How To Start Reading Music
Reading music is not as difficult as you might think. If you go slowly and practice consistently, you will make significant progress. Think about how long you have been speaking and reading your native language. You are a fluent speaker and reader in your native language. How did you acquire these skills? Over time, you developed the language yourself.
The same can be valid for music or any other language you wish to learn. Music itself is a language. Music has both a written and spoken form and a grammar structure to match.
What is Treble Clef?
The Notes on the Lines of Treble Clef
As you move higher on the staff, the notes move higher in pitch. As you move lower on the staff, the notes move lower in pitch. Can you visualize where these notes fit on the keyboard?
Check out the diagram below for the placement of these notes on the keyboard. Middle C is the lowest note on the diagram. All of these notes are above middle C.
The Spaces of Treble Clef
Check out the diagram below for the spaces of treble clef notated on the staff:
Check out this diagram below to see where these notes fit on the keyboard:
The Full Combination
What in the World is Bass Clef?
The bass clef looks like this:
The bass clef locates F on the staff, specifically the F directly below middle C. Check out the diagram below for the position of this F on the keyboard:
The Lines of Bass Clef
Check out this diagram below for the notes on the lines of bass clef:
The Spaces of Bass Clef
Check out the diagram below to learn the spaces of bass clef:
Total Bass Clef Combination
Some Tips and Tricks
The most common mnemonic device to remember the treble clef lines is probably “Every Good Boy Does Fine.” What other mnemonic devices can you think of? The most common device for the treble clef spaces is “FACE” because the notes spell the word face.
For bass clef, the most common mnemonic device for the lines is probably “Good Boys Do Fine Always.” What about “Grizzly Bears Do Fish Always.” Use your imagination! The most common device for the bass clef spaces is either “All Cows Eat Grass” or “All Cars Eat Gas.” Can you come up with something else?
These devices are helpful to memorize the notes in treble and bass clef and can be beneficial when learning how to read on the staff. For example, to decipher a note on the third line of the treble clef, start at the bottom and count up each line with your mnemonic until you reach the third line. “Every, Good, Boy,” B, the note on the third line of the treble clef is B. If you are trying to figure out the note on the fourth space of bass clef, start at the bottom and count up, “All Cars Eat Gas,” G. The note on the fourth space of bass clef is G.
End of Part 1
In Part 1, you learned the basics of how to crack the code of reading music. You learned about the staff, the treble clef, and the bass clef and some tips and tricks of how to quickly identify the notes on each clef.
In Part 2, you will learn some deeper secrets such as the grand staff, middle C, and some basics of key signatures, accidentals, and enharmonic equivalents. You will sound like a music reading pro in no time!