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Publication numberUS3388206 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 11, 1968
Filing dateMay 21, 1965
Priority dateMay 21, 1965
Publication numberUS 3388206 A, US 3388206A, US-A-3388206, US3388206 A, US3388206A
InventorsThomas E Sines
Original AssigneeMarvin Pope
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Guitar with remote control organ playing means
US 3388206 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June l1, 1968 T. E. SINES 3,388,206

GUITAR WITH REMOTE CONTROL ORGAN PLAYING MEANS Filed May 2l, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet l n A 5 c go o E 5a )n V`| Thomas E. Sillas 7 36 32 5 INVENTOR.

72 A .Yx 26 BY 74 June ll, 1968 T. E. slNEs 3,388,206

GUITR'WITH REMOTE CONTROL ORGAN PLAYING MEANS Filed May 2l, 1965 2 Sl'xeeLs-Sheeyc 2 Fig. 4 '-7 3 36 38 40 Thomas E. sines INVENTOR.

United States Patent O 3,388,206 GUITAR WITH REMOTE CONTROL ORGAN PLAYING MEANS l Thomas E. Sines, Sacramento, Calif., assigner of ten percent to Marvin Pope, Sacramento, Calif. Filed May 21, 1965, Ser. No. 457,657 Claims. (Cl. 841.16)

This invention relates to va musical instrument and more particularly to a fingerboard control for tone generators.

The present invention pertains to the control of electronic tone generators or the like which employ, for example, a plurality of oscillator circuits one of which is completed at any one time to produce a musical tone. Thus, a selected tone producing circuit is completed under control of the player at any instant in order to produce a musical tone as part of a musical composition. Control over the tone producing circuits is exercised through a fingerboard which may be associated, for example, with a guitar or other similar stringed instruments which are provided with a plurality of longitudinally spaced frets adapted to be depressed by the fingers of the player.

A primary object of the present invention, therefore, is to provide a fingerboard control system through which a single selected tone producing circuit is completed at any one time.

An additional object of the present invention is to provide an interconnected switching system -associated with the fingerboard of a musical instrument by means of which a single tone producing circuit is completed at any instant even though two or more frets may be actuated at the same time. Accordingly, the fingerboard control system of the present invention will prevent the generation of two or more tones at the same time and thereby avoid the generation of undesired tones by the tone generator with which the fingerboard control system is associated;

These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation -as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:

FIGURE 1 is a diagrammatic view of the musical fingerboard control system of the present invention;

FIGURE 2 is a perspective view of the apparatus associate-d with the present invention;

FIGURE 3 is an electrical circuit diagram corresponding to the fingerboard control system of the present invention;

FIGURE 4 is an enlarged top plan view of a portion of the fingerboard associated with the present invention;

FIGURE 5 is an enlarged bottom plan view of the fingerboard with the enclosing member removed showing the switching circuitry.

FIGURE 6 is an enlarged sectional view taken substantially through a plane indicated by the section line 6-6 in FIGURE 4;

FIGURE 7 is an enlarged transverse sectional view taken substantially through a plane indicated by section line 7-7 in FIGURE 4; and

FIGURE 8 is an enlarged partial sectional view showing a portion of the fingerboard in an actuated condition.

Referring now to the drawings in detail, it will be observed from FIGURES l and 2 that the system of the present invention may involve a stringed instrument such as the guitar 10 and a tone generator 12 through which a plurality of different tones are produced under control of the player through the fingerboard 14 of the instrument 10. Accordingly, the fingerboard is electrically connected to the tone generator 12 by means of the electric cable ice 16, the terminal box 13, the terminal strip 20 and the plurality of terminal elements 22 extending from the terminal strip through which a plurality of different oscillator circuits, for example, may be established, each circuit when completed producing a different musical tone. Each of the musical tone producing circuits is therefore completed when one of a plurality of frets on the lingerboard 14 is actuated by the player.

Referring now to FIGURES 4, 6 and 7, it will be observed that the fingerboard 14 includes an elongated chamber enclosing member 24 to which a top supporting member 26 is connected enclosing a control chamber 27 within which the electrical circuitry is housed. Mounted above the supporting member 26 of the fingerboard, in the usual fashion, are a plurality of strings 28. Each string is aligned with a plurality of longitudinally spaced frets 34, each fret being associated with one of a plurality of switch devices 32. The frets 34 yare connected to switch actuating plunger elements 36 slidably mounted within the supporting member 26 by sleeves 38, each fret being exposed above the supporting member 26 between transversely spaced gaps in longitudinally spaced ribs 40 which project upwardly from the top of the supporting member 26. As will be observed from FIGURE 4, a plurality of switch devices 32 are transversely spaced yalong each rib 40 beneath respective strings 28 so as to form a plurality of longitudinally spaced banks of switches A, B, C, D, E, F, etc. extending from one end of the fingerboard toward the other end. Thus, each string will have associated therewith a plurality of longitudinally spaced switch devices within each of the switch banks, each switch device when actuated being operative to complete a different tone producing circuit. It will therefore also be apparent that when the player depresses one of the strings adjacent to one of the frets 34, the fret will be downwardly depressed so as to -actuate the switch device with which it is associated and complete the selected tone producing circuit. However, as it may often happen, more than one of the frets will be depressed at the same instant. Ordinarily, more than one of the tone producing circuits would be completed under the foregoing situation. However, in accordance with the present invention, the switching circuit arrangement is such that actuation of that switch device farthermost from one end of the fingerboard will not only complete an associated tone producing circuit, but will also prevent completion of all other tone producing circuits by those frets which precede it. For example, if one of the switch devices Within the bank of switches D were actuated by depression of an associated fret 34, it will complete a corresponding tone producing circuit and will at the same time prevent establishment of tone producing circuits by the switch devices longitudinally spaced therefrom Within the banks of switches C. Therefore, operation of the musical instrument of the lpresent invention is limited to the generation of a single musical tone at any single instant.

Referring now to FIGURES 5, 6 and 7, it will be observed that a plurality of ground anchoring elements 42 are threadedly mounted within the supporting member 26 having head portions 44 disposed within the chamber 27 spaced from the underside of the supporting member 26 and secured in position by means of nuts 46 disposed within recesses 48 formed in the top of the supporting member 26. One anchoring element 42 is associated with two of the switch devices 32 and all of the anchoring elements are electrically interconnected by a grounding wire 50. Accordingly, each switch device has associated therewith a movable Contact section 52, two of such movable contact sections of adjacent switch -devices being interconnected and looped about the anchoring element 42 associated with the two adjacent switch devices to both anchor the movable grounding contact sections to the supporting member 26 as well as to establish an electrical ground connection. Also looped about each anchor element 42, are a pair of interconnected contact biasing sections 54 associated with a different pair of adjacent switch devices, each biasing section 54 having the ends thereof spaced from the anchoring element 42, sheathed by nonconductive sheathing 56. The biasing section 54 associated with each switch device therefor overlies and engages through its sheathing 56, a tiexible ground contact element 53 which is held in close, spaced relation to the movable contact section 52 associated with the same switch device.

The contact section $2 is provided with an engaging portion 60 underlying the bottom of the switch actuating plunger 36 associated with the switch device. The engaging portion 60 therefore exerts an upward bias on the switch actuating plunger 3d so as to maintain its associated fret 34 in its upper position. lt will therefore be apparent that when the fret 3d is downwardly depressed, the actuating plunger 36 will downwardly displace the engaging portion 6d of the contact section 52 bringing it into electrical contact with the flexible contact member 53 causing displacement thereof against the bias of the element 54. The flexible contact member 58 is therefore anchored to the `underside of the supporting member 26 by its anchor portion 62 on that side of a transverse recess 64 opposite the switch actuating plunger 36 with which the flexible contact member 58 is associated. Accordingly, a plurality of such transverse recesses 64 are formed in the underside of the support member 26 adjacent to each of the switch devices. Each flexible contact member S is also provided with a non-conductive bearing element 66 overlying the transverse recess 64 so that it may be engaged by a spacing setscrew threadedly mounted by the support member 26 and projecting through the recess 64 for interengagement with the bearing element 66 in order to hold the flexible contact member 58 in spaced relation to the engaging portion 60. Thus, the spacing between the exible contact member 58 and the engaging portion of the grounding contact section 52 may be adjusted for proper operation of the fingerboard. The flexible contact member is also electrically connected at its anchoring portion 62, to a switch connecting conductor 70.

Also associated with each of the switch devices 32 is a ixedly mounted contact member 72 which extends into the recess 64 in close laterally spaced relation to the ilexible contact member 58 with which it is associated. The fixedly mounted contact member 72 underlies and is in engagement with a contact element 7d formed by the looped en-d of the switch connecting conductor 70, the other end of which is connected to the liexible Contact member 5S of a preceding longitudinally spaced switch device. Accordingly, in the inactive position of each switch device 32, an electrical connection is established through the connecting conductor 7() with a longitudinally preceding switch device. The contact element 74 is mounted in non-conductive relation on the engaging portion 60 by means of the insulating sleeve 76. Also, the lixedly mounted contact member is supported for engagement with the Contact element 74 in the inactive position of the switch device by means of a second spacing setscrew 78 projecting into the transverse recess 64. The iixed contact member '72 is also electrically connected to one end of a circuit establishing conductor 8d which extends into the connecting cable 16 for electrical connection to the tone generator 12 aforementioned. It will therefore be apparent that in the inactive position of each switch device, a tone producing circuit associated with the longitudinally preceding switch device is established through the normally closed contacts 74 and 72. When the switch device is actuated, as shown in FIGURE 8, the switch actuating plunger 36 will displace the engaging portion 60 on which the contact element 74 is mounted so as to move it out of contact with the lixedly fore be noted from FIGURE 3 that when a switch de-` vice 32 associated, for example, with the bank of switches D is actuated, the movable engaging portion 6d makes electrical contact with the biased contact member 58 in order to complete an energizing circuit through the normally closed switch contacts of the following switch device to which the iiexible contact member 58 is connected by the connecting conductor 70. At the same time that the normally opened switch contacts 6i) and 58 are closed in the active position of the switch device 32, the normally closed switch contacts 74 and 72 are opened so as to prevent completion of an energizing circuit through the conductor 30 connecting the switch contact 72 to the circuit terminal 22 associated with the switch device in the bank of switches C. Accordingly, only the circuit associated with the switch device within the bank of switches D will be completed by connection of the conductors 80 and 70 to ground. It will also be noted therefore, that the endmost switch devices within the bank of switches A will be provided with only the switch contacts 53 and 69 as operative components thereof.

The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, is it not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention as claimed.

What is claimed as new is as follows:

1. In combination with a musical fingerboard having a plurality of longitudinally spaced frets mounted thereon, at least one string adapted to be depressed at selected locations causing displacement of selected frets and a tone generator adapted to emit a plurality of different tones, electrical means connecting said lingerboard to the tone generator for producing said different tones in response to displacement of the respective frets comprising, a plurality of switch devices mounted by the fingerboard in positions operatively engageable by said frets, a plurality of conductors electrically connecting said switch devices to the tone generator for completing selected energizing circuits producing said tones, and means electrically interconnecting said switch devices to prevent establishment of more than one of the energizing circuits at a time.

2. The combination of claim 1 wherein each of said switch device comprises a grounding contact, a circuit establishing element connected to one of said conductors, a movabie member mounted in operative relation to a fret for displacement from an inactive position to an active position in electrical contact with said grounding contact, a contact element connected to said electrical interconnecting means, and insulating means nonconductively mounting the contact element on the movable member for engagement with the circuit establishing element only in the inactive position of the movable member.

The combination of claim 2 wherein each of said switch devices further includes a pair of spacing elements adjustably mounted by the ingerboards in operative relation to the circuit establishing element and the insulating means, one of said spacing elements being engageable with the grounding contact for holding the same out of contact with the movable member in the inactive position thereof, the other of said spacing elements supporting the circuit establishing element in Contact with the contact element when the movable member is in lthe inactive position.

4. The combination of claim 1 wherein each of said switch devices includes normally opened switch means connected to said electrical interconnecting means for establishing one of the energizing circuits through another switch device, normally closed switch means connected to one of said conductors for connection thereof to the normally opened switch means of another of the switch devices, and actuating means engageable by one of the frets for simultaneously opening the normally closed switch means and closing the normally opened switch means.

5. In combination with a musical fingerboard having a plurality of longitudinally spaced frets mounted thereon, at least one string adapted to be depressed at selected locations causing displacement of selected frets and a tone generator adapted to emit a plurality of different tones, electrical means connecting said fingerboard to the tone generator for producing said diiferent tones in response to displacement of the respective frets comprising, a plurality of switch devices mounted by the iingerboard in positions operatively engageable by said frets, a plurality of conductors electrically connecting said switch devices to the tone generator for completing selected energizing circuits producing said tones, grounding means connected to each of said switch devices and conductive means interconnecting said switch devices, each switch device includ-r ing a xedly mounted contact connected to one of the conductors, a flexible contact member connected to said conductive means, means mounted on the fingerboard for holding the exible contact member in spaced relation to the grounding means, switch actuating means connected to said frets for displacing said grounding means into engagement with said flexible contact member to complete one of said energizing circuits, a contact element connected to said conductive means and engaged with said iixedly mounted contact for establishing another of said energizing circuits upon actuation of another switch device, and means non-conductively mounting said contact element on the grounding means for movement lout of contact with the fixedly mounted contact in response to said engagement of the exible contact member by the grounding means to prevent establishment of said other of the energizing circuits.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,792,738 5/1957 Donahue 841.l6 X 3,116,357 12/1963 Krebs Sil- 1.16 3,196,729 7/1965 Burns et al. 84-1.16 X 3,217,079 ll/1965 Murrell Sli- 1.16 3,340,343 9/1967 Woll Sli-1.16 X

ARTHUR GAUSS, Primary Examiner.

D. D. FORRER, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2792738 *Apr 28, 1954May 21, 1957William A DonahueFretted electronic musical instrument
US3116357 *Jun 26, 1961Dec 31, 1963Krebs LeoMusical instrument
US3196729 *Feb 5, 1963Jul 27, 1965Ormston Burns LtdMusical instruments
US3217079 *Jun 25, 1962Nov 9, 1965Robert H MurrellElectronic guitar
US3340343 *May 6, 1964Sep 5, 1967Baldwin Co D HStringless guitar-like electronic musical instrument
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3482028 *Aug 15, 1966Dec 2, 1969Cox Ivan FGuitar type keying system for other instruments
US3482029 *Sep 9, 1966Dec 2, 1969Marvin E PopeGuitar with remote control organ playing means
US3530226 *Apr 10, 1968Sep 22, 1970Gen Music IncStringed guitar with electronic organ tone generators actuated with fingerboard switches
US3530227 *Apr 10, 1968Sep 22, 1970Gen Music IncStringed guitar with electronic organ tone generators actuated with fingerboard switches or frets and conductive pick
US3560628 *Jun 30, 1967Feb 2, 1971Warwick Electronics IncMulti-channel key switch circuit
US3673304 *Nov 13, 1970Jun 27, 1972Raymond Lee Organization IncElectronic guitar having plural output channels, one of which simulates an organ
US3871247 *Dec 12, 1973Mar 18, 1975Arthur R BonhamMusical instrument employing time division multiplexing techniques to control a second musical instrument
US3948138 *Apr 28, 1975Apr 6, 1976Gunn Gary JVibrating string-modulated electronic musical instrument
Classifications
U.S. Classification84/722, 84/720, 84/DIG.300, 984/346
International ClassificationG10H1/34
Cooperative ClassificationG10H1/342, Y10S84/30
European ClassificationG10H1/34B