Fresh explanation!

Update:
Explanation under the instrument is now automatically chosen when you click on the drop-down menu(s).

If you want that some explanation persist, click on the label(s) near to drop-down menu(s), like “Naming:”.

To reset explanation persistence, click on the checkbox to Show/hide explanation.

Words were wisely chosen that anyone can understand. :)

New namings!

As you may notice, many new namings were added. At some of them we needed to do some compromises, like Cyrillic. Most languages that use Cyrillic use 4 letters for “Sol” note, writing it “Соль”. Since there’s not enough space for 4 letters, we used 3 and wrote it “Сол”.

Some namings might be displayed different in different browsers. For example, languages that use right to left writing. If namings are not displayed well in a browser, it might be displayed well in other, and vice versa. For Korean namings we advise to use the Opera browser, otherwise namings might appear too thin.

We put lot of time and effort to translate and code new namings. But since we don’t own Babel fish, we can’t say for sure that they are entirely correct.  So if you find any mistake, let us know in the comments!

Guitar

Fretboard guitar tuning

144 Notes guitar

Guitar notes chart

 

Description:

Using the 144 Notes and 144 Notes application, classical, acoustic and electric guitars are the same. The pitch range goes from 2E to 6C on most of them, which means 45 different notes (pitches). Some guitars have more frets to achieve a wider range, so higher possible notes, even up to 6E, can be played. But overall, the guitar with standard tuning has a small pitch range. That’s because almost every note is
repeated on different string(s). The difference between repeated notes on different strings is only in timbre. For example, if we look at the note 3G , we notice that the note repeats itself four times. All four 3G notes have the same pitch, but with different timbre.

Let’s observe the positions of some notes:

  • Notes 2E, 2F, 2Fis, 2G and 2Gis on the left bass side (the thickest string) appear only once, just like the notes 5Gis, 5A, 5Ais, 5B and 6C on the right side (the thinnest string).
  • The first repeated bass note is 2A and the last repeated note on the treble side is 5G.
  • The most repeated notes are 3B, 4C, 4E and 4F. Each of them can be played from five different locations.

Caution: circumstances can change when we change the tuning and/or we have the guitar with more or less than twenty frets. I used one fret more when designing the 144 Notes application.

So, which of these repeated notes to use when you try out the algorithm? Well, this is not an easy question. It depends on many things, especially on what would you like to achieve.
Most people use notes that are physically closer together with the combination of open strings. But, if you play solo with sliding up the neck … well, that’s a different story :)
Right now we’re still working on one important function that will be implemented as soon as possible. More description will be added then.
 

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Bass Guitar

Bass guitar fretboard tuning

144 Notes bass guitar

Bass guitar notes chart

 

Basic description:

Compared to ordinary guitar, bass guitar has 4 strings, which are primary tuned exactly 1 octave lower than 4 bass (thicker) strings on ordinary guitar. This is important because of resonance frequency – we get stronger and longer sustained bass in the band.
If we use popular “drop D” tuning on the ordinary guitar, we get the same open string on both guitars that is tuned to 2D note.

On standard tuned bass with 20 frets pitch range goes from 1E to 4Dis. This means 36 different notes (pitches). Like on other guitars many notes are repeated (same pitch, different timbre). For example, note 2G is repeated four times. The only difference between these four notes is in timbre. Compared to ordinary guitar with standard tuning which has only one 2G note and therefore only one timbre, this is an advantage.

Let’s observe the positions of some notes:

  • Notes 1E, 1F, 1Fis, 1G and 1Gis on the left side (the thickest string) appear only once, just like the notes 3B, 4C, 4Cis, 4D and 3Dis on the right side (the thinnest string).
  • The first repeated bass note is 1A and the last repeated note on the treble side is 3Ais.
  • The most repeated notes are 2G, 2Gis, 2A, 2Ais, 2B and 3C. Each of them can be played from four different locations.

Caution: circumstances can change when we change the tuning and/or we have the guitar with more or less than twenty frets. I used one fret more when designing the 144 Notes application.

If we have bass with 21 frets with standard tuning, the highest possible note is 4E (played without bending or any other effect), which is the same as the highest opened string on ordinary guitar (the thinnest string).

So, which of these repeated notes should you use when trying out the algorithm? Well, this is not an easy question. It depends on many things, especially on what would you like to achieve.
Same note (pitch) played further from headstock on thicker string gives timbre with more bass. That is good to know.
If you are in the band, you maybe want to choose notes that go along with rhythm or lead guitar and drums. Sometimes you want stronger bass note, sometimes weaker for relativity. You can add just a little timbre to already played note by other member of the band. Stay tuned and be creative. Feel the beat under your feet (together with heartbeat – your drummer! :)

 

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Bass Guitar – 5 String

5 String bass guitar fretboard tuning

144 Notes 5 string bass guitar

5 String bass guitar notes chart

 

Basic description:

Most today’s 5 string bass guitars are like 4 string bass guitar with one additional bass string. This additional bass string is tuned 5 notes lower than the lowest (thickest) string on 4 string bass guitar. So, we can play 5 more bass notes (for even deeper effect :) )

On standard tuned 5 string bass guitar with 22 frets pitch range goes from 0B to 4F. This means 43 different notes (pitches). Like on other guitars many notes are repeated. For example, note 2G is repeated five times. All this five 2G notes have the same pitch, the only difference between them is in timbre.

Let’s observe the positions of some notes:

  • Notes 0B, 1C, 1Cis, 1D and 1Dis on the left side (the thickest string) appear only once, just like the notes 4Cis, 4D, 4Dis, 4E and 4F on the right side (the thinnest string)
  • The first repeated bass note is 1E and the last repeated note on the treble side is 4C.
  • The most repeated notes are 2G, 2Gis, and 2A. Each of them can be played from five different locations.

Caution: circumstances can change when we change the tuning and/or we have the guitar with more or less than twenty two frets. I used one fret less when designing the 144 Notes application.

With ordinary tuned 5 string bass guitar we can play some really low notes, the lower is 0B. However if we want to compete with standard 88 key piano we need to retune thickest bass string even 2 notes lower, to 0A, so we get the same lowest note on both instruments. Of course bass guitar gives totally different timbre with much more bass in it, compared to piano which gives more light (treble) timbre.
On the guitar same note (pitch) played further from headstock on thicker string gives timbre with more bass. That is good to know.

Some 5 string bass guitars are (tuned) like 4 string bass guitar but with one additional treble string. That treble string is tuned 5 notes higher than highest (thinnest) string on 4 string bass guitar. So, we can play 5 more treble notes.

 

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Bass Guitar – 6 String

6 String bass guitar fretboard tuning

144 Notes 6 string bass guitar

6 String bass guitar notes chart

 

Basic description:

6 string bass guitar is like 4 string bass guitar with two additional strings. One thickest string on one side and one thinnest string on other side. Additional thickest string is tuned 5 notes lower than the lowest (thickest) string on 4 string bass guitar. So, we get additional 5 bass notes. Additional thinnest string is tuned 5 notes higher than the highest (thinnest) string on 4 string bass guitar. So, we get 5 more treble notes.

On standard tuned 6 string bass guitar with 24 frets pitch range goes from 0B to 5C. This means 48 different notes (pitches). Open strings are tuned to (from thickest to thinnest): 0B, 1E, 1A, 2D, 2G, 3C. Like on other guitars many notes are repeated (same pitch, different timbre). For example, note 2G is repeated five times. The only difference between these five notes is in timbre.

Let’s observe the positions of some notes:

  • Notes 0B, 1C, 1Cis, 1D and 1Dis on the left side (the thickest string) appear only once, just like the notes 4Gis, 4A, 4Ais, 4B and 5C on the right side (the thinnest string)
  • The first repeated bass note is 1E and the last repeated note on the treble side is 4G.
  • The most repeated notes are 2G, 2Gis, 2A, 2Ais, 2B, 3C, 3Cis, 3D, 3Dis and 3E. Each of them can be played from five different locations.

Caution: circumstances can change when we change the tuning and/or we have the guitar with more or less than twenty four frets. I used three frets less when designing the 144 Notes application.

6 string bass is really like 5 string bass with one additional treble string. Therefore wider neck and stronger body is needed what makes guitar in most cases more heavy. If weight is more important to you than additional treble string, go for 5 string bass when you’re buying the guitar.

With ordinary tuned 6 string bass guitar we can play some really low notes. The lowest is 0B (like on 5 string bass). However if we want to compete with standard 88 key piano we need to retune thickest bass string even 2 notes lower, to 0A, so we get the same lowest note on both instruments. Of course bass guitar gives totally different timbre with much more bass in it, compared to piano which gives more light(treble) timbre.
Look at three treble strings 2D, 2G and 3C shows us that if we tune them two notes higher, to 2E, 2A and 3D, we get the same open strings like on ordinary guitar. Or we can tune ordinary guitar 2 notes lower. There are many ways to be tuned, and find unique sound of the band.
On the guitar same note (pitch) played further from headstock on thicker string gives timbre with more bass. That is good to know.

 

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Piano

Piano color notes

144 Notes piano

Piano notes chart

 

Description:

The standard piano has 88 keys and because none of the notes repeat, it has a very wide pitch range. The first key on the left is called 0B (Dutch naming) and is the lowest bass note that can be played on the piano. The pitch goes up one key after another to the highest possible note played on the piano, called 8C on the far right. The note 4C is sometimes called Middle C.

The term tonic tells at which position in the octave you start to count for a certain scale. That means when you play the instrument it is very important at which note you start playing in order to get the feeling for a certain scale. Ordinary you start playing with the tonic note.

The interesting part about the piano is that it is physically made after a Major scale in C tonic. This is very obviously shown when we use the 144 Notes application. All “white keys” are in Major scale in C tonic and are placed in front for easier finger access. Rest of the notes (the “black keys”) are in the back.

Maybe you’ve noticed that solely “white keys” are selected in other scales too, but only at certain tonic. Here is a list of scales with tonic at which all “white keys” are selected:

  • Major – C tonic,
  • Dorian Mode (Ancient Greek) – D tonic,
  • Lydian – F tonic,
  • Dominant (Modern Mixolydian) – G tonic,
  • Natural Minor – A tonic.

As a matter of fact, all listed scales above are the same; you just start to count at a different note in the octave. They are called relative scales. And as mentioned before it is very important where you start to count – at tonic.
To use only the black keys, the next two relative scales should be chosen:

  • Rock (Minor pentatonic) – Dis tonic
  • Country (Major Pentatonic) – Fis tonic

 

Over the years the piano became a standard in music and most note names are based on it. The problem is that all musical instruments are not made after above scales and that’s why most note names ‘don’t fit in’. This is solved using the MIDI naming.

 

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Violin

Violin fingerboard tuning

144 Notes Violin

Violin notes chart

 

Description:

In the 144 Notes and 144 Notes web application, acoustic and electric violins are the same. The lowest note that can be played on the violin with standard tuning is 3G. The highest note that can be played is not so well defined, because it depends on the length of the fingerboard and the skill of the violinist. By the skill we mean; expert violinists know how to use something called harmonics to achieve really high pitches. However, on most violins the highest note that can be played on fingerboard is somewhere between 7C and 8C. For example, let’s look at the violin at the top that goes to 7A:

The pitch range goes from 3G to 7A which means 51 different notes. Open strings are tuned to (from thickest to thinnest): 3G, 4D, 4A, 5E. So the violin is primary tuned in “perfect fifths”, that mean 7 different notes (pitches) before note repeat itself on other string. So on the violins many notes are repeated. The difference between repeated note(s) on different string(s) is only in timbre. For example; the note 4B repeats itself three times. All this three notes have the same pitch, but with different timbre.

Let’s observe the positions of some notes:

  • Notes 3G, 3Gis, 3A, 3Ais, 3B, 4C and 4Cis on the left side (the thickest string) appear only once, just like the notes 7Dis, 7E, 7F, 7Fis, 7G, 7Gis and 7A on the right side (the thinnest string)
  • The first repeated “bass” note is 4D and the last repeated note on the tweet side is 7D.
  • The most repeated notes are 5E, 5F, 5Fis, 5G, 5Gis, 5A, 5Ais, 5B and 6C. Each of them can be played from four different locations.

Caution: circumstances can change when we change the tuning and/or we have the violin with shorter or longer fingerboard. I used 8 notes less when designing the 144 Notes application.

Location of the notes:
Most violins have no frets, so how to find exact location of the notes? The most easy and less precise way is of course to compare your violin with the one drawn above. If you’re at luck you’ve got perfect match :).
On a tuned violin you can find some notes quite easily. Like the 4D note on thickest string for example. You can do that by putting finger on thickest string on place, that is close to the drawn 4D note on the image above. Play it and observe the string near it. If the string near vibrates even if you don’t touch it (you can see it by naked eye), you’d found the location of the 4D note. If it doesn’t, try to slide finger little higher up the thickest string or little lower (while playing it). The string near is tuned to 4D note and starts to vibrate when anyone near plays the same note, even if it’s played on different instrument. The reason for that is called resonance frequency. By knowing the location of the 4D note, you also know that notes vertically up (on other three strings) should be 4A, 5E and 5B. And you get the approximate mismatch of your violin to the drawn one.

The easiest way to get location of all notes on your violin is to use application for smartphone called Audio Spectrum Monitor.
The other longer way is to use fret calculator. You’ll need to measure “Scale Length” of your violin. It doesn’t matter what unit you use (meter or inch). The notes are exactly at locations where the frets would be.

It’s good to mention that in the 144 Notes application we didn’t use 1:1 ratio, but same spacing for every note – by this the notes are more easily accessible and easier to read. And they also go nice along with other instruments. This shouldn’t be a problem, you’ll get used to it quickly.

Which of repeated notes to choose?
Well, this is not an easy question. It depends on many things, especially on what would you like to achieve. Most people use notes that are physically closer together with the combination of open strings. Same note (pitch) played further from pegbox on thicker string gives timbre that contains more bass in it. So if you want a song (or just a note) to sound more “deep”, you play it there. If you want more neutral timbre you play it in the middle on the middle strings. And if you want more sharp timbre, you play it on thinner string closer to the pegbox. It’s up to you. :)
 

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