US3512443A - Shoulder strap control for string instruments - Google Patents

Shoulder strap control for string instruments Download PDF

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Publication number
US3512443A
US3512443A US3512443DA US3512443A US 3512443 A US3512443 A US 3512443A US 3512443D A US3512443D A US 3512443DA US 3512443 A US3512443 A US 3512443A
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arm
lever
guitar
body
string
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Gene V Parson
Clarence J White
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FENDER MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS CORP
EDWARD TICKNER
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EDWARD TICKNER
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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
    • G10D3/00Details of, or accessories for, stringed musical instruments, e.g. slide-bars
    • G10D3/14Tuning devices, e.g. pegs, pins, friction discs
    • G10D3/143Devices for altering the string tension during playing

Description

May 19, 1970 G v, PARSON ETAL 3,512,443

SHOULDER STRAP CONTROL FOR STRING INSTRUMENTS Filed Oct. 50, 1.968

INVENTORS (r'E/Vf' 1 P495 0N5 gLAEEA/CKJ WH/TE I A m ATTQQME') United States Patent O" 3,512,443 SHOULDER STRAP CONTROL FOR STRING INSTRUMENTS Gene V. Parson, West Hollywood, and Clarence J. White, Sherman Oaks, Califi, assignors of one-third to Edward Tickner, Studio City, Calif.

Filed Oct. 30, 1968, Ser. No. 771,716 Int. Cl. G10d 3/00 US. Cl. 84-313 7 4 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A lever is connected to the shoulder strap of a guitar and, thereby, controlled by relative movements of said instrument and the person playing the same to efiect a slurring change in the tone of one of the strings of the instrument from the tone to which it is tuned to a tone of higher pitch.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Stringed instruments which are hung by straps over the users shoulder and around the back, of which guitars are an example, produce musical sounds by plucking of their strings either by a plectrum or with the fingers. Changing the pitch of one of the strings of such an instrument to produce an effect similar to that obtained by sliding a metal bar across the strings, as in Hawaiian or steel guitars, is known. A known manner of accomplishing this is to provide the guitar with means that is controlled by compressive movement of the arm that rests upon the outer face of the guitar, the fingers of which pluck the strings or manipulate the plectrum. Thus, this arm has been assigned a simultaneous and two-fold purpose, i.e., to pluck the strings by onemotion and change the pitch of one of the strings by a transverse motion.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present guitar-string tone-changing control means 5 is based on an otherwise generally conventional guitar 6 and a shoulder or support strap 7 by means of which said guitar is held in position 'by a person playing the same, said strap, at one end, being connected to the guitar by a connector 8 at the end thereof opposite the end of the neck 9, and at the opposite end, to said control means 5 by means of a connector 10.

An object of the present invention is to provide means of the character above characterized, by means of which relative movement of the guitar and the person playing the same places stress on the support strap to produce such actuation of said means as to cause the tension of at least one of the strings of the guitar to increase, thereby changing, i.e., increasing the pitch of such string above the tuned pitch thereof when plucked by the fingers or by means of a plectrum.

This invention also has for its objects to provide such means that are positive in operation, convenient in use, easily installed in a working position and easily disconnected therefrom, economical of manufacture, relatively simple, and of general superiority and serviceability.

The invention also comprises novel details of construction and novel combinations and arrangements of parts, which will more fully appear in the course of the following description, which is based on the accompanying drawing. However, said drawing merely shows, and the following description merely describes, one embodiment of the present invention, which is given by way of illustration or example only.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING In the drawing, like reference characters designate similar parts in the several views.

3,512,443 Patented May 19, 1970 DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The guitar 6 that is illustrated conventionally comprises the usual fiat body 15 from which the neck 9 extends, a complement of strings 16 extending over the usual frets 17 on said neck and being anchored at one end 18 to the body 15 and at the opposite end of the usual tuning keys (not shown) at the end of the neck 9. According to the invention, at least one string 16a of said complement of strings has the usual connection to one of the keys, but at its other end is connected to the toneor pitch-changing control means 5.

The control means 5, best seen in FIGS. 3 and 4, is shown as comprising a rocker lever 19 that is mounted by a pivot 20 on the back board 21 of the guitar body 15, one arm 22 thereof extending beyond the upper end of said body, and the other, shorter arm 23 extending laterally at an angle to said arm 22. The mentioned connector 10 is provided on the end of the lever arm 22 which, in this case, is forwardly bent as shown in FIG. 4. A link 24 is connected to the lever arm 23, extends through a guide bracket 25, and extends downwardly toward the lower end of the guitar body. The lower end of said link has connection with a second lever 26 that is mounted on a pivot 27 that extends transversely to the pivot 20. Said lever 26 extends through the body and through a fitting 28', one arm 29 extending rearwardly and having connection, as by a hook engagement, with said lower end of the link 24, and the other arm 30 extending forwardly through the front of the guitar body and being connected, as at 31, to the mentioned lower end of the string 16a. The arm 29 of lever 26 is longer than the arm 30 thereof, so that movement imparted to said longer arm results in a lesser movement of the shorter arm proportional to the lengths of said arms.

A spring 32 is connected, by one end, to the lever arm 23 and, by its opposite end, to a bracket 33 on the back board 21 of the guitar body. Said spring is arranged -to provide a bias on the rocker lever 19 which draws the same to a position limited by a stop 34, whereby the link 24 holds the lever 26 in a fixed position so that the tension imparted to the string 1611, when tuned by its key, will remain constant.

In operation, the strap 6, after adjustment to length to suit the user and connection by its ends to the connectors 8 and 10, is trained over one shoulder and around the back of the user to support the guitar in the usual playing position, as suggested in FIG. 1. The arrangement of strap and guitar is the same as the arrangement in which the strap is connected at fixed points on the guitar body. In the present case, the arrangement, due to the movability of the rocker lever 19 against the bias of the spring 32, enables the user, either by moving the neck of the guitar in a downward direction, or his body in a direction away from said neck, or by any suitable combination of such movements, to exert a pull on the lever arm 22 and, consequently, an upward pull on the arm 29 of the lever 26. Such movement will increase the tension on the string 16a, increasing its pitch according to the magnitude of such movements of the guitar and/or the users body. As explained, such change of pitch may be effected at any time before or after the string has been plucked.

Since the degree of increase of tension of string 16a can be quite small, to increase the pitch, as desired, between a half-tone and more than one and one-half tones, the ratio of lengths of lever arms 29 and 30, taken together with the ratio of lengths of arms 22 and 23 of lever 19, enables the user to effect a substantially material movement of the arm 22 with but a small but effective movement of the arm 30, with corresponding increase in the pitch-raising tension of said string.

, The back of the guitar is preferably provided with a removable cover 35 for the control means 5, only the arm 22 of the rocker lever 19 extending outwardly therefrom, as shown in FIG. 4.

While the foregoing has illustrated and described what is now contemplated to be the best mode of carrying out the invention, the construction is, of course, subject to modification without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

Having thus described the invention, what is claimed and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:

1. In a stringed instrument having a body provided with a neck and a complement of tunable strings extending between the body and the end of said neck, and provided with a support strap adapted to engage over one shoulder of the user and pass around the back of said user:

(a) a fixed connector on the body of the instrument for one end of said strap,

(b) control means mounted on the body provided with a lever having an arm connectable to the opposite end of the strap,

(c) a second lever having an arm connected to one of said complement of strings at the end thereof terminating at the instrument body and an arm connected to the first lever,

(d) a stop to limit the position of the control means to retain the mentioned one string at the tension thereof as tuned, and

(e) a spring to resiliently hold the control means as limited by the stop,

(f) the first lever, when pulled by the strap due to relative movement of the instrument neck and the users body, moving against the bias of the spring to move the control means in a direction to increase the tension of the mentioned one string and, thereby, the pitch thereof.

2. In a stringed instrument according to claim 1, the first-mentioned lever being provided with an arm extending beyond the upper end of the instrument body, the sup port strap being connected to said arm, and a cover over the control means removably affixed to the instrument body.

3. In a stringed instrument according to claim 2, the two levers being mounted on transverse pivots, the connection between the levers comprising a link extending between the first lever and the second-mentioned arm of the second lever.

4. In a stringed instrument according to claim 3, the second-mentioned arm of the second lever being longer than the arm thereof that is connected to said one string.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,201,536 5/1940 Harvey 84312 RICHARD B. WILKINSON, Primary Examiner J. F. GONZALES, Assistant Examiner

US3512443A 1968-10-30 1968-10-30 Shoulder strap control for string instruments Expired - Lifetime US3512443A (en)

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Cited By (21)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3686993A (en) * 1971-01-11 1972-08-29 Columbia Broadcasting Syst Inc Shoulder strap-operated pitch-changing means for spanish guitars
US3833751A (en) * 1973-02-22 1974-09-03 E Chapman Guitar-like instrument with magnetic pickup
US4354417A (en) * 1981-09-16 1982-10-19 Glaser Ii Joseph Tone changer for stringed instrument
USRE31722E (en) * 1978-09-18 1984-11-06 Stringed musical instruments
US4503746A (en) * 1983-01-31 1985-03-12 Roland Corporation Sound effect control device for an electric guitar
US4592265A (en) * 1984-12-04 1986-06-03 Steinberger Sound Corporation Foldable leg rest for stringed musical instrument
US4658693A (en) * 1986-04-25 1987-04-21 The Music People, Inc. Rear operated control device for guitar
US4852448A (en) * 1988-04-29 1989-08-01 Hennessey James R Bilateral tremolo apparatus
US5481954A (en) * 1994-12-06 1996-01-09 Parsons; Gene V. Back plate mounted shoulder strap control for electric type stringed instruments
US5567897A (en) * 1996-01-16 1996-10-22 Mcewen; Paul A. Guitar pull string device
US5824925A (en) * 1995-12-08 1998-10-20 Yost; John A. Tremolo and/or vibrato control system, and methods of constructing and utilizing same
US6100459A (en) * 1997-12-08 2000-08-08 Yost; John A. Tremolo and/or vibrato control system, and methods of constructing and utilizing same
US20040231488A1 (en) * 2000-04-11 2004-11-25 Harald Hontsch Device for the generation of a retutn force on a tremolo for a string instrument
US7259309B1 (en) * 2005-03-21 2007-08-21 Robert Lovelace Tremolo actuator
US20080141843A1 (en) * 2006-12-15 2008-06-19 Thompson Donald J String bender for electric guitar
US20110259172A1 (en) * 2010-04-27 2011-10-27 Hannapel William J Tremolo assembly of stringed instrument
US20150007705A1 (en) * 2013-07-05 2015-01-08 Scott Nicholas Dante Lionello Shoulder strap operated pitch changing means for stringed instruments
US9076412B1 (en) * 2011-12-30 2015-07-07 Kenneth J. Rolling Musical instrument string bender
US9530388B1 (en) * 2015-06-16 2016-12-27 Handbender Sweden Ab Mechanism for changing a pitch of a guitar string of an electronic guitar
US9922632B1 (en) 2016-09-08 2018-03-20 Andrew Lee Craig Flex action tremolo system and metal housing string instrument
USD830450S1 (en) * 2016-11-28 2018-10-09 Bruce Kaminsky Retractable strap horn for string instrument

Citations (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2201536A (en) * 1939-02-18 1940-05-21 Harvey Ellison Stringed instrument tuner

Patent Citations (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2201536A (en) * 1939-02-18 1940-05-21 Harvey Ellison Stringed instrument tuner

Cited By (24)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3686993A (en) * 1971-01-11 1972-08-29 Columbia Broadcasting Syst Inc Shoulder strap-operated pitch-changing means for spanish guitars
US3833751A (en) * 1973-02-22 1974-09-03 E Chapman Guitar-like instrument with magnetic pickup
USRE31722E (en) * 1978-09-18 1984-11-06 Stringed musical instruments
US4354417A (en) * 1981-09-16 1982-10-19 Glaser Ii Joseph Tone changer for stringed instrument
US4503746A (en) * 1983-01-31 1985-03-12 Roland Corporation Sound effect control device for an electric guitar
US4592265A (en) * 1984-12-04 1986-06-03 Steinberger Sound Corporation Foldable leg rest for stringed musical instrument
US4658693A (en) * 1986-04-25 1987-04-21 The Music People, Inc. Rear operated control device for guitar
US4852448A (en) * 1988-04-29 1989-08-01 Hennessey James R Bilateral tremolo apparatus
US5481954A (en) * 1994-12-06 1996-01-09 Parsons; Gene V. Back plate mounted shoulder strap control for electric type stringed instruments
US5824925A (en) * 1995-12-08 1998-10-20 Yost; John A. Tremolo and/or vibrato control system, and methods of constructing and utilizing same
US5567897A (en) * 1996-01-16 1996-10-22 Mcewen; Paul A. Guitar pull string device
US6100459A (en) * 1997-12-08 2000-08-08 Yost; John A. Tremolo and/or vibrato control system, and methods of constructing and utilizing same
US20040231488A1 (en) * 2000-04-11 2004-11-25 Harald Hontsch Device for the generation of a retutn force on a tremolo for a string instrument
US7259309B1 (en) * 2005-03-21 2007-08-21 Robert Lovelace Tremolo actuator
US20080141843A1 (en) * 2006-12-15 2008-06-19 Thompson Donald J String bender for electric guitar
US7696420B2 (en) * 2006-12-15 2010-04-13 Thompson Donald J String bender for electric guitar
US20110259172A1 (en) * 2010-04-27 2011-10-27 Hannapel William J Tremolo assembly of stringed instrument
US8173882B2 (en) * 2010-04-27 2012-05-08 Hannapel William J Tremolo assembly of stringed instrument
US9076412B1 (en) * 2011-12-30 2015-07-07 Kenneth J. Rolling Musical instrument string bender
US20150007705A1 (en) * 2013-07-05 2015-01-08 Scott Nicholas Dante Lionello Shoulder strap operated pitch changing means for stringed instruments
US9251768B2 (en) * 2013-07-05 2016-02-02 Scott Nicholas Dante Lionello Shoulder strap operated pitch changing means for stringed instruments
US9530388B1 (en) * 2015-06-16 2016-12-27 Handbender Sweden Ab Mechanism for changing a pitch of a guitar string of an electronic guitar
US9922632B1 (en) 2016-09-08 2018-03-20 Andrew Lee Craig Flex action tremolo system and metal housing string instrument
USD830450S1 (en) * 2016-11-28 2018-10-09 Bruce Kaminsky Retractable strap horn for string instrument

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Owner name: FENDER MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS CORPORATION, 1300 EAST

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:CBS, INC.;REEL/FRAME:004378/0847

Effective date: 19850311

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Owner name: FOOTHILL CAPITAL CORPORATION, A CORP. OF CA, CALIF

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Effective date: 19861218

Owner name: FENDER MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS CORPORATION,CALIFORNIA

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Owner name: FENDER MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS CORPORATION, CALIFORNIA

Free format text: RELEASED BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:FOOTHILL CAPITAL CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:005075/0517

Effective date: 19881215