US 2816469 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 17, 1957 M. H. GOSSOM 2,
' MUSICAL INSTRUMENT NECK Filed April 1:5. 1954 INVENT OR 4/z Tani/7. Gas-$0 wy/w W ATTORNEY United States Patent Ofitice 2,816,469 Patented Dec. 17, 1957 MUSICAL INSTRUMENT NECK Milton Hutchison Gossom, Haymarlket, Va. Application April 13, 1954, Serial No. 422,939
3 Claims. (Cl. 84-293) This invention relates to stringed musical instruments such as a guitar, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, and the like wherein strings are suspended above frets in a neck, and in particular a neck in which recesses are provided between the frets wherein the strings are permitted to vibrate freely and the musician can play with the feeling that he is not bounded by wood and also with a feeling of confidence of control over the instrument.
The purpose of this invention is to provide improvements in string instruments whereby better tone values are obtained and clear notes may be produced.
With the conventional string instrument in which the upper surface of the neck extends substantially in a common plane from the base of one fret to the base of the adjoining frets the depressing action of the strings is comparatively slight, as the string comes in contact with the wood of the neck almost instantly and, consequently, in order to hold the string away from the wood or suspended in the air very little pressure can be applied to the string.
With this thought in mind this invention contemplates providing recesses in the upper surface of the neck of a string instrument between the frets and particularly below the tenor strings whereby the musician has the feeling of unlimited movement and can exert very little or relatively great pressure upon the strings.
The object of this invention is, therefore, to provide a neck for string instruments that allows the strings to vibrate more freely.
Another object is to provide an improved musical instrument neck that permits wavering two notes.
Another object of the invention is to provide a string instrument neck that permits a musician to smear from one position two different notes and vibrate the notes at the same time.
Another object is to provide a string instrument neck that permits a musician to vibrate whole chords.
A further object of the invention is to provide a neck for stringed musical instruments whereby a musician has the feeling that he is not bounded by wood and can place four fingers on the strings at the same time, and get a clear note as each finger is lifted without using pick hand.
A still further object of the invention is to provide a stringed musical instrument neck in which a musician playing the instrument has a feeling of confidence that he has control over the instrument.
And a still further object of the invention is to provide an improved neck for stringed musical instruments in which recesses are provided between frets in the neck in at least one side of the neck in which the neck is of a simple and economical construction.
With these and other objects and advantages in view the invention embodies a musical instrument having a neck with frets therein in which recesses are provided in the neck between the frets and in which the lower surfaces of the recesses slope backwardly from fiat surfaces on the base side of the neck.
Other features and advantages of the invention will appear from the following description taken in connection with the drawing, wherein:
Figure l is a view showing a guitar, as an illustration, in which recess are provided in the side of the neck.
Figure 2 is a typical cross section through the neck of a stringed musical instrument showing a recess with the bottom or lower surface thereof inclined rearwardly from the bass side of the neck.
Figure 3 is a longitudinal section through a portion of a neck of a stringed instrument showing arcuate recesses between the frets.
Figure 4 is a detail showing a modification wherein an arcuate recess of a pattern different from that shown in Figure 3 is provided.
Figure 5 is a detail similar to that shown in Figure 4, showing a further modification wherein the recess is provided with square corners.
Figure 6 is a detail, also similar to that shown in Figure 4, showing another modification wherein the recess is a combination of fiat and arcuate surfaces.
Figure 7 is a detail also similar to that shown in Figure 4, showing another modification wherein the recess is in the form of a valley positioned between arcuate ridges.
It will be understood that these patterns are only suggestive as the recesses which slope from a flat surface at the bass side of the neck backwardly into the material of the neck may be formed in various designs.
Referring now to the drawing wherein like reference characters denote corresponding parts the improved musical instrument of this invention includes a neck 10 having spaced frets 11 on the upper surface, and a body or box 12.
The instrument is provided with strings, as indicated by the numeral 13, and, as shown in Figure 2, the large or bass strings are positioned above a substantially flat surface 14, between each of the frets, whereas the surfaces below the fine strings are relieved, the surfaces sloping downwardly transversely from the surface 14 below the bass strings to a point 15 below the fine strings on the opposite side of the neck.
These relieved or depressed surfaces, as generally indicated by the numeral 16, between the frets 11, may be formed in different patterns, such as illustrated in Figures 3 to 7, or the surfaces may be shaped in other designs to produce different tone values.
In Figure 4 a neck 18 having frets 19 therein is provided with an arcuate recess 20 having rounded shoulders 21 and 22. In Figure 5, a neck 23 having frets 24 is provided with a substantially square recess 26, in Figure 6, a neck 27 having frets 28 is provided with a combination of a recess 29 and a flat surface 30, and in Figure 7, the surfaces between the frets of a neck 31 are formed with a valley 32 and a long radius shoulder 33 is provided at one side of the valley and a similar short radius shoulder 34 at the opposite side. These views only illustrate a portion of the numerous designs that may be used for the surfaces of the neck between the frets in the instrument of this invention.
It will be understood that with this additional space provided under the fine strings a greater variety of tone values can be produced as the musician has a wide range of pressures before the strings engage the wood, permitting the strings to vibrate more freely, and allowing the musician to play with the feeling that he is not bounded by wood.
The improved neck, which is preferably made of wood, may be formed of other materials and may be used on instruments of different types.
It will be understood that other modifications, within the scope of the appended claims, may be made in the design and arrangement of parts without departing from the spirit of the invention.
Having thus fully described the invention that which is claimed and desired to be procured by Letters Patent, is: 1. In a musical instrument, the combination which comprises a box providinga body, a neck extended. from one end of the box, spaced transversely disposedfrets p0 sitioned .inthe upper surface ofthe neck, strings suspended above the neck and frets, and means for adjusting the tension of the strings, the upper surfaces of said neck having open transversely disposed recesses with arcuate base surfaces. therein with the recesses extending continuously through the neck positioned betweenithe frets and with the bottom surfaces of the recesses sloping transversely from the bass side of the neck to the side upon which the fine strings are positioned, the bottom surfaces ofthe recesses being spaced a greater distance from. a plane extended across the frets and parallel, to, a plane extended through the strings on the side of the neck onwhich the fine strings are, positioned than on the side on which the bass strings are positioned.
2. A stringed musical instrument having a tapering neck with spaced transversely disposed frets on the neck, the upper surface of the neck being recessed between the of the recesses being inclined transversely from the edge of the neck on which the bass strings are positioned to the edge on which the fine strings are positioned, the depth of the recesses being greater on the side of the neck on which the fine strings are positioned.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 463,954 Middlebrooke Nov. 24, 1891 652,353 Edgren June 26, 1900 1,188,983 Nonfri June 27, 1916 FOREIGN PATENTS France Nov. 23, 1911