There’s only six strings.
If only you could memorize them, you’d be able to master any song, right?
In a way that’s true: Memorizing the guitar strings is an important first step.
But don’t worry, it’s easy.
Once you master this, you’ll be able to move on to the really fun stuff.
This short guide will include a couple of different techniques, so you can choose the one that fits you best.
Let’s get started.
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The Double Es
If you write down the open notes on a standard E tuning, which is the recommended key for beginners and one that is most used, you will find an interesting pattern.
Both the thickest and thinnest strings are called E strings, one being high and the other being low E.
Knowing that, you are left with memorizing four remaining strings, which are A, D, G and B.
Once you gain some experience and start experimenting with other keys, you will find that this pattern of highest and lowest strings being the same tone, keeps repeating.
Assigning Words To Each Letter
During your school years, chances are your teachers have told you about this simple technique that helps with memorizing all kinds of acronyms.
It all comes down to assigning words to each letter of the acronym. This technique is easily applied to guitar strings, with the only difference being that your acronym is now E A D G B E.
Try to find a sentence that includes words you are likely to memorize, each starting with a letter from the aforementioned acronym.
Brute Forcing It
Last and least desirable way of memorizing strings is to just brute force the information into your brain.
Sit down, write the strings on a piece of paper and repeat that pattern until it becomes second nature.
This approach is not used as much these days but it’s still effective.
Just write the order out over and over, and you should be able to put it to memory.
Do You Really Need To Learn This?
The answer to this question is an absolute YES.
Learning the notes of open strings is essential for your further development and understanding of music theory. Everything begins and ends with those open notes.
Think of them as a compass.
How would you know where to start if someone was to tell you that you’re playing a classic pentatonic box in the key of A?
Music theory is probably the most boring (at first), but the most important aspect of playing guitar.
One course that I love to recommend for guitar theory is Music Theory Square One from JamPlay.com.
What To Do Next?
At the end of the day, learning notes associated with each string on a guitar is something you will get down fairly quickly.
The methods here work, and have been proven many times by now.
I suggest that you try each one and pick the technique that works best for you.
Additionally, you can even try to come up with a shortcut of your own.
Once you’re ready for the next step, I would suggest you consider some other step-by-step guitar instruction to help you start learning how to actually play these strings, and begin to play your first few chords.
For beginners, I like to recommend the Core Learning System developed by Guitar Tricks.
You can learn all the essential stuff for beginners online: