but it's already marked and a simpler solution would be to wear a shirt!

    Have you ever tried a Tonegard, Jimmy? You might be pleasantly surprised. I bought one second hand for my Kimble "F" a couple of years ago and have been so impressed, I've now bought one for my "A". I also bought one for my mandola and it's really improved the sound. They also enable you to rest your instrument on a pub table whilst you play something else or visit the bar without worrying about scratching the back.

  39. The following members say thank you to Ray(T) for this post:

    maxr 

  40. #22

    Default Re: Mandolin armrests - Yes, No, Type?

    Doug Edwards at https://hillcountrystringworks.com. makes great arm rest. And he's a great guy. Very comfortable.
    Steve Smith

  41. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to desertnight For This Useful Post:


  42. #23
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    St Paul, Minn
    Posts
    434

    Default Re: Mandolin armrests - Yes, No, Type?

    I have them on all of my instruments (mandolin/mandola/tenor guitar). I always play sitting and it seems to me that the armrest keeps my wrist more "in plane" with my forearm making it more comfortable. I do rest the heel of my hand very lightly behind the bridge and I do post the pinky. Ergonomically it seems to work for me. I think the ergonomics would be different playing while standing but cannot say from experience. I use the hillcountry stringworks version because they have a slightly taller build than others I have tried.

  43. The following members say thank you to ajh for this post:

    maxr 

  44. #24
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Guildford + Falmouth England
    Posts
    220

    Default Re: Mandolin armrests - Yes, No, Type?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    I appreciate that nobody sells them in the UK but you could get hold of one if you wanted to and it suggests to me that nobody has seen the need. The varnish on my GBOM does have a sweat mark so it could probably do with one but it's already marked and a simpler solution would be to wear a shirt!

    Have you ever tried a Tonegard, Jimmy? You might be pleasantly surprised. I bought one second hand for my Kimble "F" a couple of years ago and have been so impressed, I've now bought one for my "A". I also bought one for my mandola and it's really improved the sound. They also enable you to rest your instrument on a pub table whilst you play something else or visit the bar without worrying about scratching the back.
    I notice people are gradually fitting more arm rests to guitars here in UK, so maybe they just take a while to catch on.

    A Tone-Gard looks interesting. I intend to try the concept using an old viola shoulder rest, if it's wide enough, then order one.

  45. #25
    Registered User John Soper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Posts
    1,147

    Default Re: Mandolin armrests - Yes, No, Type?

    So there you have it for arm rests: Yes, No, and Maybe So. Next, move on to Tone-Gards!

  46. The following members say thank you to John Soper for this post:


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •