One of the things most new guitar players blow over are the guitar string names. I’ve seen with elementary students and adults as well.
But before long, this lack of knowledge comes back to hurt them before they get into intermediate playing.
This article will help you learn the guitar string names for a better basis on future playing and guitar tuning. More importantly, you will learn why mastering the guitar string names is so important to improve your guitar learning skills.
Let’s dig in!
What Are The Guitar Strings In Order?
The standard guitar string names are E, A, D, G, B, and E. This is with traditional tuning used by 99% of standard guitar playing.
These strings follow a numbering system that starts with the string closest to you and goes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 from there.
The 1st string is also the thickest string. It matches pitch E.
If you wanted to get fancy, this thickest string is E2. Low E is also the string closest to you which is why we call it the 1st string.
The 2nd string is A2. The A string is a perfect fourth above the low E string.
When we get to the 3rd string closest to you, tune it to D3.
The 4th string is G3. As with strings 2 and 3, the G string is a perfect fourth (or 5 frets above the last string). This tip is useful for tuning a guitar.
The 5th string B or B3. The way you tune a B string is a little trickier.
The B string is a major third or 4 frets above the G string. This is often the hardest to tune because of this interval or distance.
From there, the 6th string brings us back to E6. The 6th string is a perfect fourth above the 5th string. It’s also two octaves above the low E string, and it’s the thinnest string.
These are the names of the guitar strings. You need to know these make a guitar tune.
Note: These are the names of each open string. An open string is when the strings aren’t pressed down at the frets.
How Do You Remember The Strings On A Guitar?
The guitar string names are useful for tuning guitar, but it’s hard to remember them at first for many people.
There is a way to help with this:
Come up with an acronym.
An acronym takes the letter of each of the open strings and puts a word starting with the letter. It’s a great learning technique for memorizing names.
Here is a common example:
“Eat All Day, Get Big Easy.”
Do you see how the letter of each word aligns with the names of the open strings?
There are many possible acronyms to draw from the strings, but I encourage my students to come up with their own. The creation process is a big part of remembering the acronym better.
Here’s a list of other guitar acronyms:
- Every Amateur Does Get Better, Eventually
- Even Aardvarks Dig Gooey Boogers, Evan
- Eleven Angry Dogs Get Burgers Everyday
- Eating After Dark Gives Burps, Eleanor
Note: It helps to remember the guitar string names if the saying is funny too! Now go, make up your own!
Why Remember Guitar Strings?
With all this fuss about the names of the strings, why bother learning them?
First, you need to know the guitar names to help tune your guitar.
Tuning apps and tuners may help, but they won’t always tell you if you’re tuning to the wrong note. You have to know this on your own.
Each tuner guitar with a built-in tuner will only be so much help. It’s your job to learn the string names.
On top of this, many guitar tabs and lessons will use the names of the guitar strings and their numbers interchangeably.
You’ll be lost if you don’t know them.
I hope you find this information on the guitar string names helpful. Learning the string names of the open strings is one way to make your playing better.
Take the time to practice the string names in the way you prefer. Acronyms are one of the most helpful tricks for new players to remember the open strings and their names.
Read Here if you Want to Learn Acoustic and Electric Guitars.