String names and notes on electric, classical, acoustic and western guitar

When you start learning to play guitar, it’s important to know the names and notes of a guitar’s strings in standard tuning.

Namen en noten snaren elektrische, klassieke, akoestische gitaar

Regardless of whether you are going to buy an electric, classical, acoustic or western guitar – a guitar should be tuned before you start playing. This applies to any stringed instrument, and even wind instruments are subject to temperature differences and shocks from transport! Nothing so miserable, and not good for the development of your hearing, as a false sounding instrument! The names of the strings are displayed on the guitar tuner, both in notes and in numbers.

From the thickest string (upper string) to the thinnest string (lower string), the names E, A, D, G, B and E, or mi, la, re, sol, si and mi, are given. Mind you, we are talking about the standard E-tuning on a six-string guitar, and not about alternative tunings such as drop tunings, down tunings and open tunings.

On tuners (guitar tuners), or also on guitar tuning apps on your smartphone, tablet or iPad, you often see both the name of the note and the number of the string.

For a 6-string guitar, the top or thickest E string is number 6. From the top string (thick string) this becomes E (6), A (5), D (4), G (3), B (2) and E (1). The sixth and the first string are both the letter or note E (mi). The only difference is that the thin E string sounds 2 octaves higher than the thick E string.

Some guitar tuners, the so-called chromatic tuners, usually do not indicate string numbers. There you have to make sure that the letters match the string. For example, this is the Boss Chromatic Tuner TU-3 app that I use on my Samsung Android smartphone:

Boss chromatische tune TU-3

How to quickly remember the names of the strings and how to memorize them?
Just remember this phrase…
Dutch: “Een Aap Die Geen Bananen Eet”
English: “Eddy Ate Dynamite, Good Bye Eddy”
German: “Eine Alte Dame Ging Brötchen Essen”