Learning each corresponding letter or name for guitar strings is an essential first step for any aspiring guitarist.
It might sound difficult to learn names for all six strings but in reality, it’s very easy and you will soon remember them.
And when you know what note is on each string and what note is on different frets, it makes learning songs much easier.
First of all, to master the fretboard and learn every note name on different frets, you need to know all six string notes.
So, here are the notes on a six-string guitar, in E standard tuning, from first to sixth string (thinnest to thickest):
E (high e)
E (low e)
One helpful way to remember the names of the strings is to use a mnemonic device. A popular one is "Eddie Ate Dynamite, Good Bye Eddie," where each word corresponds to the first letter of each string's name.
Another mnemonic is "Elephants And Donkeys Grow Big Ears," with the first letter of each word representing the string's name.
So, as you can see, it’s not hard to learn the note names of all strings. All in all, it’s just six strings.
However, knowing only open string notes is not enough. Having a great guitar or amplifier is great but you should know notes on the whole fretboard in order to become a great guitar player.
When you master the fretboard, you will always know what notes are you playing which makes everything easier and also helps your ear to remember different voicings of certain notes.
But it’s not that easy to know every note of all strings on every fret. But there is a great method that will help you to remember the notes.
However, first here are all the notes for each string from the open to the 12th fret:
1st: E, F, F#/Gb, G, G#/Ab, A, A#/Bb, B, C, C#/Db, D, D#/Eb, E
2nd: B, C, C#/Db, D, D#/Eb, E, F, F#/Gb, G, G#/Ab, A, A#/Bb, B
3rd: G, G#/Ab, A, A#/Bb, B, C, C#/Db, D, D#/Eb, E, F, F#/Gb, G
4th: D, D#/Eb, E, F, F#/Gb, G, G#/Ab, A, A#/Bb, B, C, C#/Db, D
5th: A, A#/Bb, B, C, C#/Db, D, D#/Eb, E, F, F#/Gb, G, G#/Ab, A
6th: E, F, F#/Gb, G, G#/Ab, A, A#/Bb, B, C, C#/Db, D, D#/Eb, E
But that’s not the best way to remember them because there are too many notes. But if you know the first string, you know the sixth string because both are E.
And to easily learn notes on the fretboard is using octave chords. An octave chord is when you play the same note octave apart.
On guitar, it’s very easy to make an octave chord. Just fret the desired note with the index finger, leave one fret and one string, and fret the note with the ring finger. That’s an octave and you play the same note.
For example, a note of the fifth fret on the sixth string is A. If you play the seventh fret on the fourth string, it’s A too. So, you play two A notes octave apart. You can do it for the fifth string too.
Now, if you learn notes on the sixth and fifth strings, you can easily find the note of other strings with the help of octave chords.
The 6 strings on a guitar are typically named as follows, starting from the thinnest string:
The strings are typically referred to by their name or number in musical notation.
The guitar string that has the highest pitch is the thinnest string, also known as the first string or high E string. It is typically tuned to the highest pitch among all the strings on a guitar in standard tuning, which is E4 (approximately 329.63 Hz). This string is located closest to the ground when a guitar is held in playing position, and is usually the one with the lowest tension and smallest diameter. When plucked or struck, it produces a high-pitched sound that is useful for playing melodies and solos on the guitar.
The easiest guitar strings to play depend on personal preference and playing style. Generally, lighter gauge strings with thinner diameters are easier to play because they require less finger pressure to fret and bend.
Light gauge strings are typically easier to play for beginners or those with weaker hand strength. These strings have smaller diameters and lower tension, which makes them easier to press down and fret, resulting in less finger fatigue. However, they may produce a less full and less loud sound than heavier gauge strings.
On the other hand, heavier gauge strings with thicker diameters and higher tension may be harder to play initially, but they can produce a fuller and louder sound with more sustain. They may also be preferred by players who play with more force and attack, or who want to achieve a specific tone or style.
Typically these guitars have an extended range due to the extra low string. For this reason, they are sometimes referred to as "ERG" guitars which is a term that includes any guitar with more than six strings.
Learning the names of the guitar strings and their corresponding notes is a crucial first step for any guitarist. By memorizing the notes on each string in standard E tuning, beginners can begin to familiarize themselves with the instrument and prepare themselves for more advanced playing techniques. Also, using the octave chord makes it much easier to master the fretboard.
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