Undulated Fretless Fingerboard

UK Patent Application No. 1500890.7 - dated 17th January 2015

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UK Patent Application No. 1500890.7 - dated 17th January 2015

This invention relates to a piece of rigid, abrasion-resistant solid material having one surface formed with smoothly curved undulations arranged in a logarithmically spaced series to be incorporated into the design and construction of the neck of a musical instrument such as for example, a guitar, thus to serve as a fretboard. The fretboard of the neck of a conventional stringed musical instrument, such as a guitar, is commonly constructed from, for example, a hard wood with pieces of thin T-section metal wire fitted into slots (the frets). Several designs for one-piece fretboards, with integral frets made from the same body of material as the board, have been developed and manufactured in the past but they have depended upon the efficacy of very narrow fixed points of contact between string and fret based upon the assumption that this is necessary for accurate intonation.

Description

When the points of contact and support at either end of a music string's currently stopped speaking length are presented as gently curved convex profiles, the string's lateral vibration causes that speaking length to change, varying as the body of the string wraps and unwraps around those curves, thus allowing and amplifying longitudinal propagation of internal echoes, within the solid body of the string, enhancing the harmonic content of the musical timbre.

Moreover, a smoothly undulating fingerboard surface presents and spreads a greater area of string contact as the vibrating string-to-fret point of abrasion moves through each cyclic swing of the speaking length. Manual friction is also much reduced relative to conventional fretwire.

Conventional fretting is a complicated multi-stage manufacturing process, involving the machining or moulding of a board, cutting of slots and fitting of metal fretwire which then generally requires hand-finishing to produce smoothly polished fret tops facilitating very narrow points of string contact. This method inevitably presents the player's finger tips with progressively greater friction as fretwire of larger cross-section is used and can be labour-intensive when servicing is required, as metal alloys wear under use of playing.

A fingerboard made by the method of the present invention can be of any colour and the cost per unit is also relatively cheap to mass-produce, being non-labour intensive.

According to the present invention, an undulated fingerboard is made conforming to a logarithmic progression of curved humps and dips, so that the humps may serve as "frets".

An example of the invention will now be described by referring to the accompanying drawing in which: - Figure 1 shows an isometric projection view of the undulated fingerboard.

 

Diagram

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Abstract

According to the present invention, an undulated fingerboard for the neck of a stringed musical instrument is made from rigid material with one face conforming to a logarithmic progression of smoothly curved convex humps and concave dips, so that the humps may serve as "frets", against which music strings may be stopped to define variable string speaking lengths.

Claims

1. An undulated fingerboard comprising a piece of abrasion-resistant rigid solid material having one surface formed with smooth undulations arranged as a logarithmically spaced series of convex humps and concave dips to be incorporated into the construction of the neck of a musical instrument such as for example, a guitar, thus to serve as a fretboard.

2. An undulated fingerboard according to claim 1, which is formed by machining.

3. An undulated fingerboard according to claim 1, which is formed by injection moulding.

4. An undulated fingerboard according to claim 1, which is formed by casting.

5. An undulated fingerboard according to claim 1, which is formed by pressing.

6. An undulated fingerboard according to claim 1, which is formed by 3d printing.

7. An undulated fingerboard according to claim 1, which is surfaced by electro-plating.

8. An undulated fingerboard according to claim 1, integral to the instrument neck.

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© Steven R. M. Acworth 2015 (see prototype #001 demonstration video)

See first prototype construction: - here

See protototype #004 demonstration video : - here