Open String Note Names
So far, whenever I’ve been discussing which string to play, I’ve been referring to them as the “thickest” or “thinnest” strings, or maybe the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. strings.
That all changes today! Well honestly, I’ll probably still keep referring to them the way I have been, but you’ll finally know you the real names of the strings. The string names are important to know because they help us to identify the names of the notes we’re playing on each fret. This will become more important later on in your musician’s journey.
Have you all heard of or used mnemonics before? They’re just handy little word devices we use to help us remember words or concepts in a specific order – like the names of the strings on a guitar, starting at the top with the thickest string and ending at the bottom with the thinnest string.
Let’s try this one - Eddie Ate Dynamite Good Bye Eddie
If you look at the first letter in each word, they are E, A, D, G, B, E. These are the names of your strings, thickest to thinnest.
Something worth mentioning quickly is that when numbering strings, we tend to go in the opposite direction, starting with the thinnest string at the bottom of your guitar as the 1st string and ending with the thickest string as the 6th string.
In the case of the 1st and 6th strings specifically, you’ll notice that they’re both E strings. Calling them by their string numbers helps to easily and quickly distinguish the high E (thinnest) from the low E (thickest).
Don’t like the dynamite mnemonic? No biggie – just make one up yourself! It can be anything you like as long as each word starts with the strings’ names in the correct order. Get creative, find something that’s meaningful to you, and go with that! Whatever you choose, just remember that the goal is to commit the string names to memory.
If you want to make up your own you can add them in the comments on the Your Open String Note Mnumonics lesson in the theory course, there are some super funny ones there already!
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