|Publication number||US582030 A|
|Publication date||May 4, 1897|
|Filing date||Jun 24, 1896|
|Publication number||US 582030 A, US 582030A, US-A-582030, US582030 A, US582030A|
|Inventors||Jay Emerson Walker|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Referenced by (8), Classifications (1)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
2 Sheets-Sheet 1.
2 M e h S a e h S 2 R E K L A W H J a d 0 M o W MUSICAL INSTRUMENT.
No. 582,030. Patented -May 4, 1897.
U ITED STATES PATENT OFFICE.
JAY EMERSON IVALKER, OF LINCOLN, KANSAS, ASSIGNOR TO HIMSELF AND FRANZ J. H. SAIILMANN, OF SAME PLACE.
SPECIFICATION forming part of Letters Patent No. 582,030, dated May 4, 1897.
Application filed June 24, 1896.
To all whom it may concern.-
Beit known that I, JAY Ennnson WALKER, of Lincoln, in the county of Lincoln and State of Kansas, have invented a new and useful Improvement in Musical Instruments, of
which the following is a full, clear, and exact description.
The object of my invention is to provide an attachment for stringed instruments of the banjo and guitar class, through the medium of which attachment, after the-strings are tuned in the ordinary manner, the pitch of the strings may be raised or lowered expeditiously and conveniently without tightening or loosening them. This end is attained by a movable tuning-bar, enabling a player to perform in any desired key without read j usting the keys of the instrument, as has been heretofore necessary in instruments of this type.
The invention consists in the novel construction and combination of the several parts, as will be hereinafter fully set forth, and pointed out in the claims.
Reference is to be had to the accompanying drawings, forming a part of this specification, in which similar characters of reference indicate corresponding parts in all the figures.
Figure 1 is a plan view of a banjo to which the invention is applied. Fig. 2 is anenlarged section taken substantially on the line 2 2 of Fig. 1. Fig. 3 is a transverse section taken through the neck of the banjo sub stantially on the line 3 3 of Fig. 2. Fig. 4 is an enlarged longitudinal section illustrating one form of slide for use in connection with the neck. Fig. 5 is a similar view illustrating another form of slide and tuning-bar. Fig. 6 is an enlarged partial transverse section through the neck of an instrument, illustrating a modified form of tuning-bar in side elevation. Fig. 7 is a transverse section through the said tuning-bar shown in Fig. 0, the section being on the line '7 7 of said figu re and the members of the bar being closed. Fig. 8 is an end view of the bar shown in Fig. 6. Fig. 9 is a sectional view through the said bar opened. Fig. 10 is an end view of the bar shown in Fig. 6 in open. position. 50 Fig. 11 is a plan View of a tuning slide and bar adapted for use in connection with Serial No. 596,678. (No model.)
the fifth string of a banjo or like instrument, and Fig. 12 is a diagrammatic view illustrating in musical notation the scope of the device when applied to a banjo.
In carrying out the invention the neck A of the banjo is provided with the usual head A, and the strings a extend across the neck in the usual manner and over the ordinary nut a to an engagement with the keys a. The finger-board of the neck of the banjo is made by the usual frets 10, which are in the usual position, and in that portion of the neck between the nut a and preferably the sixth fret two or more longitudinal grooves 11 are produced, which may be undercut, as shown in the drawings, or be of dovetail shape or have other cross-sectional contour, and beneath that section of the neck over which the fifth string of the banjo is carried an additional groove 11 is made, similar to the aforesaid grooves 11.
In each of the grooves of the upper portion of the neck a slide 13 is introduced, capable of being carried to any point in the length of the groove in which it is placed, and in order that the slides shall not slip after they have been adj usied each slide may be provided with an upper cushion 12 of rubber, felt, or a like material, as shown in Fig. 4:, or the upper portion of the slide may be recessed to receive a spring 13, as shown in Fig. 5, the said spring acting in the same capacity as a cushion 12.
Each slide 13 is ordinarily provided with a stud or post 11-, extending upward beyond the keyboard of the instrument, and all of the slides 13 are connected by a tuning-bar or converting-bar .3, which is secured to the posts 11 in any suitable or approved manner, and this tuning or converting bar has openings 15 made therein, through which the first four strings of the banjo are threaded.
Instead of the fixed posts 14 the tuning or converting bar 3' may be connected with the slides through the medium of belts or pins 16, as shown in Fig. 4, the said belts or pins entering the bottom portion of the tuning or converting bar, the latter being held in secure engagement by the belts or set-screws 17, which enter recesses in the said belts; or, as shown in Fig. 5, the upper end of each bolt may be threaded to receive a nut 18, and in this event the tuning or converting bar B is made in two sections 19 and 20 and the engaging walls of the sections are beveled, while in the lower section or in the upper section, or partially in both, recesses 21 are produced, in which the nuts of the bolts 16 are placed, the upper section 19 being connected with the lower section 20 by a hinge or its equivalent. Under the form of tuning or converting bar shown in Fig. 5 the openings 15 for the strings are made partly in both sections.
In Fig. 6 the tuning or converting bar is also made in two sections, (designated, respectively, as 22 and 23,) thelower section 23 being the shorter section. These two sections are likewise connected by hinges, and the contacting faces of the sections are given an upward inclination from the back or where the strings pass from the keys, as is also shown in Fig. 5, and the openings 15 for the strings are made also partially in the upper face of the lower section and the under face of the upper section, as shown in Fig. 9. Under this construction of converting or tuning bar the strings will be brought quite close to the sounding-board. The openings 15 for the strings in all forms of the tuning-bar have an upward inclination from the back or side nearest to the tuning-pegs to the side where the strings pass through toward the bridge or tailpiece of the instrument. The said openings 15 may be lined, if desired, with felt, leather, or other suitable material. In the improved form of the instrument the usual stationary nut or bar a is moved a distance about equal to its width to a position nearer the tuning-pegs and is loosened enough so that when the movable nut or tuning-bar B is brought close to said stationary nut the movable nut will occupy the same position that has heretofore been given the stationary nut.
In order that the two sections 22 and 23 of the bar shown in Fig. 6 may be permitted to open to a predetermined extent and may be held in a closed position, a latch 2-1 is pivoted upon one or upon both ends of the lower section 23, and the upper end of the latch is provided with a pin 25, which enters a segmental slot 26, made in the end portion of the upper section 22, the extremity of the said slot being made wider than in other directions. The latch is provided with an attached knob 27, in order that it may be readily manipulated, and when the latch is in the perpendicular position shown in Fig 8 the sections of the tuning or converting bar will be held locked together, and when the latch is at the opposite or wider end of the slot the upper section of the bar will be opened from the lower one, as shown in Fig. 10.
In Fig. 11 I have illustrated a slide adapted for use in the groove 11, beneath the fifth strin of the banjo, and on this slide a block 13 is mounted, similar to that shown in Fig. 6 and just described.
On a common banjo the fifth string is only used in two major chords, and in order to use it in other chords the tuning of the instrument must be changed to some other key or scale. By moving the tuning-slide belonging to this string to a different fret the fifth string may be used in any desired chord without changing the pitch of the string or the tunin g or pitch of the other strings, and may therefore be used in any and every key of the scale. By moving the tuning-slide of the fifth string and the tuning-slides controlling the other four strings to one or other of the frets the key or scale may be instantly changed without tightening or loosening any of the strings. Therefore the instrument is always ready for the player to perform in any desired key.
In Fig. 12 I have illustrated the keyboard of a banjo and the names and signatures of some of the various keys to which the strings may be tuned by moving the converting-bar to one or the other of the frets, dotted lines leading from the various frets to the signatures of the different keys attainable at said frets. It evident that the converting or tuning bar is virtually an adj ustable nut, especially when applied to instruments like a banjo or a guitar.
The hinged converting-bars are especially intended for instruments in which the strings are under heavy tension, and the said bars may be made of wood, metal, or any desired material. In order that the converting-bars may move with the least possible friction,they have bearing only upon narrow ribs 30, formed upon the neck or finger-board at its side edges.
When an instrument is provided with the attachment above set forth, the key of any stringed instrument can be quickly changed without tightening or loosening the tuningpegs. The chords of each key are brought into an easy position, the iii'igering is made convenient in chords of different keys, and the different keys are rendered as easy as the simple one. The strings of the instrument may be tuned lower than. usual and the pitch regulated by the slides, thus rendering the strings less liable to break.
The instrument may be quickly changed in tune to play with other instruments or t sing by, which cannot be done otherwise. The tone of the instrument is improved by the attachment, and the attachment may be made to any stringed instrument and the slides may be made to move separately or together, as desired. The grooves 11 may be stopped at any fret or may extend the entire length of the finger-board.
Having thus described my invention, I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent-- 1. The combination with the fingerboard of a stringed instrument, the said board being provided with grooves, of a bar serving as a nut, having openings through which the strings pass, and slides located in the said grooves and connected with the said bar, as and for the purpose specified.
2. The combination, with the finger-board of a stringed instrument, the said boardbeing provided with grooves, of a bar serving as a nut, having openings through which the strings pass, slides located in the said grooves and connected with the said bar, and tension devices carried by the said slides, whereby the slides will be held in the grooves when adjusted, as and for the purpose specified.
3. A musical instrument having a stringed finger-board, and a nut movable on the fingerboard and controlling the pitch of the string, the nut being formed with two connected sections having limited independent movement and holding the strings between their engaged faces, substantially as shown and described.
at. A musical instrument having a stringed finger-board with a transversely-elongated nut sliding longitudinally on the finger-board, the nut being formed with two connected sections havingliniited, independent movement, and the said sections having the strings passed between and engaged by the contiguous faces of the sections, substantially as shown and described.
5. A stringed instrument having a movable nut controllingthe pitch of the string, the nut having two connected sections with limited independent movement and receiving the string between their engaged faces, substantially as described.
6. A stringed instrument having a movable nut controlling the pitch of the string, the nut having two hinged sections receiving the string between their engaged faces, one of said sections having a latch pivoted thereto,
and the second of the said sections having an eccentric slot in which a portion of the latch moves whereby to hold the sections in engagement with the string, substantially as described.
7. A musical instrument, having a stringed fin ger-board, a plurality of long strings on the finger-board, a single short string on the fin gerboard, means controlling the pitch of the long strings, and a nut for the short string the nut being slidable on the finger-board and having two connected sections with limited independent movement, the sections receiving the short string between them, substantially as described.
8. A musical instrument having a fingerboard with a plurality of long strings, a short string, and a nut for the short string, the nut being slidable on the fingerboard, and having two connected sections with limited independent movement, the sections receiving the short strings between them, substantially as described.
9. A nut for controlling the pitch of n1usicalinstrument strings, the nut consisting in two sections movably connected with each other and having diagonally-disposed contiguous faces, for receiving the string between them, substantially as described.
JAY EMERSON \VALKER.
GEORGE K. Sin'rn, P. E. Moss.
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