Originally Posted by svtown
I guess it's kind of up to you, but I think 1 is usually considered the thinnest string; and 4 would be the thickest (and closest to you)?
The traditional method does matter, that is your G string is 1st and the strings number from there, so thinnest to thickest.
This is regardless of tuning, or any preferred way to look at it.
It is a point of string manufacture, so all string instruments traditionally will be numbered to suit the string manufacture.
There are have been some changes on sites that want to number the 1st string as the low E so a bass and a guitar can have the same number.
In practice on a bass the lowest sounding string is an E which is the 4th, but on a guitar the lowest sounding string is also an E but is a 6th.
So the idea that on both bass and guitar the 1st string would be E, the 2nd A, the 3rd, D, the 4th G, the the guitar would continue with the 5th B, and the 6th high E.
But if you have a 5 string bass then that system is again not matched, against those that wish to change it for ease of use......and again will add to the confusion.
Just see and accept that the thinnest string on your bass is the 1st, so when it is referenced as so you know what is being talked about in traditional use.