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Arsy versy string numbers..

McGrath of Harlow 17 Mar 09 - 07:59 PM
s&r 17 Mar 09 - 08:06 PM
Dave Hanson 18 Mar 09 - 04:32 AM
Harmonium Hero 18 Mar 09 - 08:44 AM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Mar 09 - 05:44 PM
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Subject: Arsy versy string numbers..
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Mar 09 - 07:59 PM

It came up when I was explaining about something to someone starting out with the mandolin - why is it that we number strings starting with the highest pitched and ending with the bass strings, but when we are naming them we do it the other way round?

So we say the mandolin is nornally tuned GDAE rather than EADG and the guitar is EADGBE rather than EBGDAE, with the First Strings last.

I mean, I can see that since we tend to read from left to right, it's natural enough to name the strings in that order - but why on earth don't we number them that way too?


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Subject: RE: Arsy versy string numbers..
From: s&r
Date: 17 Mar 09 - 08:06 PM

My mnemonic for guitar strings is 'Ee by gum don't ask Elvis'

Stu


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Subject: RE: Arsy versy string numbers..
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 18 Mar 09 - 04:32 AM

I've played mandolin for a long time and it's always been, EADG

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Arsy versy string numbers..
From: Harmonium Hero
Date: 18 Mar 09 - 08:44 AM

Some people do name the notes from the top down, but I think most - in UK at least - do it from bottom to top; perhaps it's t'other way round in US. I think it's for the same reason that we describe a scale as do re mi fa sol la ti do, rather than do ti la blah blah blah.... In part music, the first part is the top - melody -line. So perhaps the numbering of strings follows this convention; the top, or 1st string supposedly being the melody string. I dunno, I wasn't there...
John Kelly.


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Subject: RE: Arsy versy string numbers..
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Mar 09 - 05:44 PM

If I'm putting a new set of strings on a guitar I would probably start with the high E, so maybe that's the reason we number the strings with that as the first.   (Or maybe it's the other way round, and the reason I string it first is because it's "the first string"...)


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Mudcat time: 17 July 7:35 PM EDT

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