# the math of bass?

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

1. ### fivesevenoh

Jun 1, 2003
flagstaff, arizona
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. ### Nuttboy311

May 30, 2002
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. ### paintandsk8Pushin' 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 RobotGuest

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. ### Nuttboy311

May 30, 2002
Thanks, I couldn't quite put my finger on that.

7. ### fivesevenoh

Jun 1, 2003
flagstaff, arizona
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?

thanks

8. ### Wrong RobotGuest

Apr 8, 2002
check it out, think of it like this.
if you count from E to A you have
E(1)F(2)G(3)A(4)
so that interval is a 4th.

EFGABCDEFG

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. ### fivesevenoh

Jun 1, 2003
flagstaff, arizona
oh, ok now it makes sense. i was counting the sharps/flats.

10. ### 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. ### fivesevenoh

Jun 1, 2003
flagstaff, arizona
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. ### JMXVorsprung 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

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

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. ### JMXVorsprung durch Technik

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

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