How To Remember The Guitar String Names

For a video version of this post, check out “The Easy Way To Learn Your Guitar String Names”

Memory is such an interesting thing. Some people seem to have a naturally good memory, and some of us, well, don’t! I don’t know about you, but I have a really hard time remembering things. When I was a kid in school and I had something I needed to remember for a test or something, I’d put it to a song. I do love learning new things though, but sometimes trying to remember it all is a real challenge.

Learning The String Names

When it comes to learning new things in an area you don’t know much about, like when you’re learning how to play guitar, it can be hard and frustrating. It may not make a whole lot of sense trying to remember things like the order of strings, especially if this is your first instrument and the concept of notes isn’t something you’re used to. It IS hard to remember those notes, and then knowing that they are in -what seems like random- order, just makes it even more confusing.

use mnemonics to learn guitar string names

Let’s Learn The Guitar Notes

So, one really useful trick is to use a memory aid, kind of like the example above of putting it to a song, but this time for the strings I like to use an aid called “mnemonics”. Mnemonics just basically means that you’re taking the first letter of all the things you’re trying to remember (in our case we just want string names) and then we assign a word or phrase to each of those letters. It’s definitely easier to show you than explain it, so let’s take a look:

If the letters we need to remember for the strings are E A D G B E, we can make this order MUCH easier to remember by using a word for each of those letters and making a phrase or sentence out of them. The phrase I like using is “Elephants And Dogs Grow Big Ears”. So starting with the biggest string first, moving to the smallest, we have E A D G B E.

Be Creative, Use Mnemonics

Over the years I’ve heard a lot of different mnemonic phrases and the truth is they all work as long as you use the right string name letters for your phrase. You can even make up your own, and hey, who knows, maybe it will help you remember better by creating one for yourself.

So how about you? Did you use a mnemonic phrase to help you learn the strings, or did you learn them in a different way? Share your story down below.