Guitar String Notes: Easily Finding Them

The guitar has 6 strings that have standard notes. Although you can change tunning, most songs are played on a guitar with the standard tuning.

Standard Notes for Guitar Strings

The list of guitar string notes is the following:

  • 1st string: E
  • 2nd string: B
  • 3rd string: G
  • 4th string: D
  • 5th string: A
  • 6th string: E

This standard tunning can change sometimes depending on the song. A few songs may require the 6th string tuned on D or even C.

The string notes follow a regular pattern of musical intervals:

  • Between the 6th and 5th: a 4th interval (E and A).
  • Then, between the 5th and 4th: a 4th interval (A and D).
  • Between the 4th and 3th: a 4th interval (D and G).
  • Then, between the 3th and 2th: a 3th interval (G and B).
  • Between the 2th and 1th: a 4th interval (B and E).

Notice that the only interval that is different here is the between the 3rd and 2nd string (a 3rd instead of a forth).

Finding String Notes in the Guitar

Starting from the notes that we have learned, it is possible to find even more about the string notes.

To understand this, you need to understand the distribution of steps between notes in the major scale.

If you take the C major scale (the white keys in the piano), you will have:

C, D, E, F, G, A, B

There is a half step between E and F. Also there is a half step between B and C. Between all other notes there is full step, which means that there is an intermediate note between them.

So, we have C#, D#, but not distinct E# (E# is the same as F).

Applying the Scale to the Guitar Strings

Knowning about the major scale will help you learn any note for any string in the guitar.

For example, starting from the 1st string, you will have the first not as E. Then, between E and F there is just half step. This means you have to move just one fret (each fret corresponds to a half step).

Then, to get from F to G, you need a whole step. This means you need to move two frets to reach the G note (two frets correspond to a whole step).

Following this procedure, you will find all other notes in the first string. Two frets from G you will have A. Then two more frets and you’ll have B. Then, moving a single fret you’ll have C.

The same procedure can be applied to other strings. For example, see  this diagram with all notes in the first 5 frets of the guitar.

Notes on Fretboard

Learn More About the Guitar

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