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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: 616

### 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
Registered: 2007-12-06
Posts: 2460

### 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: 616

### 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."

"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: 3388

### 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
Moderator
From: Bellevue, WA
Registered: 2006-06-15
Posts: 2765
Website

### Re: String Numbering

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

Someday we'll win this thing...

www.aclosesecond.com

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## #6 2012-05-22 06:07:01

beamer
Senior Member
From: Texas
Registered: 2006-07-30
Posts: 838

### 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

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

Mal: "Y'all see the man hanging out of the spaceship with the really big gun?{ref, Jayne} Man's lookin' to kill some folk. So really, it's his will y'all should worry about thwarting."
Jayne Cobb: "The Shepard used to say "If you cant do something smart, Do something right."
Jayne's Math: 10%﻿ of nuthin is... Let me do the math here...It's "Nuthin into nuthin, carry the nuthin",

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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: 1063

### 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: 4282
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

Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.
We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.
Do, or do not. There is no try.

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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: 616

### 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.

"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: 1245
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

Later, Wayne P

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