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Old 03-17-2022, 09:53 AM   #11 (permalink)
Juicious Maximus III
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Join Date: Nov 2008
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The standard tuning makes chords easier. Let's say you instead are tuned EADGCF, with equal spacing. Let's say you wanna do a barre chord.. you probably see the problem.

Guitar is for chords. Bass is not. Obviously either can be whatever, but that's the more or less arbitrary reason why the standard tunings differ in this respect.
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Old 01-02-2024, 01:41 AM   #12 (permalink)
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The difference in naming conventions between bass and guitar strings, especially when adding a high C string to a bass, is indeed related to both the range of the instruments and the clefs used in notation.

Range and Octave Designation:
The bass guitar and the standard guitar are both tuned to the same pitches; however, they differ in range. The bass guitar typically has a lower range, and when a high C string is added, it is an octave higher than the C string on a standard guitar.

On a 4-string bass guitar, the standard tuning is E-A-D-G, where the G string is the highest-pitched string. When a high C string is added, the tuning becomes C-G-D-A, maintaining the same intervals but extending the range upwards. This new C string is the highest string on the bass and is an octave higher than the C string on a guitar.

Clef Consideration:
In notation, bass guitars are commonly written in bass clef (or F clef), while standard guitars are written in treble clef (or G clef). This difference in clefs also affects how the notes are represented on the staff.

When a high C string is added to a bass guitar, the notes on that string will be notated higher on the staff than the corresponding notes on a guitar. This aligns with the overall pitch range of the bass guitar.

Transposition and Octave Equivalence:
The naming conventions for musical pitches take into account the entire range of the instrument. When comparing bass and guitar, the notes on the bass are named lower because they are in a lower octave relative to the guitar. In other words, the low E on a bass is in a lower octave compared to the low E on a guitar.

However, the concept of octave equivalence is essential to understanding this. Notes that are an octave apart have the same letter name. Therefore, even though the C on the bass is in a different octave compared to the C on the guitar, they share the same letter name.

In summary, the addition of a high C string to a bass, with a resulting tuning of C-G-D-A, is a way to extend the range of the bass guitar while maintaining octave equivalence with the standard guitar tuning. The naming conventions consider the overall pitch range and how the instruments are notated in different clefs.
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