As people start learning guitar, they may find it challenging to commit the guitar string notes to memory. An understanding of string notes is essential. After all, they are the fundamental building blocks of chords, progressions, riffs, and other things you can do on a guitar. 

Aspiring guitar players usually see their favorite guitarists plucking the strings effortlessly and wonder if they would ever be that good. Everyone has to start somewhere, and part of the first step is knowing the guitar string names. Luckily, it isn’t that hard.

This guide will cover the guitar string names, as well as some fun rhymes that will help you commit them to memory. Furthermore, you get a fun little quiz to test your knowledge and learn some basics about chords. Keep on reading.

What are the Names of the Strings on a Guitar?

Usually, there are six strings on a guitar. The strings are named E, A, D, G, B, E. Sometimes people or instructors won’t call the strings by their names. Instead, they will refer to them by number. Here’s the guitar strings order you need to know when referring to them by name:

  • The 6th string: This is known as the “low E string”
  • The 5th string: This is known as the A string
  • The 4th string: This is known as the D string
  • The 3rd string: This is known as the G string
  • The 2nd string: This is known as the B string
  • The 1st string: This is known as the “high E string”

When referring to the strings on a guitar by number, keep in mind that they are arranged bottom-first. You might be wondering why that is, and the answer is straightforward: because of the string’s pitch. 

If you have your guitar nearby, pluck it, and you will hear that it gives off a dull, almost dead sound. As you pluck the rest of the strings in order, you’ll notice that the pitch gets higher and livelier. The thinnest string (the high E) has the highest pitch and is called the 1st or top string. The thickest string (the low E strings) has the lowest pitch of the strings, so it’s called the 6th or bottom string.

How to Remember the Strings on a Guitar

Are you having trouble remembering the names? Don’t worry; you’re not alone. People have come up with several mnemonics to help them remember the guitar strings’ order. Mnemonics, in this case, are phrases where the first letter of each word uses guitar string names.

Here’s a list of mnemonics that you can use:

  • Eddie Ate Dynamite, Good Bye Eddie
  • Eat All Day Get Big Easy
  • Eat Apples Daily Grow Big Ears
  • Eat A Dog, Get Big Ears
  • Elvis Always Dug Good Banana Eating
  • Every Apple Does Good Being Eaten
  • Every Amp Deserves Guitars/Basses Everyday
  • Eric And Dave’s Guitars Beat Everyone
  • Every Acid Dealer Gets Busted Eventually
  • Every Amateur Does Get Better Eventually
  • Elephants And Donkeys Grow Big Ears
  • Even Average Dogs Get Bones Eventually
  • Every Apple Does Go Bad Eventually
  • Eat All Dead Gophers Before Easter

Here’s how you can commit the string names to memory using the first mnemonic as an example. Just repeat it out loud like this:

“E-A-D-G-B-E. Eddie ate dynamite, good bye Eddie. E-A-D-G-B-E.”

The list above contains 15 mnemonics, so say each one out loud at least once a day until you can do it without their help.

Notice that each mnemonic is a silly rhyme that almost makes you laugh. You are encouraged to make up your own. In fact, the more ridiculous you can make it, the better.

Guitar String Quiz – Test Your Knowledge

Guitar Strings Notes

It’s time to test your knowledge of the strings on a guitar. In this section, you’ll find a quiz that will help you remember the names of the strings. The questions are all multiple choice and are relatively easy. However, answering them will ensure the stickiness of the information you’ve learned in the previous sections.

PS: Write down the question number and answer on a piece of paper and check with the answer key in the next section.

Question 1: What is the thickest string?

  1. The G string
  2. The B string
  3. The low E String
  4. None of the above

Question 2: What is the name of the 2nd string?

  1. The G string
  2. The A string
  3. The B String
  4. None of the above

Question 3: Which one of these is NOT a string name?

  1. The F string
  2. The D string
  3. The G String
  4. The high E string

Question 4: The high E has the lowest pitch among all the strings

  1. True
  2. False

Question 5: What number is used to identify the G string?

  1. The first string
  2. The second string
  3. The third string
  4. The fourth string

Question 6: What is the name of the 5th string?

  1. The D string
  2. The B string
  3. The G String
  4. The A string

Question 7: What comes after the high E string?

  1. The low E string
  2. The A string
  3. The G String
  4. The D string

Question 8: How many strings are there on a standard guitar?

  1. Four strings
  2. Five strings
  3. Six strings
  4. Seven strings

Question 9: What number is used to identify the D string?

  1. The first string
  2. The second string
  3. The third string
  4. The fourth string

Question 10: Which one of these is NOT a correct mnemonic?

  1. Eddie Ate Dynamite, Good Bye Eddie
  2. Eric And Dave’s Guitars Beat Everyone
  3. Every Apple Does Go Bad Eventually
  4. Eat Apples Grow Big Ears Daily

Quiz Answers

Check out the list of answers below to see how many you got right. If you didn’t get them all, don’t worry. Just reread sections “What are the Names of the Strings on a Guitar?” and “How to Remember the String Names.” Afterward, attempt the quiz again.

Here are the answers:

  1. C
  2. B
  3. A
  4. B
  5. D
  6. B
  7. B
  8. C
  9. C
  10. D

Open vs. Fretted String

As an aspiring guitarist, you also need to know the difference between open and fretted strings. Luckily, this is an easy concept to understand. An open string is simply one that is played without pressing down any of the frets. A fretted string is when you play a string with your finger on a fret.

When you fret a string, you’re actually shortening the portion of the string that vibrates when you play it. In the end, this will change its pitch, making it sound different. So go ahead and fret the A string. Now pluck it and listen to the pitch. You’ll see that it is making a different sound.

What is a Chord, and How Do You Play it?

The concept of fretting is essential to the formation of cords. In short, a chord is a combination of two or more guitar string notes. The guitar has many chords. When these chords are combined and played in a particular sequence, they form a progression. A chord progression allows you to build riffs and bust out amazing guitar solos when you get good.

In this guide, we’re going to look at a power cord and barre chord. Keep in mind that these are just two of several chord types you’ll learn along the way. 

How to Play a Power Chord

A power chord plays 2-3 strings on a guitar. They aren’t the most complex, but you will find them in many of your favorite songs, and they sound great. Here are some examples.

A Major

Before you play the chord, here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to the fingering:

  • The first finger is the index finger
  • The 2nd finger is the middle finger
  • The 3rd finger is the ring finger
  • The 4th finger is the little finger or pinky 

Here’s how to play the A major:

  • Put your first finger on the second fret’s D string
  • Place your second finger on the second fret’s G string
  • Place your third on the second fret’s B string
  • Strum the guitar

E minor

The E minor is easier to play because it only requires two fingers. Here’s how:

  • Put your second finger on the second fret’s D string
  • Place your third finger on the second fret’s G string
  • Strum the guitar

How to Play a Barre Chord

You form a barre chord when your fret more than one string on the fretboard. One of the easy barre chords to play is the G minor. Here’s how you do it:

  • Your first finger should fret all six strings on the third fret
  • Put your third finger on the fifth fret’s G string
  • Put your fourth finger on the fourth fret’s D string
  • Strum the guitar

Music Curriculum at BYJU’s FutureSchool

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