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Publication numberUS3910152 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 7, 1975
Filing dateMay 13, 1974
Priority dateMay 13, 1974
Publication numberUS 3910152 A, US 3910152A, US-A-3910152, US3910152 A, US3910152A
InventorsKusakawa Yoshinari
Original AssigneeKusakawa Yoshinari
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Stringed musical instrument having an attachment for changing musical key
US 3910152 A
Abstract
A stringed musical instrument employes a head portion, a sounding body, an interconnecting neck portion, a set of strings extending from the head portion along the neck portion to the body, a manually adjustable bridge device slidably mounted on the sounding body and over the extending strings, and base means on the bridge device provided with tongue and groove bearing means for making the adjustment, whereby the player of the musical instrument can selectively change the musical key to the desired pitch of the key without interrupting his playing thereof. The tongue and groove bearing means is either a rail-notch or projection-channel arrangement. In a modification, the bridge device is actuated by foot-pedals.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Kusakawa Oct. 7, 1975 {76] Inventor: Yoshinari Kusakawa, 1-34-23,

Kamiikedai, Ota-ku, Tokyo, Japan [22] Filed: May 13, 1974 [21] Appl. No.: 469,593

3,181,409 5/1965 Burns et al 84/307 X Primary Examiner-Stephen J. Tomsky Assistant Examiner-John F. Gonzales [5 7 ABSTRACT A stringed musical instrument employes a head portion, a sounding body, an interconnecting neck portion, a set of strings extending from the head portion along the neck portion to the body, a manually adjustable bridge device slidably mounted on the sounding body and over the extending strings, and base means on the bridge device provided with tongue and groove bearing means for making the adjustment, whereby the player of the musical instrument can selectively change the musical key to the desired pitch of the key without interrupting his playing thereof. The tongue and groove bearing means is either a rail-notch or projection-channel arrangement. In a modification, the bridge device is actuated by foot-pedals.

2 Claims, Drawing Figures STRINGED MUSICAL INSTRUMENT HAVING AN ATTACHMENT FOR CHANGING MUSICAL KEY BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The field of the invention generally encompasses any stringed instrument having a fingerboard. The present invention specifically describes a stringed instrument in which a player can selectively change the musical key to the desired pitch of the key without interrupting his playing thereof.

Conventionally, a musical instrument such as a guitar and other fretted type instruments has an attachment such as a capotasto. That is, a capotasto which is a bar or movable nut, must be attached to the fingerboard of the instrument to uniformly raise the pitch of all the strings. The capotasto is attached to the neck portion of the instrument before playing the instrument and also when the player wishes to change the key or scale. But a capotasto or the like cannot be freely attached during the playing of the instrument. For example, the player may desire to raise one sharp or lower one flat during his playing, but such actions would be prohibited. Therefore, the player must master certain fingering formations based on other keys when he wishes to change the key during his playing. The capotasto enables a player to change the key with the same fingering technique, but on another fret and also involves an interruption of his playing.

Therefore, under the present prior art, the beginner player must wait the changing of the key during his playing until he has mastered the difficult fingering technique.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION According to the concept of the present invention, there is provided a stringed musical instrument having an adjustable bridge device whereby a player may easily and quickly change the key during his playing of the instrument and thus avoid any interruptionof his playing.

Accordingly, it is object of the present invention to provide a bridge device for a stringed musical instrument whereby said instrument may be played easily in every key with the same fingering arrangement on the same fret positions.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a bridge device for a stringed musical instrument whereby the player may quickly change the key during his playing and thus without an interruption thereof by merely manipulating the bridge device with a manual pulling or pushing motion or a foot-working motion.

It is a further object of this invention to provide a bridge device for a stringed musical instrument which is simple and inexpensive to manufacture, attractive in appearance, practical and efficient to a high degree in use.

In essence. the present invention relates to a stringed musical instrument and comprises a head portion, a sounding body, an interconnecting neck portion, a set of strings extending from the head portion along the neck portion to the body, a manually adjustable bridge device slidably mounted on the sounding body and under the extending strings, the bridge device includes base members for providing the adjustment thereto, the base means employing elongated tongue and groove bearing means engaging each other in a slidable manner. the tongue and groove bearing means being either a rail and notch arrangement or a projection and channel arrangement, whereby the player of the musical instrument can selectively change the musical key to the desired pitch of the key without interrupting his playing thereof. In a further embodiment of the invention, the bridge device is actuated by foot pedals.

Many other advantages, features and additional objects of the present invention will become manifest to those versed in the art upon making reference to the detailed description and the accompanying drawing in which preferred structural embodiments incorporating the principles of the present invention are shown by way of illustrative examples.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE ACCOMPANYING DRAWING FIG. 1 is a plan view of a guitar fitted with a bridge device in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view of the bridge device having a notch and rail arrangement;

FIG. 4 is a cross sectional view of the bridge having a projection and channel arrangement; and

FIG. 5 is a cross sectional view of a guitar fitted with a foot-actuated bridge device.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The principles of the present invention are particularly useful when embodied in a stringed musical instrument such as a guitar illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, generally indicated by the numeral 10. The guitar 10 is a standard model and includes a body 11 and a head 12. The guitar 10 also includes a neck 13 which interconnects the head 12 and the sounding body 11. A set of six strings 14 extend from the head 12 to the sounding body 11. The strings 14 are anchored on the head 12 by the usual adjustable pegs 15. As is well known in the art, the strings 14 may be tuned individually by rotatably adjusting the corresponding pegs 15. The strings are anchored at their other ends to a tail piece 16 which is secured to the base of the sounding body 11 of the guitar 10.

A rectangular box shaped bridge device 17 is located between the tail piece 16 and a sounding port 18. The bridge device 17 includes an adjustable base means 19, as illustrated broadly in FIGS. 1 and 2. The adjustable base means 19 is seated on the top surface of the sounding body II. The adjustable base means 19 is preferably made in either of two structural forms.

One form as seen in FIG. 3, has the bottom portion of bridge device 17 provided with a pair of elongated notches 20. The elongated notches 20 are parallel to each other and to the longitudinal axis of the neck 13. A pair of elongated upstanding rails 21 is fixed to the top surface of the sounding body 11. Each of the upstanding rails 21 has the desired configuration for engaging the corresponding notches 20 and for sliding therein.

Another form of adjustable base means 19 constitutes a pair of elongated depending projections 22 slidably mounted in a pair of elongated channels 23, which projection-channel arrangement is similar to the above described notch-rail arrangement.

It is to be noted that the bearing surfaces of both the notch-rail arrangement and the projection-channel arrangement of FIG. 4 can be either coated with an abrasive free material or made of a metallic or plastic material having a smooth finish to enable the bridge device 17 to be readily moved by the player.

Both the rails 21 and channels 23 may be marked with measured markings corresponding to each keylike fret whereby the player may easily read it and assume his desired key. And thus, he can freely slide the bridge device 17 to the desired position; for example, even for a position for a quarter tone.

Accordingly, it can be readily appreciated that after a player has played one chorus of a tune, for example, in the C major key, he can readily change the key into C sharp major, and then in the third chorus to D major key by merely pushing the bridge device 17 to the left side of the sounding body 11. Since the lengths of the strings 14 change following the sliding movement of the bridge device 17, the oscillating frequency of the strings 14 are also changed thereby sounding out different pitch of tone. Therefore, the player can easily and quickly change the key during his playing without any interruption of his playing and with the same fingering formation on the same initially selected fret on the neck 13.

ln the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 5, a bridge device 17 is made to be slidably mounted on either the notch-rail arrangement of FIG. 3 or the projectionchannel arrangement of FIG. 4. Further, the ends of the bridge device 17 are suitably affixed with wires 25, 26. The wires 25, 26 are structurally arranged as illustrated in FIG. to extend through the sounding body 11 and to exit respectively through tubular openings 27, 28 in the bottom of the sounding body 11. The wires 25, 26 terminate respectively in suitably positioned foot pedals 29, 30. Both the surfaces of the tubular passageways 27, 28, likewise, may be either coated with an abrasive free material or made of a metallic or plastic material having a smooth finish to enable wires 25, 26 to move readily therethrough.

Accordingly, for example, when the player pushes his foot on the pedal 29, the bridge device 17 is caused to slide on the rail-notch or projection-channel arrangement to the left sidethereby causing the strings 14 to become shorter and thus raising the key into a sharp, while with a push on the foot pedal 30, the key is lowered to fiat key.

It is to be noted that the embodiment in FIG. 5 is applicable to a Japanese Koto which is similar to a Hawaiian Steel Guitar, although there are more strings.

Having thus described the present invention in terms of its preferred specific embodiments, it is understood that the present invention is not limited thereto, but that such changes, modifications, and variations as are embraced by the spirit and scope of the appended claims, are contemplated as within the purview of the present invention.

What is claimed is:

l. A stringed musical instrument comprising: a head portion, a sounding body, and an interconnecting neck portion, a set of strings extending from said head portion along said neck portion to said body, a manually adjustable bridge device slidably mounted on said sounding body and under said extending strings, said bridge device including base means for providing said adjustment hereto, said base means and said sounding body employing elongated tongue and groove bearing means engaging each other in a slidable manner and wires attached to spaced apart portions of said bridge device, each of said wires passing through a separate tubular bearing passageway in said sounding body and each terminating in a separate movable foot pedal means whereby when a foot pedal is depressed it will move the attached wire, which will in turn slide said bridge device with respect to said sounding body, whereby the player of the musical instrument can selecti ely change the musical key to the desired pitch of the key without interrupting his playing thereof.

2. A stringed musical instrument according to claim 1 wherein the bearing surfaces of said tubular passageways in said sounding body have a smooth sliding finish.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US134679 *Jan 7, 1873 Improvement in guitars
US490528 *Oct 17, 1892Jan 24, 1893 Territory
US2491788 *Feb 25, 1946Dec 20, 1949Valco Mfg CoBridge for fretted stringed musical instruments
US2802386 *Sep 7, 1954Aug 13, 1957Crosby Laurel RStringed musical instrument with movable bridge
US3174380 *Sep 13, 1963Mar 23, 1965Cookerly Jack CStringed instrument bridge and anchoring means
US3181409 *Dec 5, 1962May 4, 1965Ormston Burns LtdBridges for stringed instruments such as for guitars
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4343220 *Apr 13, 1981Aug 10, 1982Lundquist Eric GVibrato attachment for stringed instruments
US4481855 *Mar 9, 1982Nov 13, 1984Bozung Richard EZither-like instruments
US4658693 *Apr 25, 1986Apr 21, 1987The Music People, Inc.Rear operated control device for guitar
US4852448 *Apr 29, 1988Aug 1, 1989Hennessey James RBilateral tremolo apparatus
US5847298 *Mar 4, 1997Dec 8, 1998Adams; Brian T.Supplemental fret attachment for musical stringed instrument
US6297434 *Aug 10, 2000Oct 2, 2001Jose Mario MartelloWedge adjustable bridge for stringed instruments
US9304677May 16, 2012Apr 5, 2016Advanced Touchscreen And Gestures Technologies, LlcTouch screen apparatus for recognizing a touch gesture
US20050126373 *Dec 3, 2004Jun 16, 2005Ludwig Lester F.Musical instrument lighting for visual performance effects
EP3021316A1 *Nov 11, 2015May 18, 2016Jean-Pierre LimousinMobile bridge for instrument or apparatus with one or more strings
WO1996024126A1 *Feb 5, 1996Aug 8, 1996Douglas Mackenzie SmithApparatus for altering the pitch of stringed instruments
WO2002054378A1 *Dec 24, 2001Jul 11, 2002Gregory Michael OrmeA device for stringed instruments
Classifications
U.S. Classification84/307, 84/313, 984/120
International ClassificationG10D3/14, G10D3/00
Cooperative ClassificationG10D3/143
European ClassificationG10D3/14B