US 3859887 A
In a musical percussion instrument, a drumstick has an intermediate region between the striking tip and butt end provided with a freely pivotal grip which serves as an instructional aid by which the drumstick can be held without interfering with the limited free angular movement of the drumstick about the pivot axis between the grip and the drumstick. The shape of the grip is determined by the player's style of holding the drumstick, and the grip can be contoured to fit that portion of the hand in which the grip is held and in such a way as to aid a drummer in developing and perfecting a technique commonly referred to as "fingertip control.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 Buchanan [4 Jan. 14, 1975  DRUMSTICK GRIPPING AID  Inventor: Samuel R. Buchanan, 2480 S. Pnmary hammer-"Lawrence Franklm University, Apt. N0. 1, Denver, Colo. 80210 ABSTRACT In a musical percussion instrument, a drumstick has an  Flled' 1973 intermediate region between the striking tip and butt  Appl. No.: 404,487 end provided with a freely pivotal grip which serves as an instructional aid by which the drumstick can be held without interfering with the limited free angular movement of the drumstick about the pivot axis between the p and the drumstick The shape of the  Field of Search 84/41 1, 420, 422 g p is determined y the p y Style of holding the drumstick and the grip can be contoured to fit that  References Cited portion of the hand in which the grip 18 held and 1n UNITED STATES PATENTS such a way as to aid a drummer in developing and per- Z ls-fibensfeld et fecting a technique commonly referred to as fingertip impson t 1] 3,365,108 l/1968 Giba 84/422 S X con to 3,730,570 5/1973 Brochstein 84/422 S X 12 Clalms, 16 Drawing Figures PATENT JAN 1 4191s SHEET 10F 2 Fig-8 DRUMSTICK GRIPPING AID This invention relates to musical percussion instruments, and more particularly to a novel and improved drumstick for playing percussion instruments which facilitates gripping and control by a player without reducing the freedom of angular movement of the stick.
Within the intermediate region of the length of a drumstick is a percussion or balance point distinguished by the fact that a blow to the tip of a drumstick will cause the drumstick to pivot about that point. The drumstick is ideally held at or near the balance point in playing a drum, since gripping of the stick at this point will minimize the damping of the sticks movement as it strikes the surface of a drum. In order to properly instruct a student in the playing of a drum, commonly of the type known as the snare drum, it is helpful not only to aid the student in grasping the stick at that point but to encourage gripping of the stick in the proper manner. The latter is of particular importance in learning the fingertip control technique in which the stick is effectively hinged between the thumb and forfinger with the palm of the hand facing downwardly, and the last three fingers of the hand will control the rate of movement of the stick about the hinge formed.
Drumsticks have been devised which attempt to minimize damping or restraint on the motion of the drumstick, for example, by isolation of the wood of the stick from the fingers with some resilient material which can be gripped with firmness and which will not completely inhibit free motion of the drumstick. Another approach has been to provide some form of locator at the balance point. However, such designs do not establish freedom from restraint in pivotal movement as the stick rebounds from the drum; nor do they facilitate grasping and control of the drumstick at the balance point, especially for the student learning the fingertip control method of playing drums.
It is therefore an object of the invention to provide novel and improved gripping means on a drumstick which will not affect the freedom of motion of the tip of the drumstick as it rebounds from a playing surface irrespective of the tightness of the grip.
It is still another object ofthe invention to allow a student to learn the feel of a freely pivotal drumstick and encourage proper grasping and control of the stick by the fingertip control technique.
It is still another object of the present invention to provide various forms of gripping aids for a drumstick so that the student can select a grip according to individual preference.
In accordance with the present invention, preferred and alternate forms of gripping aids have been devised for drumsticks used in playing snare drums and the like generally in which a finger-engaging pivotal member is hinged to diametrically opposite sides of the drumstick at its control or balance point. The gripping aid in each case is particularly designed to enable gripping with the palm down and the forefinger and thumb engaging opposite sides of the gripping aid at the balance point. The last three fingers are curved around and beneath the butt end of the stick to control the rate of movement of the drumstick as it strikes and rebounds from the playing surface of the drum. It will be evident from the following description of preferred and alternate forms of the present invention that the particular grip utilized may suitably be varied, since the forms of gripping aids to be disclosed are simplified in construction and readily conformable for use with all standard drumsticks. Accordingly, the gripping aid may be affixed to conventional drumsticks or form a unitary part of the drumstick when it is constructed.
The above and other objects, advantages and capabilities of the present invention will become apparent as the description proceeds taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a drumstick illustrating attaching of one form of gripping aid in accordance with the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the drumstick and gripping aid illustrated in FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken about lines 3-3 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 4A is a cross-sectional view of a modified form of gripping aid in which the pivot element of the gripping aid forms a unitary part of the gripping aid.
FIG. 48 illustrates still another modified form of gripping aid for use with a fully rounded or circular drumstick at its balance point.
FIG. 5 illustrates an alternate form of invention in which the gripping aid is of one-piece construction.
FIG. 6 is a side view of the form of invention shown in FIG. 5 in elevation.
FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of the form of invention shown in FIG. 5 about lines 7-7.
FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view taken about line 8-8 of FIG. 5.
FIG. 9 illustrates a typical method of grasping the alternate form of invention shown in FIGS. 4 to 8 in the crotch formed between the thumb and forefinger of the hand.
FIG. 10 is a bottom perspective view of the illustration shown in FIG. 9.
FIG. 11 is a top plan view of another alternate form of invention and illustrating the manner of griping same.
FIG. 12 is a side view of the alternate form shown in FIG. 11.
FIG. 13 is a cross-sectional view of the form of invention shown in FIGS. 11 and l2'taken centrally through the pivot shaft of the gripping aid.
FIG. 14 is a top plan view of another modified form of invention; and
FIG. 15 is an elevational view of the form of invention shown in FIG. 14.
Referring in more detail to the drawings, there is shown in FIGS. 1 to 5 a gripping aid or device 28 for a conventional drumstick 18, the drumstick l8 suitably including a forward striking tip 20, a butt end 22 and an intermediate region 24. Thebalance area or section 26 of the drumstick falls within the intermediate region 24 and the various forms of gripping devices to be hereinafter described all are mounted at or directly adjacent to the balance area designated at 26.
In the form of invention illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 3, the balance area 26 of the drumstick is recessed on opposite sides to form a narrowed portion 32 which, as best seen from FIG. 3, is of generally oblong crosssection. Specifically, the narrowed or reduced portion 32 is defined by the remaining arcuate periphery of the drumstick along the upper surface 34 and the bottom surface 36 as well as by the flat opposite side surfaces 38 and 40.
The gripping aid 28 is preferably made up of a U- shaped piece of plastic 42 having straight sides 46 extending in spaced parallel relation to one another and spaced apart a distance just greater than the width of the reduced or narrowed portion 32. The sides are joined by an upper closed end 48, and the sides are pivotally connected to the drumstick by a metal pivot pin 44 which extends through openings 47 adjacent to the free ends of the sides 46 and which openings are aligned both with respect to one another and with respect toa bore extending transversely through the reduced portion 32 in the balance region of the drumstick.
Most desirably, the grip is composed of a plastic or metal material of limited resiliency which can be deformed into its U-shaped configuration for mounting on the pivot pin 44; yet will maintain its shape under normal gripping pressures when held in the hand. Moreover, the gripping device 28 is dimensioned such that the gap formed between the upper surface 34 of the drumstick and the upper curved surface 48 of the gripping device will allow the gripping device 28 to pivot through an angle which is preferably equal to or greater than 90, as illustrated in FIG. 2.
In use, the gripping device is held between the thumb and first finger with the palm of the hand facing downwardly and the up'and-down movement of the drumstick controlled by the last two or three fingers of the hand as it strikes and rebounds from the playing surface of the drum. Thus the gripping device enables the student or player to more closely sense the up-and-down movement of the drumstick through the finger action as described while accurately locating and maintaining the hand at the balance point of the drumstick.
An alternate form of pivotal mounting for a gripping device 28 is illustrated in FIG. 4A wherein the gripping device 28 is formed with inwardly projecting pivot members 50 adjacent to the free ends of the straight side portions 46, and each inwardly projecting pivot member is most desirably tapered to conform in configuration to the bearing surfaces 52 in the recesses formed in aligned relation to one another on diametrically opposite sides 38 and 40' of the reduced portion 32'.
Still another alternate form of gripping device 28" is illustrated in FIG. 4B which is adapted for use with a drumstick of full circular cross-section throughout. In other words, the balance region of the drumstick is not specially formed with a reduced portion 32. Accordingly, the gripping device has more widely spaced sides 58, and aligned openings 60 in the sides receive opposite ends of a pivot pin 56 which is inserted through a transverse bore 54 located in the balance region 26 of the drumstick.
Still another modified form of invention is illustrated in FIGS. to specifically in which a gripping device 62, which is suitably composed of plastic, is molded or otherwise formed to more closely fit the inner contours of the thumb 64 and forefinger 66 of the hand. As shown, the gripping device 62 is of saddle-shaped configuration having diametrically opposed concave surfaces 68 and 70 joined together by an intermediate concave surface 72. Again the spacing between the intermediate area 72 and upper surface of the drumstick is such as to permit pivotal movement over an angle equal to or greater than 90; also, the manner of pivotal connection between the gripping device 62 and flat sides of the drumstick corresponds to that illustrated and described with reference to FIG. 4A and therefore is not described in further detail.
Generally, in the form shown in FIGS. 5 to 10, the gripping device 62 is of saddle-shaped configuration and curved somewhat in a rearward direction so as to comfortably fit within the crotch formed between the thumb and forefinger. For this'purpose the concave surfaces 68, and 72 curve outwardly and forwardly and undergo a slightly reverse curve in forming the forward edge 71; and the concave surfaces curve rearwardly at a lower angle to terminate in the rearward edge portion 73. As best seen from FIGS. 9 and 10, when the palm is facing downwardly as shown in FIG. 9, the thumb and forefinger will encircle or surround opposite sides of the gripping device with the last three fingers of the hand curving beneath the butt-end of the stick so as to control the rate of up-and-down movement. The same relationship is seen from another angle in the bottom view of FIG. 10.
In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 11 to 13, a fragmentary portion of the drumstick is illustrated which defines the intermediate region 24 wherein shallow, generally circular recesses 78 formed on diametrically opposed sides of the drumstick in communication with a central bore or hole 88 at the balance area. The modified form of gripping device consists of generally discshaped elements 80 which are pivotally connected to the drumstick by a pivot member defined by a screw 82 having a head 84 countersunk into one of the grips 80., and the screw 82 is threaded into a recess formed in the end of the pin 86, the latter being passed through the central bore 88. The opposite end of the pin 86 is fixed in a counterbore formed in the inner side of the button or disc 80 opposite to that which is provided with the screw 84. j
In the modified form shown in FIGS. 14 and 15, the gripping device is defined by rings 90 which are pivotally connected to a reduced portion 32 formed at the balance region of the drumstick so that the rings project in a direction transversely away from diametrically opposite sides of the drumstick and are joined together by a common pivot pin 92 which extends through a transverse bore 94 formed centrally of the recessed portions 94 on opposite sides of the drumstick. The rings are each provided with an extension 96 which is inserted into a recessed portion on opposite side surfaces of the drumstick and each is provided with a limited counter-bore to receive an end of the pivot pin and to be fixed thereto so that the rings are fixed with respect to one another but freely pivotal with respect to the drumstick. In a similar fashion, the thumb and forefinger can be inserted through the rings and the remaining fingers of the hand placed beneath the butt-end of the stick to control its pivotal movement with respect to the rings. While the exact form of gripping device 90 is somewhat more restrictive than the others disclosed, it again permits free pivotal movement of the stick with respect to the gripping device and properly locates the hand with respect to the drumstick.
From the foregoing, there has been set forth and described preferred and alternate forms of gripping devices for a drumstick used in playing percussion instruments. While the gripping devices as disclosed are intended to be grasped by the hand in an overhand grip as described to cultivate fingertip control, slight variations may be made in the exact grip employed. In each case, however, pivotal connection between the gripping device and drumstick at or adjacent to its balance point will permit freely pivotal up-and-down movement of the drumstick with respect to the gripping device when properly grasped in the hand and greatly accelerates proper technique in playing the drum. It will therefore be appreciated that various modifications and changes may be made in the preferred and alternate forms of invention as herein set forth and described without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims and reasonable equivalents thereof.
What is claimed is:
1. In a musical percussion instrument, a drumstick including a butt end, a striking end and an intermediate region therebetween, a balance area within the intermediate region, and a gripping member pivotally attached to said drumstick in the intermediate region adjacent to the balance area, said drumstick being freely pivotal with respect to said gripping member.
2. In the percussion instrument of claim 1, said gripping member being defined by a generally U-shaped portion including free end portions pivotally attached to opposite sides of the drumstick in the intermediate region adjacent to the balance area.
3. In the percussion instrument of claim 2, said gripping member being dimensioned such that when the free ends are pivotally attached to said drumstick a gap is formed between a closed end of the U-shaped gripping member and the surface of the drumstick.
4. In the percussion instrument of claim 1, said drumstick provided with recesses on diametrically opposite sides of said drumstick along said balance area, the recesses defining a portion of reduced width in the drumstick, and said gripping member including pivot means extending transversely through the portion of reduced width formed by the recesses in said drumstick.
5. In the percussion instrument of claim 4, said pivot means including a pivot pin affixed in a transverse bore formed in the drumstick and opposite ends of said pivot pin inserted in openings formed adjacent to the free ends of said gripping member to pivotally attach said gripping member to said drumstick.
6. In the percussion instrument according to claim 4, said pivot means being defined by inwardly facing projections on the inner surfaces of the free ends of said gripping member and insertable into openings formed on diametrically opposite sides of the reduced width portion of said drumstick.
7. In the percussion instrument of claim 1, said gripping member being defined by a generally U-shaped element pivotally attached at its free ends to said drumstick, said U-shaped element having outer concave faces formed in opposite sides and a closed end portion joining opposite sides of the gripping member to conform to the contour of the hand between the thumb and forefinger.
8. In the percussion instrument, a drumstick provided with a butt end, a forward striking end, and an intermediate shaft region therebetween of generally cylindrical configuration, said shaft provided with a balance area, and a gripping aid pivotally connected to to the drumstick within said balance area, said gripping member including means pivotally attaching said gripping member to diametrically opposed sides of said drumstick, said drumstick being freely pivotal with respect to said gripping member over an angle approximating 9. In the percussion instrument of claim 8, said drumstick provided with recessed portions on diametrically opposed sides thereof within the balance area to define a portion of reduced width for pivotal connection of said gripping member, and pivot means associated with said gripping member pivotally affixed centrally of said recessed portions.
10. In the percussion instrument of claim 9, said recessed portions having flat parallel side bearing surfaces, and said gripping member having correspondingly flat side portions pivotally attached to said drumstick centrally of said recessed portions.
11. In the percussion instrument of claim 10, said gripping member defined by generally disc-shaped elements dimensioned for disposition in the recessed portions while being exposed for gripping between the thumb and forefinger of the hand.
12. In the percussion instrument of claim 10, said gripping member being defined by a pair of rings pivotally connected in diametrically opposed relation to one another on opposite sides of the drumstick within the recessed portions thereof and extending transversely away from opposite sides of said drumstick.