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Quiz answer: There are 12 musical notes.
If you do not understand then review the previous lesson.


An “Open String” is a string which is played without pressing on the fret.

The strings are sometimes identified by number.  To find the string numbers:

-Pick up guitar and hold it as you would to play it.

-The string closest to the ground is string number 1 (the 1st string).
  It is the thinnest, highest pitch string.

-The string closest to the ceiling is string number 6 (the 6th string).  
It is the thickest, lowest pitch string.

-String diameters get progressively thinner as you move from the 6th to the 1st string.  This is true whether you hold your guitar left or right handed. (right handed is by far the most common).

-String #1 is referred to as the “Top String”, even though physically it is at the bottom (near the floor).
It is called the Top String because, MUSICALLY it is higher in pitch.
By the same reasoning, the 6th string is called the bottom string because its the lowest sounding string.

The string names:

string 1 = “High E”  (highest pitch, thinnest string, closest to ground)

string 2 = “B”

string 3 = “G”

string 4 = “D”

string 5 = “A”

string 6 = “Low E”  (lowest pitch, thickest string, closest to ceiling)

The letter name of the string is the note it sounds.
For example: To play a B note, just play the 2nd (B string) open.
Notice there are 2 E Strings.  One is called the “Low E” the other the “High E” (it is 2 Octaves above the “Low E”).


Fig.1. Trick: To remember the note names of the strings remember- Every Body Gets Drunk At Easter.
OR if starting on the Low E- Elephants And Dogs Grow Big Ears.

-The reason the strings are named as they are is to accommodate 4 finger playing.
-The note after the 4th fret is also the note of the next string.
This holds true for all but the G String where the 4th fret is the B note.  The reason for this exception is to make the most common chords easier to reach and play:

Why String Names

Fig.2.  Use one finger per fret.  The 5th fret is the same note of the next Open String (in red).
All notes can be played without shifting your hand position.

Quiz: On the 3rd string, which fret is the “B” note?


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