US2893282A - Tone varying attachment for a string musical instrument - Google Patents

Tone varying attachment for a string musical instrument Download PDF

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US2893282A
US2893282A US516446A US51644655A US2893282A US 2893282 A US2893282 A US 2893282A US 516446 A US516446 A US 516446A US 51644655 A US51644655 A US 51644655A US 2893282 A US2893282 A US 2893282A
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lever
strings
pegs
mounted
base
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US516446A
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Thomas F Searles
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Thomas F Searles
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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
    • G10D3/14Tuning devices, e.g. pegs, pins, friction discs or worm gears
    • G10D3/147Devices for altering the string tension during playing

Description

T. F. SEARLES July 7, 1959 TONE VARYING ATTACHMENT FOR A STRING MUSICAL INSTRUMENT Filed June 20 1955 United States Patent 9 TONE VARYING ATTACHMENT FOR A STRING MUSICAL INSTRUMENT Thomas F. Searles, West Allis, Wis. Application June 20, 1955, Serial No. 516,446 6 Claims. (Cl. 84-313) This invention relates generally to a tone varying device for a string musical instrument. More specifically this invention relates to a portable tone varying attachment for a string musical instrument such as a Hawaiian guitar.

A player of a string musical instrument such as a Hawaiian guitar is limited in the range and combination of tones he can produce on the instrument because the tones are produced by plucking the strings with one hand and varying the operating or vibrating length of the string with the other hand. The pitch of the tone produced by a string of a musical instrument when plucked is largely determined by the tension in the string. Ordinarily the tension in the strings is set before the player begins playing his instrument. Makers of string musical instruments have for many years been trying to devise a portable foot operated attachment for string musical instruments that will selectively engage the strings of a musical instrument to vary the tension in the string while the instrument is being played and hence vary the pitch of the tone produced by the strings of the instrument. Such an attachment would permit the player to increase the range and combination tones he can produce on the instrument.

This invention contemplates a portable attachment for a string musical instrument such as a Hawaiian guitar for changing the tone while the guitar is being played. The attachment comprises a lever detachably mounted on the guitar proper and having nibs on the inboard end for engaging the strings of the instrument and varying the tension therein. A flexible cable core is operatively connected to the inboard end of the lever and to a foot treadle. An outer casing surrounds the core and extends between the lever and the treadle to form a flexible support through which the core is independently movable. Actuation of the foot treadle in turn actuates the lever and causes the nibs to engage the strings of the instrument and increase the tension in the strings. Resilient means are connected to the pegs to oppose the force of the lever and to return the pegs and nibs to their initial nonengaging position. The increase in tension in the strings may be controlled and varied according to the pressure applied to the foot treadle.

Therefore it is the object of this invention to provide a portable foot operated attachment for a string musical instrument that will vary the pitch of the tone produced by the strings while the instrument is being played.

Another object of this invention is to provide a portable foot operated attachment for a string musical instrument that will vary the tension in the strings while the instrument is being played.

Another object of this invention is to provide a portable foot operated attachment for a string musical instrument that has a foot treadle attached to the instrument by flexible means so that the foot treadle may be positioned in any convenient place.

Another object of this invention is to provide a string musical instrument that has a wider variety of range while being played than prior art string instruments.

Another object of this invention is to provide a portable foot operated tone varying attachment for a string musical instrument that is simple of construction, easy to operate, and detachably mountable on the instrument.

While the invention is susceptible of various modifications and alternative constructions, I have shown in the.

drawings and will herein describe in detail the preferred embodiment. It is understood, however, that I do not intend to limit the invention by such disclosure but aim to cover all modifications and alternative constructions falling within the spirit and scope of the invention as expressed in the appended claims.

Fig. 1 is a pictorial view showing the tone varying attachment mounted on a Hawaiian guitar;

Fig. 2 is an enlarged isometric view with parts removed of the tone varying attachment;

Fig. 3 is an enlarged side view of inboard of the tone varying attachment;

Fig. 4 is an enlarged view showing the pegs with the nibs in a nonengaging position; and

Fig. 5 is an enlarged view showing the pegs with the nibs engaging the strings to increase the tension therein.

As shown in Fig. l the tone varying attachment 9 is detachably mounted on a Hawaiian guitar 10. The attachment 9 may be used with any string musical instrument but is especially adapted for use with Hawaiian guitars. The attachment 9 has a lever 11 pivotally mounted on a base 12 as at 35. The base is detachably mounted on the guitar proper 13 by any suitable means. For example, the base is riveted as at 14 on an angle bar 15 which is detachably mounted on the guitar proper 13 by mounting screws 16 only one of which is shown in Fig. 1. A bolt 17 shown in Fig. 2 threadedly engages the inboard end 19 of the base 12 and abuts the guitar proper 13 to form a support for the base 12.

A manually operated treadle illustrated in Fig. 1 as a foot treadle 21 is connected to the base 12 by flexible cable means 23. The treadle 21 comprises a pedal 24 pivotably mounted on a standard 25 as at 26 and having a U-shaped cover 27 mounted on the top of the standard 25 and positioned over the pedal 24.

Cable means 23 shown in Figs. 1 and 2 has a flexible outer casing 28 which has one end 20 adjustably connected to the outboard end 30 of the base 12 and the other end 22 adjustably connected to the top of the cover 27. The outer casing 28 is adjustably connected to the cover 27 and the base 12 to compensate for variations in the length of the casing 28 that may occur during use. Any suitable adjustable mounting, such as the take-up nuts 31 illustrated in Fig. 1, may be used to connect the outer casing 23 to the base 12 and the cover 27. An independently movable inner core 32 is slidably mounted in the outer casing 28 for longitudinal movement relative thereto. One end 29 of the core 32 is connected to the pedal 24, and the other end 33 is connected to the outboard end 34 of the lever 11.

The outer casing serves to form a fixed support between the base 12 and the cover 27 so that the inner core, when actuated by the pedal 24, moves longitudinally relative to the outer casing 28 and hence actuates the lever 11. This feature of the cable having an outer casing and an independently movable inner core makes it possible to place the treadle in any advantageous position.

The lever 11 as shown in Fig. 2 is pivotably mounted on the base 12 by a fulcrum member 35. For the best operating results the lever 11 is pivoted on the fulcrum 35 on a point that is approximately two-thirds of the length of the lever 11 from the outboard end 34 of the lever 11. A receiving bar 38 is mounted on the inboard end 39 of lever 11 and extends across the lever 11 in a plane that is substantially parallel to the top of the guitar proper 13 when the attachment 9 is mounted on the guitar 10. The receiving bar could be made integral with the lever 11 and hence produce a flaring effect on the inboard end of the lever.

Pegs 40 are mounted on the bottom of the inboard end 39 of the lever 11 by any suitable means such as the press fit pins 41 shown in Fig. 3. Preferably the pegs 40 are mounted on a receiving bar such as the bar 38 which is mounted on the inboard end 39 of the lever 11. The pegs extend through the holes 42 in the base 12. Although only two pegs are illustrated in Figs. 2 and 3, any number of pegs could be used up to the number of strings in the musical instrument. The pegs 40 have outwardly extending nibs 43 engaging the strings 44 of the musical instrument.

The nibs 43 are positioned initially beneath the strings 44 of the guitar 10. When the lever 11 is actuated the nibs 43 riseand engage the strings 44 thereby increasing the tension in the strings 44. The more pressure applied to, the lever 11 the harder the nibs 43 will engage the strings 44 and the more the tension will be increased in the strings.

A bridge member 45 is mounted on the top of the inboard end 19. of the base 12 between the bolt 17 and the fulcrum member and covers the inboard end 39 of the lever 11 including the receiving bar 38. The bridge member 45 defines therein an aperture 4s for receiving the inboard end 39 of the lever 11. The inboard end 39 of the lever 11 extends under the bridge member 45 and is free to oscillate therein. Resilient means shown as coil springs 48 are positioned beneath the top of the receiving bar 38 and the top of the bridge member 45 for returning the receiving bar 38 and pegs and nibs 43 to their initial nonengaging position.

Limit stops shown as adjusting screws 52 are adjustably mounted in the top of the bridge member to limit the motion of the pegs 40 and thereby limit the amount of tension that can be applied to the strings 44 by the nibs 43.

Sleeves 53 are positioned around the pegs 40 and are positioned between the bottom of the receiving bar 33 and the top of the base 12 to provide a smooth track for the pegs 40 when the pegs 40 slide therein in response to the movement of the lever 11.

In operation the attachment 9 is detachably mounted on a Hawaiian guitar 10 and positioned so that the nibs 43 will engage the strings 44 of the guitar 10 between the inboard end 60 of the guitar proper 13 and the nut 54. The treadle 21 is positioned in any convenient position so that the player can manipulate the pedal 24 while he is playing the guitar 10. When the pedal 24 is actuated the inner core 32 moves longitudinally relative to the outer casing 28 which is flexibly mounted between the base 12 and the cover 27. The movement of the inner core 32 actuates the lever 11 which pivots on the fulcrum 35 thereby causing the pegs 40 to slide in the sleeves 53. As the pegs 40 slide in the sleeves 53 the nibs 43 selectively engage and lift the strings 44 thereby increasing the tension in the strings 44. Pig. 4 shows the nibs 43 in a nonengaging position and Fig. 5 shows the nibs 43 after the lever has been actuated and the nibs 43 have engaged the strings.

As the tension in the strings is increased the pitch of the tone produced by plucking the string is varied. The attachment of this invention is capable of varying the pitch of a tone at least two notes.

The resilient means shown as springs 48 act to oppose the action of the lever 11 on the pegs 4t) and tend to force the pegs 40 and nibs 43 back to their initial nonengaging position. When the lever and hence the receiving bar is actuated the springs 48 react on the receiving bar 38 to balance it on the inboard end 39 of the lever as it actuates the pegs 43. This action of the springs 48 on the receiving bar 38 causes the bar to exert an equal and even pull on allthe pegs 43 simultaneously and hence on all the strings engaged by the pegs. This even pull on the strings cause the tension in the strings to be increased at the same rate and hence the tone produced on the strings will be varied at the same rate. If the lever were flared at the inner end, the springs would react on the flared end of the lever in .a way similar to the. way they react on the receiving bar. As the lever is actuated the tension in the strings increases until the receiving bar engages one of the limit stops 52. The side of the receiving bar engaging the limit stop will stop but the other side will continue to rise in response to the action of the lever. In such a situation the receiving bar will tilt as it rises. The adjustable limit stops make it possible to limit the range of tone variation of each string. Whenthe pressure on the pedal 24 is released the pegs 40 and nibs 43 return to their initial nonengaging position. By varying the pressure on the pedal 24 the player can vary the tension in the strings 4-4 and hence vary the tone produced by the musical instrument. The lever 11 and pedal 24 are arranged to give the player a very fine control over the variation of tone changes that can be produced.

it is claimed and desired to secure by Letters Patent:

1. A tone varying attachment for a string musical instrument comprising a lever pivotably mounted on a base, said base being detachably mounted on'said instrument and defining holes positionable above the strings'of said instrument, a plurality of pegs mounted on the inboard end of said lever and extending through said holes, each of said pegs having an outwardly extending nibpositioned to selectively engage a string of said instrument when said lever is pivoted, a bridge member mounted on the inboard end of said base and covering said inboard end of said lever, said bridge member defining an aperture through which said inboard end of said lever extends, resilient means positioned between the top of said bridge member and said inboard end of said lever for cooperating with said lever to provide an equal pull on said strings returning said pegs and nibsto their initial nonengaging position, a foot operated treadle comprising a pedal pivotably mounted on a standard and a cover mounted on said standard and bridging said pedal, flexible cable means comprising an outer casing and an independently movable inner core, said core having one end attached to the outboard end of said lever and the other end attached to said pedal, said outer casing surrounding said core and having one end connected to the outboard end of said base and the other end connected to said cover to form a flexible support through which said core is independently movable, whereby actuation of said pedal will pivot said lever and cause said nibs to engage said strings to vary the tension in said strings and thereby vary the pitch of the tone produced by vibrating said strings.

2. A tone varying attachment for a string musical instrument comprising a lever pivotably mounted on a base, said base being detachably mounted on said instrument and defining holes positionable above the strings of said instrument, a mounting bolt threadedly engaging the inboard end of said base and abutting said instrument to form an adjustable positioning support for said base, a receiving bar mounted on the inboard end of said lever, a plurality of pegs mounted on said receiving bar and extending through said holes, each of said pegs having an outwardly extending nib positioned beneath one of said strings to engage said string of said instrument when said lever is pivoted, a bridge member mounted on the inboard end of said base and covering said inboard end of said lever, said bridge member defining an aperture through which said inboard end of said lever extends, resilient means positioned between the top of said bridge member and said receiving bar for cooperating with said receiving bar to provide an equal pull on said strings and returning said pegs and nibs to their initial nonengaging position, limit stops adjustably mounted in the top of saidbridge member and positioned to engage said receiving bar to limit the upward movement of said bar and said pegs, a foot operated treadle comprising a pedal pivotably mounted on a standard and a cover mounted on said standard and bridging said pedal, flexible cable means comprising an outer casing and an independently movable inner core, said core having, one end attached to the outboard end of .said lever andthe other end attached to said pedal, said outer casing surrounding said core and having one end adjustably connected to the outboard end of said base and the other end adjustably connected to said cover to form a flexible support through which said core is independently movable, whereby actuation of said pedal will pivot said lever and cause said nibs to engage said strings to vary the tension in said strings and thereby vary the pitch of the tone produced by vibrating said strings.

3. A tone varying attachment for a string musical instrument comprising a lever pivotably mounted on a base by a fulcrum member, said fulcrum being attached to said lever at a point approximately two-thirds the length of the lever from the inboard end of said lever, said base being detachably mounted on said instrument and defining holes positionable above the strings of said instrument, a mounting bolt threadedly engaging the inboard end of said base and abutting said instrument to form an adjustable positioning support for said base, a receiving bar mounted on the inboard end of said lever, a plurality of pegs mounted on said receiving bar and extending through said holes, each of said pegs having an outwardly extending nib positioned beneath one of said strings to engage said strings of said instrument when said lever is pivoted, a bridge member mounted on the inboard end of said base and covering said inboard end of said lever, said bridge member defining an aperture through which said inboard end of said lever extends, resilient means positioned between the top of said bridge member and said receiving bar for cooperating with said receiving bar to provide an equal pull on said strings and returning said pegs and nibs to their initial nonengaging position, a foot operated treadle comprising a pedal pivotably mounted on a standard and a cover mounted on said standard and bridging said pedal, flexible cable means comprising an outer casing and an independently movable inner core, said core having one end attached to the outboard end of said lever and the other end attached to said pedal, said outer casing surrounding said core and having one end adjustably connected to the outboard end of said base and the other end adjustably connected to said cover to form a flexible support through which said core is independently movable, whereby actuation of said pedal will pivot said lever and cause said nibs to engage said strings to vary the tension in said strings and thereby vary the pitch of the tone produced by vibrating said strings.

4. In combination, a tone varying attachment for a string musical instrument, a lever having a flared inboard end pivotably mounted on a base, said base being detachably mounted on the guitar proper of said instrument, the inboard end of said base defining holes positionable over the strings of said instrument, a U-shaped bridge member mounted on the inboard end of said base and covering said holes, pegs mounted on the flared end of said lever and extending through said holes, said pegs having outwardly extending nibs for engaging the strings of said instrument, means adjustably mounted on said bridge for limiting the movement of said pegs, resilient means positioned between said flared end of said lever and said bridge for cooperating with said receiving bar to provide an equal pull on said strings and returning said nibs to their initial nonengaging position, a foot treadle comprising a pedal pivotably mounted on a standard and a cover mounted on said standard and positioned over said pedal, flexible cable means comprising an outer casing and an independently movable inner core, said core having one end attached to the outboard end of said lever and the other end attached to said pedal, said outer casing surrounding said core and extending between the outboard end of said base and said cover to form a flexible support through which said core is independently movable, whereby actuation of said pedal will pivot said lever and cause said nibs to engage said strings to vary the tension in said strings and thereby vary the pitch of the tone produced by vibrating said strings.

5. A Hawaiian guitar comprising in combination a guitar proper, strings mounted on said guitar proper and strung longitudinally relative thereto, means for supporting said guitar proper, a lever pivotally mounted on a base member, said base member being mounted on said guitar proper and defining holes therein positionable above the strings of said guitar, a U-shaped bridge member mounted on the top of the inboard end of said base, said bridge member defining an aperture for receiving said inboard end of said lever, a receiving bar mounted on the inboard end of said lever, a plurality of pegs mounted on the bottom of said receiving bar, each of said pegs having outwardly extending nibs for engaging the strings of said instrument, screws adjustably mounted on the top of said bridge member and positioned to form limit stops for said pegs, resilient means between the top of said bridge member and said receiving bar for cooperating with said receiving bar to provide an equal pull on said strings and returning said pegs and nibs to their initial nonengaging position, sleeves surrounding said pegs to form a track in which said pegs slide when actuated by said lever, a foot treadle comprising a standard, a pedal pivotably mounted on said standard, and a cover mounted on said standard and positioned over said pedal, flexible cable means comprising an outer casing and an independently movable inner core, said core having one end connected to said pedal and the other end connected to said outboard end of lever, said casing having one end adjustably connected to said base and the other end adjustably connected to said cover to form a flexible support through which said core is independently movable, whereby actuation of said treadle will pivot said lever and cause said nibs to engage said strings to vary the tension in said strings and thereby vary the pitch of the tone produced by vibrating said strings.

6. A tone varying attachment for a string musical instrument comprising a lever pivotably mounted on a base, said base being detachably mounted on said instrument and defining holes positionable above the strings of said instrument, a receiving bar mounted on the inboard end of said lever, a plurality of pegs mounted on said receiving bar and extending through said holes, each of said pegs having an outwardly extending nib positioned beneath one of said strings to engage said string of said instrument when said lever is pivoted, a bridge member mounted on the inboard end of said base and covering said inboard end of said lever, said bridge member defining an aperture through which said inboard end of said lever extends, screws adjustably mounted in the top of said bridge and positioned to engage said receiving bar to limit the upward movement of said pegs, coil springs encircling said pegs and positioned between said bridge member and the top of said receiving bar to cooperate with said lever to provide an even pull on said strings and to return said bar and said pegs to their original non-engaging positions, flexible cable means comprising an outer casing and an independently movable inner core, said core having one end attached to the outboard end of said lever and the other end attached to said pedal, said outer casing surrounding said core and having one end adjustably connected to the outboard end of said base and the other end adjustably connected to said cover to form a flexible support through which said core is independently movable, whereby actuation of said pedal will pivot said lever and cause said nibs to engage said strings to vary the tension in said strings and thereby vary the pitch of the tone produced by vibrating said strings.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,132,281 Adamson Oct. 4, 1938 2,201,536 Harvey May 21, 1940 2,257,995 Abrams et a1. Oct. 7, 1941 2,534,431 Ferriers Dec. 19, 1950

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Cited By (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3382749A (en) * 1966-03-10 1968-05-14 John W. Watson Device for producing a tremolo effect on stringed musical instruments
US4864909A (en) * 1988-11-23 1989-09-12 Toney William L Stringed instrument and tremolo apparatus
US5442987A (en) * 1993-12-13 1995-08-22 Davis; Bradford F. Apparatus to vary the pitch of a designated string of a musical instrument
US20040261599A1 (en) * 2003-06-25 2004-12-30 Templeton Christopher N Tone control apparatus for guitars
US20070131083A1 (en) * 2005-12-10 2007-06-14 Bryce Alasdair J Alternative tuning device for stringed musical instruments
US20090235803A1 (en) * 2008-03-24 2009-09-24 Yamaha Corporation Pedal apparatus of electronic musical instrument
CN101546550A (en) * 2008-03-24 2009-09-30 雅马哈株式会社 Pedal apparatus of electronic musical instrument
US9076412B1 (en) * 2011-12-30 2015-07-07 Kenneth J. Rolling Musical instrument string bender

Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2132281A (en) * 1937-02-25 1938-10-04 Herschel E Adamson Guitar playing simplifier
US2201536A (en) * 1939-02-18 1940-05-21 Harvey Ellison Stringed instrument tuner
US2257995A (en) * 1940-10-21 1941-10-07 Gibson Inc Musical instrument
US2534431A (en) * 1948-03-26 1950-12-19 Ferriera John String tensioning means

Patent Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2132281A (en) * 1937-02-25 1938-10-04 Herschel E Adamson Guitar playing simplifier
US2201536A (en) * 1939-02-18 1940-05-21 Harvey Ellison Stringed instrument tuner
US2257995A (en) * 1940-10-21 1941-10-07 Gibson Inc Musical instrument
US2534431A (en) * 1948-03-26 1950-12-19 Ferriera John String tensioning means

Cited By (13)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3382749A (en) * 1966-03-10 1968-05-14 John W. Watson Device for producing a tremolo effect on stringed musical instruments
US4864909A (en) * 1988-11-23 1989-09-12 Toney William L Stringed instrument and tremolo apparatus
US5442987A (en) * 1993-12-13 1995-08-22 Davis; Bradford F. Apparatus to vary the pitch of a designated string of a musical instrument
US20040261599A1 (en) * 2003-06-25 2004-12-30 Templeton Christopher N Tone control apparatus for guitars
US20070131083A1 (en) * 2005-12-10 2007-06-14 Bryce Alasdair J Alternative tuning device for stringed musical instruments
US7414184B2 (en) 2005-12-10 2008-08-19 Alasdair James Bryce Alternative tuning device for stringed musical instruments
US20090235803A1 (en) * 2008-03-24 2009-09-24 Yamaha Corporation Pedal apparatus of electronic musical instrument
CN101546550A (en) * 2008-03-24 2009-09-30 雅马哈株式会社 Pedal apparatus of electronic musical instrument
US7956261B2 (en) * 2008-03-24 2011-06-07 Yamaha Corporation Pedal apparatus of electronic musical instrument
US20110138987A1 (en) * 2008-03-24 2011-06-16 Yamaha Corporation Pedal apparatus of electronic musical instrument
CN101546550B (en) * 2008-03-24 2012-10-24 雅马哈株式会社 Pedal apparatus of electronic musical instrument
US8541672B2 (en) 2008-03-24 2013-09-24 Yamaha Corporation Pedal apparatus of electronic musical instrument
US9076412B1 (en) * 2011-12-30 2015-07-07 Kenneth J. Rolling Musical instrument string bender

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