Bonjour, J'ai bien reçu l'accoudoir et vous remercie de votre efficacité (et vous félicite pour votre français). Votre accoudoir "nous" va très bien, à ma guitare et à moi ! Bien cordialement V.T.
Those who hold their acoustic guitar according to the classical style, i.e. who rest their forearm on the guitar body roughly in the middle of their radial flexor muscle presumably know the problem: The rough edge of the body may exert a strong local pressure on the forearm muscle and restrict blood circulation. Possible consequence: premature fatigue, sloppy technique and chronic orthopedic troubles. Meanwhile some manufacturers have become aware of the problem, and so there are various armrests as upgrades on the market, which help to reduce the pressure and extend the resting place of the forearm. However, none of these devices could fully convince Andreas Abel, also a guitarist and guitar teacher himself. And so he simply developed his own model together with an industrial designer: the Abel armrest. What strikes immediately is the very easy installment. With a few turns of the fastening screw the device made of plastic reinforced with glass-fibre is attached to the rib and firmly stays in this position. The pads are made of softer plastic, which does not harm or scratch the varnish. First of all, what impresses in practical life is the extended resting place for the forearm. The pressure is more equally spread and the playing stance is more relaxed. A side effect, which in reality might easily become a main effect: With the Abel armrest attached the arm no longer gets in contact with the top of the guitar, which immediately leads to a significantly better resonance quality. A few additional rubber pads for the adjustment of the armrest for smaller-sized guitars are enclosed. Thus it is universally applicable; only with exceptionally wide or narrow ribs the size should be indicated when you place your order. The delivery then is made with an adjusted screwing device. Conclusion: Forearm relaxed, sound improved – what else do you want? Source: GITARRE & BASS edition 6/2014, Markus Gahlen
Andreas Abel is a guitar teacher in Braunschweig. He knows about every problem guitar learners, especially children, can have on the instrument. One complaint which is frequently heard concerns pressure marks on the forearm right where it rests on the edge of the body of the guitar. That applies not only to children or inexperienced guitarists, but every guitar player, irrespective of technique, instrument (steel or nylon strings) or playing style. Even some guitar-makers have realized that in this respect there is a need for improvement, so there are instruments with a bevel, a sloping or curved edge instead of the rough edge exactly where the forearm rests. However, this is normally only available as a customer’s special option or for very expensive guitars and cannot be installed later. Electric guitar pioneer Leo Fender already met with this problem some decades ago and consequently developed the contour bodies of models like the Stratocaster or Jazz Bass. Guitar-maker Ernie Rissmann presented an armrest made of high-grade wood, which is glued in the appropriate place. The Abel armrest is neither glued nor attached with suction cups but with a simple screwing mechanism. Abel’s model consists of black plastic (according to the manufacturer PP reinforced with glass-fibre produced in a complex injection moulding procedure) shaped ergonomically and attached in no time. At the contact points soft plastic pads are fixed so that the instrument is not scratched. All of this is no high-tech but easily handled and functional. Due to the design and the extra pads of different sizes enclosed the adjustment to the curve of the rib is no problem. Abel’s armrest is suitable for guitars with a rib ranging between 8 and 12 centimetres, solutions for specially thin ribs (like thin line instruments) are also available. During the test there was also no problem of fixing the armrest to various steel-string or nylon-string models and adjusting it in the appropriate position. When the instrument is stored in the case the armrest is removed in no time and can be placed under the head of the guitar. With many bigger Gigbags it should even be possible to leave the armrest on the guitar for transport. Now to the most important aspect, the function. If you attach the Abel armrest in the right position, i.e. the spot where the forearm rests on the edge of the frame, there is clearly an improvement of the play-feeling. After playing, even in longer sessions, you practically have no pressure marks on the forearm, and while you are playing you feel a secretly growing familiarity with the instrument and a glimmer of ease comes in. Consequence: you are more relaxed while playing. Producer Andreas Abel points out that the guitar also sounds better, as the vibration of the soundboard is no longer restricted by the resting forearm. I cannot confirm this, possibly the differences are simply too subtle for my ears. I would rather have worried that the pressure of the screwing device might give too much [...]
Andreas Abel is a guitar teacher from Braunschweig who has already complained for some time about pressure marks on his forearm resulting from the rough edge between the guitar top and the rib. A well-known problem for many guitarists, which is also suspected of causing neurological problems and impaired motor function. There are already possible solutions: the violin-maker George Lowdon from Northern Ireland, for example builds high-quality guitars with a rounded part, which he calls bevel. Also, instruments from the high-class workshop of the Australian Greg Smallman have a solid armrest. Discreet look However, the device with which the armrest is attached to the rib with a screwing device is new. It is extremely easily attached and removed. Models of other manufacturers use suction cups, which often leave stains on the varnish. On the Abel armrest, however, there are plastic pads on the resting points, which are meant to prevent this. During the test stage, there was no change of colour or change on the varnish noticeable on my guitar. At the same time sweat stains on the top of the guitar are avoided in summer and playing with a stocking or cut off sleeve (which also does not look very advantageous) is no longer required. At first sight this accessory reminds us a little bit of the chin rest of the violin, which is part of the standard equipment of the violinist. It consists of high quality plastic reinforced by glass-fibre, is very light (92 grammes) and has an unobtrusive surface, which prevents the forearm from getting stuck. The armrest is suitable for ribs ranging from eight to twelve centimetres; on request other sizes are available. In the first place the armrest is presumably more suitable for fingerstyle and classical players as their forearm mostly rests on the guitar rather than the intensively moving players who use a plectrum or play chords. A change in the sound could not be noticed as it is attached in a part which is not essential for the vibration of the instrument. This remains If the Abel armrest didn’t exist, it should be invented. I suppose that in a few years it will be part of the standard equipment of the classical player and the fingerstyle player. After a certain settling-in period one would no longer like to do without because of the comfortable play-feeling that it provides. JensMüller-Herrou source: guitar acoustic Heft 1/2013