In this lesson we are going to be learning about the names of the open strings on the guitar. First, we will present the names of the strings on the guitar, and then we will give you an acronym for them so that they will be easier for you to remember. Once you know the names of the strings on the guitar we will take a look at the exact intervals that make up the guitars tuning. Take a look at the diagram that we have provided for you. This should give you a great visual reference for remembering the names of the open strings of the guitar. Learn how to read chord digrams here!
If we use the thickest string of the guitar as a starting point, the names of the strings on the guitar would be E, A, D, G, B, and E. The thickest string, or low E string, is also referred to as the 6th string. The A string is the 5th string and so on. You will probably notice that the first and last strings are both E strings. The high E string, also called the 1st string, is just two octaves above the low E string. When I first started playing, I really had a hard time remembering the names of the open strings. I came up with a goofy acronym for the names of the open guitar strings so, hopefully, you won’t have as hard of a time as I did. The acronym is “Eat All Day Go to Bed Early”. That may seem silly but I bet that it will help you remember the names of the open guitar strings.
Another way that you can remember the names of the strings on the guitar is to think about the intervals between each string. An interval is just the distance from one note to another. The guitar is tuned in 4ths. The only two strings that are not a 4th apart are the G and B strings. The distance from the G to B strings is a Major 3rd. If you start on the low E string and count up four notes ( E F G A ) you would land on an A. The distance from the 6th string to the fifth string is a 4th. Now start on your A string and count four notes away from there ( A B C D ). You should have landed on a D note. The distance from the D to the G strings is also a 4th. Here is where our tuning changes a bit. If you count out the distance between the G and B strings ( G A B ), you would end up with a Major 3rd. To finish off our tuning let’s count from a B to an E. If you count ( B C D E ). Notice that the distance from B to E is another 4th.
Hopefully giving you several different ways to think about the names of the open strings will help you to remember them. If you ever forget the names of the strings just remember “Eat All Day Go to Bed Early”.