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#1 2012-05-22 02:42:34

Astronomikal
Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Moderator
From: Texas
Registered: 2009-11-01
Posts: 644

String Numbering

The engineer in me is wondering "why" yet again.

I can think of a few good reasons why the low E should be string 1 and the high e should be string 6.  Examples:

1.  The way a guitar is normally played, the low E is on top (closest to the player).  That should be string 1.

2.  When you strum a guitar you usually start with a downstrum at the lower strings and go toward the high, which means you would hit the low string first.  That should be string 1.

3.  Scales are usually played starting low-to-high (Do-Re-Mi-Fa . . . etc.).  Lowest note first.  Lowest string (E) should be string 1.

4.  Tab chord designations:  G = 320003.  Left to right should equal 1-6.

But this isn't the way it is.  I did some research and all I could find is that both conventions are used, but low E = 6 is by FAR the most widely accepted.

In a nutshell:  Can someone please explain to me why the strings are numbered backwards?

Thanks,
'Nom


"Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid." - Despair, Inc.

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#2 2012-05-22 03:08:48

topdown
Margarator
From: Madeira Beach, Florida
Registered: 2007-12-06
Posts: 2779

Re: String Numbering

Astronomikal wrote:

In a nutshell:  Can someone please explain to me why the strings are numbered backwards?

Thanks,
'Nom

I'm 99% sure it is just to mess with you engineer types.


Rule No. 1 - If it sounds good - it is good!

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#3 2012-05-22 03:23:08

Astronomikal
Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Moderator
From: Texas
Registered: 2009-11-01
Posts: 644

Re: String Numbering

Well, if that's the case, all I can offer is:  "Well played.  It worked."  I'm also a bit OCD, so for me it's a double-whammy.

Are you going to admit that the other 1% is:  "I dunno."  smile


"Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid." - Despair, Inc.

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#4 2012-05-22 03:25:58

dino48
Honoured Member
From: los banos,california
Registered: 2007-04-06
Posts: 4674

Re: String Numbering

"I donno,"


my papy said son your going too drive me too drinking if you dont stop driving that   Hot  Rod  Lincoln!! Cmdr cody and his lost planet airman.

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#5 2012-05-22 04:30:56

jerome.oneil
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From: Bellevue, WA
Registered: 2006-06-15
Posts: 3032
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Re: String Numbering

With the exception of #3, I agree completely.  It bugs the crap out of me!


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#6 2012-05-22 06:07:01

beamer
THE METALIZER
From: Texas
Registered: 2006-07-30
Posts: 1386

Re: String Numbering

I just look at it like Algerbra.  I dont question it, I just accept that is the way it is and it works.  Same with Trig big_smile

Last edited by beamer (2012-05-22 06:07:29)


Mal - Well, lady, I must say, you're my kinda stupid.
Mal - Jayne, your mouth is talking. You might wanna look to that
Kaylee - No power in the verse can stop me. BOOK-  you're going to burn in a very special level of hell. A level they reserve for child molesters and people who talk at the theatre.

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#7 2012-05-22 06:52:03

zguitar
Don't call me Sir
From: Mentone, Ca
Registered: 2009-01-10
Posts: 1331

Re: String Numbering

I agree, and it's funny. We know how to look at it and read it. But when you try to explain it to someone, you have to think about it for a second. Especially goin left to right (G=32003) And to add to it: Up is down and down is up. UP (higher) notes are found DOWN on the bottom strings and Down towards the bottom of the neck. So when you tell a noob to move up, it's physically down. Maybe we should all just play a lefty guitar!!!!!!


Keep Rockin!!!!!!!!!!!

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#8 2012-05-22 09:28:55

Roger Guppy
The Laid Back Moderator
From: Almancil, Algarve, Portugal
Registered: 2006-09-02
Posts: 4766
Website

Re: String Numbering

Best guess!!

It is not 1 2 3 4 5 6 but 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th and 6th.

Musically high and low refer to pitch and not position or direction, so the first string is the highest and the last (sixth) is the lowest.

So think musically and not phyically, so that going up and down the fretboard or up and down a string will refer to pitch of the note, and you cannot go wrong.

Roger


“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.” -Plato
Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.
We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing. (George Bernard Shaw)
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#9 2012-05-26 03:35:28

Astronomikal
Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Moderator
From: Texas
Registered: 2009-11-01
Posts: 644

Re: String Numbering

Roger Guppy wrote:

Best guess!!
...

So think musically and not phyically, so that going up and down the fretboard or up and down a string will refer to pitch of the note, ....

That's the best answer I've found, so I'll take it and just move on.  Thanks.  smile


"Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid." - Despair, Inc.

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#10 2012-05-26 04:48:33

wlbaye
Honoured Member
From: Black Hills So Dak
Registered: 2006-03-04
Posts: 1267
Website

Re: String Numbering

Wow, I didn't know about all the numbers , I thought they were thin to thickest or thick to thinner, I guess they play ok either way smile


Later, Wayne P

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