US3598012A - Adjustable capotasto - Google Patents

Adjustable capotasto Download PDF

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Publication number
US3598012A
US3598012A US50696A US3598012DA US3598012A US 3598012 A US3598012 A US 3598012A US 50696 A US50696 A US 50696A US 3598012D A US3598012D A US 3598012DA US 3598012 A US3598012 A US 3598012A
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pressure
band
buckle
capotasto
neck
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Expired - Lifetime
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US50696A
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James Dunlop
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James Dunlop
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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
    • G10D3/053Capos, i.e. capo tastos

Abstract

A capotasto for stringed instruments consisting of a pressure member and means for attaching the pressure member to the neck of an instrument in a manner that exerts dependably the proper amount of pressure upon its strings, comprising a band, a selflocking slide buckle engaged over one end of said band to precisely adjust its effective length and having means for pivotally attaching it to one end of the pressure member, and tensioning means preferably in the form of a toggle lever interposed between the opposite end of said band and the pressure member, to tension the band after its effective length has been adjusted. Thus, upon actuation of the toggle lever, precisely the proper amount of pressure will be exerted by the pressure member of the capotasto upon the strings of the instrument irrespective of what the size or conformation of its neck may be.

Description

United States Patent Primary Examiner-Richard B. Wilkinson Assistant Examiner-John F. Gonzales Attorney-Kurt A. Tauchen ABSTRACT: A capotasto for stringed instruments consisting of a pressure member and means for attaching the pressure member to the neck of an instrument in a manner that exerts dependably the proper amount of pressure upon its strings, comprising a band, a self-locking slide buckle engaged over one end of said band to precisely adjust its effective length and having means for pivotally attaching it to one end of the pressure member, and tensioning means preferably in the form of a toggle lever interposed between the opposite end of said band and the pressure member, to tension the band after its effective length has been adjusted. Thus, upon actuation of the toggle lever, precisely the proper amount of pressure will be exerted by the pressure member of the capotasto upon the strings of the instrument irrespective of what the size or conformation of its neck may be.

I a, 1/1/111111/1/1/11/1 II/lII/III/l/II/ll/ Patented Aug. 10, 1971 I I v 3,598,012

2 Sheets Sheet 1 INVENTO/P J/l MES U/VLOP/ BY W Patnted Aug. 10, 1971 .2 Sheets-Sheet I Fig.

//VI/E/V70R JAMES DU/VLOP ADJUSTABLE monster known as capos or capotastos which are applied to the necks of stringed instruments, especially guitars, mandolins and banjos, to shorten the effective length of the strings. This makes it easier for players of limited experience to play higher keys since-the same fingering maybe used in the higher keys established by the capo as in the basic key. Moreover, the capotasto changes the timbre of a performance and thus its use provides a pleasing variety of different timbres.

The difficulty with capotastos is thatthe instruments on which they are used, vary widelyein size, especially in the size and shape of their necks. Not onlyhave the different types of stringed instruments, such as guitars, mandolins, banjos,

.violins etc. necks of different sizes, and cross-sectional contour, even the necks of instruments of the same type differ widely. Yet for the capotasto to be effective and avoid undesirable vibrations of the strings during play, the pressure-exerting member of the capotasto must engage the strings of the instrument with precisely the correct amount of pressure, and.

the bands or straps employed to hold the capos in position on the instruments must, therefore; be of the proper effective length permitting no undue looseness. In the past it has, therefore, been necessary to produce, market and store capotastos of many different sizes to accommodate different types of instruments and instruments ofthe'same type but of different neck sizes and shapes.

It is an objectof the invention to provide a capotasto that may be adjusted to ma wide variety of differently shaped and sized instrument necks.

Another object of the invention is to provide an adjustable capo, that is of simple and inexpensive construction.

Still another object of the invention is to provide an adjustable capo of the type referred to, that is easy to adjust and may easily be applied to stringed instruments of the most widely different neck sizes and shapes.

These and other objects of the present invention will be apparent from the following description of the accompanying drawings which illustrate certain preferred embodiments thereof and wherein Y FIG. I is across section through the neck of a stringed instrument showing a capotasto embodying my invention, as it is being applied to the instrument;

FIG. 2 is a perspective ofacomponent of the mechanism by means of which the capotasto shown in FIG. I is attached to the neck of the instrument;

FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 1, illustrating a slightly different embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG-S. l and 3, illustrating yet l have found that for a capotasto to operate properly on a stringed instrument, it is necessary that the length of its band or strap be first precisely adjusted before it is placed under the necessary tension which urgesthe pressure member against the strings on the neck of the instrument. This cannot be done satisfactorily by an incremental adjustment of the effective length of the band, such provided by a choice of eyelets in one end of the band and a prong secured to the other end; In accordance with the invention I engage a self-locking slide buckle over one end of the'barrdi andl provide thebuckle with means for pivotally attaching it to one end of the pressure member, and after the length of the band has been properly adjusted with the aid of the buckle, l operate means that produce sufficient tension for thewpressure member to be urged with theright amount of pressure against the strings on the neck of the instrument. If the band is made ofa nonyielding material, this latter means takespreferably the form of a toggle provided between the other end of the band and the pressure member. If the band is of anelastic material, one end of the band may be permanently secured to one end of the pressure member and after the length of the band has been ad- 'justed in relaxed condition to a length somewhat less than determined by the width, thickness and cross-sectional contour of the neck of the instrument, it is then manually extended and the buckle with the band in properly tensioned position is snapped into place over an appropriately shaped element on the adjacent end of the pressure member.

The pressure member of the capotasto of my invention illustrated in FIG. I may be formed by a length of a channel of metal, woodor plastic material and ofUshape cross-sectional contour, only one of its two parallel'flanges I2 being visible in the cross'sectional showing of FIG. IQSecured to the bottom surface ofits floor I4 is a thin, elongated pad I6 of a resiliently yieldable material, such as natural or synthetic rubber. Rotatably supported'from and between the flanges at one end of the channel 10 is the end I8 of a toggle lever 20. An aperture 22 is provided in the floor 14 near the opposite end of the channel I0 that leaves a narrow crossbar 24 at the end of the floor. Suitably secured to the toggle lever 20 at an inter- ;mediate point 25 of its length a limited distance removed from At one of its ends the frame of buckle 32 is provided with a lip 36 that forms an open loop or hook on the concave side of the buckle frame. In assembling the capotasto of my invention, the concave side of the buckle frame is disposed to face the adjacent end of the pressure member 10 and the band is first threaded from the concave side of the frame through the upper aperture 28, i.e. the aperture nearest the lip 36, is then looped around the crossbar 34 and emerges through the lower aperture or window 30, its terminal portion 26" passing over the bottom edge 38 of the buckle frame below its main run 26'.

When the described capotasto of my invention is applied to the neck 40 ofa stringed instrument, its pressure member 10 is placed transversely across the neck with its pad 16 contacting the strings 42 of the instrument. The slide buckle 32 is then operated in a conventional manner to adjust the length of the band to the neck of the instrument, ie to a length where the main run 26' of the band 26 follows closely the bottom contour of the neck 40 when the book 36 of the buckle is engaged over the pivot bar 24 formed in the floor 14 at the adjacent end of the pressure member. This can easily be accomplished by pulling the terminal portion 26" of the band with the buckle 32 held in a rotary position wherein its bottom edge 38 is removed from the main run 26' of the band 26. When adjustment of the effective length of the band has been accomplished, and the buckle 32 is released, it swings in a counterclockwise direction on pivot bar 24, as viewed in FIG. I and any pull on the main run 26' of the band causes the bottom edge 38 of the buckle to bite into its terminal run 26" and exert through said terminal run pressure against its main run 26", thus locking the band in adjusted position. It is now an easy matter to establish the proper operating pressure for the capotasto. All the player has to do is to swing the toggle lever 20 on its pivot I8 in counterclockwise direction as viewed in FIG. 1 until its free end touches the floor or bottom 14 of the channel 10; and there will be no uncertainties as to whether bar 48 formed by the floor 50 ofthe pressure member, and at the opposite end of said member its side flanges 52 are pro- I vided with'transversely aligned recesses 54 adapted to receive and rotatably retain pivot beads 55 arranged at the end of the toggle lever 45 at opposite sides thereof. After the band 56 has been looped around the neck 58 of the stringed instrument, the pivot end 55 of toggle lever 45is engaged into the recesses in the flanges 52 of channel 44, i.e. the beads 55 at the end of said lever are placed into the recesses 54. From now on the operations are the same as described in connection with the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIG 1-, i.e.the buckle 42 on band 56 is manipulated and the terminal portion 56" of the band is pulled until the 'band follows closely the bottom contour of the'neck 58, without slack or loosencss. Then, upon release of the buckle 42, the toggle lever 45 is operated in the manner previously described andthe proper pressure is developed to render the pressure member 44 effective without permitting undue vibrations of any of the strings to occur during play.

The embodiment of the invention illustrated in FlGS. 4 and is a simplification that requires the use of an elastic band or strap 60. The pressure member 62 is formed by a bar or rod 64 ofmetal which carries a thick walled sleeve '65 of plastic material and of lesser axial length than the length of the rod 64. Permanently secured to one of the projecting ends of the rod 64 is one end of the band 60, and engaged over the opposite end of the band in the manner described hereinbefore,

is a buckle 66. However, the buckle 66 is of somewhat different construction than the buckles employed in the embodiments of the invention illustrated in FIG. I and 3. An arm 68 projects from its upper end instead of a'hook or loop, and protrated in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, and projecting from its upper end on its convex side is a lip 72 that serves a number of different purposes or functions, as will presently appear. When pressed upwardly, it acts as a lever arm that removes the lower edge 73 of the buckle 66 from the terminal portion '60 of the'band 60 and the superposed main run 60 thereof and thus frees the band for adjustment of its length as effected by pulling at the terminal portion 60" thereof. In the embodiment of the invention which I am about to describe and where the necessary pressure of the member 62 against the strings 74 on the neck 75 of the instrument is to be established by tensioning the elastic band 60 manually, the effective length of the band should be adjusted to a length somewhat'shorter than in the case of the previously described embodiments of the invention which employ straps or bands of nonelastic material. When adjustment of the length of the band has been accomplished, the lip 72 serves as a handle by means of which the arm 68 on buckle 66 is lifted into a position wherein its aperture 70 is aligned with the adjacent end 63 of rod 64 against the tensionresisting force of the main run 60 of the elastic band. Thereupon the aperture 70 is slipped over said projecting end 63 of rod 64. Now when lip 72 is released by the operator, the force of the tensioned main run 60 of band 60 pulls thebuckle 66 in counterclockwise direction as viewed in FIGS. 4 and 5 about the pivot established by theloose fit of the apertured arm 68 over the adjacent end 63 of the rod 64 ofpressure member 62,

and as a'result the bottom edge 73 of the buckle 66 bites into the terminal portion 60" of the band 60 andjts main run 60', and the band 60 is locked safely in, its adjusted position while still sufficiently tensioned to cause the pressure member 62 to exert the proper amount of pressure upon the strings 74 on the neck 75 of the instrument, for the capotasto to operate satisfactorily.

y invention makes it possible to apply a capotasto of standard size to a wide variety of-differently sized and differently shaped necks ofa wide variety of different types of stringed instruments, and to operate on any one of them under optimum conditions. The necessary adjustments are simple to pe'rlorm.

All of the capotastos of the invention as described hcreinbefore are of simple and inexpensive constructionv and easy to manufacture by mass production methods; and in applying them to the neck of stringed instruments of whatever type,

they present no danger of marring the lacquered surfaces of the necks of the instruments because of the interposition of both the terminal and the main portion of the-bands between the locking edges of the buckles and the instrument neck.

I claim:

1. A capotasto comprising a pressure member, and means for attaching said member to the neck of a stringed instrument in a manner exerting pressure upon its strings including a band, a self-locking slide buckle engaged over said band for adjusting the effective length of said band, cooperating means on said slide buckle and one end of said member for pivotally connecting said buckle to said member, and means on the op posite end of said member for tensioning the adjusted band and holding said member under pressure in its proper position on the neck of the stringed instrument.

2. A capotasto according to claim I, wherein said tensioning means is a toggle lever pivotally secured to said opposite end of said member, and having one end of said band secured to an intermediate point of its length.

3. A capotasto according to claim 1, wherein said tensioning means is a toggle lever having pivot means at one of its ends and one end of said band secured to an intermediate point of its length, and wherein said pressure member has a recess at its opposite end adapted to receive and retain said pivot means at the end of said toggle lever.

4. A capotasto according to claim 1, wherein said cooperating means on one end of said member is a pivot bar, and wherein said cooperating means on said slide buckle is a book which may be engaged over said bar.

5. A capotasto according to claim 4, wherein said buckle has a body of arched conformation disposed to face said pressure member with its concave side.

6. A capotasto comprising a pressure-exerting member, a band having one end secured to one end of said pressure .member, a self-locking slide buckle engaged over said band near the opposite end thereof, and cooperating means on said buckle and the opposite end of said pressure member for pivotally connecting said buckle to said pressure member.

7. A capotasto according to claim 6, wherein said band is of elastic material and wherein said buckle has a manipulating lip on the side removed from said pressure member for manually attaching said band in tensioned condition to said pressure member and for releasing said band from said buckle for adjustment.

8. A capotasto according to claim 6, wherein said means for pivotally attaching said buckle to said pressure member is a rod projecting from said pressure member and an arm projecting from said buckle and having an aperture of greater diameter than the diameter of said rod.

Claims (8)

1. A capotasto comprising a pressure member, and means for attaching said member to the neck of a stringed instrument in a manner exerting pressure upon its strings including a band, a self-locking slide buckle engaged over said band for adjusting the effective length of said band, cooperating means on said slide buckle and one end of said member for pivotally connecting said buckle to said member, and means on the opposite end of said member for tensioning the adjusted band and holding said member under pressure in its proper position on the neck of the stringed instrument.
2. A capotasto according to claim 1, wherein said tensioning means is a toggle lever pivotally secured to said opposite end of said member, and having one end of said band secured to an intermediate point of its length.
3. A capotasto according to claim 1, wherein said tensioning means is a toggle lever having pivot means at one of its ends and one end of said band secured to an intermediate point of its length, and wherein said pressure member has a recess at its opposite end adapted to rEceive and retain said pivot means at the end of said toggle lever.
4. A capotasto according to claim 1, wherein said cooperating means on one end of said member is a pivot bar, and wherein said cooperating means on said slide buckle is a hook which may be engaged over said bar.
5. A capotasto according to claim 4, wherein said buckle has a body of arched conformation disposed to face said pressure member with its concave side.
6. A capotasto comprising a pressure-exerting member, a band having one end secured to one end of said pressure member, a self-locking slide buckle engaged over said band near the opposite end thereof, and cooperating means on said buckle and the opposite end of said pressure member for pivotally connecting said buckle to said pressure member.
7. A capotasto according to claim 6, wherein said band is of elastic material and wherein said buckle has a manipulating lip on the side removed from said pressure member for manually attaching said band in tensioned condition to said pressure member and for releasing said band from said buckle for adjustment.
8. A capotasto according to claim 6, wherein said means for pivotally attaching said buckle to said pressure member is a rod projecting from said pressure member and an arm projecting from said buckle and having an aperture of greater diameter than the diameter of said rod.
US50696A 1970-06-29 1970-06-29 Adjustable capotasto Expired - Lifetime US3598012A (en)

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Cited By (12)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
JPS48100120U (en) * 1972-02-29 1973-11-26
JPS52227U (en) * 1975-06-21 1977-01-05
JPS525513U (en) * 1975-06-26 1977-01-14
EP0042022A1 (en) * 1980-06-06 1981-12-23 Muse Music Company Limited Capo for a stringed musical instrument
US4412472A (en) * 1978-04-10 1983-11-01 Welch William G Musical instrument capotasto
US4503747A (en) * 1983-12-05 1985-03-12 Clement Labbe Capo
US5492045A (en) * 1994-02-07 1996-02-20 Roblee; Todd A. Quick release capo for stringed instrument
DE102006059821B3 (en) * 2006-12-11 2007-09-13 Wittner Gmbh & Co.Kg Capotasto for fixing at neck of stringed musical instrument e.g. guitar, has strap arranged at fixed angle to string attachment area of string attachment device, where capotasto is hung at neck of instrument by strap
US20130055877A1 (en) * 2010-02-09 2013-03-07 Jim Duncan Capo device
US8618390B2 (en) * 2012-01-31 2013-12-31 Robert Ruck Adjustable strap-on capotasto with replaceable strap and method of use
US20180268789A1 (en) * 2017-03-16 2018-09-20 Gotoh Gut Co., Ltd. Capotasto
US10297236B1 (en) 2017-10-27 2019-05-21 D'addario & Company, Inc. Universal capo for variety of instruments and string gauges

Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2798398A (en) * 1955-04-15 1957-07-09 Carl W Hayes Chord playing attachment
US2961913A (en) * 1958-07-03 1960-11-29 Gary S Popkin Tuning attachment for stringed instruments
US3185012A (en) * 1964-11-03 1965-05-25 Dunlop James Capo tasto
US3504589A (en) * 1967-06-20 1970-04-07 August H Wowries Capotasto

Patent Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2798398A (en) * 1955-04-15 1957-07-09 Carl W Hayes Chord playing attachment
US2961913A (en) * 1958-07-03 1960-11-29 Gary S Popkin Tuning attachment for stringed instruments
US3185012A (en) * 1964-11-03 1965-05-25 Dunlop James Capo tasto
US3504589A (en) * 1967-06-20 1970-04-07 August H Wowries Capotasto

Cited By (16)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
JPS48100120U (en) * 1972-02-29 1973-11-26
JPS52227U (en) * 1975-06-21 1977-01-05
JPS525513U (en) * 1975-06-26 1977-01-14
US4412472A (en) * 1978-04-10 1983-11-01 Welch William G Musical instrument capotasto
EP0042022A1 (en) * 1980-06-06 1981-12-23 Muse Music Company Limited Capo for a stringed musical instrument
US4503747A (en) * 1983-12-05 1985-03-12 Clement Labbe Capo
US5492045A (en) * 1994-02-07 1996-02-20 Roblee; Todd A. Quick release capo for stringed instrument
US20090241752A1 (en) * 2006-12-11 2009-10-01 Wittner Gmbh & Co. Kg Capo tasto
DE102006059821B3 (en) * 2006-12-11 2007-09-13 Wittner Gmbh & Co.Kg Capotasto for fixing at neck of stringed musical instrument e.g. guitar, has strap arranged at fixed angle to string attachment area of string attachment device, where capotasto is hung at neck of instrument by strap
WO2008071556A3 (en) * 2006-12-11 2008-12-31 Wittner Gmbh & Co Kg Capotasto
WO2008071556A2 (en) * 2006-12-11 2008-06-19 Wittner Gmbh & Co. Kg Capotasto
US20130055877A1 (en) * 2010-02-09 2013-03-07 Jim Duncan Capo device
US8618390B2 (en) * 2012-01-31 2013-12-31 Robert Ruck Adjustable strap-on capotasto with replaceable strap and method of use
US20180268789A1 (en) * 2017-03-16 2018-09-20 Gotoh Gut Co., Ltd. Capotasto
US10229660B2 (en) * 2017-03-16 2019-03-12 Gotoh Gut Co., Ltd Capotasto
US10297236B1 (en) 2017-10-27 2019-05-21 D'addario & Company, Inc. Universal capo for variety of instruments and string gauges

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