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Guitar String Names: Memorize the Order of Guitar Strings

Posted on May 22, 2024

As a beginner guitarist, one of the first things you need to learn are the names of the guitar strings. Understanding the order and names of the strings is critical to play chords, read tabs, and, ultimately, create music. If you’re just starting your guitar-playing journey, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s jump in!

What is the order of the guitar strings?

Standard guitars have six strings, each named after a note. From top to bottom, the guitar string names are E, A, D, G, B, and E. The highest and thickest string is often called the 6th string, or the low E. The A string is the 5th, D is the 4th, G is the 3rd, B is the 2nd, and the thinnest string, also known as the 1st string, is high E.

Because there are two E strings, the high E string (or the 1st string) is sometimes written in lowercase as “e” instead of “E,” resulting in E-A-D-G-B-e. In the standard EADGBE tuning, the two E strings (the 1st and 6th strings) are two octaves apart. The low E string has the lowest pitch, while the high E string has the highest.

In a chord chart, the order of guitar strings from thickest to thinnest is usually from left to right or bottom to top. This depends on the type of chord chart. Here’s an example of the C major chord with guitar string names from left to right:

C major chord with guitar strings from left to right in a chord chart

Tips for memorizing guitar string names

Memorizing the order and names of guitar strings is one of the first and most important steps to understanding the guitar fretboard, tuning your guitar, and playing chords.

The great news for all beginner guitar players is that there are fun and easy ways to help you memorize this information. Using mnemonics or rhymes is a popular method. One of our favorite rhymes for memorizing guitar string names is “Eddie Ate Dynamite, Good Bye Eddie”.

In addition to being a fun phrase to say, “Eddie Ate Dynamite, Good Bye Eddie” tells you the names of the guitar strings from thickest (lowest) to thinnest (highest). How? Just look at the first letter of each word: “Eddie Ate Dynamite, Good Bye Eddie”. There we have it: E-A-D-G-B-E.

You can come up with your own phrase or try one of these:

  • “Every Animal Deserves Good Biscuits Eventually”
  • “Eat All Day, Go to Bed Early”
  • “Every Amateur Does Get Better Eventually”

Why do guitar strings have these names?

The names E, A, D, G, B, and E represent the notes that each open string plays. We call a string “open” when you don’t fret it with your fretting hand. If you’re right-handed, you use your left hand to fret the strings. Your other hand (i.e. the right hand for right-handed players) is called the strumming hand, as you use it to strum, pick, and pluck the strings. Most left-handed guitar players flip their hands, using their right for fretting and left for strumming.

The guitar string names are based on the standard musical notation system, where notes from A to G represent the seven primary notes. EADGBE, or standard tuning, allows you to play a wide range of chords and scales with minimal finger movement. This makes it easier for beginners to learn and play chords across various styles and music genres. More advanced players can try their hand at alternate tunings.

Want to learn more about guitar strings? Read our guide to choosing the right strings for your guitar.

Tuning your guitar to EADGBE

Tuning your guitar to the standard EADGBE ensures that it sounds just right for most classic pop and rock songs. If your guitar is out of tune even slightly, it can sound off. Even if you’re not a skilled guitarist with a trained ear, you’ll be able to hear if your guitar is out of tune.

To learn how to tune your guitar, check out our guitar tuning guide!

Each string needs to be tuned to its corresponding note. Start with the thickest string, the low E (6th string), and work your way up to the higher strings. After tuning the E string, move to the next one, the A string (5th string), and continue the process until you reach the high E (1st string).

Use the tuning pegs on your guitar to adjust each string.

TuningUse the tuning pegs on your guitar to adjust each string.

Regular tuning is necessary for all guitar players. Once you’re familiar with the process, you can easily hear when the guitar is out of tune. You can use the other strings as a reference or use a guitar tuner, which is a device that detects the pitch of your strings and helps you adjust them correctly. It’s important to ensure that the strings are neither too tight (sharp) nor too loose (flat).

The easiest way to tune your guitar is with a free guitar tuner app like GuitarTuna, which uses Yousician’s advanced sound recognition technology. With GuitarTuna’s automatic guitar tuner, you just need to play an open string, and the app will tell you whether the string is sharp, flat, or just right. Turn your guitar’s tuning pegs until the string is in tune.

Did you break a string while tuning? Don’t worry! Change your guitar strings with our guide.

Learning to play the guitar as a beginner

Memorizing the guitar string names is an important first step for beginners. Here are a few additional tips:

  • Practice regularly: Just like with any new skill, consistency is key when playing the guitar. Practice each day to improve your technique, muscle memory, and ear for music.
  • Start with basic chords: Before attempting complex solos, start with basic guitar chords and try to memorize their names and chord patterns. This will help you become familiar with the fretboard and improve your finger dexterity. A great way to do this is by learning your favorite songs, where you can hear the chords in action.
  • Learn to read tablature: Guitar tablature, or tabs, is a type of musical notation for guitar. Tabs are simpler than traditional musical notation and a great way to learn new songs.
  • Get feedback: Luckily, you don’t have to rely just on your own ears. Getting feedback is a valuable way to support your learning. In addition to asking other players to assess your playing, you can use Yousician, the interactive music learning app, which makes learning the guitar fun and motivating!

Learn the guitar with Yousician

Yousician helps you learn the names of the strings and much more. With exciting gameplay and real-time feedback, Yousician helps you learn the guitar and other instruments. Explore the over 10,000 songs and lessons Yousician has to offer and master the guitar. Watch your progress as you level up your guitar-playing skills. Get started today!

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