guitar strings order

Guitar Strings Order Explained: A Beginner’s Guide to Proper String Placement

Fender guitar being tuned

If you’re a budding guitarist, you know that understanding your instrument is key to your success. One essential aspect of guitar playing is knowing the guitar strings order and their names. In this article, we’ll delve into the world of guitar strings, explore different ways to remember their order, and uncover the importance of string names in your musical journey.

The Basics of Guitar Strings Order

Guitar strings are typically organized from the thickest string to the thinnest string. This arrangement is crucial for producing the correct pitches and tones when playing chords and melodies. Here’s a quick breakdown of the guitar string names and their respective order on a standard six-string guitar:

  1. Low E String (Thickest String)
  2. A String
  3. D String
  4. G String
  5. B String
  6. High E String (Thinnest String)

Bass guitar string names follow a similar pattern, with the thickest string being the low E string and the thinnest string being the G string. In a four-string bass, the strings are ordered as E, A, D, and G.

Red guitar pick in between guitar strings

Mnemonic Devices to Remember Guitar String Names

One of the most effective ways to memorize the guitar strings order is by using mnemonic devices. These can be acronyms or phrases that use the first letter of each guitar string name.

Acronyms: EADGBE

The most common acronym used to remember the guitar string names is EADGBE. This acronym represents the notes of each string: E, A, D, G, B, and E. To memorize the acronym, you can think of it as a unique word or even pronounce it as “Eddie Ate Dynamite, Good Bye Eddie”.

Mnemonic Phrases

Another popular method to remember guitar string names is creating a catchy phrase using the first letter of each string name. Here are some examples:

  • Eat All Da Grapes
  • Every Apple Does Good Before Eating
  • Eat A Damn Good Breakfast Everyday

Feel free to come up with your own phrase that’s easy for you to remember. The more personal and fun the phrase, the easier it will be to recall when you need it.

The Importance of Knowing Guitar String Names

Understanding the guitar strings order and their names is essential for several reasons:

Learning Chords and Scales

When you start learning chords and scales, knowing the names of th open strings will help you understand the relationship between the notes and how they form the basis for different chord shapes and scale patterns. This knowledge will make it easier for you to learn new chords and scales as you progress.

Tuning Your Guitar

To keep your guitar sounding its best, it’s crucial to tune it regularly. When tuning, you’ll need to know the guitar string names and notes to ensure each string is set to the correct pitch. This is especially important when using electronic tuners or tuning apps, as they often display the note name on the screen. For the best guitar tuners, check out our guide here:

Communicating with Other Musicians

As a guitarist, you’ll often find yourself collaborating with other musicians. Knowing the guitar strings order and their names will make it easier for you to communicate with fellow guitarists and bandmates, making the process of learning new songs and jamming together smoother and more enjoyable.

Reading Sheet Music and Tablature

When you start reading sheet music or guitar tablature, you’ll need to know the guitar string names and their corresponding notes. This knowledge will help you quickly identify which string you should be playing and make it easier to follow along with the music.

Why Are the Strings in That Order?

Woman strumming a black guitar

Guitar strings order is something that has evolved over time, and it’s important to understand the reasons behind the arrangement. In this article, we’ll explore why the strings are ordered the way they are, how the guitar is tuned, and the significance of the thickest string on a guitar.

The History of Guitar Strings Order

The modern guitar has its roots in instruments dating back to the 16th century. As stringed instruments evolved, so did the arrangement of strings. The purpose of this evolution was to facilitate playing techniques, such as fingerpicking and strumming, and to create a wide range of pitches and tonal possibilities.

Initially, guitars had fewer strings, but over time, musicians and instrument makers experimented with adding more strings to expand the range of the instrument. The six-string guitar, as we know it today, became the standard around the 18th century. Since then, the arrangement of strings has remained largely unchanged.

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Guitar Strings Order: How the Guitar is Tuned and Why

The standard guitar strings order on a six-string guitar is E, A, D, G, B, and E, with the strings arranged from the thickest (low E) to the thinnest (high E). This order is intentional, as it allows the guitar to produce a wide range of pitches with each string tuned to a specific note.

Guitars are tuned in intervals of perfect fourths between the low E, A, D, and G strings, and a major third between the G and B strings. The B and high E strings are again tuned in perfect fourths. This tuning system is called “standard tuning” and is the most common tuning for six-string guitars.

The reason behind this tuning arrangement is to facilitate the formation of chords and scales on the guitar neck. By tuning the strings in this way, it’s possible to create many different chord shapes and scale patterns with relatively simple finger movements. This arrangement also allows for smooth transitions between chords, as well as the ability to play multiple strings simultaneously, creating a rich and full sound.

Where Does the Thickest String Go on a Guitar?

The thickest string on a guitar, known as the low E string, is placed at the top of the guitar neck when holding the instrument in playing position. This positioning is crucial for several reasons:

Balance and Stability

The arrangement of the strings, from thickest to thinnest, provides a balance between the lower and higher pitches on the guitar. This balance helps create a more stable and even sound when playing chords or melodies, as the thicker strings provide a strong foundation for the sound, while the thinner strings add brightness and clarity.

Playing Techniques

The positioning of the thickest string at the top of the guitar neck also plays a crucial role in facilitating various playing techniques. For instance, when playing chords, the low E string often provides the root note, which is essential for establishing the tonal center of the chord. Additionally, having the thickest string on top allows for easier access when playing bass lines or lower melodies, as the guitarist can easily reach the low E string with their thumb or fingers.

Finger Strength and Comfort

Another reason for placing the thickest string at the top of the guitar neck is to accommodate the natural strength and dexterity of the fingers. Generally, the index and middle fingers are stronger than the ring and little fingers. By positioning the thicker strings at the top, it allows the stronger fingers to press down on the strings with more force, making it easier to produce clear, sustained notes.

In conclusion, the guitar strings order, from thickest to thinnest, has evolved over time to facilitate playing techniques, provide a balanced sound, and accommodate the natural strength and dexterity of the fingers. Understanding the reasons behind the arrangement of strings on a guitar can help you appreciate the instrument’s design and enhance your playing experience.

Alternate Tunings and Their Impact on Guitar Strings Order

Mahogany electric guitar

While the standard tuning of E, A, D, G, B, and E is the most common arrangement for six-string guitars, many guitarists experiment with alternate tunings to achieve different tonal qualities and facilitate unique playing styles. Some popular alternate tunings include:

  1. Drop D Tuning (D, A, D, G, B, E): This tuning lowers the low E string down to D, creating a deeper, heavier sound, and making it easier to play power chords with a single finger.
  2. Open G Tuning (D, G, D, G, B, D): This tuning creates an open G chord when all the strings are played open, making it popular among slide guitarists and those who play fingerstyle blues.
  3. DADGAD Tuning (D, A, D, G, A, D): This tuning is often used in Celtic and folk music, as it creates a more resonant, droning sound.

When experimenting with alternate tunings, it’s essential to understand how the guitar strings order impacts the sound and playability of the instrument. Different tunings can change the tension on the strings and the guitar neck, as well as the fingerings for chords and scales. It’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the new string arrangement and the corresponding chord shapes and scale patterns when exploring alternate tunings.

The Role of String Gauge in Guitar Strings Order

The thickness or gauge of a guitar string plays a significant role in the overall sound and playability of the instrument. Thicker strings generally produce a fuller, more resonant sound, while thinner strings offer a brighter, more delicate tone. String gauge can also impact playing comfort, as thicker strings may require more finger strength to press down and bend.

When selecting strings for your guitar, consider the style of music you play, your preferred tonal qualities, and your individual playing comfort. Many guitarists experiment with different string gauges and materials to find the perfect balance of tone and playability for their needs.

How to String a Guitar: A Beginner’s Guide

Close up of the strings on an electric guitar

Stringing a guitar is a fundamental skill that every beginner guitarist should learn. Not only does it ensure that your instrument sounds its best, but it also familiarizes you with the anatomy of your guitar. Here, we will walk you through the steps to string a guitar and how to recognize each string.

Step 1: Gathering Necessary Materials

Before you begin, make sure to have the following items at hand:

  1. A new set of guitar strings
  2. Wire cutters
  3. A string winder (optional but recommended)

Step 2: Removing Old Strings

First, loosen the tension of the old strings by turning the tuning pegs counterclockwise. Once loosened, use the wire cutters to cut the strings in the middle to make them easier to remove. Carefully remove the strings from the bridge and the tuning pegs.

Step 3: Preparing the Guitar

Clean the fretboard and the rest of the guitar to remove dirt and grime that has accumulated over time. This is also a good opportunity to check the condition of the frets and the nut.

Step 4: Identifying the Strings

Guitar strings are differentiated by their thickness and are usually labeled with numbers and letters. The strings from thickest to thinnest are as follows:

  1. Low E (6th string) – thickest
  2. A (5th string)
  3. D (4th string)
  4. G (3rd string)
  5. B (2nd string)
  6. High E (1st string) – thinnest

Step 5: Stringing the Guitar

Now, let’s proceed to string the guitar, one string at a time, starting with the low E string.

Step 5.1: Inserting the String

Insert the ball end of the new string into the bridge pin hole (for acoustic guitars) or through the tailpiece (for electric guitars). Secure it in place.

Step 5.2: Winding the String

Thread the other end of the string through the hole in the corresponding tuning peg. Pull the string taut, leaving a little slack for winding. Hold the string down at the first fret to create tension.

Step 5.3: Tuning the String

Begin winding the string onto the tuning peg, making sure that the winds are neat and downward, towards the headstock. Use a string winder to speed up this process.

Step 5.4: Stretching and Cutting

Once the string is wound, tune it to pitch using a tuner. Gently stretch the string with your fingers to help it settle. Finally, cut the excess string using wire cutters, leaving about one to two centimeters of slack.

Repeat steps 5.1 to 5.4 for the remaining strings, following the string order mentioned in step 4.

Step 6: Final Tuning

After all the strings are installed, tune the guitar to standard tuning (E A D G B e) from the lowest to the highest string. You might need to retune a few times as new strings tend to stretch.

Final Thoughts

A young man with a tattoo and ear piercing

In conclusion, knowing the guitar strings order and their names is an essential part of becoming a proficient guitar player. By memorizing the order and names of the strings, you’ll be better equipped to learn new chords and scales, tune your guitar, communicate with other musicians, and read sheet music or tablature.

To keep improving your skills as a guitarist, it’s important to practice consistently and challenge yourself with new techniques and songs. As you become more comfortable with the guitar strings order and their names, you’ll find that playing the guitar becomes more intuitive and enjoyable.

So, don’t delay – pick up your guitar today and start practicing! Remember the mnemonics we’ve discussed in this article, or create your own personalized phrase to help you memorize the guitar string names. With time, dedication, and a solid understanding of your instrument, you’ll be well on your way to becoming an accomplished guitarist.

For more helpful tips, tricks, and resources for guitarists, be sure to visit There, you’ll find a wealth of information on everything from gear reviews and lessons to interviews with your favorite musicians.

Now that you’re equipped with the knowledge of guitar strings order and their names, you’re one step closer to mastering the art of guitar playing. Keep practicing, stay dedicated, and most importantly, have fun on your musical journey!