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Old 04-21-2015, 08:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Guitar Theory Question!!??

So this has been bothering me for awhile, if you add a high string on a bass, why is it a C when it's a B on guitar? Im guessing it has something to do with the clefs? Feel free to get as in depth as you want as I understand a lot of music theory.

Visual aid:

Bass string: B E A D G *C*

Guitar string: B E A D G *B*
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Old 04-21-2015, 09:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Looking at the clefs it makes since on bass, all the spacing is the same. But on guitar that B string is the only one that is different, why is that? So the next string can be E? I don't get it... It should be C as well if it's following similar spacing as other strings.
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Old 04-22-2015, 06:12 AM   #3 (permalink)
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the terminology is what bothers me.

why call them "high strings" if they are thicker than the standard 4/6 strings?

i've had people tell me that the extra strings on a 7 and 8-string guitar are thinner because they've heard the term "high strings" and assumes that the strings get thinner the more are added.

as to the tuning, i have no idea. maybe the 5th Bass string is tuned slightly up to make it more audible?
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Old 04-22-2015, 06:18 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I don't play the guitar, but my best guess would be guitar aims for a G major chord in its three first strings whereas a bass player will focus more on separate notes, which seems easier when the open strings are tuned with an equal distance in between them.

Just a wild guess though.
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Old 04-22-2015, 05:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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When you look at the circle of 5ths, the C actually makes more sense. Not sure why it was decided to go with a 4th on a guitar between the G and B strings.
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Old 04-23-2015, 12:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BloodFoxTK View Post
the terminology is what bothers me.

why call them "high strings" if they are thicker than the standard 4/6 strings?

i've had people tell me that the extra strings on a 7 and 8-string guitar are thinner because they've heard the term "high strings" and assumes that the strings get thinner the more are added.

as to the tuning, i have no idea. maybe the 5th Bass string is tuned slightly up to make it more audible?
In common parlance, a pitch is higher if it is more cycles per second (measured in Hertz) than another. Therefore, 256Hz is higher than 100Hz. A higher pitched string is typically thinner, to deal with tension and inharmonicity. If you've heard thicker string being referred to as "high strings," then the person who is saying that is operating on a different reality than the consensus that Western musicians follow.

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When you look at the circle of 5ths, the C actually makes more sense. Not sure why it was decided to go with a 4th on a guitar between the G and B strings.
Guitar is a chording instrument. The third between the G and B string, as well as the fourth between B and high E, make it easier to play chords across all of the strings. Bass plays mostly one note at a time, so having the tuning be consistent is more important. Similar to guitar (chording instruments): ukelele, banjo. Similar to bass (single note instruments): violin family instruments.
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Old 04-27-2015, 10:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Neither instrument has to be tuned to the notes you specify 100% of the time. "Standard tuning" (the one I learned) actually goes low to high, EADGBE. Check this: Guitar - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It really isn't a necessity that you use the tuning scheme you outlined, therefore the question is moot. Check out some other tuning schemes if you want to experiment a little.
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Old 04-27-2015, 10:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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This is only a guess, but I'm assuming it's it's done that way to keep the intervals between each string the same. A bass player who plays a 5-string or a 4-string is used to only dealing with 5ths between each string. On a guitar, each string is tuned a 5th higher than the one above it until the B string which is tuned a 4th higher than the D string. This might throw off bass players who are transitioning from a 4 or 5-string, especially when most (not all) bass players lean heavily on 5ths and octaves.
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Old 04-28-2015, 01:05 AM   #9 (permalink)
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This is only a guess, but I'm assuming it's it's done that way to keep the intervals between each string the same. A bass player who plays a 5-string or a 4-string is used to only dealing with 5ths between each string. On a guitar, each string is tuned a 5th higher than the one above it until the B string which is tuned a 4th higher than the D string. This might throw off bass players who are transitioning from a 4 or 5-string, especially when most (not all) bass players lean heavily on 5ths and octaves.
Fourths, not fifths.
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Old 04-28-2015, 11:22 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quality Cucumber View Post
Fourths, not fifths.
Yeah, that
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