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