US2496191A - Guitar steel - Google Patents

Guitar steel Download PDF

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US2496191A
US2496191A US773486A US77348647A US2496191A US 2496191 A US2496191 A US 2496191A US 773486 A US773486 A US 773486A US 77348647 A US77348647 A US 77348647A US 2496191 A US2496191 A US 2496191A
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steel
guitar
strings
bar
string
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US773486A
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Abe M Zipperstein
Vitto Benjamin
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Abe M Zipperstein
Vitto Benjamin
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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
    • G10D3/00Details of, or accessories for, stringed musical instruments, e.g. slide-bars

Description

5 l r F 2 Ear I;
w a y n u aw mu i EEL Tw 7 Wm 7 z m M m A j Jan. 31, 1950 Patented Jan. 31 1950 GUITAR STEEL Abe M. Zipperstein, Chicago, and Benjamin Vitto, Annawan, Ill.
Application September 11, 1947, Serial No. 773,486
8 Claims.
The present invention relates to a musical instrument accessory, and more particularly to a steel adaptable for use in the playing of Hawaiian guitars. It has been the practice in playing Hawaiian guitars to use an accessory piece, known as a steel, which is in the form of a cylindrical bar, usually of a predetermined weight and constructed of metal. The Hawaiian guitar, in its standard tuning, is tuned to a major chord. In the playing of :a Hawaiian guitar the ordinary cylindrical steel is moved along the neck parallel to the frets. As the strings are stopped by the ordinary cylindrical steel at each ascending fret, it results in a series of chromatic ascending major chords. Therefore, the only complete chords possible in the standard tuning of a Hawaiian guitar are major chords.
To obviate the impossibility of playing min-or chords on Hawaiian guitars in standard tuning with the ordinary cylindrical time of steel, the present invention has been devised in the form of a major and minor steel provided with a suitable guide and consisting of integrally connected parallel bars permitting the playing of either major or minor chords in the same fret positions.
It is an object of this invention to provide a Hawaiian guitar steel whereby both major and minor chords can be played in the same fret positions by merely rocking or lowering the steel from .a position contacting the strings over one fret into a position to also contact the strings at the next descending fret, thereby omitting the stopping of the second string at the first fret position, so that when the string is played, a tone one-half lower is produced to create the required conversion from a major to a minor chord.
A further object of the invention is to provide a steel for the playing of Hawaiian guitars, the said steel being provided with :a suitable guide coacting with the first string of the guitar and facilitating the movement of the steel into positions parallel to the frets for producing either major or minor chords by merely rocking the steel from contact with the strings in one fret position into a .position for also contacting the strings over the next descending fret to release a predetermined string in the first fret position and contact said string in the second fret position for the playing of said string lone-half tone lower to produce a minor chord.
A further object of the invention is the provision of an improved type of Hawaiian guitar steel of unitary construction and embracing two parallel bars connected by an arched bridge with one of said bars provided with a transverse notch at a predetermined position whereby both major and minor chords can be played, for a selected fret position, by merely rocking the steel into a position over the next descending fret whereby the notch in the front bar of the steel is engaged over a particular string so that all of the remaining strings are stopped except the one beneath the notch, thereby permitting the selected string when played to produce a tone one-half lower, to determine the character of the chord, making the chord a minor chord instead of a major chord which is produced when the front bar only of the steel engages all of the strings over the selected fret.
It is furthermore an object of this invention to provide a Hawaiian guitar steel constructed to ooact with the first string of a guitar to facilitate guiding the steel .over the strings for the playing of either major or minor chords in a selected fret position by merely rockin the steel to simultaneously contact the guitar strings in the next descending fret position.
Another object of the invention is to provide a Hawaiian guitar steel of substantially kidneyshaped cross section and consisting of two :parallel integrally connected bars, one of which is provided with one or more notches, so that when the steel is rocked at one fret position to bridge the space to the next descending fret, the strings registering with the notches are not stopped, permitting said strings when played to produce tones which are one-half tone lower to determine a minor chord instead of a major chord which is adapted to be produced when the cut bar of the steel is positioned to contact all six strings of the guitar.
It is therefore an important object of this invention to provide an improved and simplified form of Hawaiian guitar steel, constructed to use one of the guitar strings as a guide and furthermore formed with integrally connected parallel bars, one of which is notched at predetermined locations, to produce either major or minor chords, depending upon whether one or both of the bars of the steel at a selected fret position contact the strings to stop all of the strings for the [production of a major chord or to stop only selected strings for the production of a minor chord at the same fret position.
Other and further objects and features of the present invention will be apparent from the disclosures in the specification and the accompanying drawings.
The invention, in a preferred form, is illustrated in the drawings and hereinafter more fully described.
On the drawings:
Figure 1 is a fragmentary top plan view of a Hawaiian guitar, illustrating an improved steel embodying the principles of this invention, placed at a selected position transversely on the strings above the neck of the guitar;
Figure 2'is an enlarged fragmentary top plan view of a section of the guitar neck showing the frets and strings and also illustrating the transverse positioning of the improved steel on the strings, and furthermore showing in dotted lines the position of the notch and the guide pin associated with the second and first strings respectively of the guitar;
Figure 3 is a transverse sectional view'taken on line III-III of Figure 2 showing the steel, in full lines, with the front bar resting on all of the strings and also showing in dotted lines the lower positionpfthe steel in which the second string isfreefrom contact by the front bar but is contacted by the rear bar one fret back for the playing of aminor chord;
Figure 4 is a fragmentary transverse section of thesteel in anormal raised position showing the front bar contacting all six strings for the playingof a major chord at a selected fret position;
Figure 5 is asimilar fragmentary sectional View, showing the steel lowered with the front barcontacting all but the second string beneath the notch and with the rear bar contacting all six strings one fret back, to permit playing of a minor chord in the same fret position of the front barof the steel; and
Figure 6 isa bottom plan view of the parallel bar steel showing the location of the notch and theguide pin associated with the front bar, and also showing in dotted lines the position of a second notch for registration over the fifth string of: a guitar whenit is desired to drop the tone of the fifth one-half tone for the playing of a minor chord. This feature may be desired in high-pitch tuning and isoptional.
As shown on the drawings:
In Figure 1 a portion of a Hawaiian guitar is illustrated embodying a body 7 having a sound opening or hole 8 in the top wall thereof at the inner endof the neck 9. Secured transversely on the top surface of the neck at spaced intervals are a plurality of parallel frets Ii] which in the present showing are stationed equidistantly apart, except near the ascending end of the neck, where they are gradually spaced closer together. Extending from a bridge on the body of the guitar to the head are six strings which are spaced above the frets and for convenience are numbered from right to left as strings I, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 respectively. As an illustration, the guitar may be tuned to a major chord, such as the major chord A, Cit, E, A; Ct, E as illustrated in Figure 2 of -the-drawings.
The Hawaiian guitar, in its standard tuning, is tunedto amajor-chord. As the strings are stopped by the ordinary cylindrical type of steel at each ascending fret, it results in a series of chromatic ascending major chords. Therefore, the only complete chords possible in the standard tuning of a Hawaiian guitar are major chords.
The improved steel not only increases the chord possibilities 100% but simplifies theplaying of a Hawaiian guitar by merely employing a rocking operation of the improved parallel bar type steelin the samefret-positions.
The improved steel for the playing of Hawaiian guitars comprises a rear bar II and a parallel front bar I2 which is larger in diameter than the diameter of the rear bar. The two parallel bars II and I2 are integrally connected by means of a semi-cylindrical or arched body I3, which is formed with a longitudinally disposed groove or passage I4, which extends throughout the length of the steel and separates the rear and front parallel arms II and I2. Projecting outwardly from the front bar I2, at a short distance from one end of the steel, is a guide pin I5 which in the proper positioning of the steel across the strings of the guitar is adapted to be run along the first string to serve as a suitable guide to keep the steel in proper position for movement over the strings in parallelrelationship to the frets when the guitar is played. The guide pin I5 also serves to accurately position a notch or recess I6 squarely above the second string of the guitar when. the steel isin proper playing position as illustrated in Figure 2.
The notch or recess I6 is cut transverselyin thefront bar, I2 at a predetermined distance near one end of the steel so that the notch will be located over the second string when the guide pin I5' is in contact with the-first string of the guitar. The notch I6 is provided in. the front bar I2 of the steel-so that the-second string will not be stopped when the steel is slightly rotated on the frontbar in a selected fret position to contact all of the remaining five strings. This condition arises when the steel is.used in playing with the rear bar II raised-and with the front bar I2 engaged' over a selected fret (Figure 4) so that all six;strings are contactedor stoppedfor the playing of all major chords.
When it is desired to play minorchords without changing the, fretposition of the front bar I2, itis only necessary to tilt or rock the steel from the raised full line position of Figure 3 into the lowered dotted lineposition so that the rear bar I I is lowered into a position into contact withall of the strings over the next descending fret. In thelowered position. of the steel the-second string is released by passing-through the notch I6, asshown in Figure 5, sothat when the second string is played it will=play-one-half tone lower todetermine-the character of the chord. It will thus be noted that by the use-of the improved steel that either major or minor chords may be produced at will in the same fret positions by merely rocking the steel so either the-frontbar I2 (Figure 4) or. both thefrontand rear bars I2 and II (Figure 5) thereof are broughtinto contact with the .guitar strings.
For the playing of a major chord, the front bar- I2. of'the steel is placed across'thestrings, above a selected fret, thereby causing all of the six strings, to becontactedor stopped; To produce a minor-chord, in thesame-fret position,- it it isonly necessary to rock the steel downwardly from the .positionshown inFigure 4 toward'the next adjacent descendingfret to bring the rear bar II into contact with all of the six strings to stop the same. With-both bars resting on the strings, the notch I6 is stationed above-the second string so that said string is-free beneath the frontbar IZ'but is contacted one fret backbythe rear bar I I, thereby permitting the second string whenplayed to produce a one-half tone lower,
thereby. permitting the playing of a. minor chord where a major chord-only couldbe-playedwhen bar I lofthe steelyis held in a raised position out of contact with the strings, as illustrated in Figure 4. It will thus be noted that in the use of the improved steel that both major and minor chords can be played for the same fret positions by merely bringing the front bar only into contact with the six strings or by lowering the rear bar so that both bars are in contact with the strings, with the exception of the second string which is not stopped by the front bar because it is positioned beneath the notch I6, thereby allowing thesecond string to be contacted one fret back by the rearbar l I of the steel.
The improved double parallel bar unitary steel is preferably of a predetermined size and weight, a preferred weight for the steel being seven and one-half ounces. The unitary steel is adapted to be constructed of brass, steel, bronze or any other suitable material. The steel may also be constructed of plastic which may have metal or other suitable material embedded therein to bring the weight of the plastic up to the seven and one-half ounces desired.
From the foregoing description of the construction and use of the improved parallel bar steel, it will be noted that both major and minor chords may be produced in the same fret positions without turning or slanting the steel at an angle with respect to the frets.
In high pitch tuning where the fifth string is also tuned to C#, a second notch I1 may be cut transversely in the front bar l2, as indicated in dotted lines in Figure 4, so that when the rear bar II is lowered into contact with the strings, both the fifth string as well as the second string will be cleared by the notched front bar I2. It will thus be noted that true variances may be produced by means of the improved parallel bar steel, one in which a notch is cut in the front bar for positioning over the second string. Another arrangement is one in which two notches are cut in the front bar l2, such as the notches l6 and I1, which are adapted to be positioned over the second and fifth strings respectively when the rear bar of the steel is lowered into engagement with all of the strings over the next descending fret to permit the playing of minor chords instead of major chords in the same fret positions of the steel.
In order to play the intervals of major thirds on the first and second string, and the intervals of minor thirds on the second and third string, and the intervals of minor sixths on the fourth and second strings with the common type of cylindrical steel, it is necessary to turn or slant the steel from a position parallel to a fret into a position at an angle thereto. This slant playing of a Hawaiian guitar by means of the standard cylindrical type of steel is difficult and dangerous for intonation.
Therefore, in addition to providing an improved parallel bar steel for the playing of minor chords as well as major chords without slanting or turning the steel at an angle to the frets, the improved steel is also adaptable for the playing of a major or minor third on the first and second strings, a major or minor third on the second and third strings or a major or minor sixth on the second and fourth strings, without resorting to slanting of the steel.
Another application of the notched principle in the unitary parallel bar type of steel is to have the rear bar of the steel drop one tone lower on the third string, thus producing the dominant seventh of any major chord.
i -While the guide pin 15 has been illustrated and described as being mounted on the front bar of the steel for coaction with the first string, it is to be understood that a transverse rib or 5 boss may be integrally formed on the front bar l2 near one end thereof to afford a guide shoulder adapted to coact with the first string forthe purpose of guiding the improved parallel bar steel when in use for the playing of major or minor chords. If desired, the steel instead of being provided with a guide pin may have a brightcolored indicating mark applied transversely thereon, at a suitable distance from one end of the steel, .toserve as a guide to assist in the use of the steel for the playing of either major or minor chords inthe same fret positions.
It will, of course, be understood that various details of construction and variations in the features of the present invention may be varied through a wide range without departing from the principles of this invention, and it is, therefore, not the purpose to limit the patent granted hereon otherwise than necessitated by the scope of the appended claims.
We claim as our invention:
1. A Hawaiian guitar steel comprising an arched unitary body having a longitudinal eccentrically positioned groove therein extending throughout the length of the body and forming two spaced parallel bars of different sizes, one of said bars having a notch therein at a predetermined location while the second bar has an uninterrupted string contact line; said steel being adapted to be held in an upwardly inclined plane with the notched bar positioned for contacting all of the guitar strings above a selected fret for the playing of a major chord, said steel being further adapted to be lowered into a position with both bars contacting the strings to cause partial rotation of the notched bar in the same fret position to bring the notch into register with a selected guitar string without contacting said string but allowing the selected string to be stopped by the second bar at the next descending fret to permit playing of a minor chord in the same fret position.
2. A Hawaiian guitar steel of unitary construction comprising a pair of spaced parallel bars, an arched body integrally connecting said bars, one of said bars formed with a playing guide and also having a transverse notch therein at a predetermined distance from the ends thereof for registration with a selected string of the guitar to permit use of the steel for the playing of both 55 major chords and minor chords in the same fret positions on the guitar.
3. A Hawaiian guitar steel of unitary construction comprising a pair of spaced parallel bars, an arched body integrally connecting said bars,
0 one of said bars having a transverse notch therein at a predetermined distance from the ends thereof for registration with a selected string of the guitar to permit use of the steel for the playing of both major chords and minor chords in the same fret 55 positions on the guitar, and a guide on the steel for coaction with one of the guitar strings to insure proper positioning of the notch with respect to the selected guitar string and to further insure proper movement of the steel along the 70 guitar strings and parallel tothe frets when the steel is used for the production of major chords and minor chords in the same fret positions of the steel.
4. A Hawaiian guitar steel adapted to permit 75 playing of both major chords and minor chords .:in:the .samei fretpositions :when;the-'steet:is :positionedparallel withxthe frets, said steel compris- "inga pair of spacedparallel barsoneofawhichuis *larger than the; other, 1 an arched :body integrally connecting the bars, andaxguide on the: larger 1 of said bars for movement .alongsidenone of the guitar strings during'movement of: the steel over the strings yrwhen :thexguitar. .is: :played, :thef:larger of said bars having. a notch thereinadaptedto .be accurately positioned "over. a selected guitar i string and out of vcontacttherewith when both a ofthetbars contact the guitar stringsgpermitting theiselected string whenrz-played to produceiaonehalf tone lower to determinefithecharacter of? the :chord.
5. A Hawaiiangguitar steel for-, playingszboth major and minor chords inthe same fret positions :when the v steel. is positioned 1' parallel with the frets, said steel being kidney cross-sectioned and comprising a front bar,za rear ibar; an arched body, integrally connecting said bars ineparallel relationship, 'and. a guide on the frontubar for movement alongside the first stringof the' guitar when the steel is in useto insure 'parallelpositioning of the steel with respect/touthe guitar frets, said'frontbar having a 'notchetherein a predetermined distance'from the guidetorzdeterrnine the exact positioning of the notch over .a
selected guitar string and out of contact therewith for the playing of a'minorchord when both bars are in contactwith: the guitartstringssaid steel being also adapted for t.theo:playing'ofvla s'guitar 'strings ior insuring proper positioning of the steel-when in' :use'lduringrthe playing of the :rgu'itan said guide @carrying zbar' having a notch itherein -at a= selected distance= from-* theguide so thatonlya single selected stringis'oleared by" the unotchedibars and contacted at the next descendxing'fret-"by theother'lbar when the-steel is in position with both bars 1 resting on the guitar -:strings to permit 'the playing-of the selected 10- nacter of the'chord.
string: one-half tone lower to determinethe char- 7. A quasi-cylindrical guitarsteel comprising a pair of integrally associated parallel bars, a
-;guide pin projecting radially from on of said 15 one 1 of said bars having a notch thereinpermitting the-steelto beused for'the playing of both major chords zamd minor chords in the same fret positions andwith the steel positioned parallel to bars "for insur-ing proper positioning of the steel,
"the-guitar frets.
=8.-A guitar steelcomprising a-semi-cylindrical "bar having an eccentric groove extending from end to end thereof and forming two-spaced parallel bars-of: difierentddiameters, one of said bars being shaped to eseape contact=With-0ne0f the strings-of a guitar when both bars are simul taneously placed in contact with'the guitar strings.
ABE M.'?'ZIPPERSTEIN.
. BENJAMINVIT'IO.
BEEERENEESi CITED The'following referencesare of record in the "-file of this patent:
. UNITEDL STATES "PATENTS -Number Name Date 1-',926,561 schri'ckel Sept. 12, 1933 2027;937 Schrickel Jan. 14, 1936 "2,416;854 Smith -Mar. 4, 1947
US773486A 1947-09-11 1947-09-11 Guitar steel Expired - Lifetime US2496191A (en)

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Cited By (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US7732696B1 (en) 2007-08-06 2010-06-08 Lee Shapiro Instantly playable stringed instrument and method of use thereof
US8618391B1 (en) 2012-01-12 2013-12-31 Jeffrey A. Roberts Nitride slide
US10297236B1 (en) 2017-10-27 2019-05-21 D'addario & Company, Inc. Universal capo for variety of instruments and string gauges
US10403245B1 (en) * 2018-10-23 2019-09-03 Michael Flynn Musical instrument slide and method of manufacture

Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US1926561A (en) * 1932-04-23 1933-09-12 Norman L Euwer Guitar attachment
US2027937A (en) * 1933-07-20 1936-01-14 Schrickel Carl Temple Tone bar
US2416854A (en) * 1945-04-27 1947-03-04 Frank J Smith Steel for hawaiian guitars

Patent Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US1926561A (en) * 1932-04-23 1933-09-12 Norman L Euwer Guitar attachment
US2027937A (en) * 1933-07-20 1936-01-14 Schrickel Carl Temple Tone bar
US2416854A (en) * 1945-04-27 1947-03-04 Frank J Smith Steel for hawaiian guitars

Cited By (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US7732696B1 (en) 2007-08-06 2010-06-08 Lee Shapiro Instantly playable stringed instrument and method of use thereof
US8618391B1 (en) 2012-01-12 2013-12-31 Jeffrey A. Roberts Nitride slide
US10297236B1 (en) 2017-10-27 2019-05-21 D'addario & Company, Inc. Universal capo for variety of instruments and string gauges
US10403245B1 (en) * 2018-10-23 2019-09-03 Michael Flynn Musical instrument slide and method of manufacture

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