Guitar String Names: How to Remember the Strings on a Guitar

By | Updated

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase we may earn commission. Learn more >>

If you’re a beginner, you may need some help trying to remember the guitar strings. It’s crucial to know the names of the strings to learn the guitar so you can follow guitar lessons and guides in the future. 

To remember the guitar string names (EADGBE), you can use acronyms known as mnemonics to learn the strings on the guitar.

Guitar String Names Mnemonic Acronyms:

  • Elephants And Donkeys Grow Big Ears
  • Every Amateur Does Get Better Eventually
  • Eat All Day Get Big Easy
  • Eddie Ate Dynamite Good Bye Eddie
  • Eddie’s Already Dead, Get Back Eddie
  • Eat A Darn Good Breakfast Everyday
  • Eric And Dave’s Guitars Beat Everyone

You’ll need to learn string names to learn guitar.  You’ll need the knowledge to learn how to identify notes on the neck, play chords, and make sense of what your guitar teacher tells you.

The strings may seem tricky to learn, but you can know them within a few minutes. Remembering them will be a different story. Read on for some helpful tips for remembering the strings on a guitar.

Background Knowledge: The Thickest String to the Thinnest

Close up photo of guitar strings

To start learning the names of the strings on your guitar, you first need to have a basic understanding of it. There are six strings in a standard guitar, and from the top string to the bottom, they go from lowest to the highest pitch.

The thinnest string is called the first string and is at the “top of the guitar”. However, when you sit with the guitar across your body, it’s actually closest to the floor. The thickest “bottom” string is actually topmost when you’re playing the guitar.

The lowest pitch (thickest) string is known as the sixth string, and the highest pitch string is the first one. Both of these are usually tuned to E, so they are referred to as the bottom E  and the top e.

Getting Comfortable With Your Guitar Strings

You can use several methods to ensure you can learn the strings on your 6-string acoustic or electric guitar or your 4-string bass guitar. Some of these methods are as follows.

Just getting to Know Your Guitar

Blurred acoustic guitar

If you consider yourself a visual learner, then this is the most straightforward method for you to remember string names. 

If you’re using an acoustic or electric guitar, then look at the fretboard. The top string, the thickest one closest to your face while you play the guitar, is the low E string or the sixth string. The high e string is the one at the bottom and has the highest pitch.

One thing to know that you may have noticed is that both the top and the bottom strings are the “E” note. However, the difference here is that the first string is of the highest pitch, and the last string is of the lowest pitch.

According to this:

  • The 6th string is the bottom E string
  • The 5th string is the A string
  • The 4th string is the D string
  • The 3rd string is the G string
  • The 2nd string is the B string
  • The 1st string is the top e string

If you have a bass guitar, then it’s a bit different, but essentially, you follow the same principle to learn the bass guitar string names. Bass guitars usually have four strings, and they typically look like this:

  • The 4th string is E
  • The 3rd string is A
  • The 2nd string is D
  • The 1st string is G

Using Mnemonic Rhymes to Remember Guitar String Names

Names of guitar strings on the bridge of a red acoustic guitar

Memorizing the fretboard helps you remember the guitar string names without having to think about them every time. This method is one of the tricks we frequently recommend as it is a creative and fun way to memorize the string names of your guitar. 

No matter if you’re using an acoustic, bass, or electric guitar, you can make up a memorable phrase for learning the guitar strings.

First, you need to know the strings of your guitar. Now just make a simple and easy-to-remember acronym using mnemonics. The first letter of each word stands for the name of each string.

Remember to make something catchy, and it can get stuck in your head easily. You can memorize string notes using the same way too.

Start with the thickest string and move down to the thinnest one. Here is a commonly used one for E-A-D-G-B-E:

Elephants And Donkeys Grow Big Ears

We recommend making up a phrase of your own to remember guitar string names. Try making it memorable. The funnier it is, the better it’s going to make your experience.

It works the same way for bass guitars, just with one difference. The strings consist of E-A-D-G, and the mnemonics are made according to the strings. As an example:

Eventually, Anyone Drums Good

It’s important to note that you’ll need to change these up if you aren’t using standard guitar tuning or not working with open strings (with a capo).

Examples of Mnemonics

For 6-string acoustic or electric guitars, you can use some of these mnemonics for remembering guitar string names. Starting with the thickest and going to the thinnest string. (E-A-D-G-B-E)

  • Eat A Darn Good Breakfast Everyday
  • Every Acid Dealer Gets Busted Eventually
  • Eat Apples Daily Grow Big Ears
  • Elvis Always Dug Good Banana Eating
  • Eddie Ate Dynamite, Good Bye Eddie
  • Eat All Day Get Big Easy
  • Elephants And Donkeys Grow Big Ears
  • Every Apple Does Go Bad Eventually
  • Every Amateur Does Get Better Eventually

You can also use these mnemonics if you choose to learn your strings from thinnest to thickest string. (E-B-G-D-A-E)

  • Every Bunny Gets Drunk At Easter
  • Elvis’ Big Great Dane Ate Everything
  • Every Boy Gets Dinner At Eight
  • Every Big Guy Dates At Night
  • Every Bad Girl Does All Evil
  • Every Body Goes Down An Escalator
  • Every Big Girl Deserves An Elephant
  • Every Beer Got Drank At Earl’s
  • Every Banana Gets Digested After Eating

For 4-string bass guitar string names, you can use some of these mnemonics.

  • Eddie Ate Dynamite, Gross
  • Eat All Da Grapes
  • Every American Eats Gatorade
  • Eat A Doughnut, Guitarists (you can opt to choose any word with D)
  • Every Apple Dies Good
  • Elephants Always Do Good

A Few Tips

Acoustic guitar on wooden floor

Just identifying the strings once or twice won’t guarantee that you learn them. You can get confused while playing and sometimes even forget the guitar string names entirely. It’s natural, and you will learn with practice.

Slow and steady always wins the race. You don’t have to learn all the strings at once. Instead, you can divide the six strings into two groups, the lower bass guitar string and the higher strings. Memorize them separately and learn one group at a time.

You can also develop your ear and sing the note when it rings. Make sure your guitar is in standard tuning, then play the bottom E string and sing the letter “E” when it’s ringing out. Not only will this help train your ear, but it also helps you to remember the strings all while having fun.

String Mastery to Fretboard Mastery

Close up of guitar neck with fingers of a man on guitar strings

Learning the strings of your guitar is the first step in your journey to learn the guitar. Not only does it make it easy for you to play the guitar, but it also enhances your learning experience when you constantly don’t have to look at guides to remember which string is which. Once you get comfortable with them, you can start mastering the fretboard and learning songs.

Photo of author
about the author
Gerrick Cass
Gerrick is nuts about all things guitar. From acoustic to electric, fingerstyle to metal, he's played it all, and can show you how to play it too. When he doesn't have a guitar in his hands, he spends his time writing, teaching, and hiking with his dog.