to the highest-pitch and furthest away string

seeeker

Senior Member
Please help me figure out the meaning of the phrase "to the highest-pitch and furthest away string" in the following sentence (not available online):

You will notice that a six-string guitar is tuned E, A, D, G, B, and E – which is from the thickest and lowest-pitch string at the top, to the highest-pitch and furthest away string as one holds the guitar.

The quoted sentence is from a description of the guitar tuning process.

Thank you for your time.
 
  • Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    I presume you are comfortable with the meanings of highest-pitch and lowest-pitch.

    They then say that the first-named E-string (thickest and lowest-pitch) is "at the top" (it is uppermost when the guitar is held in its normal playing position).
    It goes on to describe the position of the other (highest-pitch) E-string as "furthest away". This means it is the string that is most distant from you (your eyes) as you look at it (the low E-string being the least distant, or the nearest).

    Does that help? I don't think the description is very well written. To better contrast with "at the top", it might have been better to say "to the highest-pitch string at the bottom".
     

    seeeker

    Senior Member
    I presume you are comfortable with the meanings of highest-pitch and lowest-pitch.

    They then say that the first-named E-string (thickest and lowest-pitch) is "at the top" (it is uppermost when the guitar is held in its normal playing position).
    It goes on to describe the position of the other (highest-pitch) E-string as "furthest away". This means it is the string that is most distant from you (your eyes) as you look at it (the low E-string being the least distant, or the nearest).

    Does that help? I don't think the description is very well written. To better contrast with "at the top", it might have been better to say "to the highest-pitch string at the bottom".
    Thank you for your detailed and very helpful reply. The sentence is clear to me now. Much appreciated.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    I presume you are comfortable with the meanings of highest-pitch and lowest-pitch.

    They then say that the first-named E-string (thickest and lowest-pitch) is "at the top" (it is uppermost when the guitar is held in its normal playing position).
    It goes on to describe the position of the other (highest-pitch) E-string as "furthest away". This means it is the string that is most distant from you (your eyes) as you look at it (the low E-string being the least distant, or the nearest).

    Does that help? I don't think the description is very well written. To better contrast with "at the top", it might have been better to say "to the highest-pitch string at the bottom".
    I agree it could have been written differently, but the inclusion of "as one holds the guitar." is a key piece - it is describing the order of the strings in terms of 1) their thickness, 2) their pitch and 3) distance from the guitar-holder's eyes.
     

    seeeker

    Senior Member
    It is the highest-pitch string, and it is the farthest away string.
    I agree it could have been written differently, but the inclusion of "as one holds the guitar." is a key piece - it is describing the order of the strings in terms of 1) their thickness, 2) their pitch and 3) distance from the guitar-holder's eyes.
    Thank you for your observation, JulianStuart. Your comment suggests that the strings are arranged in three orders. As I don't know mcuh about guitars, I will rely on native speakers to figure out the meaning of the said phrase. It is really interesting to see how a text can be ambiguous in so many ways.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Thank you for your observation, JulianStuart. Your comment suggests that the strings are arranged in three orders. As I don't know mcuh about guitars, I will rely on native speakers to figure out the meaning of the said phrase. It is really interesting to see how a text can be ambiguous in so many ways.
    It's not just language, it's logic and context. You will have seen a person playing a guitar but may know nothing of the order of the strings. If a left-handed person holds a guitar used by a right-handed player, the strings will be in the opposite order by all three criteria :D
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    It's one order that can be perceived in different ways, not three orders. The thickest string is at the top and the thinnest is at the bottom as you look at the guitar from the front. That's the order.

    But the player doesn't look at it from the front. He looks at it from above. So the top string is closest to his eyes and the bottom string is farthest from his eyes.

    The top string is the thickest one and therefore (because of the laws of physics) has the lowest pitch when tuned properly. That pitch has a name - E. The string one position lower (i.e. farther away from the player's eyes) is also a little bit thinner and therefore has a higher pitch and has a different name - A. And so on. As you move down, each string is thinner than the one above it and has a higher pitch and a different name. When you get to the last string at the bottom that is the thinnest of all with the highest pitch.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    It's one order that can be perceived in different ways, not three orders.
    Picky picky (Get it?) :D
    If a left-handed person holds a guitar used by a right-handed player, the strings will be in the opposite order by all three criteria:D
    I think there are lefties who can play a right-hand guitar, and those who string the guitar in "the wrong order" (for righties, that is).
     
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