Standard Guitar Tuning

  • The strings of the guitar are numbered 1 through 6, highest sounding to lowest sounding
  • In the standard tuning from the guitar, the pitch of the string is E, A, D, G, B, and C, going from string 6 through to string 1.
  • String 1 is two octaves higher in pitch than string 6.
  • The musical distances between the strings are ascending perfect 4ths (4 note names, 5 semi-tones), with the exception of the distance from the G to the B, which is a major 3 (3 note names, 4 semi-tones).
  • This irregularity in standard tuning means that patterns of notes can not be moved from string 3 to string 2, or vice-versa, without making a one fret change in the pattern. When moving a note pattern from string 3 (G) to string 2 (B), the notes must all be moved up the neck one fret. When moving a note pattern from string 2 (B) to string 3 (G), the notes must all be moved down the neck one fret.
  • The significance of the irregularity will become clearer as we get into examples of scale and chord transposition by moving across the neck.