I know I've probably came across this somewhere but was in information overload and wasn't paying attention. What are these string of numbers referring to tuning the instrument. For example 135 145. Do I need to purchase an enigma decoder or is it as simple as "kiss" keeping it simple stupid. Thanks

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simple.. 

there are 8 notes in a scale. start at 1 and progress to 8. 8 is the same note as 1 but an octave higher in pitch. example open string and same string played at the twelfth fret. 

simplest scale is "C" because there are no sharp or flat notes.

C scale is cdefgabc

135 is c e g which happens to be the major chord "C" 

common  tuning for CBG is an open G tuning is  GDG  or 1 5 1 also referred to ( slightly more accurately ) as 158 tuning. 

to confuse a bit the numbers are also used for chord numbers in a key. so in that same key of "C" 145 would be a C F G chord progression.  this is the most used chord progression used in a bazzillion songs..lol

Thanks Tim, the water is murky now instead of muddy! LOL

Seriously Tim that is very useful. I'd be watching a video or reading a post and #'s came up. Then I would be scratching my head and wondering " What the Hell are they talking about?" I looked it up and got some very long explanation on groups playing together and blah blah blah etc etc and so on. Which  meant even less to me.  I played a bass in the Jr high orchestra( played a pretty mean "Peter Gunn", dabbled around learning banjo, even played drums for a garage band. But I didn't have a clue, this never came up.

yeah its a huge mountain to climb is music theory.  i stumble around the foothills myself. i will gladly try to help if you have any questions.

you could play all your life by ear and being shown songs by friends and never need this stuff. but if you do have an understanding of the basics it can help understand why certain chords are used , what a  musical Key is and what chords are in that key.

say your jamming and someone says 12 bar blues in "A "  you would know which 3 chords are the ones to play.. A , D and E  ( 1,4,5)

Thanks Tim, LOL you'll more then likely regret that offer, because I like picking people's brains to learn something new!

A(1) / A+ / B(2) / C(3) / C+ / D(4) / D+ / E(5) / F(6) / F+ / G(7) / G+ / A(8)     B(9) redirects to the 2nd

B & E have no sharps(+)  C & F have no flats(-)

A chord has at least 3 notes - a root(1) - a third(3) - a fifth(5). Typical major chord

The third can be substituted with another root(1) which is usually 1 octave higher than the 1st root used and is referred to as 1-5-1. Actually it's more like 1-5-8. This is note progression within a chord. lots of changes can be made within a chord for Major or Minor chords, suspended 4ths or 7th chords. Chord progression within a song can vary too, but the 1-4-5 chord progression is a popular choice.

Learning music can be difficult and confusing, which is why many early poor people unknowingly adopted the 1-5-1 note progression because of it's simplicity and sound it produced. Many naturally used 1-4-5 chord progression because of the same reason.

I guess what's confusing me is open "G" being 151(8) which is GDg with "g" an octive higher. Using the #= note(cord) correlation shouldn't GDg be 757? This is what I'm having a problem understanding. I understand electronics and all the theory behind it(although rusty as hell). This to me is saying one thing and doing another. Its simple I know, I'm just not catching it. 

I teach drawing to adults who could never draw because it was too intimidating. Because I break it down to the very basics it's rewarding when the switch is flipped and the realization that they just drew something look comes out! This is very basic I know and get what you are telling me but I'm not having a lights on moment. Thank you for you attempt to teach an "old dog"!

i see where you are coming from. the letters and numbers are not absolute. they are not alphabetically numbered. ie A1 B 2 C 3 etc... this is not how it works.  the numbers are relative to the start of the key or chord you are playing . the first note of a key or chord is designated as 1.   for the open G tuning most CBG are tuned to. the G chord comes as the first chord in the G scale.

the G major scale is G A B C D E F# G   . so from this G is 1, D is 5 and the last G is 1 ( 8 ) hence why its called 151 tuning.  my CBG is tuned to D , ie DAD but it is still a 151 tuning.

this bit copied from the web because i had a hard time trying to explain it..lol

" For this key and any other major key, each chord follows a pattern. This pattern is Major Minor Minor Major Major Minor Diminished.

The triad chords in the key of G major are G major, A minor, B minor, C major, D major, E minor, and F# diminished. "  so these are now chords numbered 1 to 7. so when you see a 145 chord progression you play G,C and D chords...

all this happens because in western music we have 12 tones in an octave i.e. G to G ,but 8 notes in a scale ( just to make it more confusing) lol

Bingo! Now I understand, I knew it had to be simple, this was the missing part. Thanks for the information.

lightbulb moment!! lol   glad we could help.  you might also hear of the first note called the " root"  note.  

Its a bright one too! Because all the other stuff I was reading online makes sense. Thank you O Be Wun!

Correct that the notes don't have permanent assigned numbers I.E. A isn't always 1. What ever chord has a root=1 / a 5th=5 / a second root=1 for 1-5-1 example A-E-A for A or G-D-G for G. Then we can confuse it more doing Minors. LOL

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