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Allie5
10-30-2015, 08:21 PM
In regards to guitar, the offical top string is the highest pitched string...skinny E/1st string (closest to the floor when you're holding a guitar). Low E/6th string (closest to your head) is the bottom string. --the idea also being that the 6 tab lines (in tablature) also match that designation of bottom string to top!

So I figured, naturally, ukulele would be the same...the top string is highest pitched/closest to floor A string, and that re-entrant G would still qualify (due to position/tab/non-reentrant tuning) as the bottom string.

Yet all the mentions of bottom string on the net I've encountered (except 1 from 1 book) denote the G string as the top string and the A as the bottom--the idea being that the G is farthest from floor. To me this totally goes against stringed insrument logic. (which I know can appear backwards anyway, especially to beginners).

Which string is indeed the top string...A or G????

bobe
10-30-2015, 09:23 PM
I remember asking a question about the "G-string" being the "bottom" string in mixed company; got some interesting replies:rolleyes:

Booli
10-30-2015, 09:24 PM
I am now totally confused - bottom vs. top string is shown like 10 different ways depending upon where you look.

For me, I ALWAYS go by string NUMBER, with the 4th string closest to your face and 1st string closest to the FLOOR. Linear or re-entrant, same numbering.

Works with ukulele, bass and GUITAR too, but then you start with 6th string closest to face.

I don't use TAB, so cant help with that.

Tootler
10-30-2015, 10:59 PM
I am left handed and can't tell left from right even after 50 years. The string numbering on the ukulele is just as confusing. I ignore the numbers altogether and call the strings GCEA as required.
Perhaps if you remember that the G string is not on the bottom of the uke.

You're not the only one who does that and it's OK as long as you tune your ukulele GCEA. Half my ukuleles are in other tunings so it makes a lot more sense to go string numbers. It still applies even if you're set up left handed. The first string is the one nearest the floor and the fourth is nearest your chin, unless of course if you're one of those left handers who play with the instrument "upside down" then, presumably, the string numbering is reversed.

70sSanO
10-31-2015, 02:06 AM
Just my opinion... It is probably a bad term for a high pitched ukulele, but if bottom means bottom end as in pitch, then it depends if you tune linear or re-entrant. The term bottom on guitars pertains to the lowest pitch bass strings. A set of heavy bottoms means the 4th, 5th, 6th strings are heavier and produce a more pronounced bass tone.

If applied to a ukulele it would make a "C" 3rd string the bottom for re-entrant and the "G" 4th string and maybe the 3rd, especially if wound, as the "bass" strings so to speak for linear.

An instrument with a great bottom end has great bass. Probably not a great term for a ukulele, violin, and mandolin. It would be interesting to hear from U-Bass players.

John

Jeffelele
10-31-2015, 02:25 AM
Booli got me so confused I can't go on. Oh the humanity!

Booli
10-31-2015, 02:29 AM
Booli got me so confused I can't go on. Oh the humanity!

Sorry. Every string pack for the uke that I have ever used has been labeled inside as:

4th - G
3rd - C
2nd - E
1st - A

Maybe that will help?

mikelz777
10-31-2015, 02:55 AM
I don't read music so what makes most sense to me is orientation i.e., the lowest string is closest to the floor and the highest string is closest to the ceiling. This line of thinking goes against the majority of what I've seen out in the music world. As others have pointed out, strings always come with the string closest to the floor designated as 1 and the string closest to the ceiling designated as 4. Like someone else pointed out, if you go by pitch, the lowest string can be either the G or the C depending on how you have it tuned. I try not to think about it but encounter the clash in schools of thought every time I have to change strings.

Allie5
11-01-2015, 06:56 PM
Thanks to everyone for their relevant and helpful answers. I think the general consensus is that technically speaking, the 'bottom' string refers to the lowest pitch...'C' on re-entrant and low 'G' on linear. However it seems most internet sources and even at least some book sources view the bottom string as the one physically closest to the floor.

So yes, referring to the strings more as 'GCEA (respectively 4321) would facilitate the greatest ease/consistency. I personally think it would behoove the uke world if we could officially call the G string the bottom string--both for tab congruency as well as matching the pitch idea for guitar and I imagine other stringed instruments.

So alas I suppose we must bow to the masses. haha. wink...sort of. and at least keep in mind how many people (vast majority it seems) will refer to the A string as the bottom string. Ugh. Okay thank you....bowing out.

Booli
11-01-2015, 07:09 PM
Thanks to everyone for their relevant and helpful answers. I think the general consensus is that technically speaking, the 'bottom' string refers to the lowest pitch...'C' on re-entrant and low 'G' on linear. However it seems most internet sources and even at least some book sources view the bottom string as the one physically closest to the floor.

So yes, referring to the strings more as 'GCEA (respectively 4321) would facilitate the greatest ease/consistency. I personally think it would behoove the uke world if we could officially call the G string the bottom string--both for tab congruency as well as matching the pitch idea for guitar and I imagine other stringed instruments.

So alas I suppose we must bow to the masses. haha. wink...sort of. and at least keep in mind how many people (vast majority it seems) will refer to the A string as the bottom string. Ugh. Okay thank you....bowing out.

Don't worry - Once you have been an active member of this forum long enough, you will eventually see another new member ask the same question.

You just might feel so inclined to pay it forward and help that poor soul on their own journey based upon your experience at that point in time.

Then the circle (or cycle) will be complete. :shaka: :)