Guitar String Names and Numbers: A Comprehensive Guide to Identifying Guitar Strings

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Understanding the names and corresponding numbers of guitar strings is crucial for any guitarist, from the absolute beginner to the seasoned professional. This knowledge not only helps in tuning and maintaining your guitar but also is fundamental when learning chords, scales, and songs. This guide provides a detailed overview of guitar string names and numbers, ensuring you can identify each string with confidence.

The Basics of Guitar Strings

Before we dive into the specifics of each string, let’s clarify what we mean by string names and numbers in the context of standard guitar tuning.

Standard Guitar Tuning

In standard tuning, which is the most common configuration used by guitarists, the strings are tuned to specific pitches from the lowest (thickest string) to the highest (thinnest string). The standard tuning is EADGBE.

How Strings are Numbered

Guitar strings are numbered based on their position from the highest (thinnest string) to the lowest. The high E string is the 1st string, and the low E string is the 6th string. This numbering system is essential for reading tablatures and understanding chord diagrams.

Detailed Look at Each Guitar String

Let’s break down each string, both by its name and number, to give you a complete understanding.

1st String – High E (e)

  • Pitch: E4
  • Note: This is the thinnest string and produces the highest pitch on the guitar in standard tuning.

2nd String – B (b)

  • Pitch: B3
  • Note: Just above the 1st string, the 2nd string plays a B note.

3rd String – G (g)

  • Pitch: G3
  • Note: The 3rd string is tuned to G and is thicker than the first two strings.

4th String – D (d)

  • Pitch: D3
  • Note: The 4th string sounds a D note and is thicker than the previous ones.

5th String – A (a)

  • Pitch: A2
  • Note: The 5th string produces an A note and is one of the lower strings in terms of pitch.

6th String – Low E (E)

  • Pitch: E2
  • Note: The thickest and the lowest-pitched string, the 6th string is also tuned to E, an octave below the 1st string.

Why Knowing String Names and Numbers Matters

Tuning Your Guitar

When tuning your guitar, knowing which string you are adjusting is crucial. Whether you are using a digital tuner or tuning by ear, identifying the string by its number and name is necessary.

Learning and Reading Music

For reading guitar music, whether sheet music or tabs, knowing string numbers and names is indispensable. It helps you quickly identify where to place your fingers on the fretboard.

Communicating with Other Musicians

When playing with others or taking lessons, being able to refer to strings by name and number allows for clear and effective communication.

Tips for Memorizing String Names and Numbers

Here are some mnemonic devices and tips to help you remember the names and numbers of the guitar strings:

  1. Mnemonic for Names: Eddie Ate Dynamite, Good Bye Eddie (EADGBE)
  2. Visual Aids: Consider using stickers or colored dots on your guitar’s fretboard to associate each string with its respective number and note.
  3. Practice Regularly: Regular practice with tuning and playing helps reinforce which string is which, making identification second nature.


Knowing the names and numbers of guitar strings is a fundamental aspect of learning the guitar. It enhances your ability to tune the instrument, learn music, and communicate effectively with other musicians. With the guidelines and tips provided in this guide, you will be well on your way to mastering the identification of guitar strings, paving the way for a more informed and enriched playing experience.

Inbound and Outbound Links Suggestions:

  • Link to a beginner’s guide on how to tune a guitar.
  • Connect to an interactive learning tool for guitar string identification.
  • Provide a link to a video tutorial on guitar maintenance that includes string changing.
  • Outbound link to more advanced guitar lessons that delve deeper into music theory and playing techniques.

By committing the string names and numbers to memory and understanding their significance, you ensure a solid foundation for your guitar playing journey, enabling more precise and confident music creation.

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