the math of bass?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by fivesevenoh, Sep 28, 2003.

  1. I noticed that in standard tuning on a 4-string,
    the 15th Fret on the low E string is a G. I also noticed that on the 10th fret of the A string is a G. on the 5th fret of the D string is a G. and an open note on the G string is a G [obvious].

    E string- G note - Fret 15
    A string- G note - Fret 10
    D string- G note - Fret 5
    G string- G note - Fret 0

    is there always a difference of "5" between a note, and the same note played on a higher string?

    is there a math to bass?
  2. BassesOfDeath


    Sep 13, 2003
    Theres math to almost everything humans do. Have you seen the movie Pi?

    I am terrible at math but I'm obsessive over number systems, go figure.
  3. If you are in an equal tuning (eadg, dgcf, etc) there is a rule of 5 (if you want to call it that). Say you play the fifth fret on you low E, which would be an A note (every fret is a half step obviously), it is the same A that you would achieve if you were to play an open A. Many people will use this to tune their strings; if you have your E string in tune, you can tune the rest of your strings by holding the 5th fret of the lower string and playing the string you want to tune open. Then say you play the 6th fret on your low E (A#), that note is equivalent to the A# on your first fret on your A string.
  4. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    yes the since the strings are tuned in generic 4ths (or 5 frets) there will always subtract 5 frets if you go up a string or add five frets if you go down to get the same note. This is only the tip of the iceberg as far as math and patterns on bass and in music in general
  5. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    I just wanted to clarify what Nutboy was saying about "equal tuning"

    he just means tuning in the same interval for all strings.

    E-A-D-G is tuning in 4ths

    D-G-C-F would also be tuning in forths

    G-D-A-E would be 5ths

    all these would be "equal" as nutboy suggested.

    something like
    D-A-E-G wouldn't

    D-A is a 5th A-E is a 5th but then E-G is a 3rd ;)

    ya dig?

    tehre is also a lot of math behind harmonics, and where they are located on the neck. different "harmonic nodes" appear at different subdivisions of the total string length.

    so like half the string length is an octave and that's the 12th fret harmonic

    then you get into all sorts of other fractions, and stuff, which I don't know off the top of my head, but they correspond to 5th fret, 7th fret, 3rd 2nd 4th...etc.

    all those divisions..etc.

    harmonics are really cool like that.
  6. Thanks, I couldn't quite put my finger on that.
  7. awesome.

    but hmmmmm.... i dont quite understand the whole 4th and 5th thing. could someone explain how to tell if something is in 4ths, or if it is in 5ths?

  8. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    check it out, think of it like this.
    if you count from E to A you have
    so that interval is a 4th.


    that's leaving out keys and accidentals(sharps and flats) and is very simplified but that's the BASIC concept.

    If you go to a piano and find an E counting E as 1, move up 3 more white keys and you will get A.

    you dig?
  9. oh, ok now it makes sense. i was counting the sharps/flats.
  10. Mud Flaps

    Mud Flaps

    Feb 3, 2003
    Norton, MA
    5-7-oh, what is/was your highest math class? If you finished Algebra 2, I can probably explain something really cool about how harmonics work.
  11. my highest math was Precalculus/Analysis.

    I was supposed to take calculus honors after that, but i had enough math credits to graduate, that I dropped the class.

    I also took Physics.

    anyway, by all means, please do explain.

  12. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Ok, a quart or 4th consists of 5 halfsteps (halftones).

    The complementary interval to a quart (4th) is a quint (5th), add one to another and you get an octave.

    The two complementary intervals (to get an octave) always sum up to 9.
  13. CS Bass

    CS Bass

    Feb 18, 2003
    There's a lot of mathematics involved with all theory, the construction, and especially the electronics in the bass!
  14. Mud Flaps

    Mud Flaps

    Feb 3, 2003
    Norton, MA
    I lost the sheet of paper.

    Here's the basic idea with a fretless bass and no harmonics.

    When you play a note on a fretless bass, then half the distance, the wavelength and frequency are both halfed.

    But put it in perspective with harmonics, which vibrate in eight different directions. It looks pretty crazy on an algebreic graph. The problem is I don't know the wavelengths and frequencies of one of the harmonics, so I can't put all eight in perspective. It's probably note worth a whole page in the forum anyway.
  15. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Frequency is doubled, and I'm not sure I understand what you mean with 8 directions.