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 guitar lessons or just on your own – are the names of each of the guitar strings. Knowing the string names for regular tuning is probably one of the top things to know before learning scales and chords.
* Quick note – this is going to be relating to what we know as standard guitar 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 standard guitar 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 guitars and electric guitars.
Take a look at this closeup image of each of the individual 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 guitar, I took lessons at my local music store (years later, I actually ended up teaching guitar there too!). My guitar teacher taught me a simple technique to help remember the names of the strings in standard tuning by giving me a sentence 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
- 2nd string – B
- 3rd string – G
- 4th string – D
- 5th string – A
- 6th string – E
Yup, sounds weird but it works!
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, there are 6 strings starting from low E string to high E.
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 guitar chords, learning the notes on the guitar neck, guitar 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.