Guitar String Names And Numbers: How Do You Remember The Strings On A Guitar?


Guitar String Names And Numbers

Playing guitar is one of the many relaxing activities I get to do when I want to focus my thoughts away from daily work routines. As you can notice, am just a guitar enthusiast and not a professional guitar player. Still, when it comes to remembering the guitar string acronyms, am not alone at finding them a little bit confusing, but how do you actually memorize and remember the string names on a guitar?

Guitar acronyms can easily be remembered by using the standard guitar shorthand acronyms which is a lot easy to memorize even for beginner guitar players. The complete list of the Guitar strings is E, B, G, D, A, E. And To remember the strings of a guitar, you can give them names like E for “Elephants”, A for “And”, D for “Donkeys”, G for “Grow”, B for “Big”, E for “Ears”. “Elephants And Donkeys Grow Big Ears”.

The Guitar names with numbers are easy to remember but to understand them better, the 1st string on your guitar is the Thinnest string called E string or high E string, the 2nd string is called B string, the 3rd string is called G string, the 4th string is called D string, the 5th string is called A string, and the 6th string is called E string or low E string and it is the Thickest string.

Before we go into details on different guitar string names and numbers, let us start by learning more about the guitar strings notes.

What are guitar string notes?

On a standard guitar, there are 6 strings with each string having a name and a number. Below is an example;

EADGBEThese are string names
654321These are the string numbers

Looking closely you will realise how we have listed out the string names and numbers. The A string is also 5th string which you can often hear as “string name and string number”, and are used interchangeably.

When you don’t press on the fretboard while playing on any of the 6 strings, this is also referred to as “open string”. But to summarise the whole string notes, here is an overview of the string names and numbers.

  • The 1st string is the Thinnest string and is call E string or high E string
  • The 2nd string is called the B string.
  • The 3rd string is called the G string.
  • The 4th string is called the D string.
  • The 5th string is called the A string.
  • The 6th string is called the E string or low E string and is the Thickest string.

So, why is the name and number strings important?

There is a reason why it is important to know the string names and string numbers, this is because guitars can easily be tuned differently, but it is tuned to standard tuning most times. This is the reason why it is important to learn guitar string notes and guitar string number and you also refer to the strings with their numbers as they don’t change.

The 6th string always remains, but the E string can be tuned to alternative tuning such as the D note, this is why you can’t refer 6th string as E string if is not tuned to E.

How do you remember the strings on a guitar?

There are many ways that have been developed to try to help people remember the strings on a guitar, here are some of the ways.

The first idea

This first idea starts with 6th string which is the thickest to the 1st string which is the thinnest:

  • Elephants.
  • And.
  • Donkeys.
  • Grow.
  • Big.
  • Ears.

Another ideas are

  • Eddie.
  • Ate.
  • Donkeys.
  • Grow.
  • Big.
  • Ears.

We can also start from the Thinnest string which is the 1st string instead of the 6th string which is also the Thickest string, whichever is easiest for you. The most important thing is to remember which way you are counting.

  • Easter.
  • Bunny.
  • Gets.
  • Drunk.
  • After.
  • Easter.

Now, we will look even deeper on some of the differences with the strings.

Top vs bottom strings

The common term usually used in guitar strings are the top string and bottom string, the top string is referred to as the 1st string which is the high E string, while the bottom string is referred to as the 6th string which is the low E string. The top string and bottom string are referring to the pitch of strings and not the physical position.

The reason the low E string or the thickest string is called the bottom string is that it is the lowest note you can play on a guitar and because it has the lowest pitch.

The reason the high E string or the thinnest string is called top string is that it is the highest note you can play on a guitar and because it has the highest pitch.

What is an open string?

When you don’t press on the fretboard while playing on any of the 6 strings, this is also referred to as “open string”. To explain plainly, when you play only the E string, then you are playing an open E string, and so does it work on other guitar strings.

Difference between fretted notes and open strings
Source: Wikipedia

Difference between fretted notes and open strings

The difference between a fret note and open string is that you need two fingers to push down on a fret, one to pluck a string and the other to hold down on a note, while with the open string you only need to pluck with just picking one hand with no fretting needed.

What is the best way to learn guitar chords?

You have to focus all your attention on the chords instead of the notes, they are the pillar of playing the guitar and without them, you just can’t play any music. Start by learning the music or songs that you love so much, this will help you enjoy playing and will also help you learn very fast.

How do I know what strings my guitar has?

The thickest string closest to your face is the 6th string, while the thinnest string below is the 1st string, then you count from the string closest to you which is 6th string (low E string), 5th string or A string, 4th string or D string, 3rd string or G string, 2nd string or B string, then the 1st string or high E string.

Why are there 2 E strings on a guitar?

The reason why there are 2 E strings in a guiter is because there are two E notes – albeit which has two octave seperation, the higher E vibrates at 350 Hz and refered to as scientific E4, while the lower E vibrates at 82 Hz and refered to as scientific E2.

What gauge of guitar strings should I have?

A lighter gauge string doesn’t sound fully like a heavier gauge guitar which is what most use, but if you want a super low action, or do some crazy string bending, and have a light touch, then a lighter gauge string may be best for you.

Is open E tuning bad for a guitar?

The problem with open E tuning is that it completely put a lot of tension on the guitar neck which in turn can damage the guitar neck. The fifth and fourth strings are thick and tuning them to a whole step put too much pressure on the guitar neck.

What is the easiest key to play on the guitar?

The easiest key to play and learn on a guitar is the key of C major, this is because it does not have sharps or flats making it easy to remember and understand.

How many hours should you practice the guitar?

On average, you should practice the guitar for about 15 minutes to one hour every day, but if you will be practising for 20 to 25 minutes straight, you set time for short breaks for best result.

Is fingerpicking harder than strumming?

Strumming is much easier than fingerpicking because you play all the relevant note to the cord, while with fingerpicking you pick individual notes which require finger dexterity, making fingerpicking harder.

What is the easiest way to remember the strings on a guitar?

The best way to remember the strings of a guitar is to first know the six strings of a guitar either in ascending or descending order, where the Thickest string is the 6th string and tuned to low E, (the lowest note). Down the fretboard is the 5th string tuned to A string, 4th string tuned to the D string, 3rd string tuned to G string, 2nd string tuned to the B string, and 1st string tuned to E string (the highest note). Then, to simply familiarize yourself with these strings, you should know at least one of the acronyms EADGBE for a guitar.

What is the acronym for the guitar strings?

The acronym EADGBE for guitar is simply defined as the mnemonic for the guitar strings. It has different meanings or can be presented with different definitions. Below is an example of some of the definitions of EADGBE.

AcronymMeaning
EADGBEEven After Dinner Giant Boys Eat
EADGBEEvery Acid Dealer Gets Busted Eventually
EADGBEEvery Apple Does Go Bad Eventually
EADGBEEvery Bunny Bunny Gets Drunk After East

Eddie Mcfarren

Eddie Is no stranger to technical writing after spending years in Networking, IT Infrastructure management, and online content marketing. He is an avid researcher, Software and apps dev tester who spends hours solving problems behind the scenes. Get in touch with him via social media and you can email him via contact@gawkygeek.com

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