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3 Minute Introduction

Five Degree Calculation Line

String Numbering Order

Cipher Demonstrations

Pattern of Unisons and Octaves

Fretboard Note Spellers

Musical number formula translation tables

Free PDFs -- Grids, Spellers, Cipher Formula

Commonsense String Numbering order, Bass

 

 

 

 

The goal of the Cipher System  is to communicate musical information in clear, direct, and efficient terms. That means, eliminating as many sources of music speak (cross-calculation and double-talk) as possible. To that end, the following departure from standard procedure will be adopted on this web site;

The standard numbering order of the bass guitar’s four strings will be reversed: the lowest pitched string (E) becomes string 1, and the highest pitched string (G) becomes string 4 (see Figure 1). All references to string number on this web site are expressed accordingly.

 

Figure 1

 

 

Most of you will welcome this change. I, for one, have always found low E = string 4 numbering order confusing, as all other terminology in music had been. Furthermore, there is no good reason, purpose, or logic to that order, and it’s not even consistent with other examples of standard procedure. Consider these truths:

  • when numbering the tones of scales or chords, the lowest pitched tone is always numbered “one”.
  • on the guitar or bass, the lowest pitched string is tuned first....
  • it is the first string sounded in the most natural of strums — the down-stroke....
  • viewing the fretboard while playing, the lowest pitched string is the first and closest to the eye.
  • if you put the four fingers of your strumming hand into the strings as if to begin finger-picking, your index finger (the finger closest to your eyes) is called finger one  — not four. The same goes for the numbering of fingers on your chording hand.
  • the four strings of the  bass guitar are tuned to the same notes as the top four strings of a 6 string guitar — an octave lower. Yet, using standard numbering order, the following results: see Figure 2.

Tradition alone is not good reason enough to justify and perpetuate standard string numbering order. It is broken, so lets fix it. We’ll use Commonsense String Numbering Order here, rather than conventional string numbering order. Given the way I feel about using numbers that communicate well, I simply could not bring myself to write the upcoming book nor produce this web site using  screwy String Numbering  notation.

By the way, this goes for all string instruments, guitar, bass, and  instruments tuned to fifths as well, e.g. violin and mandolin.

 

 

 

Figure 2

 

 

 

 

 

 


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© Copyright 2002   Roger Edward Blumberg

 


All  text, images, system components, devices, key terminology* and logos, on this web site are copyrighted [physically at the U.S. Library of Congress]. Reproduction in any form without written permission from the author and creator is prohibited.

[*including but not limited to: The Cipher System, The Cipher, Music Theory Cipher, The Guitarist’s Music Theory Cipher, Blumberg’s Music Theory Cipher for Guitar, Cipher Formula, The Five Degree Calculation Line, Perfect-fourth Calculation Line, The Seven Degree Calculation Line, Perfect-fifth Calculation Line, Fretboard Navigator, Counting Grids, The Pattern of Unisons and Octaves, Rooting-Center, The Fifth String Pattern Shift, The Third String Pattern Shift, Commonsense String Numbering Order.]

Thank you.

© Copyright 2002   Roger E. Blumberg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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