The strings of a guitar

guitar with standard tuningThe guitar consists, normally, of six strings. The strings generate different tones by their vibrations. They are set up to a specific tuning (often the standard tuning) and the strings have various thicknesses that also affecting the sound.

Learn the open strings

Normally the strings are tuned as EADGBE from the lowest to the highest note. It’s important that you don’t mix up the lowest string with the bottom string and the highest string with the top string.

The lowest string (tone) = the top string (position) = the thickest string (visual)
The highest string (tone) = the bottom string (position) = the thinnest string (visual)

You get probably get it now?

The strings and their numbers

strings and numbersIn addition, the strings are often referred by numbers. So, which is the first string and which is the six string? That's a great question, since they are not indicated on the instrument.

To make this clear, we will look at every string:

1st string = the bottom string (the thinnest string)
2nd string = the second bottom string  
3rd string = the third string from the bottom
4th string = the third string from the top
5th string = the second top string
6th string = the top string

A tip for easier memorizing is to associate the thinnest string with the lowest number.

Fretboard with color codes

If you are feel uncertain on the positions of the notes for the open strings and the frets there are easy ways to get around that kind of problems. For example, you could use special made color codes decalsad as in the picture below.

fretboard with color codes