US2492845A - Stringed musical instrument - Google Patents

Stringed musical instrument Download PDF

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Publication number
US2492845A
US2492845A US784382A US78438247A US2492845A US 2492845 A US2492845 A US 2492845A US 784382 A US784382 A US 784382A US 78438247 A US78438247 A US 78438247A US 2492845 A US2492845 A US 2492845A
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Prior art keywords
fret
finger
board
neck
frets
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US784382A
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Frederic E Conkling
Opal H Conkling
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Frederic E Conkling
Opal H Conkling
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G10MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; ACOUSTICS
    • G10DSTRINGED MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; WIND MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; ACCORDIONS OR CONCERTINAS; PERCUSSION MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; AEOLIAN HARPS; SINGING-FLAME MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G10D1/00General design of stringed musical instruments
    • G10D1/04Plucked or strummed string instruments, e.g. harps or lyres
    • G10D1/05Plucked or strummed string instruments, e.g. harps or lyres with fret boards or fingerboards
    • GPHYSICS
    • G10MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; ACOUSTICS
    • G10DSTRINGED MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; WIND MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; ACCORDIONS OR CONCERTINAS; PERCUSSION MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; AEOLIAN HARPS; SINGING-FLAME MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G10D3/00Details of, or accessories for, stringed musical instruments, e.g. slide-bars
    • G10D3/06Necks; Fingerboards, e.g. fret boards

Description

Dec. 27, 1949 E E. CONKLING ETAL STIHNGED MUSICAL INSTRUMENT Filed Nov. 6, 1947 Inventor:
0pm H. Conk/ing Patented Dec. 2'7, 1949 UNITED STATES" PATENT OFFICE STRINGED MUSICAL INSTRUMENT Frederic E. Conkling and Opal H. Conkling,
I Miami, Fla.
Application November 6, 1947, Serial No. 784,382
. 7 Claims. 1
The present invention relates to stringed musical instruments and has more particular reference to fretted instruments such as mandolins, banjos, guitars and the like, and the primary object of the invention is to provide an improved finger-board and fret means thereon.
In carrying out the principles of the present invention, we have concerned ourselves primarily with a Spanish guitar and, in so doing, have abandoned the customary wooden or equivalent finger-board and rigidly mounted frets and we have substituted therefor a rubber or equivalent finger-board and novel resilient frets mounted in said finger-board.
In the finger-board and fret assembly provided on present-day Spanish guitars and the like, each fret is embedded and projects approximately one=sixteenth of an inch above the fingering surface of said finger-board. The selected string is stopped immediately back of the fret to pro duce the desired tone. skillful performer will use his finger in a manner to rock or move the string in relation to the fret and finger-board, this in a manner to produce an appreciably acceptable vibrato. Properly controlled vibrato enables the player or performer to produce desired resonant tones imitative, under certain conditions, of the human voice. It is also a matter of common knowledge that a highly skilled player may fret a given string one fret (that is, a half-tone lower) above the required fret and will pull the string sideways to raise the tone to the required pitch, thusproducing certain desirably pleasing effects.
Manifestly, this accomplishment involves great skill and few players can achieve it successfully with more than one string at a time.
Keeping in mind requirements of the modern guitar player in an effort to achieve outstanding performance, we have evolved and produced a novel combination compressible finger-board and associable resilient frets which, in practice, have shown that the requirement of guitar players may be aptly and satisfactorily realized.
Other objects and advantageswill become more readily apparent from the'following description and the accompanying illustrative drawings.
In the drawings, wherein like numerals are employed to designate like parts throughout the views:
Figure 1 is a fragmentary plan view of the neck of a Spanish guitar or the like, showing the neck, the string tuning head thereof, and a finger-board and frets constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention.
In actual practice, a
Figure 2 is a side elevational View of the same.
Figure 3 is an enlarged fragmentar sectional view emphasizing the featured details of construction.
Figure 4 is a perspective view of one of the frets per se.
Figure 5 is a perspective view of a modified form of the invention.
Figure 6 is a cross-section through the structure shown in Figure 5.
Reference being had to Figures 2 and 3, it will be seen that the neck, which is of customary rigid wooden or equivalent material, is denoted by the numeral 6, the same having the usual offset head at its outer tapered end, said head being denoted by the numeral 1 and being provided with tuning pegs 8 operable by appropriately mounted keys 9. The nut is denoted at It].
Instead of using the customary wooden or ebony finger-board, we provide one II, which is constructed of compressible rubber or an equivalent yieldable composition. This is suitably secured to the requisite surface of the neck, as is obvious. Each fret is the same in construction, each being denoted by the numeral ll. A description of the single fret shown in Figure 4 will suffice for all. To this end, said fret is constructed from appropriate metal and includes a horizontal attaching flange l3 which is rigidly secured to the finger-board as shown in Figure 3. Said flange may be screwed or otherwise fastened (not shownlin place. Rising at right angles and vertically therefrom is one flange l4 of the fret. The crown portion, which may be formed by a return bend, and which constitutes the fret proper, is denoted by the numeral l5. This is of customary convex configuration to accommodate the strings IS. The shorter depending flange of the fret is denoted b the numeral l1 and this is connected to a horizontal depressor plate I8 which is actuated by the finger l9 in the manner pictured in Figure 3. The
upper portion of the flange l4 and entire por-' tion of flange l'l, defining the fret proper, project the customary one-sixteenth of an inch above the playing surface of the finger-board II. The depressor plate l8 rests on the surface of the finger-board in the manner shown.
By using the improved flexible spring fret l2, ordinary or normal pressure produces the regular tone. However, by pressing a little harder and shiftably agitating the finger slightly, an excellent vibrato is obtained. Slightly greater pressure produces a sharping of the tone and a pressure down the neck will fiat the tone. By holding the chord form with the fingers, a whole chord can be vibratoed or, with more pressure, can be sharped. There are other advantages such as giving the player greater reach, as a string may be pushed down in the compressibly soft rubber finger-board immediately in front of a fret, and due to the angle formed by the string against the next fret above the string, will be properly stopped and will not buzz as it would with the conventional construction.
With this construction, the "A or B-seventh or C-sharp minor tuning may be used and fingering technique simplified even to the extent of using one finger and greatly reducing the skill required to produce acceptable results.
As shown in the drawings, the attaching flange I3 is secured rigidly to the neck, the riser flange I4 is partly embedded in the finger-board and the flanges l! and I8 are in a plane above the finer surface of said finger-board.
Attention is now directed to the style or form of fret which is illustrated in Figures 5 and 6. In the latter figures, instead of using the bent metal construction of Figure 4, a one-piece adaptation is utilized. Reference is therefore had to Figures 5 and 6 wherein it will be seen that the horizontal attaching flange is denoted by the numeral and is integrated with the lower end portion of the vertical riser flange 2! which in practice extends up through and beyond the surface of the rubber finger-board and has a round edge portion which defines the fret proper as at 22. Extending from the side opposite to that of the flange 20 is a second hori zontal flange or plate 23 and this is situated on a plane just below the crown or fret 22 and is sufficiently flexible that it constitutes a depressor plate and in practice corresponds to the vibrator or depressor plate l8 already described.
It will be clear from Figures 4, 5 and 6 that we desire to construct the frets according to both of the depicted versions. The claims are therefore to be interpreted and construed accordingly.
Since, fundamentally, the frets of Figures 5 and 6 are broadly and generically the same as the fret seen in Figure 4, it will be unnecessary to show the fret in Figure 5 installed in the figure-board.
In view of the foregoing description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, it
is believed that a clear understanding of the device will be quite apparent to those skilled' in this art. A more detailed description is accordingly deemed unnecessary.
It is to be understood, however, that even though there is herein shown and described a preferred embodiment of the invention, the same is susceptible to certain changes fully comprehended by the spirit of the invention as herein described and within the scope of the appended claims.
Having described the invention, what is claimed as new is:
1. In a stringed musical instrument of the class described, a neck including a head provided with string anchoring and tuning devices, a finger-board mounted on said neck, and resilient frets associated with said finger-board.
2. In a stringed musical instrument of the class described, a neck including a head provided with string anchoring and tuning devices, a fingerboard mounted on said neck, and resilient frets associated with said finger-board, each fret including a horizontal depressor and actuator plate resting atop the fingering surface of said fingerboard.
3. As a new article of manufacture, a fret for attachment to a neck and associated fingerboard, said fret being formed from a sheet of springy metal, said plate being bent upon itself intermediate its ends to define an upstanding fret, a low-lying attaching flange on one side of the fret, and an elevated outstanding flange on the opposite side of the fret, the latter flange being elevated and being adapted to rest in contact with a complemental finger-board.
4. As a new article of manufacture, a resilient fret comprising a fret proper having attaching means on one side, and an actuable finger-depressed plate on an opposite side.
5. In a stringed musical instrument of the class -1 described, in combination, a rigid neck having a complemental customary type head at one end,
a compressible finger-board mounted on said neck, and a plurality of longitudinally spaced transversely disposed frets mounted in said finger-board, all of said frets being constructed 'from flexible spring metal.
6. In a stringed musical instrument of the class described, in combination, a rigid neck having a complemental customary type head at one end,
a compressible finger-board mounted on said neck, a plurality of longitudinally spaced transversely disposed frets mounted in said fingerboard, all of said frets being constructed from flexible spring metal, and each fret embodying a horizontally fiat depressor and actuator plate, said plate being adapted to be pressed and manipulated by a finger in relation to the fret, finwith string anchoring and tuning devices, a finger-board mounted on and carried by said neck, a plurality of longitudinally spaced transversely disposed frets mounted in said finger-board, each fret including a horizontal depressor and actuating plate resting atop the fingering surface of the finger-board and said plate being resilient. FREDERIC E. CONKLING. OPAL H. CONKLING.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 497,973 Wolfram May 23, 1893 1,554,802 Dyer Sept. 22, 1925
US784382A 1947-11-06 1947-11-06 Stringed musical instrument Expired - Lifetime US2492845A (en)

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Cited By (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2649828A (en) * 1950-07-03 1953-08-25 Maccaferri Mario Fretted finger board for stringed musical instruments and method of making the same
US3273439A (en) * 1965-08-05 1966-09-20 Chester P Keefe Device which accommodates removable frets on any fretted stringed instrument
US3791252A (en) * 1973-06-13 1974-02-12 R Sibert Fretted stringed instruments
US20090056520A1 (en) * 2007-08-30 2009-03-05 Rivera Humberto Jason E Fret and fingerboard for stringed instruments
US7692080B1 (en) * 2008-03-07 2010-04-06 Donna W. Rushing Fret wire with bending notches
US20100300260A1 (en) * 2003-12-11 2010-12-02 Optek Music Systems, Inc. Stringed instrument fretboard for use with light-system
US20120285313A1 (en) * 2009-12-31 2012-11-15 Michael Bisheimer Device for Facilitating Stringing of a Musical Instrument
US11056085B2 (en) * 2017-10-13 2021-07-06 Francisco Javier Alonso Jiménez Stringed musical instrument with frets that are joined together and divide the fingerboard into independent detachable pieces

Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US497973A (en) * 1893-05-23 Finger-board for musical instruments
US1554802A (en) * 1923-05-17 1925-09-22 Dyer Alfred Finger board for stringed instruments

Patent Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US497973A (en) * 1893-05-23 Finger-board for musical instruments
US1554802A (en) * 1923-05-17 1925-09-22 Dyer Alfred Finger board for stringed instruments

Cited By (10)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2649828A (en) * 1950-07-03 1953-08-25 Maccaferri Mario Fretted finger board for stringed musical instruments and method of making the same
US3273439A (en) * 1965-08-05 1966-09-20 Chester P Keefe Device which accommodates removable frets on any fretted stringed instrument
US3791252A (en) * 1973-06-13 1974-02-12 R Sibert Fretted stringed instruments
US20100300260A1 (en) * 2003-12-11 2010-12-02 Optek Music Systems, Inc. Stringed instrument fretboard for use with light-system
US20090056520A1 (en) * 2007-08-30 2009-03-05 Rivera Humberto Jason E Fret and fingerboard for stringed instruments
US7507888B2 (en) * 2007-08-30 2009-03-24 Rivera Humberto Jason E Fret and fingerboard for stringed instruments
US7692080B1 (en) * 2008-03-07 2010-04-06 Donna W. Rushing Fret wire with bending notches
US20120285313A1 (en) * 2009-12-31 2012-11-15 Michael Bisheimer Device for Facilitating Stringing of a Musical Instrument
US8766069B2 (en) * 2009-12-31 2014-07-01 Michael Bisheimer Device for facilitating stringing of a musical instrument
US11056085B2 (en) * 2017-10-13 2021-07-06 Francisco Javier Alonso Jiménez Stringed musical instrument with frets that are joined together and divide the fingerboard into independent detachable pieces

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