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Re: String scale software/formula


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Posted by Paul Graves on April 20, 2001 at 10:21:17:

In Reply to: Re: String scale software/formula posted by Rich Laird on March 09, 2001 at 12:36:42:

: : Does anyone know if there exist software (or just a formula) for comupting the stops along various scale lengths? For example, where are the stops located along the e string on a 42" scale lenth. Any information will be greatly appreciated.

: I don't know of any software, Dave, but you can compute any stopping distance if you know about frequencies. A note which is an octave higher than an open string is exactly twice its frequency. So the octave (like the 12th fret) on a 42" string would be 21" - or halfway. If I remember correctly, the fifth above the open string is, frequency-wise, halfway between the open string and the octave...so I guess that means the E on your A-string (like the seventh fret) would be 10 1/2 " up from the nut.

I think it's a bit trickier than that. The further up the fingerboard you go, the higher the strings are off of the fingerboard. This adds tension to the string which raises the pitch slightly as you go. This is really obvious when you compare the relative locations of would be frets on an upright to an electric. The relative spacing is wider at the top of the neck (less additional tension) and tighens the further you go toward the upper register. The electrics have strings that are much closer to the fretboard and will follow the mathmatical relationships much more closely than the upright. The best way to find the stops is by ear using comparisons to an open string (use a tuner first) or even a piano or something.

: But I have yet to run into any bassists who care! It's about listening and developing a feel (aka kinesthetic sense) of where the notes are...constantly listening and adjusting.

Ditto! I just starten learning on my upright after years of electric and I'm determined to teach my ears and fingers to recognize the pitch without the aid of 'cheating' with markings ro frets of any kind.


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