US 3250167 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 10, 1966 E. D. PORTER 3,250,167
TONE LEVERS FOR INDIVIDUAL STRINGS IN A STRINGED MUSICAL INSTRUMENT Filed Nov. 8, 1963 Fig. 1 10 INVENTOR Z E EL DEW/V PORTER United States Patent 3,250,167 TONE LEVERS FOR INDIVIDUAL STRINGS IN A STRIN GED MUSICAL INSTRUMENT Earl D. Porter, Rte. 1, Lucasville, Ohio Filed Nov. 8, 1963, Ser. No. 322,447 3 Claims. (Cl. 84-313) This invention relates to a device for changing the tones of individual strings in a musical stringed instrument, and more particularly to a tone lever for manually changing the tones of individual strings in a guitar while it is being played.
Although it is not new to provide a stringed musical instrument with devices for changing the tones of its strings, still some of these devices are restricted to changing the tones of the strings before the instrument can be played, or to changing the tones of all the strings or a plurality of strings simultaneously. Moreover, it is known that there is a guitar including means for controlling the tone of an individual string, but this device can only be operated by a foot pedal.
It isttherefore an object of this invention to provide a device permitting the musician to change the tone of an individual string manually while playing a stringed instrument.
Another object of this invention is to provide a device for changing the tones in a pair of strings in a stringed musical instrument entirely independently of each other.
A further object of this invention is to provide a device for independently changing the tones of individual strings in a musical stringed instrument by depressing a lever controlling each string, either one at a time or simultaneously with the same arm or hand of the musician while the instrument is being played.
A further object of this invention is to provide novel tone levers adapted for manual depression to either raise or lower the tones of individual strings.
Another object of this invention is to. provide novel tone levels for a stringed instrument which are simply and economically constructed and easily and conveniently manipulated.
Further objects and advantages of this invention will be apparent from the following description taken in conjunction'with the drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a fragmentary top plan view of the face of the acoustic body of a guitar upon which the invention is mounted;
FIG. 2 is a side elevation of the invention disclosed in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a section taken along the line 3-3 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a section taken along the line 44 of FIG. 1.
Referring to the drawings in more detail, FIGS. 1 and 2 disclose a fragment of a guitar 10 including an acoustic body 11 supporting a bridge 12 and a tailpiece 13. The forward ends of the first string 15, second string 16 and the 3rd, 4th, th and 6th strings 17 are fixed in a conventional manner, not shown, to pegs on the head of the guitar to span the fingerboard, not shown, in a conventional manner. All of the strings 15, 16 and 17 extend rearwardly across and in contact with the bridge 12, and the rear ends of the strings 17 are fixed in the tailpiece 13. The rear ends of the first string 15 and the second string 16 are independently secured to separate tone changing devices for decreasing and increasing the tension in the strings 15 and 16, respectively.
The device for securing the rear end of the first string 15 comprises a bracket 20 having a base 21 adapted-to be fixed by any convenient means, not shown, to the face or top surface of the acoustic body 11 in substantial alignment with the first string 15. The bracket 20 also includes a pair of laterally spaced upstanding posts 22 and 3,255,167 Patented May 10, 1966 ice 23 having transversely aligned openings through which is journaled the rotary rod 24. Fixed to the rod 24 between the posts 22 and 23 is a substantially L-shaped lever 25 having a handle member 26 curving transversely rearwardly and across the tailpiece 13 to terminate in a pressure disc 27 in a convenient position for operation by the forearm of the musician while playing the instrument 10. The lever 25 also has a terminal arm 28 depending below the rotary rod 24 and having an aperture therethrough for receiving the first string 15. The rear end of the string 15 is knotted or secured around a grooved collar 29 to secure the string 15 in the terminal arm 28.
A threaded stop bolt or head 30 threadedly engages a tapped hole, not shown, in the face of the body 11 directly below and in the pivotal path of the handle member 26 so as to limit the downward movement of the handle member 26 when the first string 15 has been relaxed sufficiently to provide the desired tone value. In order to limit the upward movement of the handle member 26, a coil spring 31 of the desired tension connects the handle member 26 to the base 21, as disclosed in FIGS. 2 and 3. The value of the spring 31 should be such that when the lever 25 is inoperative, the first string 15 will be maintained at its normal or original tone value. In the preferred form of the invention, the stop head '30 is adjusted so that when the handle member 26 abuts the stop head 30, the first string 15 will be lowered one full tone.
The mechanism for securing the rear end of the sec ond string 16 also comprises a bracket 34 having a base 35 fixed by convenient means, not shown, to the face of the body 11 in substantial alignment with the second string 16. Extending upward from the base 35 are a pair of laterally spaced posts, or ears, 36 and 37 having a pair of transversely aligned openings through which is journaled the transverse rotary rod 38. A second lever 39 has a handle member 49 extending toward the head or forwardly of the bracket 34. The handle member 40 terminates in a slight curve across the third string 17 in order to provide a sufficient pressure surface for receiving the palm of the hand corresponding to the same forearm as presses the disc 27. The lever 39 also has a terminal arm 41 depending below the transverse rotary rod 38 and having an aperture for receiving the second string 16. The rear end of the second string 16 is also secured around a grooved collar 42 to provide an enlargement to secure the string 16 in the arm 41.
A second threaded stop bolt or head 43 threadedly engages a tapped hole in the face of the body 11 below and in the pivotal path of the handle member 40 to limit the down-ward movement of the handle member 40. A stop rod 45 is fixed transversely through the opposing posts 36 and 37 above the handle member 40 to limit the upward movement of the handle member 40 when the second string 16 has attained its normal or original tone. The stop head 43 is adjusted to the proper elevation so that when the handle member 40 engages the stop head 43, the second string 16 preferably will have been raised a full tone.
It will be noted that each of the levers 25 and 39 are substantially L-shaped having their respective terminal arms 28 and 41 depend below their respective transverse rotary rods 24 and 38 for securing the rear ends of their respective strings 15 and 16. However, the handle members 26 and 40 of this similarly shaped levers 25 and 39 extend in opposite directions so that depression of both handle members will loosen the string 15 to lower its tone and simultaneously tighten the string 16 to raise its tone, respectively.
It should be further noted that the handle members 26 and 40 extend in opposite directions from each other in a curve as shown in FIG. 1 to afford the maximum convenience for the musician in manipulating the tones of the strings 15 and 16 with one arm without interrupting the playing of the instrument 10. Moreover, the particular shape and location of the handle members 26 and 40 permit the musician to operate one handle member 26 or 40 at a time, or both handle members simultaneously.
Although either of these tone changing levers 25 or 39 may be employed on other individual strings, they have been employed for lowering the first string 15 a full tone and raising the second string 16 a full tone because of the desirable musical quality and tones obtained. There is a particular advantage in lowering the first string 15 a full tone by manipulation of the lever 25, since to obtain the same results with a conventionally stringed guitar, would require that the hand be stretched beyond the range of human possibility.
It will be noted in FIG. 2 that the strings 15 and 16 are carried across the bridge 12 at an obtuse angle greater than the angle of the strings 17. This increased angle of contact will reduce wear and the possibility of cutting the strings 15 and 16 during their more frequent frictional movement across the bridge 12. It is also desirable to apply a small amount of lubricant to the portion of the strings 15 and 16 which contact the bridge 12.
It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various changes may be made in the invention without departing from the spirit and scope thereof, and therefore the invention is not limited by that which is shown in the drawings and described in the specification, but only as indicated in the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. In a stringed musical instrument having a face and a plurality of strings strung longitudinally from front to rear of said face, a device for changing the tone of one of said strings comprising:
(a) an upstanding bracket fixed to said face in alignment with said one string, (b) a tone lever including an elongated handle member and an L-shaped portion having a depending terminal arm and a lever portion coplanar with said terminal arm and forming one end of said handle member,
(c) means for journaling said L-shapedportion about a pivotal axis between said lever portion and said terminal arm to said bracket to pivot in the plane of said L-shaped portion in alignment with said one string and substantially normal to said face,
(d) means for fixing the rear end. of said one string to said terminal arm between said face and said pivotal axis,
(e) an adjustable stop head mounted on said face in the pivotal path of said handle member for engagement by said handle member when depressed,
(f) means on said bracket in the pivotal path of said handle member for limiting the pivotal movement of said handle member away from said face to a normal-tone position.
2. The invention according to claim 1 in which said handle member extends rearwardly and transversely of said face for manipulation by the forearm of the operator of the musical instrument, and to relax the tension in said one string to lower its tone when said handle member is depressed.
3. The invention according to claim 1 in which said handle member extends forwardly substantially along said one string for manipulation by the hand of the operator of said musical instrument, and to increase the tension in said string to raise its tone when said handle member is depressed.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,883,410 10/1932 Ryan 843 12 2,073,226 3/1937 Schrickel 84-513 X 3,162,083 12/1964 Webster 84-3 13 FOREIGN PATENTS 942,999 11/1963 Great Britain.
LOUIS I. CAPOZI, Primary Examiner.
LEO SMILOW, Examiner.
C. M. OVERBEY, Assistant Examiner.