Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3103846 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 17, 1963
Filing dateFeb 14, 1962
Priority dateFeb 14, 1962
Publication numberUS 3103846 A, US 3103846A, US-A-3103846, US3103846 A, US3103846A
InventorsWebster James D
Original AssigneeWebster James D
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Finger board for stringed musical instruments
US 3103846 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept. 17, 1963 J. D. WEBSTER 3,103,846


U a0 zz JAMES flit [557m BY WWW ATTOR/VEVS United States Patent 3,103,846 FINGER BOARD FOR STRINGED MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS James D. Webster, 105 Bayview Ave., Northport, N.Y. Filed Feb. 14, 1962, Ser. No. 173,162 3 Claims. (Cl. 84314) The present invention relates to musical instruments and, more particularly, to an improved finger board having frets for stringed instruments such as banjos, guitars, mandolins, ukuleles and the like.

In the science of piano tuning the treble section of the piano which includes the thinner and shorter strings or wires, these strings or wires are sharp the same, that is, to raise the pitch thereof, whereby the high tones meet the natural demands of the human ear and are more brilliant.

Likewise, in the art of playing instruments of the violin family which instruments have smooth or unfretted finger boards, the player is capable of slightly sharping the treble tones produced by fingering in the so-called higher positions to accomplish similar elfects.

However, heretofore no such provision has been made for accomplishing these effects with stringed instruments having fretted finger boards.

Accordingly, an object of the present invention is to provide a fretted finger board for stringed instruments adapted to accomplish the aforementioned desirable effects which are created by slightly sharping or extending the higher tones.

Another object is to provide such a finger board which accomplishes these effects without any skill or special training on the part of the player of the instrument and which enables the instrument to be played in the natural manner.

A further object is to accomplish the foregoing in a simple, practical and economical manner.

Other and further objects will be obvious upon an understanding of the illustrative embodiment about to be described, or Will be indicated in the appended claims, and various advantages not referred to herein will occur to one skilled in the art upon employment of the invention in practice.

A preferred embodiment of the invention has been chosen for purposes of illustration and description and is shown in the accompanying drawing, forming a part of the specification, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a fragmentary plan view of a guitar illustrating the upper or finger board end thereof.

FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary plan view of the lower zone of the finger board illustrating the fret arrangement in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a further enlarged fragmentary sectional View taken along the line 3-3 on FIG. 2.

Referring now to the drawing in detail, there is shown a portion of a stringed instrument, such as a guitar by way of example, which is conventional in construction and arrangement in that it generally comprises a body or sound box 10, a fretted finger board 11 extending upwardly from the body (to the left as viewed), and six strings 12 extending lengthwise and spaced crosswise above the finger board in the customary manner (FIG. 1). These strings are tuned upwardly in conventional manner from E (one line below the bass clef), as follows:

stretched to slightly E, A, D, G, B, and E (first line of the treble clef). Thus, the second octave or treble octave commences at the twelfth fret (fret 25) from the nut and extends to the twenty-second fret (fret 35), whereby the instrument has a range of about three octaves of the chromatic scale.

The finger board of a guitar, such as shown herein, usually is provided with twenty-two frets 14 to 35 which are spaced lengthwise a progressively shorter distance between adjacent frets from the nut 13 or upper end of the finger board towards the lower end of the finger board. In accordance with the present invention, the frets 25 to 35 (FIG. 2) for producing notes or chords in the treble octave are constructed and arranged to provide the desirable effects mentioned heretofore. This is accomplished by maintaining these frets parallel to each other and slanting these frets at an angle of about two degrees from their normal position, shown in broken lines upwardly to the right, as viewed, to thereby progressively sharp, that is, to raise the pitch of the strings from the bass side to the treble side of the string arrangement.

These frets at their lower ends (as viewed) are below the bass string E in their normal or conventional positions.

Thus, the frets 25 to 35 which are in the lower zone (to the right as viewed) of the finger board are so slanted, while the frets 14 to 24 which are'in the upper zone (to the left as viewed) of the finger board preferably are maintained in the normal or conventional position, that is, perpendicular or at right angles to the longitudinal axis of the finger board.

By slightly extending or sharping the treble octave, the higher tones meet the natural demands of the human ear and have more brilliance. Also, by slanting the frets 25 to 35 at a slight angle only the more treble-like strings G, B and E are appreciably affected. These strings are increasingly affected in the order named. Also, since the adjacent frets 25 to 35 in the lower zone of the finger board are progressively closer together and these frets are extended towards the lower end of the finger board the same distance with respect to a given string of the strings A, D, G, B and E, the degree or percentage of sharping of each string increases progressively from fret 25 to fret 35.

In FIG. 3, a preferred manner of mounting the frets on the finger board is shown in detail.

From the foregoing description, it will be seen that the present invention provides an improved, desirable and useful fret arrangement for stringed instruments. This is accomplished in a simple and economical manner.

As various changes may be made in the form, construction, and arrangement of the parts herein, without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention and without sacrificing any of its advantages, it is to be understood that all matters are to be interpreted as illustrative and not in any limiting sense.

What is claimed is:

1. In a stringed musical instrument having a bridge end and a nut end, a finger board having a plurality of lengthwise spaced crosswise extending substantially parallel frets thereon divided into two groups, one of said groups being adjacent the nut end and the other of said groups being adjacent the bridge end, said bridge end gnou-p being slanted at an angle with respect to la longitudinal axis of the instrument and towards said bridge end,

whereby the strings may be progressively sharped from the bass side to the treble side of the stringarrangement."

2. A finger board for a guitar and the like having a plurality of strings, said finger board comprising a group of about eleven frets adjacent a nut end of said finger board spaced lengthwise and extending crosswise on said finger board at right angles to the longitudinal axis of said finger board, and a group of about eleven frets adjacent a bridge end of said fingerboard spaced lengthwise and substantially parallel to each other and extending crosswise on said finger board at an angle to the lenaloasae V gitudinal axis of said finger board and towards said bridge end, whereby the strings may be'progressively sharped from a bass side to a treble side of the finger board.-

3. A finger board according to claim 2, wherein said frets adjacent said bridgeend are slanted at an angle of about two degrees. 7

References Cited in thefile of'this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US652353 *Oct 11, 1898Jun 26, 1900Erik Adolf EdgrenStringed instrument.
US1578744 *Aug 10, 1925Mar 30, 1926Jensen Manby Charles Evelyn CrFinger board of violins and like stringed instruments
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3273439 *Aug 5, 1965Sep 20, 1966Keefe Chester PDevice which accommodates removable frets on any fretted stringed instrument
US3688632 *Feb 22, 1971Sep 5, 1972Francis C HallStringed musical instrument
US4023460 *Apr 21, 1976May 17, 1977Kuhnke Horst FIntonation aid for the violin, viola and cello and other instruments of the violin family
US4777858 *Apr 14, 1986Oct 18, 1988Petschulat David JAdjustable string contact system for a musical instrument
US4852450 *Jun 30, 1988Aug 1, 1989Ralph NovakFingerboard for a stringed instrument
US5133239 *Feb 11, 1991Jul 28, 1992Rudolph ThomasCurved fret arrangement for guitar or similar instrument
US7256336 *Jan 14, 2005Aug 14, 2007Muncy Gary OStringed instrument and associated fret mapping method
US7423208Aug 13, 2007Sep 9, 2008Muncy Gary OStringed instrument and associated fret mapping method
US7507888Jan 11, 2008Mar 24, 2009Rivera Humberto Jason EFret and fingerboard for stringed instruments
U.S. Classification84/314.00R, 984/115
International ClassificationG10D3/00, G10D3/06
Cooperative ClassificationG10D3/06
European ClassificationG10D3/06