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Publication numberUS3688632 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 5, 1972
Filing dateFeb 22, 1971
Priority dateFeb 22, 1971
Publication numberUS 3688632 A, US 3688632A, US-A-3688632, US3688632 A, US3688632A
InventorsPerez Henry C
Original AssigneeFrancis C Hall
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Stringed musical instrument
US 3688632 A
Abstract
A stringed musical instrument comprising a sound box, an elongated fingerboard attached to the sound box, a plurality of strings mounted on the sound box and the fingerboard with the strings extending from the sound box along the fingerboard, and a plurality of frets mounted on the fingerboard with at least one fret adjacent the outer end of the sound box forming an angle of greater than 90 DEG with the central longitudinal axis of the fingerboard as measured counterclockwise from the central axis of the fingerboard.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Perez [is] I 3,688,632 1 1 Sept. 5, 1972 [541 STRINGED MUSICAL INSTRUMENT [72] Inventor: Henry C. Perez, Torrance, Calif. [73] Assignee: Francis C. Hall, Newport Beach,

Calif. 221 Filed: Feb, 22, 1971 211 Appl.No.:1 17,434

[52] US. (:1. .Q ..84/3l4 511 1m. 01. ..Gl0d 3/06 [58] FieldofSearch ..84/267,293,3l4

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,931,418 10/1933 Stossel ..84/3l4 3,481,238 12/1969 Veres ..84/3l4 x- FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,083,535 6/1954 France ..84/27 Primary ExaminerRichard B. Wilkinson Assistant Examiner-John F. Gonzales Attorney-Smyth, Roston & Pavitt 57 ABSTRACT A stringed musical instrument comprising a sound box, an elongated fingerboard attached to the sound box, a plurality of strings mounted on the sound box and the fingerboard with the strings extending from the sound box along the fingerboard, and a plurality of frets mounted on the fingerboard with at least one fret adjacent the outer end of the sound box forming an angle of greater than 90 with the central longitudinal axis of the fingerboard as measured counterclockwise from the central axis of the fingerboard.

3 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures 1 STRINGED MUSICAL INSTRUMENT BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION As is well known, a stringed musical instrument-such as a guitar includes a sound box, a fingerboard attached to the sound box, a plurality of strings mounted on the sound box and the fingerboard and a plurality of frets on the fingerboard. In playing a stringed musical instrument such as a guitar, it is necessary for the player to press particular regions of the strings against the frets with considerable dexterity.

In conventional guitars, the frets are perpendicular to the strings and to the longitudinal axis of the fingerboard. This necessitates movement of entire left left arm from the shoulder to the hand in changing the position of the hand along the fingerboard. This makes playing of the instrument difficult particularly when the hand is near the outer end of the fingerboard.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention substantially facilitates playing of stringed musical instruments such as a guitar by rotating the frets counterclockwise from their usual position. Specifically, the frets form an angle of greater than 90 with the central longitudinal axis of the fingerboard as measured counterclockwise from the central axis of the fingerboard. This permits a player to keep his left elbow at his side and merely pivot his left hand and forearm about his elbow to accomplish the necessary hand movements along the fingerboard. This makes playing of the guitar much easier.

It is particularly important that the frets adjacent the outer end of the fingerboard be turned counterclockwise as described hereinabove. If this is not done, substantial movement of the entire left arm from the shoulder down is necessary in order for the fingers of the hand to properly contact the strings at such outer region. Preferably all of the frets are turned counterclockwise and are parallel.

Although the angular fret concept of this invention can be used with fingerboards of various lengths, it is particularly adapted for use on an elongated fingerboard. This is because the need for the angular fret concept is greater as the distance away from the sound box increases. By way of example, a fingerboard of only roughly one hand width in length could in most instances, be played with little or no elbow movement. However, substantial elbow movement is required in playing of a guitar having the usual elongated fingerboard particularly when the hand must be positioned near the outer extremity of the fingerboard.

The nut and the bridge of the instrument are also preferably parallel to the frets. This assists in producing better quality intonation.

The angular fret concept is applicable to both left and righthanded fretted instruments. In either instrument the section of the bass string between the sound box and each of the frets forms an angle of greater than 90 with the section of each of the frets, which lies between the bass and treble strings.

The invention can best be understood by reference to the following description takenin connection with the accompanying illustrative drawing.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a guitar constructed in accordance with'the teachings of this invention.

FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary view taken generally along line 2-2 of FIG. 1 showing one way in which the frets may be mounted on the fingerboard.

FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary plan view of a section of the fingerboard.

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary perspective view illustrating how the guitar of the present invention can be played while maintaining the left elbow in at the side of the player.

FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary plan view similar to FIG. 3 showing an alternate construction.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS FIG. 1 illustrates a guitar 11 constructed in accordance with the teachings of this invention.-

Generally the guitar 11 includes a sound box 13 havingan elongated fingerboard 15 rigidly mounted thereon. A plurality of strings '17 (six being illustrated) are mounted adjacent the forward end of the sound box by a mounting member 19. The opposite ends of the strings 17 are affixed to posts 21 adjacent the outer extremity of the fingerboard 15. The strings extend in evenly spaced parallel relationship along the sound box 13 and the fingerboard 15. The tension in the strings 17 can be individually adjusted by tuning pegs 23, each of which is drivingly connected to one of the posts 21. By turning one of the tuning pegs 23, the associated post 21 is also rotated to thereby tighten or loosen the string affixed thereto.

A bridge 25 is mounted in spaced parallel relationship along the sound box 13 and the strings 17 extends over the bridge in conventional fashion. The guitar 1 1 also includes a nut 27 which is mounted on the fingerboard 15 adjacent the outer end of the fingerboard. Three electrical sound pickups 28 are mounted adjacent the sound box 13. Control knobs 29 are mounted on the sound box 13 to permit the usual sound volume and quality adjustments.

A plurality of frets 31 are mounted on the fingerboard 15. Each of the frets 31 may be an elongated metal member partially embedded in the fingerboard 15 as shown in FIG. 2.

Preferably the frets 31 are parallel to each other and extend generally transverse to the strings 17 and to the longitudinal axis 33 (FIG. 3) of the fingerboard 15. Each of the frets 31 forms an angle .1: with the axis 33 which is greater than 90 as measured counterclockwise from the axis 33. The longitudinal axis 33 is preferably parallel to the strings, and the frets 31 form similar angles with the strings 17. Although the angle x body to play the guitar and accessibility to the frets is enhanced.

The bridge 25, the pickups 28 and the nut 27 are parallel to the frets 31. This improves the quality to sound obtained from the guitar.

With reference to FIGS. 1 and 3, the strings 17 include a bass string 35 and a treble string 37 extending in parallel relationship along generally opposite edge portions of the fingerboard 15. The frets 31 extend between the strings 35 and 37 and the strings 17 including the strings 35 and 37 are parallel to the axis 33. From FIGS. 1 and 3, it is apparent that the section of the bass string 35 between the sound box and each of the frets 31 forms an angle 1: of greater than 90 with the section of each of the frets 31 which lies between the bass string and the treble string 37.

The embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-4 is a righthanded guitar and as such the bass string 35 is above the treble string 37 when the guitar is held in a standard playing position as illustrated in FIG. 4. FIG. 5 shows a left-handed guitar 11a embodying the concepts of the present invention. Portions of the embodiment of FIG. 5 corresponding with portions of the embodiment of FIGS. -l4 are designated by corresponding reference characters followed by the letter a. Except as specifically noted herein, the guitar 11a is identical to the guitar 11.

The guitar 1.1a includes a sound box 13a, an elongated fingerboard 15a and a plurality of parallel strings 17 including a bass string 35a and a treble string 37a. A plurality of frets 310 are mounted on the fingerboard 15a beneath the strings 17a.

The guitar 11a differs from the guitar 1! in that with the sound boxes 13 and 13a placed together and with the fingerboards 15 and 15a projecting in the same direction, the fets 31 and 31a are angled oppositely relative to their respective axes 3 and 33a. Structurely, however, the guitar 11a has the same angled fret concept in that the section of the bass string 35a between the sound box 130 and each of the frets 31a forms an angle x which is greater than 90 with the section of each of the frets 31a which lies between the bass string and the treble string 37a. Thus, by angling of the frets 310 as shown in FIG. 5 the concepts of this invention are made applicable to a left-handed guitar or similar fretted instruments. The guitar 13a includes a nut and a bridge (not shown) which are parallel to the frets 31a substantially as described hereinabove with reference to FIGS. 1-4.

The invention as described herein with reference to FIGS. 14 has been for an instrument adapted for use by a righthanded person. By positioning the frets, nut and bridge at an angle of over 90 as measured clockwise from the central longitudinal axis of the fingerboard and otherwise following the teachings of this invention, the invention is made applicable to a lefthanded fretted instrument.

Although an exemplary embodiment of the invention has been shown and described, many changes, modifications, and substitutions may be made by one having ordinary skill in the art without necessarily departing from the spirit and scope of this invention.

I claim: 1. A right-handed stringed musical instrument comprising:

a sound box;

an elongated fingerboard attached to the sound box;

a plurality of strings;

means for mounting said strings on said sound box and said fingerboard with said strings extending from said nut along said fingerboard at least to said bridge;

a plurality of frets on the fingerboard adjacent said strings, said frets being generally parallel to each other and generally transverse to said strings, each of said frets forming an angle of greater than with the central longitudinal axis of the fingerboard as measured counterclockwise from the central axis of the fingerboard; and

said nut and said bridge being substantially parallel to said frets.

2. An instrument as defined in claim 1 wherein said strings include a bass string and treble string and the section of each of said frets between said base and treble strings forms an angle of greater than 90 withsaid bass string as measured counterclockwise from said base string.

3. A stringed musical instrument comprising:

a sound box;

- an elongated fingerboard attached to the sound box;

a bridge mounted on the sound box;

a plurality of strings including a bass string and a treble string;

means for mounting said strings with said strings extending along said fingerboard at least to said bridge and with said bass string and said treble string extending along generally opposite edge portions of the fingerboard;

a plurality of frets on the fingerboard, said frets being generally parallel to each other and generally transverse to said strings, said strings extending over said frets and each of said frets extending between the bass and treble strings;

the section of said bass string between the sound box and each of said frets forming an angle of greater than 90 with the section of each of said frets which lies between said bass string and said treble string, said angle being measured clockwise from said bass string; and

said bridge and said nut being substantially parallel to said frets.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US652353 *Oct 11, 1898Jun 26, 1900Erik Adolf EdgrenStringed instrument.
US1931418 *May 29, 1930Oct 17, 1933Georg StosselStringed musical instrument
US3103846 *Feb 14, 1962Sep 17, 1963Webster James DFinger board for stringed musical instruments
US3481238 *Dec 8, 1967Dec 2, 1969Raymond M VeresStringed musical instrument
FR1083535A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4023460 *Apr 21, 1976May 17, 1977Kuhnke Horst FIntonation aid for the violin, viola and cello and other instruments of the violin family
US4295404 *Mar 14, 1980Oct 20, 1981Dimarzio Musical Instrument Pickups, Inc.Compensated nut for a lute-type instrument
US5852249 *Jul 3, 1997Dec 22, 1998Actodyne General, Inc.Elongated string support for a stringed musical instrument
US6034310 *May 14, 1997Mar 7, 2000Kolano; JozefString instrument, method of playing a string instrument, apparatus for manufacture of a string instrument, and string instrument kit
US6069306 *Mar 1, 1999May 30, 2000Gibson Guitar Corp.Stringed musical instrument and methods of manufacturing same
US6965066Jan 15, 2003Nov 15, 2005Actodyne General, Inc.Elongated string support for a stringed musical instrument
WO2000052675A1 *Jan 28, 2000Sep 8, 2000Gibson Guitar Corp.Stringed musical instrument and methods of manufacturing same
Classifications
U.S. Classification84/314.00R, 984/107, 984/115
International ClassificationG10D3/06, G10D1/08, G10D3/00, G10D1/00
Cooperative ClassificationG10D1/085, G10D3/06
European ClassificationG10D1/08B, G10D3/06