Learn to play the guitar
Playing what matters.


Being able to recall fast, the open string notes of each of the strings is useful to get yourself familiar with the fretboard. Once you know the open string names, you just need to count the sequence of notes along the frets.

Getting familiar with your fretboard reduces the gap between your mind and music on the guitar.

Below we will get familiar with the open strings of the guitar. Just read on. We will look at it in different ways that makes sure that your mind will start to recognize the string notes when you pick up the guitar next.

Each string number is counted from bottom to top. The thinnest string is 1st. 6th is the thickest string. (for 7 strings, 7th is the thickest).

The strings are named from E to E

Thinnest and thickest strings are both E. They are two octave different, but the same note.

The first two alphabets – A and B

A is the second string from top. B is the second string from bottom.

The 4th alphabet D is the 4th string (from bottom,as you know).

The two sets of strings – the middle line of the guitar fretboard

Imagine a line that separates the 6 strings to two groups of three each.

The bottom three strings are treble strings with higher frequencies

The top three strings are bass strings with lower frequencies

Just below the middle line is a G.

Just above the middle line isa D.

D is lower in pitch than G. D the alphabet comes before G.

D is the thicker string, G is the thinner string.

Fashion makes it easier If you follow fashion a bit, it is even easier. The middle two strings are D&G like Dolce&Gabbana; D (4th string), then G (3rd string).

The three sets of strings

A very subjective string name study

For some reason, over the years, mind has created a few connections to remember the notes. It is not logical, but then since it works, one could use it. You will find that, interestingly, you start remembering the strings individually using the unique mental pictures you create for each of them.

What is written below will sound like blabber with a lot of repetition and redundancy, but since it may help you remember the string names now, here it is.

The 4th string, for some reason, appears or sounds 'brownish' for me even if the string is new and not really brown. Maybe D is dark. First among the darker strings. First among the bass strings.

Have a look at the guitar strings. Does the 4th one look dark or brown. Does it sound like a brown, dark D note? If yes, well next time you look at that string, you can remember the same. If you do not feel the D string or D note to be dark, still by now, i guess you can remember that the 4th string is the 4th alphabet D, whether it is 'dark D'  or not.

4th, 5th and 6th strings (counted from bottom) are coiled strings. 3rd string can also be a coiled one.

1st and 2nd strings are metallic. 1st string is very thin, metal – Eee.

2nd string – Metal, steel, Blue. You know the 2nd string from the bottom is B – 2nd alphabet. (2nd string from top is A, right.)

The first string from the top or bottom is E. The second string from the top is… the first alphabet A. It is a thick string. A thick A sound. The immediate next string below is the D. 4th string from the bottom is a dark (or not dark) D – the 4th alphabet.

  • G is the 3rd string from the bottom. Thr-eee G-eee.
  • the first alphabet of the English language, A, is on the 5th string. 2nd string from the top.
  • the second alphabet – B – is on the 2nd string. The second string from the bottom. That string is thin.
  • the 4th alphabet – D – is the … you guessed it – 4th string. Count four from the bottom.

Try to resist but you may find it difficult to forget it now, that A the first alphabet is not the first string but the second string from top.

(the first string from either side is E).

Once you can remember that, you will find it easy to remember that the second alphabet B is on the second string from the bottom.

D the 4th alphabet is the 4th string from bottom.

(Maybe you took your guitar for the last section, or you are thinking of doing it with the guitar.)