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Publication numberWO2005086134 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberPCT/SI2004/000014
Publication date15 Sep 2005
Filing date4 Mar 2004
Priority date4 Mar 2004
Publication numberPCT/2004/14, PCT/SI/2004/000014, PCT/SI/2004/00014, PCT/SI/4/000014, PCT/SI/4/00014, PCT/SI2004/000014, PCT/SI2004/00014, PCT/SI2004000014, PCT/SI200400014, PCT/SI4/000014, PCT/SI4/00014, PCT/SI4000014, PCT/SI400014, WO 2005/086134 A1, WO 2005086134 A1, WO 2005086134A1, WO-A1-2005086134, WO2005/086134A1, WO2005086134 A1, WO2005086134A1
InventorsTomaz Rus
ApplicantTomaz Rus
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: Patentscope, Espacenet
Device for simplified chord playing on electric guitar
WO 2005086134 A1
Abstract
A device for an electric guitar consisting of a microcomputer (1) integrated in an optional place, preferably in a guitar (2) or outside it, of a controller (3') for a player's manual selection of chord type and the basic cord type, of a switch (5) to activate the tone of each individually selected chord, of a switch (6) for silencing of tones of each selected chord, of a switch (7) for the selection of a set of chords of the currently active song, of a display (8), preferably an LCD display, optionally arranged on the guitar, said LCD display showing selected chord denomination is designed in a way that the controller (3') consists of switches (3) for the selection of chord type and switches (4) for the selection of the basic chord tone, whereby the switches (3) are arranged on the side of the thumb's grip on a neck (9) and the switches (4) on the side of the grips of other fingers on the neck (9) in a way that to each selected switch (3) switched on with the thumb are allocated four switches (4) which allow a selection of up to 16 different patterns, preferably 12 basic semitones of a tone scale by an arrangement of simultaneous switch on and switch off.
Claims  (OCR text may contain errors)
Patent claims
1. A device for an electric guitar consisting of a microcomputer (1) integrated in the guitar (2) or outside it, of a controller (3') for a player's manual selection of a chord type and a basic cord tone, of a switch (5) to activate the tone of each individually selected chord, of a switch (6) for silencing of tones of each selected chord, of a switch (7) for the selection of a set of chords of the currently active song, of a display 8, preferably an LCD display, optionally ananged on the guitar, said LCD display showing selected chord denomination characterized in that the controller (3') consists of switches (3) for the selection of chord type and switches (4) for the selection of the basic chord tone, whereby the switches (3) for the selection of chord type are ananged on the side of the thumb's grip on the neck (9) of the said guitar and the switches (4) for the selection of the basic chord tone on the side of the grips of other fingers on the neck (9) in a way that to each selected switch (3) for the selection of chord type switched on with the thumb are allocated four switches (4) for the selection of the basic chord tone which allow a selection of up to 16 different basic chord tones, preferably 12 basic semitones of a tone scale by an arrangement of simultaneous switch on and switch off.
2. A device according to claim 1, characterized in that to each selected switch (3) for the selection of chord type switched on with the thumb four switches (4) for the selection of the basic chord tone are allocated so that on the neck (9) a switch (4) for the selection of the basic chord tone is positioned, which is switched by a selected finger, preferably the middle finger, at the opposite side of each switch (3) for the selection of chord type.
3. A device according to claims 1 and 2 characterized in that the number of switches (3) for the selection of chord type is optional, preferably at least 4 for the selection of the chord type and a corresponding number of switches (4) for the selection cf the basic chord tone equals the number of switches (3) for the selection of chord type increased by three.
4. A device according to claims 1 to 3, characterized in that the switches (3) for the selection of chord type and switches (4) for the selection of the basic chord tone are push keys.
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

DEVICE FOR SIMPLIFIED CHORD PLAYING ON ELECTRIC GUITAR

Subject of Invention

The subject of invention is a device for simplified chord playing on an electric guitar allowing musicians-beginners to play all possible chords, the mastering of which requires much practicing in order to achieve finger skilfulness with various grips on a guitar fretboard, extensive musical knowledge, plenty of memory and appropriate size of player's palm and fingers.

Technical Problem

A technical problem solved by this invention is how to design a device for playing on an electric guitar that would allow faster learning and more simplified playing of chords, i.e. a simpler grip, without any previous profound musical knowledge and would not depend on a palm's and finger's size e.g. of children's hands.

Prior Art

A known technique of performing chords on a classical or an electric guitar is such that the fingers of one hand, preferably the left one, are firmly pressed on certain places which are unambiguously defined for each individual chord, against the guitar neck on exactly defined strings in order to define appropriate free lengths of strings. The free length of a string defined with each grip is the length between the fret and the bridge and determines a tone's pitch. A shorter string provides a higher pitch and vice versa. With the other hand, preferably the right one, strings are plucked. A problem of known chord playing is experienced especially by less skilled musicians, beginners and children because: • for each chord one has to know its tone composition, for example the C major chord consists of the tones C, E and G; • for each individual chord one has to know the unique grip, needed to perform a certain chord, i.e. which fingers have to be firmly pressed on which strings on which places against the fretboard; • due to many chords it is difficult to memorise all of them especially for the beginners and it requires much practising, which is difficult for amateur players, who wish to occasionally play simpler songs just as an accompaniment to singing and a doubt may arise about the skills and sense of own playing; • for effective chord playing an appropriate size of a palm and fingers is needed.

The goal of this invention is to avoid the mentioned disadvantages in order to simplify chord learning by modifying a guitar in a way that a beginner masters as many properly played chords in the shortest possible time and little memory effort.

Solution to the Technical Problem

The mentioned technical problem is solved by the device of the invention positioned on an electric guitar. In the electric guitar or outside of it is placed a processing unit with a microcomputer, the memory of which stores the data of all chords to be played. A musician playing an electric guitar equipped with the device of the invention uses specially positioned switches to select the required chord by first selecting a chord type and then the basic chord tone. When one of the strings functioning as a switch is plucked an electronic tone synthesizer plays a tone of the selected chord on the selected string. A string thus not longer produces a tone, but it functions as a switch to start a tone produced by the electronic tone synthesizer. When a string is plucked again the previous tone is switched off and a new note starts to generate. A generated tone could be switched off by pushing a special switch on the guitar. Due to the device of the invention a player no longer needs to know the tone structure of each chord, neither should he learn unique finger positions determined on the fretboard for each individual chord. He only has to know the chord type, the basic chord tone and the moment when individual chord tones in a composition should be activated, which essentially simplifies and accelerates the mastering of the basic chords.

In order that the present invention be more readily understood, an embodiment thereof will now be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

Fig. 1 : shows a block diagram of the device of the invention

Fig. 2: shows the neck of an electric guitar with the device of the invention in front view showing a framed set of one switch at one lateral side of the neck for the selection of a chord type and of belonging switches at the opposite lateral side of the neck for the selection of the basic chord tone.

The device of the invention consists of a microcomputer 1 integrated in an optional place, preferably in a guitar 2 or outside it. From the microcomputer 1 on the neck of the guitar there are switches 3 for a player's manual selection of chord type, switches 4 for a player's manual selection of the basic tone chord, which together form a controller 3' for the selection of chords, further there are switches 5 to activate the tone of each individually selected chord, a switch 6 for silencing of tones of each selected chord, a switch 7 for the selection of a set of chords of the cunently active song in the memory of the microcomputer 1. A guitar may also be equipped with a display 8, preferably an LCD display, showing selected chord denomination.

Fig. 1 shows a microcomputer 1 consisting of: • microprocessor 11, • memory 12 RAM - working memory and temporary memory for optional chord bank database • memory 13 ROM - a non- volatile memory with basic chord bank database and an external plug-in non-volatile memory with an additional chord bank database, e.g. tables of chords ananged for specific songs • input units 14 for switches 3 for chord type selection, for switches 4 for basic chord selection, for switches 5 for triggering tones of chord, for switches 6 for silencing all generated tones, for a switch 7 for the currently active songs selection, output units 15 for a display 8 and a digital data interface 16 (e.g. MIDI 0U1 T) to send data to an electronic synthesizer 17. Switches 3 for chord type selection and switches 4 for the selection of a basic chord tone are preferably designed in the form of keys arranged on both lateral sides of a guitar neck 9, so that each key row is ananged along one lateral side of a guitar neck in a way that the keys are positioned one against the other. Switches 3 for chord type selection are preferably positioned on the thumb's side and the switches 4 for the selection of a basic chord are preferably positioned at the side of other four fingers if a similar hand position is assumed as that with a classical guitar with the thumb lying at one lateral side of the neck and the remaining fingers at the opposite side of the neck. The number of switches on the lateral side of the neck 9 on the guitar 2 is limited by key dimensions and the length of the guitar's neck 9. The number of switches 4 for basic chord tone selection is (n+3), wherein n is the number of switches 3 for chord type selection, the number is preferably n > 4, which covers a large number of basic chord types. In the basic embodiment four switches 3 are used for the selection of four basic chord types: major, minor, seventh and minor seventh. To each switch 3 switched on with a thumb are allocated four switches 4, switched with other fingers in a way that on the neck opposite the switch 3 there is always the switch 4, which is switched on with the same finger, preferably the middle finger. In this way the microcomputer 1 always unambiguously detects a 4-bit pattern selected by the fingers on switches 4 e.g. in compliance with Table 1.

Table I shows an example of finger location on a guitar neck to select the basic chord tones. To select each basic tone of a selected chord, each of the four switches 4 belonging to the key 3 is switched on or switched off with four fingers. In the column of switches for the selection of the basic tone "0" means a switched-off switch 4, "1" means a switched-on switch, four digit numbers 0 and/or 1 denote the sequence of switched-on or switched-off switches 4, allocated to the selected switch 3. Table 1

A switch 5 for triggering tones of a chord is preferably conceived in the form of strings as on a classical guitar due to visual presentation of guitar playing. The switch 6 for silencing all generated tones is optionally positioned, preferably on a guitar body 10 and is used for instantaneous discontinuation of sound generation. A switch 7 used to select the cunently active song can be placed optionally, preferably in the form of keys on the guitar body 10, which allows us to select the basic standard chords and the banks of special chords ananged for specific author's songs from an electronic database, which is previously created in the memory unit e.g. by copying chords from a portable data carrier (memory card, CD disc, etc.).

The guitar with the device of the invention is played by pushing one of the keys 3 for the selection of a chord type with the thumb and the remaining maximum four fingers of the same hand are simultaneously pressed on the maximum four keys 4 for the selection of a chord tone. In a certain moment theoretically n x 16 chords can be selected on the chord selection co-itrol-er 3', practically n x 12 chords can be selected (n is the number of switches 3), because we can select the basic chord tone in compliance with Table I. One finger, preferably the middle finger, is positioned on the side for the selection of a chord tone (switches 4), always opposite the currently active key for the selection of a chord type, i.e. thumb. A chord selected in the described way is searched by the processor in the database and the processor allocates to every string (switches 5) a note from the selected chord and displays the name of the selected chord on a display 8. The other hand of a player is used to pluck a selected string, which triggers generation of the selected chord tone in the electronic tone synthesizer and speaker respectively.

The position of a player's hand on the neck 9 of the guitar 2 is not linearly linked to the selection of tone pitches as on a classical or conventional electric guitar. The selection of a desired chord depends on the selection of keys 3, 4 on the neck 9 of the guitar 2, whereby the data on the pitch of individual chord tones adapted to individual strings (switch 5) are stored in memories. Distribution of individual chord types along keys 3 is optional, preferably such to allow the least hand movement in longitudinal direction when playing consecutive chords. The described way of chord selection allows us to select the basic chord tones in all various chord types in the same way (e.g. according to Table I), which is a real simplification of learning.

The switches 3 and 4 are preferably implemented as on/off keys, e.g. when a finger is removed from a switch, they return in the original on or off position.

Switches 3 and 4 are optionally shaped both in aesthetic and ergonomic senses.

It is understandable that a person skilled in the art knowing the above description can design other embodiments of the invention without circumventing the characteristics of the invention defined in the attached patent claims.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
DE19833989A1 *29 Jul 199810 Feb 2000Daniel JenschElectronic harmony simulation method for acoustic rhythm instrument; involves associating individual harmony tones with successive keyboard keys, which are activated by operating switch function key
US4078464 *6 Oct 197614 Mar 1978Tadao KikumotoElectronic musical instrument
US4794838 *17 Jul 19863 Jan 1989Corrigau Iii James FConstantly changing polyphonic pitch controller
US6111179 *27 May 199829 Aug 2000Miller; TerryElectronic musical instrument having guitar-like chord selection and keyboard note selection
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
CN101996624A *24 Nov 201030 Mar 2011曾科Method for performing chord figure and rhythm figure by monochord of electric guitar
Classifications
International ClassificationG10H1/38, G10H3/02, G10H1/34
Cooperative ClassificationG10H1/38, G10H1/342
European ClassificationG10H1/34B, G10H1/38
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