US2933968A - Modified thumb rest for clarinets or the like - Google Patents

Modified thumb rest for clarinets or the like Download PDF

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US2933968A
US2933968A US722944A US72294458A US2933968A US 2933968 A US2933968 A US 2933968A US 722944 A US722944 A US 722944A US 72294458 A US72294458 A US 72294458A US 2933968 A US2933968 A US 2933968A
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thumb
barrel
clarinet
rest
hand
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Jr William Thomas Hearne
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Jr William Thomas Hearne
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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
    • G10D9/00Details of, or accessories for, wind musical instruments

Description

April 26, 1960 w. T. HEARNE, JR 2,933,963

MODIFIED THUMB REST FOR CLARINETS OR THE LIKE Filed March 21, 1958 INVENTOR BY MM m1,

ATTORNEYS,

States Patent MODIFIED THUMB REST FOR CLARINETS R THE LIKE William Thomas Hearne, Jr., Henderson, N .C.

Application March 21, 1958, Serial No. 722,944

6 Claims. (Cl. 84-380) This invention relates to the art of musical instruments and is more particularly directed to a modified thumb rest for clarinets or the like. if As is well known,"the conventional clarinet consists of a tubular barrel having a flared mouth or bell at one end and a mouthpiece at the other. The mouthpiece is vadapted to hold a reed which vibrates to produce the sound when the instrument is played. Arranged in spaced aligned relationship along the barrel are six openings which are selectively covered or uncovered by the fingers of the player, the upper three of these openings being under the control of the index, middle and ring fingers of one hand and the lower three, of the corresponding fingers of the other hand. A further opening on the underside of the barrel is controlled by the upper thumb. Various other openings are also ordinarily formed in the barrel, which are covered or uncovered by lever-operated pads, i.e. keys, manipulated by the index and little finger of each hand. The thumb of the lower hand has the exclusive function of supporting the barrel, a tab-like thumb rest projecting for this purpose from the barrel at the rear of the lower group of three holes and being adapted to contact the upper, i.e. inner, side of the thumb. By upper and lower as used herein is meant that part nearer the mouthpiece and bell, respectively, of the clarinet. With a typical instrument, the right hand is the lower hand and the left, the upper hand.

The number and combination of holes in the barrel left uncovered at a given instant determine the tone emitted by the instrument. In other words, it is through the manipulation of the fingers to cover or uncover, as the case may be, the desired holes, either directly or by the keys, that the musical notes are executed. -In musical compositions for the marching or brass band, the reed section ordinarily plays the role of the string sectionin a full orchestra, the clarinet corresponding to the violin, with other of the strings having their reed counterpart. As with the violin, the part assigned to the clarinet is ordinarily the most difiicult, particularly as ;regards the number and range of notes to be executed in ,a given period. Consequently, dexterity and alacrity of fingering are prime requirements of a clarinetist. Obviously, proper fingering technique is essential if this level of ability is to be attained.

I have observed that one of the most common causes of poor fingering stems from an improperly positioned lower thumb. While it may seem somewhat anomalous to'one unskilled in the art for the thumb to be considered in connection with fingering, there is nevertheless a clear relationship between the positions of the thumb and fingers of the lower hand. This can be seen from the fact that the position of the clarinet on the thumb determines the distance from the hand to the barrel of the clarinet. Generally the clarinet is considered to be properly positioned where the center line of the barrel is in approximate alignment with the base of the thumb nail. In this position, the palm of the hand is sufiiciently removed from the barrel that the fingers extend in a smooth relaxed are from their bases adjacent the palm to their tips at the holes in the barrel and are best adapted for smooth and quick up-and-down movement with a minimum of strain.

Unfortunately, it appears that it may be more natural for the beginning student to place the thumb rest atop the protuberance of the thumb knuckle or at some position along the last joint of the thumb where the center of the rest is somewhat closer to the center of the thumb joint than to the base of the nail. But whether this trait is natural or acquired, it is at least true that there is a distinct tendency for novice clarinetists to position the thumb in this manner either initially or by an unconscious adjustment. With the knuckle of the thumb in, or nearly in, alignment with the thumb rest, the palm of the hand is relatively close to the barrel and the fingers must be bent sharply, as in the shape of a narrow inverted U, to permit the finger tips to contact the holes. When so bent, the fingers are cramped and rigid, ready flexure is difficult, and, consequently, ease and speed of fingering is severely hampered.

It is therefore the object of this invention to provide a thumb rest so modified as to positively aid the clarinetist in properly positioning the thumb of the lower hand relative to the rest.

Another object of the invention is a thumb rest having a portion, which may be detachable, deformed to limit the extent that the clarinet barrel may be moved along the thumb toward the palm of the hand when the clarinet is positioned for play.

A further object is the provision of a thumb rest formed to engage the tip of the supporting thumb and automatically position the thumb, and consequently the fingers of the corresponding hand, correctly with respect to the thumb rest and the barrel of the clarinet.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following detailed description when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

Figurel is an enlarged view taken from the rear of the center portion of a conventional clarinet with the lower hand in playing position and showing the invention in the form of an attachment for a conventional thumb rest;

Figure 2 is a vertical cross-section taken along line 22 of Figure 1;

Figure 3 is a perspective view of the attachment alone;

Figure 4 is a view of a somewhat simplified version of the attachment; and

Figure 5 is a view similar to Figure 3 of an alternative unitary form of the invention.

Referring now to Figure l, the numeral 10 designates the barrel of a conventional clarinet, which may be constructedof wood, metal or plastic, as is customary. Vari ous metallic keys 13 are mounted for limited pivotal movement on the barrel, the keys terminating in disclike pads 14 covering openings in the barrel. Other openings adapted for finger manipulation are also provided in the barrel but are situated on the side opposite to that seen in Figure 1 and cannot be discerned in the drawings. Mounted on the rear of barrel Ill is a conventional thumb rest, generally indicated at 16, consisting of a base plate 17 attached to the barrel by screws 18 and a tab 19 formed integrally with plate 17 and projecting outwardly from the clarinet barrel generally at right angles to the barrel axis. The length of tab 19 is slightly greater than the thickness of an average thumb while its width adjacent the outer end is such as to rest comfortably on the inner side of the thumb, becoming smaller adjacent the connection of the tab to the base plate.

As illustrated, the invention takes the form of an attachment 20 for the just-described conventional thumb .cally exemplified herein.

its dimension along the minor axis is at'least as great as the thickness of the tab portion. Tongue portion23 .is preferably of slightly concave shape to more comfortably engage the tip of the thumb. -As the lower wall of the sleeve portion rests against the inner side of the thumb when the clarinet is in playing position, the thick- .ness, i.e. the dimension measured perpendicularly to the clarinet aXis, of at least the lower wall should be adequate to form a comfortable bearing surfaceforthe side .of the thumb, although it need not ta 7 .projection of tab 19, as can be noted in Figure 3.

asgreat as the full It is desirable that the attachment be positively afiixed ,to the rest and one way of accomplishing this is illustrated in Figure 2. Thus, an aperture .25 is formed in the tab portion of the conventional rest and tapped'to 'receive'one end of a short locking screw 26; an aperture 27, which may be elongated, such as to freely pass screw 26 is bored in the upper wall of sleeve 21; screw 26 is passed through aperture 27 and threaded into tapped aperture 25; and a lock nut 28 is threaded onto the free end of screw 26 and seated against the upper wall of sleeve 21. Manipulation of screw 26 is facilitated by having a recessed drive slot 29 in .its free end as shown.

Figure 1 shows the attachment in operative position for a clarinetist who utilizes the right hand as the lower playing hand and clearly demonstrates how it functions to engage the thumb tip and thereby position thethumb and hand. Where aperture 27 is elongated, as shown,

the attachment can be individually fitted to the player by slightly loosening nut 28, sliding sleeve portion21 in one direction or the other to precisely conform to the thumb of the particular person, and re-tightening nut 28. Finally, when the habit of proper thumb position has been sufficiently established in the student, the attachment can be removed entirely and the conventional rest employed as before since the presence of aperture 25 in the tab of the rest is not noticeable. It is quite possible, however, for even an accomplished player to be benefitted by the invention; certainly, it would not interfere with his performance if left in place.

The invention is by no means limited to .the particular form illustrated in detail in the drawings, although this is preferred, and two other forms have been indicated in Figures 4 and with prime and double prime designations for similar parts. The form of Figure 4 is basically similar to that of Figures 1-3 except that the upper wall of sleeve portion 21 is omitted and screw 26 is permanently attached to the single wall 21. In the form of Figure 5, the attachment and conventional rest have been combined into a single unitary article.

Those skilled in the art will be aware that the invention may be embodied in ways other than those specifi- Moreover, the specific examples are themselves subject to various modifications and alterations. Consequently, the scope of the invention is to be determined by reference to the appended claims rather than to the preceding description.

Having thus described my invention, what is claimed as new to be secured by Letters Patent is:

1. The combination with a clarinet or the like of a thumb rest attached to the rear of the clarinet barrel, said thumb rest including an elongated first portion having its axis disposed generally transversely of the axis of said barrel and lying in a plane extending in generally parallel non-intersecting relationship to the barrel axis, said first portion being adapted to rest onlthe upper side of the thumb when the barrel is grasped in playing position, and an elongated second portion projecting from a side edge of said first portion, which extends transversely of the axis of said first portion and, toward the flared bell of the clarinet and adapted to engage the tip of the thumb and maintain the endof the thumb in proper playing position generally within the lateral confines of the barrel.

2. A clarinet or the like having attached thereto an improved thumb rest for maintaining the thumblan d fingers in proper position during playing, said res teemprising a tab-like member extending outwardly from the clarinet barrel by which the clarinetis supported from the top of the thumbfand a limit 'stopicarried by'said member for contacting the tip of the thumb to thereb y prevent the thumb tipfrom projecting substantially outside of the lateral confines of the clarinet'barrel.

3. An improved thumb rest for clarinetsprthelike maintaining the thumb and fingers in properposition during playing, said rest comprising a tab-likemember extending outwardly from the clarinet'barrel by which the clarinet is supported from the top of the thumb and means carried by said member for engaging the tip'of the thumb to determine the position of the thumb jti'p relative to the clarinet barrel.

4. An attachment for a clarinet having thereon-acouventional thumb rest generally in the'shap'e of a radially extending tab, said attachment including a flattened sleeve adapted to receive in the interior opening thereof at least the end portion of the thumb rest, a tongue formed integrally with said sleeve and projecting from one sideof the peripheral surface of the sleeve generally at right angles to the major axis of the sleeve opening, a nd means 'for attaching said sleeve to the conventional thumbrest.

5. The attachment of claim,4 wherein said tongue is of slightly arcuate shape to more comfortably fit the tip of' the thumb.

6. A clarinet having a barrel witna flared mouth, a conventional thumb rest generally in the shape of a tab secured at one end to said barrel and extending radially thereof, and a generally L-shaped attachment mane rest, the staff portion of said L being secured to said rest and extending transversely to both the clarinet axis and the radial axis, of said rest and the baselegportion of the L projecting from said staff portion in the,direction 'of the flared mouth of the clarinet and generally parallel to the clarinet axis, said attachment being adapte d t o fit the end of the thumb with the staif portion resting 'on the side of the thumbadjacent the remainder of'thehand and the base leg portion contacting 'the thumb tip to position the thumb with the ball thereof approximately midway of the lateral limits of the clarinet barrel. i

444,830 Guenther J n. 20, 1 8 91

US722944A 1958-03-21 1958-03-21 Modified thumb rest for clarinets or the like Expired - Lifetime US2933968A (en)

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Cited By (15)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3264925A (en) * 1963-11-14 1966-08-09 Linton Mfg Company Musical instruments of the oboe, bassoon and clarinet types
US3988958A (en) * 1975-05-01 1976-11-02 Brunkow Darwin D Thumb rest for a musical wind instrument
US4099442A (en) * 1976-03-29 1978-07-11 Clive Lyof Amadio Corrective device for clarinets
US4348935A (en) * 1980-05-01 1982-09-14 Bay Charles L Thumb rest for woodwind musical instruments
US5025699A (en) * 1988-11-16 1991-06-25 Toshiko Toyama Finger rest for recorder
DE4113871A1 (en) * 1991-04-27 1992-11-05 Ton Kooiman Thumb stop for clarinet - can be adjusted in both longitudinal and transverse directions
US5664758A (en) * 1995-01-25 1997-09-09 Smith; Leland B. Extendable monopod strut device for musical instrument
US5949007A (en) * 1997-10-22 1999-09-07 Rumore; Dick J. Thumb transfer device for a woodwind musical instrument
US20070044635A1 (en) * 2005-08-11 2007-03-01 Ho-Fan Lee Flute attachment
US20070256539A1 (en) * 2006-05-04 2007-11-08 Flynn Mark E Finger alignment training device
US8269086B1 (en) * 2011-03-19 2012-09-18 Yuichi Tanabe Flute support
US20140250697A1 (en) * 2013-03-11 2014-09-11 Bettcher Industries, Inc. Pivoting thumb support for power operated rotary knife
US20160019872A1 (en) * 2014-07-16 2016-01-21 Yuichi Tanabe Flute Support
US20160071502A1 (en) * 2014-09-08 2016-03-10 Harvey Pittel Creations, Inc. Wind instrument supports
USD788838S1 (en) * 2015-07-07 2017-06-06 Tatsumi Gakki Inc. Thumb rest for a clarinet

Citations (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4448301A (en) * 1980-08-04 1984-05-15 Alger David W Conveyor system with frictionally driven conveyor belt

Patent Citations (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4448301A (en) * 1980-08-04 1984-05-15 Alger David W Conveyor system with frictionally driven conveyor belt

Cited By (19)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3264925A (en) * 1963-11-14 1966-08-09 Linton Mfg Company Musical instruments of the oboe, bassoon and clarinet types
US3988958A (en) * 1975-05-01 1976-11-02 Brunkow Darwin D Thumb rest for a musical wind instrument
US4099442A (en) * 1976-03-29 1978-07-11 Clive Lyof Amadio Corrective device for clarinets
US4348935A (en) * 1980-05-01 1982-09-14 Bay Charles L Thumb rest for woodwind musical instruments
US5025699A (en) * 1988-11-16 1991-06-25 Toshiko Toyama Finger rest for recorder
DE4113871A1 (en) * 1991-04-27 1992-11-05 Ton Kooiman Thumb stop for clarinet - can be adjusted in both longitudinal and transverse directions
US5664758A (en) * 1995-01-25 1997-09-09 Smith; Leland B. Extendable monopod strut device for musical instrument
US5949007A (en) * 1997-10-22 1999-09-07 Rumore; Dick J. Thumb transfer device for a woodwind musical instrument
US20070044635A1 (en) * 2005-08-11 2007-03-01 Ho-Fan Lee Flute attachment
US20070256539A1 (en) * 2006-05-04 2007-11-08 Flynn Mark E Finger alignment training device
US8269086B1 (en) * 2011-03-19 2012-09-18 Yuichi Tanabe Flute support
US20120234156A1 (en) * 2011-03-19 2012-09-20 Yuichi Tanabe Flute support
US20140250697A1 (en) * 2013-03-11 2014-09-11 Bettcher Industries, Inc. Pivoting thumb support for power operated rotary knife
US9321183B2 (en) * 2013-03-11 2016-04-26 Bettcher Industries, Inc. Pivoting thumb support for power operated rotary knife
US20160019872A1 (en) * 2014-07-16 2016-01-21 Yuichi Tanabe Flute Support
US9626942B2 (en) * 2014-07-16 2017-04-18 Yuichi Tanabe Flute support
US20160071502A1 (en) * 2014-09-08 2016-03-10 Harvey Pittel Creations, Inc. Wind instrument supports
US9524705B2 (en) * 2014-09-08 2016-12-20 Harvey Pittel Creations, Inc. Wind instrument supports
USD788838S1 (en) * 2015-07-07 2017-06-06 Tatsumi Gakki Inc. Thumb rest for a clarinet

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