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Thread: banjolele armrests

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
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    Default banjolele armrests

    I am planning on buying a banjolele soon. So I have been looking and trying to decide which one to buy. But what I have noticed is few manufacturers put armrests on banjoleles. Most banjos come with armrests. So why doesnt banjolele makers put armrests on as standard? So far the only one I have seen with an armrest is the duke 10. I havent been able to try any banjoleles around here because none of the music stores carry any. So I am going to have to order one and have it sent to me. But I am hesitant about getting one without an armrest. For those who play one, does it hurt your arm to play without an armrest?
    Last edited by rickyfreeman; 01-09-2019 at 04:06 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
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    Yes, it can hurt. The hooks that hold the head on, along with the metal rim itself, can really dig into your arm depending on how you hold it. If your regular uke playing leaves an indentation on your forearm, a banjolele rim certainly will be worse. There are a lot of aftermarket arm rest out there (mostly metal), so don't let the lack of one deter you from a certain brand. I think maybe a lot of people don't like how the arm rest breaks up the traditional look, so that's why it's not standard. Personally, I play a Deering banjo uke that has a standard-size banjo head and an aftermarket wooden arm rest (Dr. Arm from Banjolit). It was worth every penny. Much more comfy to play! So I definitely recommend arm rests, as smooth and rounded as you can find. If you can't find a banjolele, pick up a regular banjo to hold it and explore the rim to see if it may bother you. Even though the head is much larger, at least you'll have an idea.

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA
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    Yup, banjo ukes can be uncomfortable to hold and play, especially if they lack (as most do...) a resonator on the back. I owned a Duke 10 for while, and I found it uncomfortable even with the arm rest, as the J hooks dug into my sternum. But you might consider the Magic Fluke Tenor Firefly Banjo Uke, or the Outdoor Ukulele Tenor Banjo Uke - neither of which need an arm rest owning to their more user friendly designs.



    Blackbird Farallon Ekoa Tenor
    Beltona Songster Resonator Tenor
    Klos Carbon Fiber Tenor
    Magic Fluke Tenor Firefly Banjolele

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    New Zealand
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickyfreeman View Post
    I am planning on buying a banjolele soon. So I have been looking and trying to decide which one to buy. But what I have noticed is few manufacturers put armrests on banjoleles. Most banjos come with armrests. So why doesnt banjolele makers put armrests on as standard? So far the only one I have seen with an armrest is the duke 10. I havent been able to try any banjoleles around here because none of the music stores carry any. So I am going to have to order one and have it sent to me. But I am hesitant about getting one without an armrest. For those who play one, does it hurt your arm to play without an armrest?
    Most armrests are made for full size banjos, so, you will struggle to find one to fit an eight inch body. I have had to start making my own to fit my banjo ukes.
    Kind Regards
    Dennis

    dpophotography@yahoo.co.nz
    Southern Cross Banjo Ukes & Ukuleles
    Proudly Hand Crafted in
    New Zealand.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Southern California
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    3,294

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    I have a coupla instruments which dig into my right arm, so I wear a large, athletc arm guard (Wilson, red) on my right arm when I play them.

    It works well, and one can use it whenever it’s needed on different instruments.
    Kala "Spalted" baritone - Lo D GBD - Fingerpick
    Gold Tone tenor banjolele - Lo F BbDF Fingerpick
    Luna “Peace” concert - CGDA Fingerpick (5ths)

    Kala tenor eight string - gGcCEEAA Strum
    Flea "Red" concert - Hi-F BbDG Strum
    Kala "Exotic Mahogany" soprano - Hi-A DF#B Strum

    Mahalo yellow "Smiley" soprano (Dad's Day gift)
    Ka-Lai Pineapple soprano (old) gift

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    On my Midnight Special banjo uke I replaced the head with a fibreskin head to be a bit more mellow. In the process, the ring ended up fairly high and was digging into my arm. I cut a piece of clear plastic tubing lengthwise and slipped it over the high rim. Works OK for me. And it is essentially invisible.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by ralphk View Post
    On my Midnight Special banjo uke I replaced the head with a fibreskin head to be a bit more mellow. In the process, the ring ended up fairly high and was digging into my arm. I cut a piece of clear plastic tubing lengthwise and slipped it over the high rim. Works OK for me. And it is essentially invisible.
    Sounds like a good idea. Will have to try that.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    My larger ones have the armrest, and from what I've read, it's a good feature to have. On the other hand, my Magic Fluke Firefly doesn't have one or need one.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!

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