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Treble Clef and the Treble Staff

The treble clef is part 2 of a 31 part series on musical notation and basic music theory. This is a type of clef.

There are 7 letters in the language of music (ABCDEFG) and they repeat as you go up or down the scale.

A staff is made up of 5 lines and 4 spaces.A clef is the funny shaped symbol at the far left sitting on those lines and spaces.


There are several different kinds of clefs. Each clef changes where the notes are on these lines and spaces. In this case, we are looking at a treble clef, which makes this a treble staff.

Notice that the letters move up alphabetically alternating between 5 lines and 4 spaces (EFGABCDEF).

There are several ways to memorize these letter names and it is important to memorize their order.

The 4 space notes spell the word FACE.

The 5 line notes have many acronyms:

1. Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge
2. Every Girl Buys Delicious Fruit
3. Empty Garbage Before Dad Flips
4. Even Gorillas Blow Dirt Far...I made that one up :^)

Treble Clef

Another name for this clef is the G clef, because the lip of the clef curls around the second line from the bottom which is a G note. It also kind of looks like a cursive G if that helps you remember it.
The treble staff is the most common staff because the notes that play or sing the melody of a song or composition generally exist in this area.

It is used by singers and instruments alike. These notes are above and to the right of middle C on the piano. A piano player is usually reading this staff with their right hand.

I remember learning all of this when I was a kid and not really paying attention to it. I was able to sing and started learning to play guitar when I was twelve. It wasn't until I was a teenager and I really wanted to go to Berklee, that I started to take this stuff seriously.

Many guitarists are amazing, but they can sometimes be limited to a style of music or they don't know how to write effectively. If you learn the basics of music ie., site reading, harmony, ear training and basic arranging, you can do anything you want musically.

There is no magic pill for creativity, but there is an arsenal of music skills and concepts to understand that give the aspiring songwriter an advantage over someone who has little or no music theory knowledge. I like to think of it as having a toolbox full of tools at your disposal!

Continue to Part 3, Piano Bass Clef and Bass Staff

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