#1
I was just wondering why the first guitars weren't tuned in fifths entirely, resulting in EADGBE rather than what seems to me the more sensible option of EADGCF . I'm assuming there's a good reason they did this, probably involving more theory than I know, but google and the search button couldn't find me anything.
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Last edited by Nightmare_xxx at Jan 24, 2007,
#2
i think its just easier to finger chords lol.
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#4
Google harder! I remember reading an article that talks about why the standard tuning is the way it is. but I dont remember why.

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#5
Quote by Tom Martin
And by B# I presume you mean C


lmao whoops, that may have given away my weak theory knowledge...
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#6
Quote by Nightmare_xxx
lmao whoops, that may have given away my weak theory knowledge...

Hehe, s'alright. I was just hoping that some smartass with a good knowledge of theory wasn't going to get all pedantic and try and point out that B# does infact exist.
#9
I think it's just something that evolved over time. There are many strange things when it comes to the tuning of intruments that have been around a while. Certain orchestra instruments have a C that is a half step lower compared to the C of other instrument so they need sheet music in a diffrent key. :|
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#10
Quote by Tom Martin
Hehe, s'alright. I was just hoping that some smartass with a good knowledge of theory wasn't going to get all pedantic and try and point out that B# does infact exist.


It does exsist. Bend your B note to a quarter bend. It isnt the best sounding note, but it does exsist.
#12
Quote by CanCan
Actually, they're by fourths, not fifths.



if they were inverted, theyd be fifths


but theyre not
#13
Quote by Jeff Manthei
It does exsist. Bend your B note to a quarter bend. It isnt the best sounding note, but it does exsist.



Well, sorta, but I think he was talking about B# and C being the same note, enharmonically.
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#14
Yeah but B# isn't the same a B that is bend a quarter step up. It's the same as a B that is bent a half step up, so it's the same frequency as a C.
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#15
ah

but on topic... I dont know why they decided to change the tuning to EADGBE, probably because it sounded better.
#16
Yes B# exists, but not how you have described it Jeff Manthei.

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#17
Quote by Jeff Manthei
It does exsist. Bend your B note to a quarter bend. It isnt the best sounding note, but it does exsist.

Thats not B# though, thats half the way between B and C.
If you want to know, B# exists in scales such as C# major. Where if you were to write C instead of B#, you would effectively get two Cs in the scale and no B (it would jump from A# to C). So as to neaten it all out when writing it on a stave, you write it B#. Simple. Same goes with E#.

To seriously answer the threadstarters question, I really don't know where tuning in fourths originated from, as other instruments such as the violin and mandolin are tuned in fifths. But as for the B string being tuned to a 3rd instead of a 4th, it was changed to make chords easier... thats pretty much it.
#18
Quote by Jeff Manthei
It does exsist. Bend your B note to a quarter bend. It isnt the best sounding note, but it does exsist.

Well, does that also mean that if you bend the G# note as a quarter bend, it makes it G# and a half? Because that would be in between G# and A.

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#19
Quote by Masochist_Lust
Well, does that also mean that if you bend the G# note as a quarter bend, it makes it G# and a half? Because that would be in between G# and A.

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=/ G and 3 quarters?
#20
^^ Well that note does exist. Just not in Western music, in other cultures (asia etc), they have different scales and different notes. Whereas we only use a 12 note scale, they use much more - including quater notes.
#21
lol. these half bends dont count. its a semitone or nothing. the ear can define the 12 tones. however theres 15 tones you can possible write. in theory, you can have a b # and a e# by the ear, you cant. and plus, who in the right mind would play in f#, gb, c# or cb anyways.
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#22
Quote by hyroglyph!c
lol. these half bends dont count. its a semitone or nothing. the ear can define the 12 tones. however theres 15 tones you can possible write. in theory, you can have a b # and a e# by the ear, you cant. and plus, who in the right mind would play in f#, gb, c# or cb anyways.

The ear can define much more than 12 frequencies...
#23
frequencies yes, but tone's different, it can pick up a bloody big range of frequencies but keep in mind it can't define each and everyone one, and that the 12 tones repeat throughout the spectrum.
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#24
Standard tuning is very E minor-centric - it's a really easy chord to do with standard tuning. But original guiatsr were teh classical acoustics of Spain. Many instruments, especially stringed instruments developed weird tunings because that's just how it worked. Banjo's generally have a very weird standard tuning I believe.
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#25
ok so it's basically just the way the instrument evolved over time, and not some theoretical reason that takes 10 minutes of explaining to vaguely understand?
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#26
Quote by Nightmare_xxx
frequencies yes, but tone's different, it can pick up a bloody big range of frequencies but keep in mind it can't define each and everyone one, and that the 12 tones repeat throughout the spectrum.

Thats only because that is what we are used to hearing. Thats why when you listen to some eastern music, it sounds badly out of tune with no real key. Thats because they use different notes to us, like I said... using quater notes etc. We are just used to only hearing the 12 tones, so anything other than that sounds weird to us.
Last edited by Tom Martin at Jan 24, 2007,
#27
easter music you say? as in eastern music? i don't have any first hand experience unfortunately, i thought the musical notes had basically become universally standardised as the way we use them?
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#30
wow, so many theory n00bs in this thread

the strings are tuned in FOURTHS and 1 third of eachother because 1. makes sense for chording, 2. has something to do with the way the strings ring.
#31
I was taught that standard tuning is used so that both the highes and lowest open strings are the same note, without isolating a single string and without making it incredibly difficult to finger chords.
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#32
yea sorry 4ths not 5ths, i taught myself the guitar/bass and i just got a teacher because i realised i wasn't going to improve any more withut a better understanding of the basics. and yes the ability to easily play barre chords is handy.
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