When it comes to learning how to play, and even tune, the guitar, guitar string names make life easier.
Whether you are a new guitarist or an established player, you need to learn the names of the strings; therefore, be sure to read this entire guide.
Each guitar string is referred to by a name or letter. However, you can also use the numbering system when referring to guitar strings.
Numbering the Guitar Strings
Earlier in this article, we mentioned that you could use guitar string names or the numbering system to refer to different strings. The thinnest guitar string is the first, or number one, while the thickest guitar string is the sixth, or number six.
To summarize the guitar string names, let us relate each guitar string to the standard guitar tuning system.
To help remember the guitar string names, you can compose a mnemonic that resonates well with you. For instance, going from the thickest string to the thinnest, we could have:
That is how easy understanding the guitar string names can be! So, whether you are an instructor or a learner, stop struggling when it comes to naming the guitar strings; you can use the mnemonic above as a helpful reminder.
Remember, the guitar string names also help when it comes to tuning the guitar. The standard tuning for a guitar matches the names of the strings, as indicated above.
Understanding the Top and Bottom Criteria When Naming Guitar Strings
When it comes to naming the guitar strings, some players will use the top and bottom criteria. Using this method, the thinnest string, which is the 1st guitar string, is described as the top string, and the thickest guitar string, the 6th string, is called the bottom string. However, to avoid any doubts, it is best to use the pitch of the notes rather than the string’s physical location.
With this criteria, we could have:
Will Guitar String Names Apply Across all Different Types of Guitars?
The string names are the same on acoustic, electric and the electro-acoustic guitars; however, for bass guitars, there are only four strings instead of the six strings on the other guitars. These are the lowest four strings on the standard guitar, and appear as follows:
When it comes to understanding guitar string names, it is easier if you use the universal or the standard tuning approach, as explained above. This approach involves using the letters EADGBE, from the thickest guitar string to the thinnest, as names for each string. When it comes to the numbering system, you can use the numbers 654321 to label each string from the thickest to the thinnest. These methods make it easier to understand the different guitar string names and to tune the guitar. To help you remember these names, you can always design your preferred mnemonic, like the example Eat All Day Go-to Bed Early used up above.
These names are universal for all types of guitars, except for the bass guitar. Bass guitars only have four strings, which are named EADG, the same as the lowest four strings on the standard guitar.