The treble clef is one of the most common and popular clefs in music. I began taking piano lessons when I was 9 years old and I quickly began learning how to read music. The treble clef was the easiest for me to start getting the hang of because I associated it with my right hand.
The treble clef or “G” clef is the clef that spirals around the second line from the bottom. The spiral indicates that the note it wraps around is G. It is the G note above middle C. Middle C is the middle note on the piano. From bottom to top the notes on the staff lines read E, G, B, D, F. The notes in between the staff lines read F, A, C, E.
How To Easily Memorize The Treble Clef Notes
The staff lines can be easily read as “every good boy does fine.” This is the first way I ever learned how to read the treble clef and it is so simple once you memorize this. There are other acronyms if you don’t like this, but I suggest using an acronym to make it easy while you are first learning.
When learning to play the piano, one of the first things you will learn is to read the treble clef. The diagram below will show you the easiest way to do so.
The staff spaces can be read as “FACE.” This was always really easy to remember for me as a kid. If you are playing piano, you typically will be playing the treble clef with your right hand.
Ledger lines are lines that are outside of the staff. They can be below the staff or above it. These are short lines that are created for notes above or below the staff.
Once you find middle C, you simply just follow the alphabet all the way up and repeat once you get back to C. (C,D,E,F,G,A,B,C).
History Of The Staff
The staff was created as a way to put an exact pitch to an exact note. Notation actually originated in the Catholic church.
How To Read The Key Signature For The Treble Clef
Key signatures are determined by sharps and flats. You will see either a sharp (# .) or a flat symbol next to the treble clef.
To figure out what key you are in by reading the Treble clef with sharps on it, you can use this pneumonic, “Fat Cats Get Dirty After Every Bath.” You will then apply the circle of fifths to figure out the key. The rule of thumb for the circle of fifths is to start on C and go up 5 notes or a “fifth” for each key. For example, C major has zero sharps and G major has one sharp, which is F-sharp.
To figure out what key you are in for flats I like to use, “BEADGFC.” You simply start on C and go down five notes and land on F. F major has one flat and it is B-flat.
My Personal Experience Using The Treble Clef
When I started piano lessons one of the first things my teacher taught me was how to read this clef. I found this clef easier than the bass clef because I’m right-handed. I was able to figure out the notes and then play them with my right hand fairly easy.
What Instruments Use The Treble Clef?
The instruments that use this clef are as followed; violin, flute, oboe, bagpipe, clarinet, saxophones, trumpet, horns, vibraphone, xylophone, mandolin, piano, and the recorder. Keep in mind that the piano also uses the bass clef as well.
In older times, the treble clef was used to mark a pubescent voice part. This is a fact that not many musicians themselves even know. I always found this interesting when learning music theory.
If you’re looking for a piano note chart, I recently put together a nice infographic on this.
How To Draw A Treble Clef Properly
If you have a piece of staff paper you will do as follows:
1) Draw A vertical line that starts from the top of the staff and goes slightly through the bottom of the staff. You want the line to be sticking slightly out of the top of the staff and the bottom.
2) Start at the top of your line and go down to the E note and make it a “P.”
3) Go through the vertical line and make a semi-circle that connects on the F note.
4) Make the semi-circle a into a spiral. This part is the fun part and isn’t too difficult.
5) Finish the spiral by ending on the G note. This is why this clef is also known as the “G” clef.
What Are The 7 Musical Notes?
I did answer this above, however, the notes are: ABCDEFG. If you get technical, there are also sharps and flats within each note.
The treble clef is used in all forms of music and is a very important part of music theory. I still remember my musical journey and the feeling of learning how to read and use this clef.