Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Armrests and other Mando bling

I am loving my Eastman 515 but I’m thinking about “personalizing” it. Looking into a McClung armrest, some rubber grommets to kill overtones, and a customized truss rod cover.

What have you guys done to “pimp your ride”?

I haven’t done anything to my Michael Kelly, but it sounds like fun! You’ll have to let us know what you do.

Hey Mr Pilot -

I got a McLung when I was gigging every week, and I found that when I was playing that intensely for 2-3 hours at a time it made a HUGE difference comfort-wise. Which in turn made a huge difference to how good I played. (another Michael Kelly owner btw)


I purchased a ToneGard for my F-model made by Brock Benjamin. Money well spent. Mine was a custom design, a Celtic Knot is what it is called. It keeps the back of the Mandolin from touching your abdomen and that doesn’t dampen the vibrations of the body. It also protects the finish from “Button Rash”, and “Belly Sweat” . The cost was $95.00 DELIVERED. It helps by making your instrument approx. 20% LOUDER. And that helps a bunch when playing with booming Martin dreadnaughts and Banjos.

I bought a McClung armrest for my Benjamin F-Model. It did add some weight, but not bad. What it did do was to change the angle at which my arm lays on the mandolin. That helped my picking angle and helped put my arm into a straighter wrist and less picking fatigue. Well worth it. No modification or drilling required, so if you change instruments you can move it over, no fuss.

do you think adding a mcclung armrest would help keeping you arm and palm off the instrument body? Ben was saying in some video that resting the base of you hand on the bridge will dampen the sound some. I have noticed that to be true although find myself bracing there when i’m not paying attention. does that armrest help you get you a better anchor on the instrument?

I think I will give a McClung a try. It sounds like a nice addition.

I have an eastman as well, and I can second the tone guard, definitely worth it.

I did end up getting a McClung armrest. I like it. It keeps me off the bridge and it is a pretty thing as well.