What are the Six Guitar Strings? Names, Tuning & Memorization Tips

by Madonna

Guitars are among the most popular musical instruments globally, cherished for their versatility and rich sound. Whether you’re an aspiring musician or a seasoned player, understanding the basics of guitar strings is fundamental to mastering the instrument. This article delves into the names of the six guitar strings, standard tuning, and memorization tips to help you remember them effortlessly.

What are the Six Guitar Strings

Standard guitars have six strings, each named after a specific note. From top to bottom (or from the thickest to the thinnest string), these are the string names:


1. Low E String

Also known as the 6th string, the Low E string is the thickest string on the guitar. It produces the lowest note and is essential for creating deep, resonant bass tones. This string is tuned to the E note and is crucial for forming foundational chords and riffs.


2. A String

The 5th string, or the A string, is slightly thinner than the Low E string. Tuned to the A note, it is pivotal in forming a variety of chords and scales, contributing to the mid-range tonal quality of the guitar.


3. D String

The 4th string, known as the D string, is tuned to the D note. It is the middle string in terms of thickness and is frequently used in both rhythm and lead guitar playing. The D string is vital for adding depth and texture to guitar music.

4. G String

The 3rd string is the G string, tuned to the G note. This string is thinner than the D string and is often used for melodies and solos due to its higher pitch and clarity. It plays a significant role in defining the harmony of chords.

5. B String

The 2nd string, or the B string, is tuned to the B note. It is one of the thinnest strings on the guitar and is integral to lead playing and melodic lines. The B string enhances the brightness and sharpness of the guitar’s sound.

6. High E String

Also known as the 1st string, the High E string is the thinnest string and produces the highest note. Tuned to the E note, this string is crucial for solos and high-pitched melodies. It allows for a wide range of expressive techniques, including bends and vibratos.

Standard Tuning

Standard tuning is the most common tuning method for guitars, allowing for a balanced and harmonious sound. In standard tuning, each string is tightened or loosened to achieve specific notes. The exact notes for each string in standard tuning are:

Low E String: E (E3)

A String: A (A3)

D String: D (D4)

G String: G (G4)

B String: B (B4)

High E String: E (E5)

When you pluck each string in standard tuning, you should hear these notes from top to bottom (thickest to thinnest). This tuning provides a versatile foundation for playing various musical styles, from classical to rock.

Corresponding Piano Notes

For those familiar with the piano, the corresponding exact notes/octaves for standard guitar tuning are as follows:

E3: The Low E string matches the E note found on the third octave of a piano.

A3: The A string corresponds to the A note on the third octave.

D4: The D string matches the D note on the fourth octave.

G4: The G string corresponds to the G note on the fourth octave.

B4: The B string matches the B note on the fourth octave.

E5: The High E string corresponds to the E note on the fifth octave.

Understanding these correlations can help musicians who play both guitar and piano, making it easier to visualize and tune the guitar strings accurately.

Memorization Tips

Remembering the names and order of the guitar strings can be challenging for beginners. However, using mnemonics or fun sayings can make this task much easier. Here are a few helpful mnemonics to keep the string names in mind:

Mnemonic 1: “Eat A Damn Good Breakfast Everyday”

This phrase corresponds to the string names from top to bottom (Low E to High E): E – A – D – G – B – E. It’s a positive and easy-to-remember saying that reinforces the order of the strings.

Mnemonic 2: “Every Amateur Does Get Better Eventually”

Another useful mnemonic, this phrase emphasizes the progression and improvement that comes with practice: E – A – D – G – B – E.

Mnemonic 3: “Elephants And Donkeys Grow Big Ears”

This fun and quirky saying aligns with the string names: E – A – D – G – B – E. It’s memorable and can add a touch of humor to your practice sessions.

Mnemonic 4: “Eddie Ate Dynamite, Good Bye Eddie”

A classic mnemonic used by many guitar teachers, this phrase vividly captures the string order: E – A – D – G – B – E. It’s easy to visualize and recall, making it a favorite among beginners.

Mnemonic 5: “Every Apple Does Get Bit Eventually”

This mnemonic reinforces the string names in a straightforward manner: E – A – D – G – B – E. It’s simple and effective for memorization.

Practicing the Mnemonics

To reinforce these mnemonics, try writing them down several times or repeating them aloud during practice sessions. Associating the string names with familiar phrases can significantly enhance your ability to recall them quickly.

Additional Tips for Mastering Guitar Strings

1. Visualizing the Strings

Visual aids can be incredibly beneficial for memorizing guitar strings. Consider creating a diagram of the guitar neck with labeled strings and notes. Refer to this diagram frequently until you feel confident with the string names and their order.

2. Regular Practice

Consistent practice is key to mastering guitar strings. Dedicate time each day to play each string individually, calling out its name as you do so. Over time, this repetition will solidify your understanding and recall of the string names.

3. Tuning Practice

Regularly tuning your guitar will help you become familiar with the notes and sounds of each string. Use a digital tuner or tuning app to ensure accuracy and develop your ear for recognizing the correct pitches.

SEE ALSO: What Key is Standard Tuning for a 6-String Guitar?

4. Playing Simple Songs

Start by playing simple songs or scales that utilize all six strings. This practical application reinforces your knowledge of the string names and their corresponding notes. As you progress, challenge yourself with more complex pieces that require advanced finger positioning and string navigation.

5. Learning Chords

Chords are fundamental to guitar playing. Begin with basic chords that incorporate open strings, such as E major, A minor, and D major. Practicing these chords will help you understand the relationship between the string names and the notes they produce.

6. Using Online Resources

Many online resources offer interactive tools and tutorials for learning guitar strings. Websites, apps, and video lessons provide step-by-step guidance and practice exercises tailored to beginners. Take advantage of these resources to enhance your learning experience.

7. Joining a Guitar Community

Engage with other guitarists through online forums, social media groups, or local music clubs. Sharing tips, asking questions, and participating in group practice sessions can accelerate your learning and provide valuable support.

8. Private Lessons

Consider taking private lessons from a qualified guitar teacher. Personalized instruction can address your specific needs and challenges, offering targeted advice and feedback to help you master the guitar strings more efficiently.

9. Experimenting with Alternate Tunings

Once you’re comfortable with standard tuning, explore alternate tunings to expand your musical horizons. While standard tuning is the foundation, alternate tunings can inspire creativity and introduce new playing techniques. Examples include drop D tuning (D – A – D – G – B – E) and open G tuning (D – G – D – G – B – D).


Understanding the names of the six guitar strings is a fundamental aspect of learning to play the guitar. By familiarizing yourself with the Low E, A, D, G, B, and High E strings, you lay the groundwork for more advanced techniques and musical exploration. Standard tuning, which follows the E – A – D – G – B – E pattern, is essential for achieving the correct notes and harmony. With dedication and consistent effort, you’ll develop a strong foundation in guitar playing and unlock the full potential of this versatile instrument. Happy playing!


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