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#1 2010-02-15 21:42:56

tonynulty
Member
From: South Wales. UK
Registered: 2009-09-28
Posts: 56
Website

Tuning theory on fretboard

Recently I have posted various questions on this forum, an had very good answers and explanations, I have learned about A.B.C.D.E.F.G.A. for the various scales, the circle of fifths, Chord progressions etc, and as you go up the fretboard each fret is an half tone and 2 frets is a full tone.

Brilliant I am educating myself, so trying to be clever, I started thinking about the tuning stratogy, I have been playing for yrs and used the tuning sequence probably hundreds and hundreds of times, I have never thought over these yrs how we arrive at E.B.G.D.A.E. so trying to be clever, and using what i have learned over the last few weeks, my head started thinking, if the first string is open E, then we finger the 5th fret 2nd string tune them together so 2nd string becomes an E on the 5th fret, working back down the fretboard, 4th fret 2nd string becomes Dsharp, half a tone less than E, 3rd fret becomes a D, one full tone after E, 2nd fret becomes Csharp, 1st fret becomes C, then we arrive at B.

Whats happened to Bsharp?, so carrying on through various sequences back down the fretboard with the normal tuning system we can understand where we arrive at E.B.G.D.A.E. the only thing that has hit me is that there is no Bsharps & no Esharps ?. why is this ?.

Is this because we we dont want any sharps in the open strings tuning system, they would become Esharp, Bsharp, G, D. A. Esharp.

has anybody got an explanation for this, or am I trying to be to clever for my own good
Thanks, Tony.

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#2 2010-02-15 22:03:14

jerome.oneil
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From: Bellevue, WA
Registered: 2006-06-15
Posts: 3056
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Re: Tuning theory on fretboard

You have deduced correctly, mostly.  big_smile

The reason "B sharp" and "E sharp" seem to disappear is because there is only a half step between B and C, and a half step between E and G.  Since you know about half tones and whole tones, you should be able to understand what makes a major scale.   It's that series of intervals.

R W W H W W W H

Take C major

C D E   F  G  A B  C
R W W H  W W W H

Notice that it is a half step that takes you from E to F and from B to C.    As it happens, whatever key you are in, you simply don't find those intervals.  They *do* exist, and you may sometimes find it (harp music, for example, has a lot in E#) but for the vast wide majority, the aren't there.   Fb and Cb as well.


Someday we'll win this thing...

www.aclosesecond.com

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#3 2010-02-15 22:04:08

icecubetray3pak
Member
Registered: 2010-02-15
Posts: 45

Re: Tuning theory on fretboard

I'm just starting to play again after many years away and I still have trouble with scales.  I think if you look at a piano keyboard, you'll see the answer.  I guess while there is a "key" of  B# and E# or Cb and Fb, when you look at the keyboard, these notes don't exist.  That's my thoughts, anyway.

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#4 2010-02-16 13:22:58

mekidsmom
The Chick Moderator
From: NY
Registered: 2009-08-26
Posts: 3016
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Re: Tuning theory on fretboard

GOOD JOB TONY!  I am impressed that you were able to see this, nearly figure it out and not get sooo annoyed but ask, and there's your answer.  I know it must feel good to have that "Ah-Ha" moment as you read Jerome's explanation!

ou have deduced correctly, mostly. 

The reason "B sharp" and "E sharp" seem to disappear is because there is only a half step between B and C, and a half step between E and G.  Since you know about half tones and whole tones, you should be able to understand what makes a major scale.   It's that series of intervals.

you mean between E and F not E and G right?
Out of Curiosity Jerome... if Harp music has an E# in it... is it really an F?  I wonder why they would bother to put an E# in their music and not just call it an F?

icecubetray2pak (very interesting screen name) ... that is the best way for me to remember as well, it's a nice visual reminder (even if only in my head) ...  however a lot of folks have never plunked on a piano.  For those that haven't ... take a quick look at a piano keyboard and notice where there are two white keys together and no black key above them... The black keys are the half step up (or down), except when you go from E to F and B to C ... no black key because it is already a half step between these notes.  (if this confuses you... just ignore it... but for some this type of visual might help)
http://www.musictheory.halifax.ns.ca/images/keyboard_names.GIF


Art and beauty are in the eyes of the beholder.
What constitutes excellent music is in the ears of the listener.

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#5 2010-02-16 19:42:08

jerome.oneil
Moderator
From: Bellevue, WA
Registered: 2006-06-15
Posts: 3056
Website

Re: Tuning theory on fretboard

Between E and F, yep!  And I don't know why they do it that way, either, other than Harps are weird.  big_smile


Someday we'll win this thing...

www.aclosesecond.com

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#6 2010-02-16 19:51:59

tonynulty
Member
From: South Wales. UK
Registered: 2009-09-28
Posts: 56
Website

Re: Tuning theory on fretboard

Thanks everyone for your advice, if you go to www.all-guitar-chords.com. click on Reverse Guitar Scale finder, you can click on each string on any fret and this will give you all the notes, if you go down on each fret from the 5th to open pos, on each string this will show you where there are no half notes, between E & F, B & C,

thanks again for all the advice. Tony

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