Reading music 1

The musical alphabet uses the first seven letters of the alphabet.
A B C D E F G (These letters represent musical notes).
These letters keep cycling in this order over and over.
A B C D E F G A B C D E F G A B C D E F G etc…

blank-staff1.gif

This is a staff. It is made up of five (5) lines and four (4) spaces.
Each space and line has it’s own letter name associated with it.

clef.GIF

The symbol to the left of the staff is called a clef.
A clef changes the names of the spaces and lines.
This is the treble clef. It is used for instruments like the violin, flute, and of course, guitar.

treble-clef.GIF

Here we see all the letter names on all the spaces and lines of the staff. Notice how it simply goes up the alphabet starting with “E”, and once it passes “G”, the alphabet starts all over with “A” and keeps going up.

face1.GIF

A good way to remember the names of the four (4) spaces of the treble clef is knowing that, from the lowest space going up, it spells the word “FACE”.

egbdf1.GIF

A good way to remember the names of the five (5) lines of the treble clef is this sentence: Every Good Boy Does Fine (EGBDF).

ledger lines x

With four (4) spaces and five (5) lines, that just totals nine (9) notes, which is not a lot at all. There are many more notes above and below the notes on the staff. To write those notes down, we use ledger lines, or extra lines beyond the five (5) staff lines. Ledger lines continue following the musical alphabet either going “up” or “down”. Ledger lines simply continue adding “spaces” and “lines” beyond the ones originally on the staff.

wholes and halves

Not all notes are equally spaced apart. Notes are either a “half step” apart or a “whole step” apart. When a note is a “half step” away, it means that it is right next to another note, or one space away from the note above it. In terms of the guitar, it means that a note is one fret away from the next. When a note is a “whole step” away, it means it is two spaces away from the following note. In terms of the guitar, it means that a note is two frets away from the next note. An easy way to remember which notes are a half or whole step apart is that the notes E and F are naturally only a half step apart, meaning they are next to each other. This also occurs with the notes B to C. All other notes are a whole step apart, or two frets apart.

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