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Thread: Aaaaah ! - That's better.

  1. #26
    Registered User mtucker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aaaaah ! - That's better.

    .. it's another point of reference for me .. the outside heel of my hand .. as is the bridge and my wrist ..

  2. #27

    Default Re: Aaaaah ! - That's better.

    In the case of flat top guitars or mandolins perhaps they are pickguards. On arch top guitars and mandolins, they are finger rests. That's why they are elevated off the top of the instrument. If an archtop instrument needed a pickguard, it would be stuck to the top like on a flat top. Why fabricate and install something as elaborate and expensive as an elevated finger rest when a sheet of sticky plastic stuck to the top will do just fine??

    Len B.
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  3. #28

    Default Re: Aaaaah ! - That's better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dagger Gordon View Post
    I don't have strong views about most mandolin pickguards, but I could NEVER buy a Gibson Hummingbird or J-200 acoustic guitar with their pickguards. Huge, tacky and just really awful!
    Oh, I... well, I'm quite embarrassed now

  4. #29

    Default Re: Aaaaah ! - That's better.

    Quote Originally Posted by lenf12 View Post
    If an archtop instrument needed a pickguard, it would be stuck to the top like on a flat top. Why fabricate and install something as elaborate and expensive as an elevated finger rest when a sheet of sticky plastic stuck to the top will do just fine??
    I bought a mandolin on e-bay once that had that very thing - a plastic pickguard stuck right to the top just underneath where you would expect a real pickguard to be. So I guess they make them. I got that sucker straight off of there.

  5. #30
    Registered User Doug Hoople's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aaaaah ! - That's better.

    I've taken the finger rest off of two of my arched-top mandolins (one an F5, another an asymmetrical 2-pointer).

    Actually, they both came loose.

    In the first case (the F5), I was in the middle of a private lesson with Carlo Aonzo when it started buzzing. He spotted the problem. That was the lesson in which he convinced my to fold my fingers under instead of planting, and he strongly suggested that I take the finger rest off and leave it off. Seemed like a good time to get rid of it, and I haven't needed it since.

    In the second case, the finger rest shook loose again, and I took it off on the spot. I still have it. It's beautifully executed and follows the treble-side point curves perfectly. But I'm personally much happier having it off the instrument while I'm playing.

    Note: Actually, I just realized my avatar shows it pretty prominently (taken by Neil J. Dean, the builder, while still in the shop), except that, from that angle, it doesn't appear to match the point curves as well as it does from other angles.
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  6. #31
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    Default Re: Aaaaah ! - That's better.

    [QUOTE=journeybear;693872]"Finger rest?" I don't think so. They're pick guards, meant to guard the instrument from potential damage by picks. You might occasionally rest your fingers on a pick guard, but it's there to guard against damage as shown in the pictures - which was not caused by planting one's fingers. QUOTE]

    Actually they are called finger rests and there is a school of playing that uses them as part of the technique. I knew a teacher here locally that wouldn't take students until they'd had one installed. I use mine as a kind of guide. The arm rest elevates my elbow and my fingertips brush against against the rest. I no longer rest my wrist behind the bridge.

    As for it being a pickguard, well it could be that too. I definitely know some bluegrass players who are part of the "macho chop" school, where they whack it as hard as possible and those folks sometimes contact the top with their picks.

    If they were designed as pickguards then, as someone said, they could simply be glued to the top as guitar pickguards are.

  7. #32
    Mike Parks woodwizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aaaaah ! - That's better.

    I've heard them called both ways. Either way is right to me. Check out this "pickguards" for sale at Janet Davis's store ... http://www.janetdavismusic.com/manpikguards.html
    But I do believe more people call them pickguards than finger rests.
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  8. #33
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aaaaah ! - That's better.

    My understanding is that elevated pick guards are designed that way so as to have no effect whatsoever on the vibration of the top aka soundboard. Mine was attached via two pins that slid into holes on the side of the fretboard and attached to the side via a small wood screw into the side on the F-12 and via the famous clamp method (pat'd July 4, 1911) on the vintage A model, thus having negligible contact with the top.

    I've really never given a moment of thought to the nomenclature nor intended function until today, nor intend to tomorrow. Seems a rather insignificant concern. Po-tay-to = po-tah-to. But I do hope your finger rests guard against pick damage, and I will occasionally rest my fingers on my pick guard if I ever reinstall it.
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  9. #34

    Default Re: Aaaaah ! - That's better.

    Semantics...Heiden uses the term "finger rest/pickguard" and I've seen similar use elsewhere. For me, finger rest sounds best, more continental!, but to each his own.

  10. #35
    Registered User Chris Biorkman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aaaaah ! - That's better.

    To me, it serves as a pickguard. I don't plant. It doesn't serve the same function to everyone.
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  11. #36
    Phylum Octochordata Mike Bromley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aaaaah ! - That's better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Bunting View Post
    Now that's a bad comparison, Tim Horton's has no flavour or if you can detect a flavour it would be bong water! See you at Blueberry, they have real coffee there.
    I agree with the rest of the statement though, "Chacun à son goût"
    It does lend a little "Je ne sais quoi".

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Bunting View Post
    Semantics...Heiden uses the term "finger rest/pickguard" and I've seen similar use elsewhere. For me, finger rest sounds best, more continental!, but to each his own.
    It does lend a little "Je ne sais quoi"...."reste du doigt", ou "garde du Pique"...vive la difference....

    Still reeling from the Tour De France....
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  12. #37

    Default Re: Aaaaah ! - That's better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Bromley View Post
    It does lend a little "Je ne sais quoi".



    It does lend a little "Je ne sais quoi"...."reste du doigt", ou "garde du Pique"...vive la difference....

    Still reeling from the Tour De France....
    These things do go in cycles.

  13. #38
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aaaaah ! - That's better.

    Sacre bleu! Mon dieu!! Non plus!!!

    Merci beaucoup ...
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  14. #39
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aaaaah ! - That's better.

    The rest / scratch plate was attached using 2 woodscrews that screwed into the fingerboard extension.It didn't rattle & was perfectly stable. I have to say that although the Mandolin is a 'Special build',i always thought that the rest /s.p,could have been a more sympathetic shape to suit the Mandolin's countours, or at least 'edge bound' to give it a more 'defined' shape.
    If i were ever be fortunate enough to have a 'custom built' Mandolin,i wouldn't go for a scratch plate,i just love the shape of the instrument as it comes & the grain of the top-woods used.
    However - with due deference to Jiri Lebeda,i do feel as though i've 'violated' his instrument by
    removing it - having a concience is a terrible thing,but praise the good Lord,most of us do have one,
    Ivan
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  15. #40

    Default Re: Aaaaah ! - That's better.

    [QUOTE=jim_n_virginia;693705]I don't plant fingers anywhere and my pick doesn't touch the top but I play with an open fist as opposed to a closed fist and while I am not conscience of it I guess my ring finger and pinky occasionaly ever so lightly brush the top of the mandolin. I barely touch it but it is enough that after time it leaves smudges and after months in between cleanups it adds up.

    I do the exact same thing--
    And after many years of this the salts and the acids will eventually eat through the finish and you will hardly notice this slow erosion until maybe years from now you find an old picture of you and your new shiny mandolin and you'll think "My god, look what have I done to this poor mandolin---

  16. #41
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    Default Re: Aaaaah ! - That's better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Biorkman View Post
    To me, it serves as a pickguard. I don't plant. It doesn't serve the same function to everyone.
    Why do you need it as a pickguard? What are you doing that causes your pick to come into contact with the top?

  17. #42

    Default Re: Aaaaah ! - That's better.

    I can think of a number of great players that have totally schredded the tops of their mandolins and whatever their doing I wish I could do it too!

  18. #43
    Registered User Chris Biorkman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aaaaah ! - That's better.

    Quote Originally Posted by mandolirius View Post
    Why do you need it as a pickguard? What are you doing that causes your pick to come into contact with the top?
    I'm not doing anything. It's other people who play it that I'm more concerned about. My mandolins are both in pristine condition because I'm very careful with them. The pickguard/finger rest, or whatever you want to call it, lessens my reservations about letting others take them for a spin. As long as they wear a Snuggie while they play it, I'm okay with letting other people try them out.
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  19. #44

    Default Re: Aaaaah ! - That's better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Biorkman View Post
    I'm not doing anything. It's other people who play it that I'm more concerned about. My mandolins are both in pristine condition because I'm very careful with them. The pickguard/finger rest, or whatever you want to call it, lessens my reservations about letting others take them for a spin. As long as they wear a Snuggie while they play it, I'm okay with letting other people try them out.
    Isn't a Snuggie a baby diaper. You need older friends!

  20. #45
    Registered User Chris Biorkman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aaaaah ! - That's better.

    Snuggies and Huggies are required. I don't think I'm being unreasonable.
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  21. #46
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    Default Re: Aaaaah ! - That's better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Biorkman View Post
    Snuggies and Huggies are required. I don't think I'm being unreasonable.
    Your friends are incontinent? You need YOUNGER friends.

  22. #47
    Registered User Chris Biorkman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aaaaah ! - That's better.

    I'm getting conflicting advice here. I don't know what to think anymore.
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  23. #48
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aaaaah ! - That's better.

    I think of the pick guard as part of the instrument, not like something added to the instrument.

    And my A2 has had the same pickguard on it since 1923, unadjusted, and it never rattles or shakes or loosens up.

    But I would never generalize from the specific.
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  24. #49
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aaaaah ! - That's better.

    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post
    I think it looks a lot better - symmetry is restored, the instrument is presented without fetter or clutter, and as Ken said, the pickguard was, ah, lacking aesthetically.
    Is that an F style instrument? Oh, sorry.
    Indulge responsibly!

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  25. #50

    Default Re: Aaaaah ! - That's better.

    Pick guards are ugly, always remove.

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