what are the strings on a guitar

What Are The Guitar Strings Names In Standard Tuning?

If you are just at the very beginning stages of learning how to play guitar, one of the first things that you will learn – either from a guitar teacher through lessons or just on your own – are the names of each of the electric and acoustic guitar strings.  Knowing the guitar strings names for regular guitar tuning is probably one of the top things to know before learning scales and chords at a beginner guitar level or for kids.

* Quick note – this is going to be relating to what we know as standard tuning since you can technically tune each string to whatever you want, but there is a standard to where you want to tune your guitar.  Also note that there are different string gauges but we will only concentrate on the basic standard string names for now.

What are the Guitar String Names In Regular Tuning?

So, let’s say that you are holding your guitar and getting ready to play.  If you look down at your guitar strings, starting at the very top open string (which is also the thickest string), the open string names are E, A, D, G, B, E.  This is both the same for six string acoustic and electric guitars.

Take a look at this closeup image  or diagram of each of the individual strings order:

guitar strings

How To Remember The Strings On A Guitar

Is there a trick to remember the standard tuning guitar strings by letter?

When I was first learning how to play, I took lessons at my local music store (years later, I actually ended up teaching guitar there too!).  My guitar lesson teacher taught me a simple technique to help remember the names of the strings in standard tuning by giving me a sentence or acronym where each word’s first letter was the string name based on guitar notes.  What is that memorable phrase?  Well, from thickest string to thinnest string – EADGBE:

Eat A Dead Gopher Before Easter

  • 1st string – E (high E string)
  • 2nd string – B
  • 3rd string – G
  • 4th string – D
  • 5th string – A
  • 6th string – E

Yup, sounds weird but it works to learn the names and numbers – I learned the guitar string order fast this way!  Remembering guitar string names part is easy with this to allow you to memorize the string names fast.  And if you are left handed, there is no difference.  If you have worked with guitar tabs, you’ve seen this.

Bass guitar is the same but with only the four lowest strings.

Also check out – light vs medium guitar stringsWhy are guitar strings so long?

How Many Strings Does a Guitar Have?

As you probably already noticed, on a classic standard 6 string guitar.  You can, of course, find guitars that have 7 or 8 or even 12 strings but when we are talking about a standard acoustic or electric guitar or classical nylon strings, there are 6 strings starting from low E string to high E without putting your finger on a fretboard fret.

Sometimes you will see music charts that also give each a string number from one to sixth string.

Why Are Guitar’s Open String Tuned This Way?

If you have any experience with other musical instruments standard tuning on the open string, you may know that most stringed instruments are tuned in perfect fifths.  However, guitars tune a bit different and use fourths.  The reasoning behind this is to make it easier to play both melodies and chord shapes easily thanks to this regular tuning.

So by now you should now know each of the six string names and are ready to get to work on things like full chords, learning the notes on the neck, body and more!

What About Alternate Tunings Instead Of Standard Tuning?

There are many different alternate tuning options as well that would change the names of the open string – some of these include Drop D tuning where the lowest note is tuned down to a D from the E.