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The 3 E’s: Low, Middle, and High

the 3 e's, low middle and high
Low, Middle, and High E

To Know → High E = Space 4 = 1 string open & Low E = -4 Space = 6 string open.

From Middle E [the bottom line]: when we go up 4 spaces from the first line, we have the High E (1st string open). The High E can also be called the top space or 4S [4th space].

From Middle E: when we go down 4 spaces from the first line, we have another E note, the Low E (6th string open). We call this low e...-4 space [minus 4 space]. The Low E is the lowest tone on the guitar in standard tuning.

The 3 E's are octaves to one another (they are even intervals [8's] = Space to Line & Line to Space). Low-Middle-High E = Space-Line-Space. Important!

Another interesting way to view the Low E is that if we were to add a vertical line to its ledger lines, we would have a big E.

the low e makes a capital e when a vertical line is drawn
Capital E!

Easy 3 E Exercise

Play this easy 3 E exercise evenly. Always be reading ahead [plan ahead]. As you are playing a note that was previously planned, you are thinking about notes to come. If using a pick, consider <a href="" target="_blank">the leave</a> [pick to the location where the pick is needed next]. If fingerpicking, use the thumb on the low E and whatever works best on the middle and high notes.


The fancy C after the clef means common time, which equals 4/4.

3 E’s with 8th Notes

A quarter note can be divided into two 8th notes. We count 8ths 1 & 2 & etc. 8th notes are twice as fast as quarters.

8th notes are twice as fast as quarters.

Play this 3 E's with 8th notes while counting aloud, then play it again, counting subvocally. Plan ahead. Be exact. The challenge is switching back and forth between 8ths and quarters.


Make sure that you can recognize three different E's; low, middle, and high. See the note-head locations in your mind. Low E is -4 space, Middle E is Line 1 [the bottom line of the staff], and High E is Space 4 [the top space] = Space, Line, Space.