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Meaning of Clefs Video Series. Episode 1 Treble Clef Line Notes

Updated: Sep 30, 2023

For many years I would not use the method of rhymes, however since that firm decision was made I have learnt much more about learning styles and inclusivity. It cannot be denied that for some learners this method helps a lot more than flashcards and 'just remember'.

It also has to be remembered that I learnt using this method and it worked for me. What I would say is this is not the only way to achieve the understanding of the note names. You can use it alongside other methods, often a multi-method attach is the best way forward.

If you require any additional tutorial help please see the other videos in this series or ask in the comments.

Updates June 2021: Added flash cards and scientific notation to the note names

Episode 1: Treble Clef Line Notes


Hi, my name is Chris from Chris at the Piano, thank you for joining me today to look at the treble clef line notes.

To start with we need to draw a Treble clef on the board we start at the bottom all the way up hook round, there we go.

Now today we're looking at line notes and there are five line notes in the treble clef that we need to look at. When we say a line note we mean the note literally that sits on top of the line so half is above the line and half is below the line like that.

Now we know this is the Treble clef, it's also known as the G clef. The G clef tells us where to read the note G or G4 and, in this case, it's on the note in the middle of the spiral; which is this one so the note that sits on line two we know is G4; we know that because of the Treble clef.

To help us with the rest of the line notes on the worksheet, which is in the description below, you will find a little rhyme on the worksheet, that we use a lot in the UK to help people remember the notes. There is a place down here (on the worksheet) where you can write your own rhyme. The rhyme that I use a lot is E for every, G is green, B is bus, D is drives, and F is fast; ‘every green bus drives fast’ so E, G, B, D and F.

With my pupils I also use the numbers that tell me the pitch is G4 E4 and B4 then it's D5 and F5. This tells me the note up from the bottom of the piano the lowest note on the piano is A0, B0 and then you get to C1, D1, E1 all the way up to B1 and then C2. This is the fourth octave on the piano (E4, G4, B4) and this is the fifth octave (C5, F5).

I will be making another video on the scientific notation later on when I've completed this series.

Once you've written them all out you need to play them on the keyboard.

Find middle C on your keyboard, by pressing the note down and on most keyboards it will tell you here (on the screen) which note it is that you're playing. You could also use it on a tuner and find out on the tuner which is C4. So this is E (on the first line) miss a note to get to G, miss a note to get to B, miss a note to D, and miss another note and you get to F. Let's do that again E, G, B, D, and F. If you can, play them on a keyboard or a piano, or if you've got an app on your phone with a keyboard on you could play them on that as well. You will see the registered names come up on the app, but you can use a chromatic tuner as well if you're not sure which note you're playing.

You can learn all these by flashcards as well of which there are some that you can download on my website to go with this worksheet.

The second worksheet in the series is this one where you have to write the list names under the first four lines. When you get to the bottom you have to draw in the notes as crotchets. To do this you need to add stems, if the note is below line three the stem goes up on the right, if it's above line three it comes down on the left and if it's on line three it can go either way it can go up or down.

I'm going to put this one down to make them crotchets color the head in. The reason the same stems change direction is purely for housekeeping, it looks nicer if the stem is within the stave. The most important part is the note head though that tells us what the pitch of the note is.

On the first worksheet in this pack there is a little advice here on stems and which way they should go. The space notes are covered on another video which will be linked again in the description below.

When you finish the worksheet if you show it to your teacher to verify that all of the notes are correct. If you would like it checked by a Triquetrae approved teacher please inbox any of our social media outlets with a photograph of your worksheet and we will drop you a message and let you know how you did on it.

Thank you for joining me today if you need any help and advice please leave a note in the comments and myself or one of my team will get back to you as soon as possible.

Please like and subscribe if this has been useful see you next time, bye for now.

Chris Caton-Greasley LLCM(TD) MA (Mus)(Open)

Ethnographic Musicologist, Teacher, Researcher

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