View Full Version : Beveled arm rest?

10-06-2015, 01:09 PM
My right arm becomes uncomfortable during fingerpicking, the hand begins to falter before I can finish the song Hallelujah, and other longish tunes. There is always a red mark on my arm after I play for just a little while, and I wind up shaking out my arm and hand before I can start another song.
I don't claim UAS, and I'm very happy with my uke, but I wonder if a beveled arm rest would be right for me. I've never played a uke with one, can you guys give me any insight?
Or is there a way I can modify my uke to make it easier to hold? I tried a pad, but it seemed to deaden the sound a little, and changed my angle further from the strings.
(I always use a strap)

10-06-2015, 01:35 PM
I don't actually have this problem, so I haven't tried, but when you say a pad, is the pad on the uke or on your arm?
They have those braces for tennis elbow.
This one even has an air pocket.


Brad Bordessa
10-06-2015, 02:20 PM
Hi Nickie, do you have any videos of yourself playing that you would be willing to share? Your problem sounds like it might just be technique. It seems (especially with a strap) you shouldn't be hurting yourself so much, unless your 'ukulele has a wicked sharp edge.

10-06-2015, 03:05 PM
Hi Nickie, do you have any videos of yourself playing that you would be willing to share? Your problem sounds like it might just be technique. It seems (especially with a strap) you shouldn't be hurting yourself so much, unless your 'ukulele has a wicked sharp edge.

No I don't. It has faux tortoise shell purfling, it's fairly sharp. The other uke has no purfling, it's slightly more comfortable, but not as much fun to play because of poor intonation.
Gee, I have issues, don't I?

Down Up Dick
10-06-2015, 03:25 PM
My tenor Banjolele has no arm rest, and it dug into my arm as yours does. I use a big, 6 or 7 inch, "basketball player" sweat band (red) while I play. It works fine.

One can also wipe his/her forehead with it, when ploughing thru a furiously fast tune. :old:

10-06-2015, 03:43 PM
many fixes, 1.change your style of playing
2. Thin body ukulele
3. Buy a mandolin arm bevel and attach to ukulele, china also sells attachable ukulele arm bevels

10-06-2015, 04:32 PM
Check out one of the Oscar Schmidt "comfort series" ukuleles. They use beveling on the body. I have been looking at for a OU800T Maple model to play after sampling the OU200C mahogany version that my friend purchased over the summer. Certainly worth a look if you prefer a bevel on the body.

10-06-2015, 04:34 PM
Forgot to add the link: http://www.oscarschmidt.com/products/ukes/OU200.asp

Dan Uke
10-06-2015, 05:49 PM

Here's a threa from a couple of years ago. I'm sure opinions have changed and I subsequently got one. For me, it's more comfortable to play with an arm rest.

10-06-2015, 08:06 PM
My LFDM tenor has a beveled armrest and it is my most comfortable tenor to play. On a larger tenor body the beveled arm rest can make the playing much more comfortable, especially if you have shorter arms.

10-06-2015, 08:33 PM
I like arm bevels when I'm laying down.

mm stan
10-06-2015, 08:59 PM
I only got one bevel uke, i guess you could make a point it is comfortable. .

10-06-2015, 09:10 PM
Check out your local sporting goods store; there are all manner of protective sleeves, some with padding, some just spandex, for assorted sports. Find one that looks cool and gives a little protection at the point of contact. Lot cheaper than a custom with a bevel ...

10-06-2015, 10:31 PM
Nickie, I know how much you LOVE your ukes, but you dont have to squeeze them for dear life!

Since you are using a strap, do you really need to apply that much pressure with your arm in order to play?

When I play, the only time that there is really any pressure applied to the lower bout by my forearm is if I am NOT using a strap, for that is how I hold the uke to my body, otherwise with a strap, my arm barely touches the instrument....maybe you can adapt your technique, especially if you have this same problem with more than one uke....otherwise you might need to wear an armband of some kind as suggested by others above.

I'm just thinking out loud here, and since I'm pretty thrifty, I'd start by taking an orphaned old tube sock and cut off the end by the toes, and then put that on your arm and see if it helps. Everyone has old socks that lost their mate, and it cost nothing to try it before you spend money on something else. If it works for you, then you can maybe cut it in half so you have two home-made arm-covers and save the second one for when you put the first one in the wash....:)

In the local grocery store, they sell a dozen cheap knee-high white tube socks for like $6, so if you have something like that available to you locally (there's always WalMart), and you can get 2-3 arm-covers from each sock, you could be set for life...

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
10-07-2015, 03:37 AM
Get your luthier to add an arm bevel for $30 :)

10-07-2015, 04:37 AM
I'm don't think I need an arm-rest per-se, I use one on a full-size banjo, but not on anything smaller. However, on occaision, I do find myself muting/muffling strings unintentionally with the palm of my hand over the bridge.

Is there any type of device, a bridge cover, for want of a better term, that anyone has any experience of?

I'm a little wary of adding extra mass to the upper surface of any instrument, for fear of affecting the tone and/or volume. If there's any experience out there that could be shared it might help.

TIA :)

10-07-2015, 05:51 AM
Get your luthier to add an arm bevel for $30 :)

This is a great suggestion! I would like to know more about this.

About 5 years ago I had a concern about perspiration on the soundboard, pre-air conditioning, and added arm rests using a viola chin clamp and a floating rest. The tough part was finding clamps with the extra long turnbuckle barrels. There is a piece of leather that keeps the rest from touching the soundboard. It has served the intended purpose well. It has also made the edge more comfortable. The rest does add sustain as your arm is not on the soundboard. If your ukulele needs more sustain it is great, but if there is too much you can place a couple of small pieces of leather under the rest to dampen it slightly, as odd as that may sound.

Clamping something is probably not a preferred method, although a little common sense will go a long way in preventing over tightening the clamp. But I would like to know what Beau is suggesting. It could be a much better way to go and it is definitely cheaper than my route.



10-07-2015, 06:19 AM
But I would like to know what Beau is suggesting.

I think he was suggesting buying one of his custom's and adding a bevel as an option.

They're usually add at build time, by adding wood to the joint between the body and the soundboard, and then ground or cut down.
I don't think you can just cut a bevel and then veneer it, since cutting down removes the wood that normally holds that joint.
But... maybe I'm wrong?


Beau Hannam Ukuleles
10-07-2015, 08:20 AM
Actually, it was a friendly jibe at an early thread when the OP said a side sound port was not worth paying $150 for on a custom uke.

An arm bevel is an up charge of up to $1500 (Taylor guitars). I charge $300 (from memory) which is too low for the work.

so, ....$30 was a joke :)

10-07-2015, 08:40 AM
No problem.

I realize that $30 would be an actual bevel and entail an actual removal of the top and restructure of sides and replace... $300 would be a great deal.

I thought there may have been something like a John Pearse arm rest that could be made up and attached and for $30. That is still a good deal to get one to match the ukulele shape.


10-08-2015, 08:09 AM
Get your luthier to add an arm bevel for $30 :)

Ha ha smartypants!
I already know that can't be done.
Whadya take me for?

Wait, don't answer that!

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
10-08-2015, 12:17 PM
Ha ha smartypants!
Wait, don't answer that!

hahahah ;)
Here is a pic with $50 worth of up grades!!!! :biglaugh:

10-08-2015, 12:27 PM
My Islander's edges were so sharp I've actually sanded the edges.It's Laminate with such a thin satin finish you couldn't even tell. Most more expensive ukes cmne with more rounded edges. the devil is in the details.

10-08-2015, 12:47 PM
Here's a clip on guitar armrest, maybe they make them for ukes?

10-09-2015, 04:18 AM
What about this as a solution?

10-09-2015, 04:41 PM
Thanks guys! I'll find a solution yet! Johnson, that arm rest specifically for ukes looks like it actually might help!
Gonna order it tomorrow.
I just don't wanna raise the angle of my arm further from the strings, that's why I got rid of the pad I was trying.
Getting old sucks.