Guitar String Notes Tuning

Guitar String Notes Tuning

Guitar string notes tuning diagrams & information; part of our Guitar Basics series.

Why Learn String Notes?

It’s a good idea to learn the notes that your guitar strings are tuned to early on in your playing career.

Even if you’re a solo guitarist who doesn’t play with other musicians, you’ll need to know the string notes for tuning with a guitar tuner. Even if you tune by ear, you’ll still need to know the notes of the strings when you start learning chords and melodies.

If you plan to play with other musicians, you’ll need to know the string notes for tuning to other instruments. Further down this page you’ll find a diagram of the guitar string notes on a music stave, and also on a piano keyboard.

Guitar String Notes Tuning Diagram

Guitar String Notes Tuning Diagram

Guitar String Notes Tuning Diagram

Guitar String Note Names

From low to high, the guitar string notes are: E, A, D, G, B, E. These notes are also used as guitar string names, for example ‘Your D string may be a little sharp!’

Once you’ve mastered a few basic guitar chords you’ll probably want to start playing some melodies and riffs.

This is where knowing the guitar string notes becomes necessary, as you’ll be learning the separate notes in melodies and tunes.

Below you’ll find diagrams showing the guitar string notes on a stave and also on a piano keyboard.

Guitar String Notes Music Notation For Tuning To Another Instrument

Traditional music notation for guitar is written an octave higher than it sounds. Below is a diagram that shows the guitar string notes as they are written in music notation:

Guitar String Notes In Music Notation

Guitar string notes in music notation: use when tuning to another instrument.

Guitar String Notes: Tuning To A Piano

When you are tuning the guitar, you’ll need a reference note to tune to (assuming you’re not using an electronic guitar tuner).

Shown below are the guitar string notes on a piano keyboard. Middle C* is also shown. The guitar notes are shown in green.

Guitar String Notes On A Piano Keyboard

Guitar String Notes On A Piano Keyboard

*Middle C is often used as a reference pitch. It lies in the middle of a standard keyboard.

Guitar String Mnemonics

There are several mnemonics to help you learn the open string notes. Two well-known ones are:

‘Easter Bunny Gets Drunk After Easter’
‘Elephants And Donkeys Grow Big Ears’

Try to make up your own – it’s a great way of learning the string names.

Learning The Notes Of The Guitar

Once you know the basic guitar string names, you will want to learn the notes of the frets.

Once you know where all of the individual notes appear on the first few frets of the fretboard, you can start to read music and progress beyond TAB.

Open Position Guitar Fret Notes

Open Position Guitar Fret Notes

Guitar String Names Tuning Guide Conclusion

We hope that this page has helped you to learn the guitar string names. Every guitarist should aim to learn the notes they are playing, even if they mainly play chords or use TAB to read music.

Knowing the names of the guitar strings will help you learn guitar faster, and will also help you to communicate with other musicians.

It’s very beneficial to improve your knowledge not just of the guitar, but also of music in general. You can read more about instrument strings on the wikipedia page, here.

See more beginner guitar articles here: Guitar Basics.

4 thoughts on “Guitar String Notes Tuning

  1. Greg

    It would be nice if you could show where all the notes are on the staff that are shown on your image “Guitar-String-Notes-Open-Position.jpg”

    Reply

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