What determines the octave, how close the frets are together or the slack of string between the fretted note and bridge/w.e lol

It has something to do with the length of the string and it's thickness. With the same amount of tension and with both strings the same length, the thicker one, I think, will produce a lower sound. Also, if two strings have the same amount of tension and thickness, but one is longer than the other, the longer one will produce a higher pitched sound.

As you go higher up the fretboard on a single string, the tension and thickness is the same, but the string gets shorter or something like that, so you need to compensate by spacing the frets closer together at the top.

Did that make sense? I think I worded that very badly.
i didn't get that. an octave is just 12 frets on the guitar. it has to do with string division. that's how frets and harmonics work anyways.
edit:he gets it ^ forget me
Last edited by athlete1 at Jan 31, 2009,
When a string is plucked it is looping...so, when you pluck a string above the nut it sounds very high pitched b/c of length, thickness and the tight frequency of the loop (dunno if "frequency" is the right physics term I'm looking for here).
closeness of frets. the string length determines what note it is intonated to.
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Warwick Fortress>>Acoustic AB50

An octave is the interval between the pitch of one note and another note that is half or double the frequency of the original note. Say a note is at 440hz, then one octave below it will be at 220 hz while a note one octave above will be at 880hz.
Another way to think of it is to name out all of the notes in the western musical scale. I'll start with A to keep it simple. When you run out of notes, you start over. The note that you start over on is one octave away from the starting note. Like this:
A, A#, B, C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#....Then you'd start over again with A.
Your starting A note would be the open string A note of the 5th string, the A# the first fret, B the second fret and so on until you start over again at A, which is at the 12th fret, precisely one octave above the starting point.
You can start out at any one of these notes to reach another note that is one octave above it or below it. In my example, the first A note, which is the open 5th string of a guitar tuned to standard concert tuning, vibrates at a frequency of 440hz. The second A note at the 12th fret will vibrate at a frequency of 880hz, double the freq. of the first.
Last edited by LeftyDave at Feb 7, 2009,