You are here: Home Guitar String Names icon

Guitar Shopper
Absolute Beginner
Developing Player
Music Theory
Knowledge Center
Other Help
What's New?

The best online guitar lessons site recently launched JamPlay For Bass Guitar. We spent two weeks playing through lessons, and now share our review of the new Jamplay For Bass Guitar review page.

What's Hot?

DR Yellow Neon Bass Guitar Strings

Option 5 FX Pedals, including the amazing Desination Rotation Single! For that great "Leslie" sound. So good, even Joe Walsh uses it!

Most Popular

What's everyone else reading?

Call 1-866-281-2789 PromoCode WEBSUCCESS20063

Guitar String Names

For Six and Twelve String Guitars


You really need to know your guitar string names. They form the basis for understanding, communicating, learning chords and notes on the fretboard.

Refer to the photo below as you read this page. The photo shows an acoustic guitar for right-handed players that is tuned to 'standard tuning'.


SIDEBAR: About 90% of all people are right-handed. For those of you who are left-handed, the strings will be in the same position, but the head of the guitar will be on your right.


Standard Guitar String Names
Standard Guitar String Names


The strings of the guitar are named for the notes produced by open strings. An open string is one where you are not pressing down on any fret.

Beginning at the top of the image:

When you pick up the guitar, the string at the bottom of the photo (the low-E) is closest to your chin. So, all these explanations might seem backwards, or upside down. But it's easy to learn guitar string names... I'll give you a simple technique in a minute.

You really need to study the photo and get this image in your mind. As you read articles or books on guitar, this is a common image authors will refer to. In addition, when you read guitar TAB, the orientation of the notation matches this image.

Remembering the string numbers is easy. Either remember that string 1 is farthest away from you (as you hold the guitar) or that string 6 is closest to your chin.


A Simple Exercise To Learn String Names

Here's a simple exercise to remember the guitar string names. If you do this exercise once per day, for the next seven days, you'll never forget them. First, though, decide if you want to learn the guitar string names from string 1 through 6, or 6 through 1. It doesn't matter which you learn first. Just commit to learning them the OTHER way too.

Here's all you need to do... Recite the names of the strings, in order, ten times. Take a couple seconds between each. If, for example, you decide to learn the guitar string names from 1 to 6, don't think "eBGDAEeBGDAEeBG..." That's not effective. Think "eBGDAE"...(pause)... "eBGDAE"...(pause)... "eBGDAE"... etc., until you've said it ten times.

Recite the string names again the next day, then the next, for a week. Before the end of the week, you'll know them cold. Wait a week, then learn the guitar string names the other way using the same technique.


A Guitar Strings Primer

Want to know more about guitar strings? Our Guitar Strings Primer examines cores and windings, lists common string materials and the tones each produces, explains bass guitar scale length, and demystifies string gauges. We think it will equip you to purchase the right set for you and your guitar. Read it here.



Musician's Friend Stupid Deal of the Day


Learn to Play: All the Tools You Need at Music123


Guitar category at