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Technique with bass board

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by bassman818, Feb 1, 2018.

  1. bassman818


    Jan 24, 2018
    I have a simple question. When I started playing bass years ago (before dropping it for the drums), I learned the strings as EADG and visualizing that as "going down." Obviously, you are going up in pitch as you go from E to G.

    So I'm wondering if I should continue to visualize EADG as going down the board (as it's easier for me) or if is this going to cause problems down the road? I just find it so much simpler to remember where notes are on the board by visualizing EADG as going down versus up.

    Anyone else feel this way? Should I try to break this habit from now?
  2. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Welcome to Talkbass!

    Funny, we just had a discussion a few days ago about this topic: "high string" vs "low string"

    My personal feeling, so long as you don't plan on using TAB, there's no harm in your way of thinking. But if you plan on using TAB as part of your educational materials, it might look "upside down" to you.

    Personally, I think of moving toward the headstock end of the neck as "going down," moving toward the body end of the neck as "going up," and moving from one string to another as "across." But that's just me. :)
    bassman818 likes this.
  3. bassman818


    Jan 24, 2018
    It's funny because if I were to think of moving towards the head, I would look at it as going up the neck since that's how I would relate it to the human body (head above neck). Your way is definitely the correct way since the pitch goes down as you move towards the head stock. But my way just seems more natural to me.

    With the whole EADG thing, the reason I see it the way I mentioned is also because I'm looking down at the guitar so anything under the E string will obviously be below it, although pro bassists look at it the exact opposite because they relate it to pitch. I think the reason I'm driving myself nuts with this is because the E String is considered the 4th, but I view it as the first.. and I'm just hoping it doesn't mess with my learning in the long run! I'll probably just learn it in the opposite way as well just to be on the safe side...

    And I completely understand what you mean by it screwing with me if I'm reading tab, but it never has. I learned years ago with tab while thinking of the board in the way I do. I'm quite excellent with tab reading. But I've decided to learn things more "correctly" since I started back up. Sight reading music and ditching the tab is what I'm working on at the moment. Particularly with Ed's HLBM and a few other books.
  4. Paulabass

    Paulabass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2017
    If you never need to communicate with someone else, you can call them- (thickest to thinnest)-
    W,:beaver:, 7#, and ¥
    However, if you need to buy a string, describe something to someone else, or just go with the majority, the high string is the highest in pitch.
    bassman818 likes this.
  5. bassman818


    Jan 24, 2018
    Okay, thanks for all the input! Just took a look at the other thread, so I guess this is just being redundant.

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