One of the first things you will want to learn as a guitarist is the letter names of each of the six strings. Sure you can learn a bunch of tabs and chords and play songs but what about when you are jamming with your friends and they say something like, ‘your D string is out of tune?’ It sure would be embarrassing if you didn’t know which string they were talking about! I actually remember in college we had composer John Duarte pay us a visit. Some of the students who were playing his pieces were asked to perform for him in a master class setting. One student did a great performance of a Duarte piece. As is custom in a master class the composer/guest is to give some helpful critiques and suggestions. Mr. Duarte suggested the student play a certain passage on a different string to achieve a desired sound.
The student froze. In front of the composer, his teachers and an audience full of guitarists he froze. He couldn’t find the notes he needed and it was embarrassing for everyone there let alone the poor guy on stage.
DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU! The first step you need to take is to know your open strings! Once you memorize these there are easy ways to find any note you want on the guitar. If you want to play bar and power chords knowing all the notes on the 5th and 6th string is essential and again it starts by knowing the open strings.
Here are two acronyms that are helpful to remember your open strings. Both were created by students of mine. One from over 15 years ago and one from a recent class.
Here are the open notes starting from the 6th string(thickest) to the first (thinnest)
E A D B G B E
Starting on the 6th(thick) string to the first(thin) string …by Patty
Eat A Darn Good Breakfast Everyday
Starting on the first(thin) string to the 6th(thick) string …by Orlando
Easter Bunny Gets Drunk At Easter
Don’t like these? Create you own version, whatever it takes to get you to memorize the open strings!