US2960900A - Guitar - Google Patents

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US2960900A
US2960900A US708448A US70844858A US2960900A US 2960900 A US2960900 A US 2960900A US 708448 A US708448 A US 708448A US 70844858 A US70844858 A US 70844858A US 2960900 A US2960900 A US 2960900A
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guitar
body
depression
recess
upper
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US708448A
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Clarence L Fender
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Clarence L Fender
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G10MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; ACOUSTICS
    • G10DSTRINGED MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; WIND MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; ACCORDIONS OR CONCERTINAS; PERCUSSION MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G10D1/00General design of stringed musical instruments
    • G10D1/08General design of stringed musical instruments of guitars
    • G10D1/085Mechanical design of electric guitars

Description

United States Patent O GUITAR Clarence L. Fender, 221 N. Lincoln, Fullerton, Calif.

Filed Jan. 13, 1958, Ser. No. 708,448

8 Claims. (Cl. 84-290) This invention relates to a guitar, and more particularly to an electric guitar of the type adapted to be held in a generally vertical plane during playing.

Electric guitars are of various types, some of which are adapted to be supported in a horizontal plane during playing, and others of which are adapted to be disposed in a generally upright or vertical plane during playing. Guitars of the first-mentioned type may have legs or other supports, as in the case of Hawaiian steel guitars, but guitars of the last mentioned type are normally held manually. It is common practice for the guitarist to play the electric guitar when in seated position, regardless of which type of electric guitar is being played.

Electric guitars are conventionally constructed with relatively solid bodies formed of hardwood and relatively heavy. Such bodies, at least in the case of guitars adapted to be played when in a generally vertical or upright plane, have previously been manufactured with recesses or depressions in the upper and lower edges thereof. Such recesses are conventionally directly opposite each other, that is to say have their centers disposed generally on a perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the guitar. It has been found, however, that such positioning of the recesses or depressions causes the guitarist to be relatively uncomfortable during playing, and results in awkwardness and difficulty in achieving the proper and desired plucking or picking positions. Stated otherwise, it has been discovered that the conventional body construction of an electric guitar is susceptible of great improvement in order to increase the comfort of the guitarist and result in improved playing with minimized awkwardness, especially as regards the relative locations of the recesses in the upper and lower edges of the guitar body.

In view of the above and other factors relative to conventional guitars, particularly electric guitars of the type adapted to be played when in an upright plane, it is an object of the present invention to provide a guitar having a body so constructed that the comfort of the guitarist is maximized, and awkwardness is Substantially eliminated whether the body is held on the left or right leg.

A further object is to provide a guitar body having a novel combination of recesses and beveled portions, thereby promoting ease and facility of playing with minimum discomfort to the guitarist.

A further object is to provide a guitar body which may be held comfortably and without awkwardness by a seated guitarist, whether the guitar body is supported on the left or right leg.

These and other objects and advantages of the invention will be fore fully set forth in the following specification and claims, considered in connection with the attached drawing to which they relate.

In the drawing:

Figure 1 is a perspective view illustrating a guitarist playing a guitar constructed in accordance with the present invention, while supporting the same on his left leg;

Figure 2 corresponds to Figure 1 but illustrates the playing of the guitar while supported on the right leg of the guitarist;

Figure 3 is a plan view showing the face of the guitar body;

Figure 4 is a section on the broken line 4--4 of Figure 3, illustrating the bevel at the back of the upper edge of the guitar body; and

Figure 5 is a section on line 5-5 of Figure 3, showing the bevel on the face of the guitar body at the upper corner thereof and remote from the tuning pegs or screws.

Referring now to the drawing, and particularly to Figures 1-3, the electric guitar is illustrated to comprise a body 10, neck 11, strings 12 stretched between turning pegs or screws 13 and a vibrato device 14, and electromagnetic pickup elements 16 and 17. The vibrations of the strings 12 are converted into sound by the pickup elements 16 and 17 and associated amplifier and loudspeaker equipment. Tuning of the strings is effected by the pegs 13 on the head of the guitar, and (momentarily) by actuation of the arm 18 of vibrato device 14, one such device being described in my previous Patent No. 2,741,146. In addition to the above elements, the guitar comprises volume control knobs 19 and 21, and a selector switch 22 to control the use of pickup elements 16 and 17. The guitar may also include plug means, indicated at 23, for making the electrical connection.

Proceeding next to a detailed description of the guitar body 10, it is preferably formed of a single piece of hardwood, and is elongated axially of the instrument. Stated otherwise, the dimension of the body 10 longitudinally of neck 11 is normally substantially greater than the dimension of the body transversely thereof. The body 10 is relatively thin, having a face surface 24 and a parallel back surface 26.

The body 10 has an upper edge portion 27, by which is meant the portion of the body held uppermost when the guitar is being played in an upright or generally vetrical plane as indicated in Figures l and 2. The body also has a lower edge portion 28, and outer edge portion 29 remote from the tuning screws 13, and an inner edge portion 3l relatively adjacent the tuning screws 13. Except as will be specifically stated hereinafter, the various edge surfaces extend perpendicularly between face surface 24 and back surface 26. as indicated at 32 at the lower end of the showing of Figure 4.

Referring to Figure 3, the upper edge portion 27 of body l0 is formed with a recess or depression 33 the center of which is disposed relatively adjacent the tuning screws or pegs 13 (the outer end of neck 11). The wall of the recess or depression, that is to say the upper edge surface of the guitar body, is a continuous, concave curve as illustrated.

The rear part of upper edge portion 27, and adjacent Irecess or depression 33, is bevelled to provide an inclined or bevelled surface 34 best illustrated in Figure 4. The bevel or incline commences along the dashed line 36 shown in Figure 3, such line being spaced progressively greater distances from the extreme upper part of portion 27 as the center of the recess or depression 33 is approached. Stated otherwise, the extreme upper part of portion 27, and the dashed line 36 which denotes the beginning of the bevel or incline, are relatively far apart at the regions adjacent the center of recess 3, and converge together remote from such center of the recess. The bevel is thus relatively gradual at the center of recess 33, and relatively steep at the ends thereof.

The corner of upper edge portion 27 remote from tuning screws 13 is formed, on its face, with a, bevel or in.

however, that the line 38 and the line 36 are on oppositeV sides of the body-1Y0. p Y

The lower edge portion 28 of guitar body 10 is formed with a recess or depression 39 (Figure 3) which corresponds generally to the recess 33 except that-it is spaced further away from the tuning-screws 13, and except thatthere is no bevelled surface corresponding to the surface 34. Stated otherwise, therecesses 33 and 39 are somewhat symmetrical about Vthe longitudinal axis of the instrument, but the recess-39 is spaced a substantial distance farther from Vthe tuning screws 13 than is the recess 33. It is pointed out that the recesses 33 and 39 each extend for a considerable distance along the upper and lower edges of the guitar body, more than half of the longitudinal dimensions of such upper and lower edges.

The upper recess 33 is sufficiently large to accommodate the side of the chest of the guitarist, and the lower recess 39 is suiiiciently large to fit over the thigh, as illustrated in Figures l and 2.

The center of the upper recess 34 is indicated at A. Point A is disposed generally above the regions of the strings i2 normally picked by the guitarist. Point A, and such regions, are located closer to the tuning screws i3 than is the center of the guitar body 10, all distances being measured parallel to neck 11.

The center of lower recess 39 is indicated at point BP uch point is disposed generally opposite the center of guitar body lil, and generally below the bridge of the instrument or, in this case, below the vibrato device id.

imaginary parallel lines containing the points A and 3, and perpendicular to and intersecting the longitudinal axis of the instrument, should be spaced apart a distance between l percent and 30 percent of the effective length of the guitar body l0. Such distance is preferably about 20 percent of the effective length of the guitar body. In the present illustration, the eifective length of the guitar body is the distance between the indicated points C and D, such distance being measured parallel to the longitudinal axis of the instrument. It is to be understood,-however, vthat if an excessively long and useless curlycue, for example, were added to one end (such as the inner end) of the vguitar body, the length of such curiycue wouid not be included in the effective length, and should not be taken into account in spacing the centers of the recesses.

ln a normal guitar, the olfset between point A and point B (longitudinally of the instrument) should be between three and six inches. lt is preferably about four or five inches.

A straight line between vpoint A and point B should iie at an angle, relative to a perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the guitar (such perpendicular being parallel to the faces of the guitar body), which is between ten degrees and forty degrees and is preferably about twenty-five degrees.

inthe operation of the instrument, let it iirst be assumed that the guitarist desires to support the guitar on his left leg as shown in Figure l. The lower recess 39 then fits over the left thigh, and the upper recess 33 fits against the left portion of the chest. The bevelled or inclined surface 34E' greatly increases the comfort of the guitarist and lessens awkwardness, and the bevel surface 37 provides a comfortable support for the inner side of the right forearm during picking. It has been discovered that the described vaxial 'offsettingot`- the points A and B permits the right or picking arm to more readily pick the strings 12 at the desired points.

Referring next to Figure 2, the guitar is illustrated as supported on the right thigh of the guitarist. In this case the recess 33 fits against the right side ofthe chest, and the bevelled surface 34 again increases comfort and decreases awkwardness. The bevel surface 37 again facilitates the use of the right or picking arm, since it fits below the upper arm.

It is emphasized that such terms as comfort, awkwardness, etc., actually denote the structural relationships between the human body and the present guitar body. Such terms have nothing to do with the types of material, etc., ofwhich theguitar body is made.

It is applicants basic discovery that the same relationship between the upper and lower recesses in the guitar body provides improved playing (because of the mechanics of thehumanbody) whether the guitar is4 supported on the right leg or the left leg. When the guitar is on the left leg (Figure l), the head of the guitar is held relatively high, and the upper recess tits around the left portion of the front of the chest. When the guitar is on the Lright leg (Figure 2), the head is held relatively low, and the upper recess lits around the extreme right side of the chest. Such positions are natural and desirable. lt is natural to hold the neck at a greater angle to the horizontal when the body is on the left leg than when it is on the right, since this shortens the distance the left arm must reach out in order to grasp the neck properly.

Left-handed guitars may also be manufactured, incorporating the principles set forth herein.

Various embodiments of the present invention, in addition to what has been illustrated and described in detail, Vmay be employed without departing from the scope of the accompanying claims.

I claim:

l. A guitar, comprising a body having opposite end portions and opposite side portions, a neck extending from one end portion, each of said side portions having a depression therein, the depression in one of said side portions being located substantially nearer to an end of said body than is the depression in the other of said side portions, said depressions being respectively adapted to receive the chest and .thigh of the player when the player is in seated position.

2. The invention as claimed in claim l, in which said neck extends generally longitudinally of said body and has a head at the end thereof remote from said body, and in which the depression in one of said portions is substantially nearer to said head than-is the depression in the other of said side portions.

3. The invention as claimed in claim 2, in whichY said one side portion is the one held uppermost by a player when playing the guitar while in seated position.

4. The invention as claimed in claim 2, in which said one side portion is the one held uppermost by a player when playing the guitar while in seated position, and in which the depression in said one side portion is nearer to said head `than is the depression in said other side portion by a distance equal to at least ten percent of the effective dimension of said body longitudinally of said neck.

5. The invention las claimed in claim 2, in which said one side portion is the one held uppermost by a player when playing the guitar while in seated position, and in which the center of the depression in said one side portion is between three and six inches nearer said head than is the center of the depression in said other side portion.

6. The invention as claimed in claim l, in which said body has a dimension longitudinally of said neck which is greater than the dimension of said body transversely thereof, in which said body has generally parallel front and rear surfaces which are spaced from each other by a relativelyshort distance, in which said neck has a head at the end thereof remote from said body, in which the depression in one of said side portions is generally concave and continuously curving and is shaped to receive a side of the chest of the player playing the guitar while in seated position, in which the depression in the other of said side portions is generally concave and continuously curving and is shaped to receive the upper portion of the thigh of the player playing the guitar while in seated position, and in which said depression in said one side portion is subst-antially nearer said head than is said depression in said other side portion.

7. The invention as claimed in claim 6, in which a straight line between the centers of said depressions lies at an angle, relative to a perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the guitar and lying parallel to said front and rear surfaces, which is between ten degrees and forty degrecs.

8. The invention as claimed in claim 6, in which said rear surface of said body is bevelled adjacent said depression in said one side portion, and in which said front surface of said body is bevelled at said one side portion and relatively remote from said neck, said bevel in said rear surface being adapted to engage one side of the chest of the player, said bevel in said front surface being adapted to support the picking `arm of the player.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS D. 46,366 Kordick Sept. 8, 1914 798,869 Brandt Sept. 5, 1905 1,304,914 Smith May 27, 1919 2,335,244 Gugino Nov. 30, 1943 2,741,146 Fender Apr. 10, 1956

US708448A 1958-01-13 1958-01-13 Guitar Expired - Lifetime US2960900A (en)

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Cited By (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5488891A (en) * 1995-06-13 1996-02-06 Baker; Michael V. Slide bar for stringed musical instruments
DE19608837C2 (en) * 1996-03-07 2001-01-25 Axel Zeckai Electric Guitar and body for such a guitar
US6965066B1 (en) 2002-01-16 2005-11-15 Actodyne General, Inc. Elongated string support for a stringed musical instrument
DE102011015953A1 (en) 2011-04-02 2012-10-04 Christoph Eller Ergonomic electric bass guitar has fastening elements that are fastened at main portion for carrying strap, and thumb support that is equipped in recess formed in main portion
US9082374B2 (en) 2011-07-24 2015-07-14 Daniel Aires Ergonomic guitar
USD740352S1 (en) * 2013-05-02 2015-10-06 Robert Crelin Guitar body
US9502010B1 (en) 2014-08-22 2016-11-22 William Cardozo Guitar tremolo bridge

Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US798869A (en) * 1905-02-20 1905-09-05 Lyon & Healy Stringed musical instrument.
US1304914A (en) * 1919-05-27 Stringed musical instrument
US2335244A (en) * 1942-07-09 1943-11-30 Gugino Carmelo Stringed musical instrument
US2741146A (en) * 1954-08-30 1956-04-10 Clarence L Fender Tremolo device for stringed instruments

Patent Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US1304914A (en) * 1919-05-27 Stringed musical instrument
US798869A (en) * 1905-02-20 1905-09-05 Lyon & Healy Stringed musical instrument.
US2335244A (en) * 1942-07-09 1943-11-30 Gugino Carmelo Stringed musical instrument
US2741146A (en) * 1954-08-30 1956-04-10 Clarence L Fender Tremolo device for stringed instruments

Cited By (10)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5488891A (en) * 1995-06-13 1996-02-06 Baker; Michael V. Slide bar for stringed musical instruments
DE19608837C2 (en) * 1996-03-07 2001-01-25 Axel Zeckai Electric Guitar and body for such a guitar
US6965066B1 (en) 2002-01-16 2005-11-15 Actodyne General, Inc. Elongated string support for a stringed musical instrument
DE102011015953A1 (en) 2011-04-02 2012-10-04 Christoph Eller Ergonomic electric bass guitar has fastening elements that are fastened at main portion for carrying strap, and thumb support that is equipped in recess formed in main portion
US9082374B2 (en) 2011-07-24 2015-07-14 Daniel Aires Ergonomic guitar
USD740352S1 (en) * 2013-05-02 2015-10-06 Robert Crelin Guitar body
USD780833S1 (en) * 2013-05-02 2017-03-07 Robert Crelin Guitar body
US9502010B1 (en) 2014-08-22 2016-11-22 William Cardozo Guitar tremolo bridge
US20170061941A1 (en) * 2014-08-22 2017-03-02 William Cardozo Guitar Tremolo Bridge
US9697809B2 (en) * 2014-08-22 2017-07-04 William Cardozo Guitar tremolo bridge

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