Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: Trouble with my mandolin not agreeing with my straps

  1. #1

    Question Trouble with my mandolin not agreeing with my straps

    Hey there. I, like many others, have a simple little Eastman MD305 mandolin. I've been trying to work on my technique, which involved the purchasing of a basic strap.

    However, I cant seem to find a way to get the mandolin to just stay put on the strap. If I loop it around under the raised fingerboard, it tips toward the headstock. If I loop it behind the nut its a bit better, but the mandolin still just wants to swing around to my right hip instead. Its possible that my mandolin is just poorly balanced, but I've never heard that complaint about Eastman mandolins.

    I have also purchased a moderately differently designed strap to try and it has the same issues.

    Has anybody ever experienced this? A solution would be greatly appreciated. I want the mandolin to float nicely so I can adjust the angle with the strap and play without worrying about holding it up at the same time.

  2. #2
    Likes quaint instruments poul hansen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Location
    Danmark
    Posts
    471

    Default Re: Trouble with my mandolin not agreeing with my straps

    I have a Banjolele that would swing to the right. I stopped it by putting a piece of that sticky rubber for sunglases on the dashboard, on the back of the banjolele.

    I had a guitar that did the same, so I put the strap on a strapbutton on the lower neck, then the head tilted, so I fastened a thin string to the strap at shoulder height and fastened the other end on the guitar head.
    Kentucky KM-805..........2 Hora M1086 Portuguese II(1 in car)
    Hora M1088 Mandola.....Hora M1087P Octave
    Richmond RMA-110-VS .Noname (German?) mandolin
    Pochette Franz Janisch...2 Pocket
    Puglisi Pocket 1908........Puglisi 1912
    Mandolinetto Neapolitane 1910
    1 Mandriola...................Cannelo G. Mandriola...Bhm Waldzither 1921
    Johs Mller 1945............Fangel 1915................Luigi Embergher Studio 1933
    Marma Seashell back......Crafton.......................Luigi Embergher 5bis 1909

  3. #3

    Default Re: Trouble with my mandolin not agreeing with my straps

    Take a look at this video it my help you.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1Z1IGsemW8

  4. #4

    Default Re: Trouble with my mandolin not agreeing with my straps

    I have found this video on my own before making this thread. I also am familiar already with attaching straps to acoustic instruments with a single strap button. But I've never encountered one that did not want to just stay put. I'm fairly perplexed.

  5. #5
    Registered User mbruno's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Seattle WA
    Posts
    644

    Default Re: Trouble with my mandolin not agreeing with my straps

    I put my strap at the headstock rather than by the scroll or the end of the fretboard. I found using the headstock allowed the strap to actually hold my mandolin in place so I don't need to use my left / fretting hand to hold it up. You can see where I place it in the attached picture. I haven't had any issues with tuning or etc using this setup over the last ~5 or so years. I highly recommend it.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	BrunoMando.jpeg 
Views:	86 
Size:	667.5 KB 
ID:	202586
    Last edited by mbruno; Aug-09-2022 at 6:39pm. Reason: changing the picture
    Information on lessons, gigs, and misc musical stuff: www.mattcbruno.com
    Weekly free Mandolin Lessons: www.mattcbruno.com/weekly-posts/
    My gear and recommendations: www.mattcbruno.com/gear-recommendations/
    Cooking fun: www.mattcbruno.com/quarantine-cookbook/


    Mando's in use
    Primary: Newson 2018
    Secondary: Gibson F9 2014
    Primary Electric: Jonathan Mann OSEMdc 5

  6. #6
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Saint Augustine Beach FL
    Posts
    5,906

    Default Re: Trouble with my mandolin not agreeing with my straps

    If it swings around to your right hip, you may be applying too much pressure with your right hand behind the bridge. Your torso (or hip) would act as a fulcrum. You might want to take a look at your right hand technique.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  7. #7

    Default Re: Trouble with my mandolin not agreeing with my straps

    Quote Originally Posted by mbruno View Post
    I put my strap at the headstock rather than by the scroll or the end of the fretboard. I found using the headstock allowed the strap to actually hold my mandolin in place so I don't need to use my left / fretting hand to hold it up. You can see where I place it in the attached picture. I haven't had any issues with tuning or etc using this setup over the last ~5 or so years. I highly recommend it.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	BrunoMando.jpeg 
Views:	86 
Size:	667.5 KB 
ID:	202586
    I also attach my leather strap at the headstock and over the strings just like in your picture. I might be wrong but it sounds like the OP is talking about when he’s standing his mandolin is moving left to right with his strap over his shoulder and his hands off the mandolin. My mandolin also moves just like that but besides the leather strap I also have an armrest on my mandolin that my right forearm always rests on and it keeps the mandolin in a stable playing position. I don’t know if that helps but you might look at getting an armrest for your Eastman.

  8. #8
    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Co. Mayo, Ireland
    Posts
    3,444

    Default Re: Trouble with my mandolin not agreeing with my straps

    I found that some straps were too smooth on the side that makes contact with your shoulder and would move around a lot more than other straps. The straps that were the least slippy for me have been: Bailey straps, Randy Hogan straps, and my current one made by Mandolin straps of Montana - the leather is a wee bit rougher on the inside of the strap so it seems to be more stable. FYI I play an A style and attach the strap at the headstock just behind the nut.
    2018 Girouard Concert oval A
    2015 JP "Whitechapel" tenor banjo
    2018 Frank Tate tenor guitar
    1969 Martin 00-18




    my Youtube channel

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    High Peak - UK
    Posts
    3,720

    Default Re: Trouble with my mandolin not agreeing with my straps

    Are we talking here of the strap round your head or just over your right shoulder?

  10. #10

    Default Re: Trouble with my mandolin not agreeing with my straps

    I use mbruno’s method on my A’s. My F seems to ride okay on the scroll.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Trouble with my mandolin not agreeing with my straps

    This is with the mandolin around my head/neck. I tried the method of looping it around the headstock some folks mentioned but the same problem is occuring.

    I really appreciate all the help but I just can't figure out why it wont stay put.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Trouble with my mandolin not agreeing with my straps

    The issue seems to be the weight balancing of the mandolin, which is unfortunate for such a widely regarded entry mandolin. I'll post some pictures this weekend so folks can conceptualize what I'm trying to say a bit better.

  13. #13
    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Co. Mayo, Ireland
    Posts
    3,444

    Default Re: Trouble with my mandolin not agreeing with my straps

    Quote Originally Posted by Falconerguy View Post
    The issue seems to be the weight balancing of the mandolin, which is unfortunate for such a widely regarded entry mandolin. I'll post some pictures this weekend so folks can conceptualize what I'm trying to say a bit better.
    Have you also experienced this issue with other brands of mandolin? I don't think it's something that is unique to Eastman mandolins - I just picked up my Girouard Concert A, and with the strap over my head/shoulder if my hands are not on the mandolin it swings towards my right hip. Luckily I'm not in the habit of having both hands off my mandolin because that is a recipe for disaster - even when we think a strap is well attached you never know when the perfect storm of events may occur and before you know it a mandolin could be taking a dive onto the floor. When playing both my right arm and left hand keep the mandolin where it needs to be. Now if this is happening when you're holding the mandolin trying to play then it would likely be an issue to do with where you're placing your right arm/elbow.

    This Pete Martin video is one of my favourites as far as tips on holding the mandolin in place in an ergonomic manner:

    2018 Girouard Concert oval A
    2015 JP "Whitechapel" tenor banjo
    2018 Frank Tate tenor guitar
    1969 Martin 00-18




    my Youtube channel

  14. The following members say thank you to Jill McAuley for this post:


  15. #14
    Registered User DougC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    1,738
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Re: Trouble with my mandolin not agreeing with my straps

    I totally agree with Pete Martin. I've got two Collings mandolins set up this way. But I strongly suggest a 'back up' thong going from a hole in the strap to under the tailpiece. There have been other threads about that issue.

    The lighter mandolins don't move as much in this situation. And the key issue is, as Jill mentioned, is how well the strap grabs to your clothing on your back and shoulder. Pete has a nice suede looking strap at the beginning of the video that I'd love to have.

    I've got old leather belts as straps, and they are NOT slick but have a rough side, sort of Velcro like on the side that touches my back and shoulder. The mandolins move a little but they are in the right position as Pete describes.

    And heck, you could be playing a bowl back mandolin! That's a real challenge.
    Decipit exemplar vitiis imitabile

  16. #15

    Default Re: Trouble with my mandolin not agreeing with my straps

    I use this wider dobro strap: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...sin_title?th=1

    First I tried tying at the neck/body joint and found that the headstock was dropping when my hand wasn't holding it. As a guitarist of many decades, I knew I wouldn't be happy with this. So I tried attaching it at the headstock, but it put the instrument too far to the right on my body, which felt unnatural and clumsy to me.

    Using the wider strap attached to the neck/body joint and shortening the strap a bit so the instrument sits higher solved the problem. A thin strap might work if it was rougher.

  17. #16
    Registered User Doug Brock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    KC MO
    Posts
    605

    Default Re: Trouble with my mandolin not agreeing with my straps

    Quote Originally Posted by Falconerguy View Post
    The issue seems to be the weight balancing of the mandolin, which is unfortunate for such a widely regarded entry mandolin.
    I don’t see that the issue is any reflection on Eastman. They’re building the standard mandolin forms that the customers expect. The reality is that mandolins have relatively small light-weight bodies and big heavy heads with eight tuners. (Hmmm, I do add arm rest and metal tonegard to my mandolins, so that actually makes the body side heavier and maybe balance better? Still wants to do head dives, but probably not as much?)
    Last edited by Doug Brock; Aug-12-2022 at 2:03pm.
    Doug Brock
    2018 Kimble 2 point (#259), 2019 Silverangel Econo A (#446), Eastman MD315, 2020 Morris Oval Flattop A, Eastman MDA315, some guitars, banjos, and fiddles

  18. #17
    Registered User Doug Brock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    KC MO
    Posts
    605

    Default Re: Trouble with my mandolin not agreeing with my straps

    I was reading Jill’s post above and that made me go back and analyze my mandolin hold. Sure enough, my right forearm keeps the mandolin from pivoting toward the headstock. My left hand provides a little stability, but I try to keep that hand loose for quick movement around the fretboard.
    Doug Brock
    2018 Kimble 2 point (#259), 2019 Silverangel Econo A (#446), Eastman MD315, 2020 Morris Oval Flattop A, Eastman MDA315, some guitars, banjos, and fiddles

  19. The following members say thank you to Doug Brock for this post:


  20. #18

    Default Re: Trouble with my mandolin not agreeing with my straps

    I was able to mitigate the problem significantly by merely shortening the strap. I didn't think much about it because the only adjustment my strap has is choosing one of three different holes to put over the endpin. I appreciate all the help and advice from everyone, I am now playing my mandolin much more comfortably

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


  22. #19
    Registered User Simon DS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    South of France
    Posts
    1,876

    Default Re: Trouble with my mandolin not agreeing with my straps

    My octave mandolin, an Ashbury E32 has a moderately heavy neck while using the strap setup that I have.
    Ive learned to use my pick forearm pressure to push against the straps to hold the instrument firmly in place.
    Ive found that when the mandolin is held firmly, but also relaxed, the flow stabilises.

Posting Permissions

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