Understanding the Strings

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To properly understand the strings, the guitar must be in tune. We will assume you have some basic music knowledge in this article. Read more about scales first if you don't know what they are. The standard tuning of a guitar is EADGBE. That is, the thickest string should be a low E, the next an A, the next a D and so on. So this is called standard tuning and used most of the times. Other tunings exist, but we will not concern ourselves with them here.

The E strings

The low E string the sixth string and it should be the thickest. The high E string is the first string and the thinnest. They will behave similarly because they are tuned to the same note, just two octaves apart.

Striking the string "open" (that is, without fretting a note) will produce an E. Pressing the first fret and striking the string will produce an F. Do not press the string onto the fret itself, but press directly above it. The second fret will produce an F#, or Gb. The third will produce a G, then G#/Ab, and so forth up the chromatic scale. On the fifth fret is an A, which, when played on the sixth string, should be the same sound produced by the open fifth string.

The fifth and fourth strings

The fifth string behaves similarly to the others: each fret is a single semitone up from the previous fret. The fifth fret is a D, which is the same note as the open fourth string. Likewise, the fifth fret on the fourth string is a G, the same as the open third string.

The third string

This string is slightly different from every other string on the guitar. The reason is the fourth fret on this string, not the fifth, has the same note as the second string.

The second string

The fifth fret is an E and the same as the open first string.


Links

  • Guitar THIS Beginner guitar tool: chords, scales, placement, hands-on visual learning